Category Archives: Sports

The Advantages of Smaller Baseball Stadiums

My friends over at SixFourThree*, “a blog about baseball and much more”, posted an entry today that discusses the somewhat counterintuitive recent trend of rebuilding baseball stadiums that contain a smaller – rather than larger – amount of seats.

The author of this particular post correctly points out that the main reasons behind this change are:

1. Aesthetic. Fewer available tickets increases the likelihood of a (near) sellout game, leaving fewer empty seats for the TV audience to see, improving the perception of team success and fan loyalty.

2. Economic. If the supply of tickets available decreases, demand then increases proportionally. This allows for the market value of tickets to increase. 

I think there’s an unintended humanistic result that musn’t be overlooked in this discussion and I’ve provided my thoughts below:

Julie Minevich & Lesley Angellis at Fenway Park

Ignore my shirt and instead look at how close we are!

Growing up a Red Sox fan, with Fenway Park as my home stadium, I think I’ve experienced baseball differently than baseball fans in other cities.

Fenway produces an intimate, community feel because of its small size. This was something I took for granted until I attended a Red Sox- Orioles game at Camden Yards during college – my first baseball experience outside of Boston.

I remember being hugely disappointed by the impersonal feel of the game there. Tickets were very easy to obtain and pretty inexpensive but the enormity of the stadium and the crowd itself made me feel like just another attendee.

Clearly, part of it is my obvious bias, but again, I think Fenway is physically so small that not only you are forced to become friends with your seat neighbors but also you go in knowing that even the worst seat isn’t that far away from the action and the players on the field.

I recently was exploring seat options at Nationals Park for the Red Sox games taking place there this summer. What I noticed was that there were definitely more seat options than at Fenway but a $50 ticket gives you a much better seat in Boston than does in DC.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, of course, smaller stadiums are being built first and foremost to maximize a franchise’s earning potential, but there is a positive outcome that shouldn’t be overlooked – the betterment of the game experience from a fan’s perspective.

*The phrasing of “my friends at SixFourThree” is a bit funny to me because “my friends at…” is a statement that is used in a general, vague sense, but, in this case, the writers of SixFourThree really are my college friends who happen to run a sports blog. Oh, grammatical humor! Gets me every time!

Let the Madness Begin!

Mid-March marks the advent of Spring, but for sports fans, it’s also a special time of the year — the NCAA tournament takes place, which effectively crowns the best college basketball team in the country. The days between Selection Sunday (when the 65 teams who will be vying for the title are announced) and when the first round of games begin are a sacred time as March Madness veterans and novices alike do their best to predict the outcome of each game. Brackets are filled out (and crossed out and filled out agian) and bets are placed.

Today, someone mentioned that he had heard that I was intense in my bracket preparation.

Here’s the thing, folks: I approach my bracket the way I do pretty much life as a whole – if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right.

In this case, I like to do my research (everyone has their own strategy, but of course I look at things like a team’s strength of schedule, overall record, experience, offensive and defensive ability, etc.). I will NEVER be a person who can blindly choose a team to win based solely on a gut feeling. I like to know that I came to my decision through some sort of method.

This is the third year I’ve filled out a bracket (and, yes, I am a purist – I do only fill out one that I use in all the different pools I’m a part of). Not only have I picked the winner the past two years, but I actually won my company’s pool. And, you know, it felt pretty amazing to have gained the respect of colleagues, friends, and basketball aficianados.

I think that’s why I take the whole thing so seriously: I like that my knowledge of basketball is validated through the success of my bracket.

As someone who really knows and gets me put it: “You’re a junky for whatever you focus on – it’s part of your charm.” 

Anyway, everything I’ve said can pretty much be invalidated in the next few hours, so I’ll end with this: GO TERPS!

Mr. Brady

I have been extremely lucky in my career on a personal level – I have continuously found myself surrounded by such a passionate, diverse group of people who I know wish me nothing but the best and will do whatever it takes to make sure I succeed. It’s a very powerful thing and I am truly grateful.

For my first professional position, I worked in the marketing department of a start-up and got a real taste of how exciting, vibrant, and brilliant these companies can be, as well as the people within. Many of the people who worked there have now moved onto new challenges (as have I – I last did some small contracting work in 2006, but otherwise, my time there ended Spring 2005).

However, I have been fortunate enough to stay in contact with these individuals in the form of the occasional “Whine Club” meeting, pun intended. We meet for drinks and dinner, usually at the Papa Razzi located by our former office, to discuss politics, celebrate accomplishments, and vent our frustrations.

We met this past Wednesday, since my move and new position fall under the “accomplishment” category. It was a really nice evening but a few interesting points came out in conversation that I’d like to capture here:

  • I believe that the Superbowl was rigged. We were perfect all season and then it just so happens that we lose? Something’s not right there.
  • Holly believes that Tom Brady is faking his current injury. He’s got a hot girlfriend, he just made a killing selling his Newbury Street apartment, he’s got endorsements pouring in… So why work? Why not “get injured” and enjoy the season from the sidelines? We’ve already seen proof that’s he’s not 100% committed to his job.