Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park

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Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

By baseball standards, none of the seats at the Reds’ home are terribly expensive, at least not compared to ballparks in Chicago or New York. But if you’re looking for the cheap seats at Great American Ball Park, here’s a few sections and my opinion about them:

 

cheap seats at great american ball park five dollar seats

Yes, it’s a $5 view, at least the foul pole isn’t in the way.

Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park, Tip #1) Outer View. You can’t beat the price of the Outer View seats in Section 509 in left field…they can often be had for just $5. And you can order them online rather than having to go to the box office, although you’ll pay the online fees.

Sure, the view of the action isn’t great, although the view of the Ohio River and Kentucky is pretty boffo. But for most games, you can usually move to a better spot in the 500 level after the third inning or so. I’ve done this…please don’t tell the Reds.

Since the soon to be discussed “District Ticket” includes a free drink, it’s about the same deal as just buying a $5 ticket and hanging out in the District, where anyone with a ticket can go. Except you have an actual seat for just a finski.

 

cheap seats at great american ball park bleachers

I have this incredible urge to shop at Kroger. Sure hope I can find one in Cincinnati…

Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park, Tip #2) Bleachers. The Kroger Bleachers are the sections directly underneath the scoreboard; they are metal benches with backs and are the cheapest seats in the ballpark, save for Outer View seats and standing room.

The first 3-6 rows of the bleachers (Rows A-F) are downstairs from the entrance to the seating area; they cost the same but are closer to the action. There is a walkway separating these from the rows behind them, which makes going for a hot dog much easier from Rows A-F. The bleachers also in front of the impressive Big Board, but for your hi-def information there’s a nice new scoreboard in right field.

One important thing…the bleachers get hot. This is the last place to see shade for a night game, and their being metal doesn’t help. It’s a good idea to bring a hat and sunglasses.

That’s not to say it’s a bad deal; bleachers are affordable and attract a fair number of families. It’s a little more raucous out there, which can be fun.

 

cheap seats at great american ball park

It’s not like you’re that far behind people that paid $6 more. And you have shade!

Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park, Tip #3) Upper View Level. If you don’t mind sitting in the highest rows of the upper deck…and behind home plate this isn’t usually a bad thing…the top seven rows or so of the 500 sections go for a pretty nice price…often even less than the bleacher seats. Not bad for actual seats that aren’t hard hot metal, but probably not for the acrophobic.

It’s another way to get into the ballpark cheap, and with seats that aren’t half bad with a nice view of Kentucky and the bridges going across the Ohio. Again, in my experience, the upper level here isn’t tightly patrolled, and in the 500 sections you can usually move to a better spot.

 

cheap seats at great american ball park fioptics district

Featuring seating deftly arranged to encourage fans to guess where the field is!

Cheap Seats at Great American Ball Park, Bonus Tip!) The Fioptics District. If you’re not quite into baseball enough to just sit in a seat for nine innings and would like to socialize a bit (and I’m not judging), the Fioptics District is ideal for you.

The District is a lounge area with a full bar, comfy sofa-style seats with a fine view of downtown Cincinnati, and tables and drink rails with a view of the ballgame from left field. These used to be 400 level seats, but too many of them had the foul pole in the way, so the Reds turned it into a standing area.

The best part is that the Reds sell a very inexpensive “District Ticket” that includes added value for a drink or a concessions item, and you can use this credit in the nearby Machine Room restaurant. Great for a nice cheap evening of baseball.

There’s a few choices for the cheap seats at Great American…I checked for a low demand game, but these were all under $20 as I wrote this. But if you have a few extra bucks to spend, try these on for size.

Want to know more about Great American Ball Park? Sign up here for my completely free Great American Ball Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 More Great American Ball Park Food Options

Posted by Kurt Smith

I’ve talked a bit about the essential grub items for enjoying Cincinnati baseball here, but one post isn’t enough to cover all of the Great American Ball Park food options. Here are three more of my favorite spots…

 

great american ball park food options frisch burger

I like this guy. He looks a bit like Johnny Bench.

Great American Ball Park Food Options, Tip #1) Frisch’s Big Boy Burgers. Frisch’s is another chain that started in Cincinnati; they were added to the long list of local chains featured in Great American once they figured out how to install their topsider grills. The stand in the main concourse actually has a statue of the big Frisch’s mascot in a Reds uniform. Very cool.

Frisch’s stands have the famous Big Boy burger, the double decker with two 1/8 pound patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles and Frisch’s famous tartar sauce (heavy on mayo and pickle relish). If you like that tartar sauce, you can get some extra for your burger, and you can also order a jar from Frisch’s website.

 

great american ball park food options penn station subs

Because you can’t get a good sub on the West Coast.

Great American Ball Park Food Options, Tip #2) Penn Station Subs. The local chain of East Coast sub shops modeled after the Philly cheesesteak joints has a couple of spots at Great American. Penn Station keeps it simple; there are only two items on the menu, the Philly-style cheesesteak on sourdough bread and fresh-cut fries with some skin left on. You get them together or just get the fries. And fresh-squeezed lemonade to drink it down.

Penn Station is very popular in the area (they’ve won several “best sandwich” awards, not bad for a chain), and the ballpark version actually isn’t much more expensive than at the chain itself, so you’re getting a fairly decent value here too.

 

great american ball park food options taste of belgium

Come on, just have one

Great American Ball Park Food Options, Tip #3) Taste of Belgium Waffles. Taste of Belgium is a chain of shops known for serving among the most popular Belgian waffles in the region; in 2014 they became the Official Waffle of the Reds. Here you can get plain, chocolate or strawberry and cream waffles with Ohio maple syrup; or you can get a chicken and waffle dish and/or frites (fries) if that grabs.

Taste of Belgium now has red velvet waffles topped with whipped cream and red sprinkles. Nice romantic thing if you’re bringing a date. Incidentally, there’s a Taste of Belgium on Freedom Way between the ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium; you can try it cheaper there. Or in the Findlay Market if you’re visiting and using this tip. Wherever, just try them…they’re amazing.

So now you know a few choices that you have for grub while enjoying your Reds baseball…don’t go hungry when you can have a Philly cheesesteak.

Cheap Seats at Comerica Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

Like all ballparks, the one in Detroit has seating choices for every budget. I’ve talked about some of those choices here, but here’s some things you should know about the cheap seats at Comerica Park:

 

cheap seats at comerica park pavilion

Plenty of fans are willing to shout encouragement to opposing relief pitchers.

Cheap Seats at Comerica Park, Tip #1) Outfield Seating. The Pavilion seats are behind both teams’ bullpens in left field. The bullpens were placed there to move the ridiculously far fences in to appease grumpy power hitters after the departure of Juan Gonzalez. This makes for a fine view of pitchers warming up for the people in lower seats, but the Big Board is directly behind you and requires a painful neck twist to see, and these seats are very far from home plate.

The Bleachers in right field are benches with no armrests, but they do have backs and are numbered for less of that uncomfortable cheek-sharing. The lower bleachers in right center field can be right up on the action with no bullpens in the way. Keep in mind that in Section 101 you can lose a portion of the outfield.

And then there’s the affordable Kaline’s Corner seats; I’ve talked about those here.

 

cheap seats at comerica park mezzanine

Detroit folks aren’t big on shade in April.

Cheap Seats at Comerica Park, Tip #2) The Mezzanine. On the first base side of the upper level, there is a gap just past first base, created to lower the seating of outer sections. The upper section past the gap is called the Mezzanine; tickets here are among the cheapest and the view is a bit better here than in the left field upper level (now called “Upper Grandstand”). The view of the Big Board and downtown Detroit is much better on the right field side.

The mezzanine concourse area also leads to the party areas in the outfield, and there are three separate areas with picnic tables that can be rented depending on the size of your party. The picnic deck parties include a buffet and mezzanine seats; the price isn’t high at all, if you don’t mind the distance from home plate.

 

cheap seats at comerica park skyline

But you did save $6!

Cheap Seats at Comerica Park, Tip #3) Upper Grandstand/Skyline Seats. The upper level seats down the left field line are called the Upper Grandstand seats; they’re obviously elevated and far from home plate. They’re only a few bucks less than the mezzanine seats; I would far prefer the mezzanine and its view of the impressive Big Board. To see that here requires a neck twist. Nice view of the skyline from here though.

Sections 344 and 345 are called the Skyline seats; they are the cheapest tickets in the ballpark. But it’s probably worth a few extra bucks to get a better ticket, since the left field foul pole will be in your view especially in 345. You might be able to move to a better seat; the Tigers patrol the lower level more strongly.

There’s three tips on cheap seats at Comerica Park for you…stay tuned, I’ll be adding more about this…

Want to know more about Comerica Park? Sign up here for my completely free Comerica Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 More Comerica Park Shuttles

Posted by Kurt Smith

I’ve talked a little bit about the Detroit establishments that offer Comerica Park shuttles here, but there’s enough such places to include in another post, so here’s a few more suggestions…

 

comerica park shuttles harrys

Nothing like a Nutty Irishman burger to get you in the mood for some baseball.

Comerica Park Shuttles, #1) Harry’s Bar & Grill. The newly remodeled Harry’s is located across I-75 from the ballpark on Clifford Street; you could probably walk it, but it’s a long walk, and they’ll make it easier for you with a ride.

Harry’s is nicely accessible from all of the nearby major highways. Parking at their lot is free, but it is small and fills up early. If you’re using a shuttle from any tavern you should arrive early anyway, but this doubly applies to Harry’s. Their lot is fenced in and attended like the Tigers’ lots.

Harry’s has some high end items on its menu like creole shrimp pasta and salmon salad, but it is mostly known for its varieties of burgers and a full bar. Harry’s is a popular pre- and post-game spot, and gets crowded on game days.

 

comerica park shuttles tommys

Don’t worry, they have seats inside too.

Comerica Park Shuttles, #2) Tommy’s Detroit Bar & Grill. Tommy’s is located on Third Street, very close to the Joe Louis Arena. It’s in a small building built in 1840, so it survived Prohibition…hmmm. Parking in the adjacent lot is free for Tigers games most nights and the shuttle to games is also free, but there might be a parking charge if something is going on at the arena or the Cobo Center. You can call and ask first.

Tommy’s is cramped in a good way, and there’s actually some history here…the building was actually an outlet for the Underground Railroad. Bartenders are friendly and the burgers and corned beef are very good by most accounts. Fresh hand dipped chicken wings too.

Tommy’s will occasionally have specials that include a meal, game ticket and a ride to the game for a very nice price. Well worth checking out.

You can use the People Mover to get back if you don’t want to wait for the shuttle, but be sure to use the Cobo Center or the Fort/Cass stations.

 

comerica park shuttles mcshanes

Their bus is more colorful than Nemo’s down the street. Which makes McShane’s better.

Comerica Park Shuttles, #3) McShane’s Irish Pub. People talk about Nemo’s being the classic pub where Tiger Stadium sat, but since their bartender was such a jerk to me in my visit, I’m not bothering with them. McShane’s is actually on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull (the old Tiger Stadium site), and it’s an eatery with an outdoor patio, live entertainment and decent drink and appetizer specials. The beer selection, so I’ve read, is a bit better than Nemo’s with some craft brews on tap.

The menu is Irish pub style fare with burgers as the mainstay; I’ve read a lot of good reviews about the food. The grub here is a bit pricier than at Nemo’s, but there’s a better selection too.

At McShane’s there is a charge for their parking lot, but they refund that amount to you in a coupon you can use inside, so it’s essentially free and there’s no cost other than the tip to ride the bus. The bus is also said to be less crowded than Nemo’s.

 

There’s three more Comerica Park shuttles…if you’re looking for an affordable spot at the game, have a look at this post.

Want to know more about Comerica Park? Sign up here for my completely free Comerica Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Comerica Park With Kids – 3 Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

It would be difficult to name a more kid-friendly ballpark than Comerica. Visiting Comerica Park with kids is easier here, what with the extra stuff for them to do.

So here’s a few tips…

 

comerica park with kids carousel

Hopefully they won’t think it’s cool to try and ride a real tiger.

Comerica Park With Kids, Tip #1) Rides! In addition to the carousel in the Big Cat Court and the ferris wheel near the Brushfire Grill, both of which cost a small fee, there are interactive pitching and batting cages under the Pepsi Porch, and near the Big Cat Court are free video game kiosks.

Lines get long for the rides, but if you’re early the kid should be able to go on a couple of times. If you want seats near this stuff, it’s on the first base side.

 

comerica park with kids ferris wheel

Waived on Sundays.

Comerica Park With Kids, Tip #2) Go on Sunday. Sunday is by far the best day to bring the kids. Kids 14 and under ride the ferris wheel and carousel for free, they’ll get promotional items and face painting, they can register for giveaways and run the bases after the game.

As with the rides, running the bases is very popular, so you’d do well to line them up behind the scoreboard early.

 

comerica park with kids club

“Should we tell them how long the lines are for rides?”

Comerica Park With Kids, Tip #3) Join The Club. The Tigers Kids Club isn’t expensive at all, and the young fan does get a magnet schedule, issues of the Kids Club magazine, and best of all a separate line for running the bases on Sundays (trust me, that alone is worth the price of membership). The Kids Club includes some ticket discounts too.

 

comerica park with kids nursing lounge

I’m not sure why there’s a takeout window, but I hear the lounge is nice.

Comerica Park With Kids, Bonus Tip!) Nursing Moms Welcome. Kids 3 and under get into Comerica free, and the Tigers are one of the few teams that offer a nursing lounge with a TV in the upper level.

Incidentally, by law in Michigan mothers can breastfeed anywhere, and that includes from the seats at Comerica Park.

 

There’s a few tips for bringing kids to a Tigers game…stay tuned, I’ve got more.

Want to know more about Comerica Park? Sign up here for my completely free Comerica Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Nationals Park With Kids – 3 Things To Know (+1!)

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re visiting Nationals Park with kids, take advantage of all of the cool stuff the team offers for parents and young fans. Here are my three favorite tips for parents, plus an extra for nursing moms:

 

nationals park with kids fan club

Endorsed by Screech!

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #1) Join The Club. If you sign up the kids in the Junior Nationals MVP Club, in addition to the lanyard, hat, duffel bag and other goodies, you’ll get offers for discounted tickets, and a coupon book with discounts on food and other stuff in the ballpark.

The free membership includes e-mail offers, which would certainly be worth the couple of minutes to sign up. But the paid membership is worth the small price too, if only for front of the line privileges on Run The Bases days. If you plan on having the kids run the bases, sign up…you’ll thank me.

 

Nationals Park With Kids Racing presidents

They even pose with big kids.

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #2) The Presidents’ Race. In the 4th inning, and the 13th if the game goes that long, the likenesses of the Mount Rushmore presidents race from the right field warning track to the finish line near first base.

Be sure to tell your kids not to root for Teddy Roosevelt, because he rarely wins, as documented in the excellent “Let Teddy Win” blog. His defeats are always for some wacky reason…unauthorized use of a feline, pre-game warmup injuries, or dive-bombing a racing sausage when the Brewers come to town.

 

nationals park with kids play area

Because every kid loves the jungle gyms and sugar combination.

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #3) The Family Fun Area. The kids play area here is impressive…it has simulated pitching and batting cages, a playground area with a very cool jungle gym, a picnic area, photo booths and penny press machines. There’s also a “Rookies” concession stand for kids with smaller portions and prices.

Get here early if you can…the racing presidents greet fans here before the game. There are even bobblehead replicas for photo-ops.

 

nationals park with kids nursing lounge

I didn’t take any pictures inside. I’m sure you understand.

Nationals Park With Kids, Bonus Tip! The Nursing Lounge. On the mezzanine level in right field is a very comfortable nursing lounge. It’s a private area with comfy chairs, a play area for toddlers, and TVs for busy moms to watch the game.

My wife tested this room out (she’s legitimate) and had nothing but nice things to say about it. Nice that the Nats are looking after moms for us dads.

There’s three things to know for parents at Nats games, plus one for moms of tiny ones. If you’re looking to save money on Nationals tickets too, be sure to check out this post.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

4 Ways to Score Cheap Nationals Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

So you’re looking to score some cheap Nationals tickets? Like with most teams, the Nationals offer ways for you to save a few bucks, especially going to multiple games.

Here’s a few tips for both Nats fans in the area and other Nationals Park visitors:

 

cheap nationals tickets newsletter

Or you could just use the phone I guess.

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #1) Team Newsletters. The Nationals make a lot of ticket deals available in their e-mail newsletters, including tickets that include concessions, discounted theme nights, group discounts, etc. You’ll get a weekly e-mail with some offers; check that out before buying from the team website.

Be sure to sign your kids up for the Fan Club memberships too…they’re free and you’ll receive some exclusive offers for them in your inbox too. Well worth a few minutes to sign up.

 

cheap nationals tickets natspass

“I remember the good old days when you had to actually remember to bring your tickets!”

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #2) The NatsPass. For big time fans who can attend a few games, the NatsPass allows you to see as many games as you want for a monthly price. You download the MLB Ballpark app, order the pass, and then you’ll have the barcodes on your phone. You won’t even have to remember to bring the tickets.

It’s standing room, but standing room here is actually pretty good and the price is well worth it if you attend, say, three games against the Phillies or Braves.

Click here to check out the NatsPass…

 

cheap nationals tickets pick em plan

Harper may be gone, but they still have 81 home games!

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #3) Go In With A Friend. The Nationals also now have a very cool “Pick ‘Em” plan, where you buy 20 or 40 tickets at a discount and choose how many you want to use (up to eight) at almost any matchup during the season (excepting Opening Day and very popular contests). You can share with a friend or two and save a bunch just going to a few games.

There’s lots of added perks too: Higher priced tickets for this plan include concession credits, it includes Opening Day and concert ticket opportunities, and you’ll have postseason priority should the Nationals so thrive. If you plan on spending a lot of time at Nats Park this summer, definitely check this out.

 

cheap nationals tickets community

In case you didn’t notice that ballpark standing to your left.

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #4) Help Your Fellow Washingtonian. The Nationals will have a blood or food drive at the ballpark on occasion; donors receive tickets and a T-shirt. You can tell someone you literally bled for their ticket.

The Nats also give away tickets and other prizes for charitable groups, military types (the Nats are very good about appreciating the military), and other philanthropic folks. Check out the “Community” section of the Nationals website; you may find something you can participate in and be rewarded by the Nats with some tickets.

There’s four helpful tips for saving some cash at your next few Nationals games. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

Nationals Park has a wide range of seating options for every budget. You can get into the ballpark for as little as $5 or spend triple digits on premium seats. If you’re looking for cheap seats at Nationals Park, you do have some options…here is what you should know about the budget-priced seating in the place.

 

cheap seats at nationals park scoreboard pavilion

Note the complete absence of fans basking in the late afternoon sun.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #1) The Scoreboard Pavilion. Scoreboard Pavilion seats are underneath the scoreboard and cost about the same as the outfield seats below them. You can see the Big Board if you’re willing to turn around, but these seats are the furthest from home plate in the ballpark. Like the right field mezzanine, these are the last to see shade, too.

It’s good for ballpark foodies though…the Pavilion is close to the Danny Meyer eateries, including the Shake Shack, Box Frites fries and El Verano Taqueria nachos. You can also go for some amazing jerk chicken from the Jammin’ Island BBQ.

 

cheap seats at nationals park upper level

Hey, at least you’re not sitting higher than the sportswriters.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #2) Gallery (Upper Deck) Seats. The Upper (400 Level) seats at Nationals Park in general are a bargain, especially when you get down the left field line to the sections past the bases. But be warned…these seats are really up there. At the top of them you can almost wave to pilots.

If you’re not in the best of shape, you can use escalators and elevators to get there, but you’ll still need to ascend a short flight of steps to get to the 400 seats. The concourses are also more subject to the elements…dress warm on colder days.

The concourse on the upper level offers some cool views…you can see the Capitol and Washington Monument on the third base side, and there’s a sweet view of the Anacostia River on the first base side.

 

cheap seats at nationals park right field terrace

They’re closer than they appear, but not by much.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #3) Right Field Terrace. The Right Field Terrace seats are up there and out there; don’t be fooled by the 2 in front of the section numbers.

These are among the cheapest seats, but be aware of a few things: you likely won’t be able to see the Big Board and even some of the outfield, these seats get baking hot on summer days and early evenings, and they are far from home plate. It’s especially a hike to get to the Upper Terrace.

You are close to the center field plaza and its food selection here, so it isn’t all bad for a cheap ticket if you’re into the party.

 

cheap seats at nationals park

The five-dollar view of Nationals Park.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #4) The “Grandstand”. The Nationals don’t publicize it much, but about 400 seats in the Grandstand Sections 401 and 402 go for a very small price (as low as $5) on game day only. These seats aren’t the best obviously, but they’re the cheapest in the ballpark, and you can move around to plenty of acceptable standing room space on most weeknights.

They go on sale at the box office 2.5 hours before game time and you have to enter the park from there; for a low demand game you should have no problem getting one, but get there early for a summer weekend or Orioles matchup.

So if you’re squeezing your ballgame budget, there’s a few choices of cheap seats at Nationals Park. If you’re willing to shell out the cash for something nicer, check this out.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 Nationals Park Seating Tips (For Larger Budgets)

Posted by Kurt Smith

Whatever your budget, I’ve got plenty of Nationals Park seating tips for you, whether you want to avoid the sun, be near the cool food choices, or have the best view of the Presidents’ Race.

But if you’ve got a few extra bucks laying around, here are some upper tier priced options for you and what you should know about them.

 

nationals park seating tips dugout seats

I think the usher has to give the ok before they can uncover the seats.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #1) The Dugout Club. There is a small section of very comfortable and large luxury seats next to the Nationals dugout now, making your view even better than the players’. They include a secret entrance with a tunnel, wait service, etc. If you have to ask the price…

Currently these are sponsored by the MGM National Harbor, and are only available to “M Life Rewards Platinum” members. I expect you probably have to lose a lot of money in a casino to access these, but maybe you know someone with such a problem.

Should you be lucky enough to land a seat here, definitely keep an eye on foul balls. They come this way fast.

 

nationals park seating tips delta box

Enjoy baseball the way it was meant to be enjoyed…in the exclusive club without using your seat.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #2) Field Level Premium Seating. The padded Delta Club seats are the best butt buckets in the ballpark. They are 22” wide and directly behind home plate. Season ticket holders get parking passes and access to all the clubs, including the Delta Club. The Delta Club features a fine foods buffet and in-seat wait service, all complimentary, even the beer, wine and desserts.

These seats, even with D.C. parking thrown in, are still overpriced for any team in my opinion. You might be able to find a deal from SeatGeek; try to get tickets from a season ticket holder before buying from the team. (Note: that is an affiliate link you just passed. Thanks for your support!)

The PNC Diamond seats are about half the price of the Delta seats and allow access to the PNC Lounge. Only season ticket holders have access to the actual PNC Club itself, so try getting tickets from one through a third party. The PNC Club also offers a buffet, in-seat wait service, and complimentary beer and wine. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances at an outside table with a great view.

If you can stand looking at richer people sitting in front of you, the PNC Diamond seats are a better deal.

 

nationals park seating tips club level

If a railroad-style scoreboard and a sushi bar aren’t worth the price of a club ticket, I don’t know what the heck is.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #3) The Club Level. The cushioned club level seats are on the mezzanine level between the bases. These seats are reasonable given all the perks; the view is decent, for one, especially since the upper deck is way up there. The upper rows of seats past Row E are covered by the elements, no small thing on a D.C. summer day. Not to mention access to a climate-controlled club to escape the heat.

The Norfolk Southern Club is a large, indoor concourse with lots of food and drink options like pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, a carvery and sushi bar, and Enzo’s pizza. It’s decorated with a railroad theme, including a scoreboard with model trains to keep track of the action on the field. There is even a cool Homestead Grays Pub full-service bar, named for the Negro League team that played in Washington.

The food isn’t included with the ticket price like with the more premium seats, but you pay a lot extra for that “free” buffet there. And the Shake Shack and other cool food spots aren’t far away from the first base entrance of the Club.

There you go, some cool options for a Nationals game if you’ve got the means. If you still think it’s way too much to spend to see a ballgame, check out this bit about the cheap seats at Nats Park.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 Brands of Nationals Park Nachos

Posted by Kurt Smith

I actually counted six…yes, six…brands of Nationals Park nachos in my recent review of the food, but three of them are kind of ordinary, so I decided to just talk about the unusual stuff here. Sadly, Hard Times isn’t one of them, and they were my favorite at the time, but you can still get a decent nacho fix at Nats Park.

 

nationals park nachos el verano taqueria

Apparently the price changes frequently.

Nationals Park Nachos, #1) El Verano Taqueria. The Taqueria in the upper concourse offers nachos topped with chicken mole, pork carnitas or beef barbacoa, topped with their roasted tomato salsa that they are proud of here. The nachos have essential ingredients like avocado, black bean relish and queso blanco.

Actually, I guess you could have read that in the photo of the menu. Anyway, I’ve read accounts that they’re the best nachos in the ballpark, but I’ve also read the chips are pretty salty, so decide for yourself.

 

nationals park nachos chesapeake crab

Featuring Nationals logo emblazoned wax paper…a souvenir well worth the ballpark markup!

Nationals Park Nachos, #2) Chesapeake Crab Cake Company. The Chesapeake stands are more known for expensive and tasty crab cake grilled cheese sandwiches, but they offer an impressive plate of nachos too.

Here they eschew the typical tortillas for Old Bay kettle chips, topped with crab queso, roasted corn and salsa. It’s actually a bit like the Crab Chipper in Camden Yards, but with the added difference of corn!

 

nationals park nachos cheesesteak

Don’t ask the guy to let you lick the ladle.

Nationals Park Nachos, #5) Steak Of The Union. The Steak of The Union stand is the spot for the Philly cheesesteak, since Nats fans love Philly so much. But you can also get that truly daunting plate of cheesesteak nachos, with the all-important whiz glop with your cheesesteak meat for that Philly flavor. I haven’t asked them about provolone.

There you are; three unusual types of everyone’s second favorite ballpark food. If you want to know more about what you can eat at Nats Park, read my posts here and here. And stay tuned for more…

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3 Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

At some point I’ll cover the cool party areas in Chicago’s South Side ballpark…the new Goose Island is a pretty cool spot, and it’s near the amazing Craft Kave. But for now, let me just talk some basic Guaranteed Rate Field seating tips. I’ve already shared this important tip about the upper level here, but there’s a bit more to know about that too. Read on.

 

guaranteed rate field seating tips lower level

Nice not having butts in your face every inning.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #1) The Lower Level. There are various levels of seating and pricing in the lower level, from the Scout seats to the corners, with a wide disparity in price. The corner seats are actually a pretty nice deal these days, and they’re not terrible seats.

Since the ballpark is symmetrical, there isn’t much difference whether you’re on the first or third base side, except for the fact that the sun sets behind the first base side and third base is in the shade last. There are usually 30-35 rows in lower level sections, so don’t expect much protection from the weather, especially for day games.

One nice thing is that the sections do not have as many seats in a row (usually eight) as most ballparks, so you won’t have as much of a problem of folks getting up in front of you.

 

guaranteed rate field seating tips outfield

Well, not bad if you don’t want someone sitting in left field to see you.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #2) Outfield Seating. The Lower Reserved seats in the outfield are in left field near the foul pole and in all of right field. These are actual seats as opposed to the bleacher-style benches in left center, which are cheaper.

The bleachers in left center field are bench-style seats, but they have backs on them with numbers, so you still have an assigned seat. Remember that the sun sets behind first base and it can be particularly blinding in the left field seats.

Section 100 along with the benches in Section 164 on the left field side may have an obstructed view. It can also affect Sections 101 and 163 if you’re sitting high enough. Be sure to get a low row if you get seats in these sections.

The outfield seats have a nice and wide concourse area to roam around in, and they’re close to the ballpark’s extra amenities, like the kids’ play area, the Plumbing Council shower, and the Goose Island Bar. The visiting team’s bullpen is in right field, all the better for heckling.

 

guaranteed rate field seating tips upper level

Yes, it’s steep. But it’s the White Sox!

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #3) The Upper Level. Before the top eight rows were eliminated, the height and angle of the upper level seats could be downright terrifying. Fortunately, the situation has improved; you can only go so high now, and while the angle is still dizzyingly steep, now it’s just “scary”.

The Upper Corner seats are now the cheapest in the ballpark, and with good reason. As a Chicago native put it to me: “Waveland rooftops are closer!”

You probably won’t likely have to deal with obstructed views from the support poles, but just so you know: Facing home plate, Seat 1 in any section is always closest to home plate. So in the high rows down either line, seats 1-5 are likely to be the most problematic with the views. Honestly, though, at that height you’re more likely to be worried about vertigo.

And of course, you don’t have access to the lower level concourse from these seats. More about that here.

 

There’s three sections of Guaranteed Rate Field and some things to be aware of; stay tuned, I’ll be adding more about the seating soon enough.

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3 More Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options

Posted by Kurt Smith

I’ve talked about some of the big stars in Guaranteed Rate Field food options here, but one post isn’t enough of course. Here are some more very popular choices at the home of the White Sox, especially if you don’t have the time for a sit-down meal.

 

guaranteed rate field food options beggars pizza

Sometimes just pictures of pizza taste great.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #1) Beggars Pizza. Beggars is a local chain with 22 locations in Chicago and northern Indiana. They offer their classic thin crust here, but they’ve added a deep dish edition to rival Giordano’s at Wrigley. Beggars is generous with the cheese, as it should be…their slogan is “We lay it on thick!” You can get your slice with pepperoni or sausage at most stands.

The “Pizza Pub” in left center is the spot for unusual pizza types, including one with Italian beef and giardiniera. And a deep dish chocolate chip cookie. True. Beggar’s even has a gluten-free pizza for celiacs, which should be a nice selling point to my wife if we go again.

 

guaranteed rate field food options baked potato

See what they did there with the baseball reference?

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #2) Bases Loaded Baked Potato. The baked potato stand is where you get your fancy loaded potato…toppings include chicken carnitas, BBQ beef barbacoa, bacon, cheddar, broccoli, sour cream, butter and/or salsa. All your major food groups, including starch.

Last I checked, you could get a loaded sweet potato with butter and brown sugar. Makes a nice filling dessert.

The loaded potatoes are price, but they’re good-sized and enough of a meal in itself. Almost.

 

guaranteed rate field food options churros

There are plenty for everyone, but don’t depend on heat lamps to keep them fresh.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #3) Churros. The Sox now have separate stands dedicated just to churros, which should tell you how popular they are around here. They’re available in quite a few flavors, including Oreo (ding!). Churros make for an easy-to-eat ballpark delicacy, especially when walking.

I’ve read that if you’re going for a churro, it’s best to get one early when they’re warm and fresh. At the ballpark you can do dessert first. It’s ok.

 

There you go, three more food choices at the home of the Pale Hose. Stay tuned…I’ll be adding more.

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3 Miller Park Party Areas

Posted by Kurt Smith

I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site that Brewers fans love to attend games in groups. If you’re gathering a group and have the means (or a cool employer), you should look into the Miller Park party areas. These are all-inclusive spots with major sponsors that keep the party going even when the game starts, without having to worry about the tab you’re running.

Here are three that I like for various reasons…

 

miller park party areas mutual club

Dibs on the seats facing the field!

Miller Park Party Areas, #1) The Northwestern Mutual Club. The Northwestern Mutual Club is the located down the left field line in the Club (third) Level. At the Club there is a fancy, carpeted, climate-controlled indoor dining area with décor celebrating team history, and several types of seating outside…from tables and chairs to seats at counters.

These Club tickets include the daily varied premium buffet prepared by the Club chef, which includes a carving station and a gourmet salad station, along with the brats, nachos and popcorn.  Two free drinks (beer or wine) are included, and there are bars on the inside and near the seating area outside. There is even an Alex’s Lemonade stand that distributes proceeds to children’s cancer research from lemonade sales.

Like with the other group areas, it sounds expensive to get in, but it’s not bad at a per-person rate. The Club is pretty cool if you have the means, and the view from the seats isn’t half bad.

 

miller park party areas associated bank check deck

No sharing chicken with patrons below please.

Miller Park Party Areas, #2) The Associated Bank Check Deck. The Associated Bank Deck is lower than most party areas, but pretty distant from home plate in left center field. This deck has barstools with tables, plenty of space to mingle with fellow bank customers, and general admission seating that overlooks the home team bullpen. It is very close to Bernie’s Slide, so you have that.

The Associated Bank Deck is mostly for groups, who get a decent deal on tickets. The game ticket includes a buffet (with similar items as the rest of the party areas, but with pulled pork and chicken breasts in case that matters to you) that goes until an hour after the first pitch and also includes two beers. There’s a private bar with TVs to watch the game.

And that’s not all; there is a private entrance (adorned with the Bank’s logo and colors) that bank card holders can use regardless of where their seats are. It’s convenient to the east lots of the ballpark and is right there at the seating area when you enter.

 

mioller park party areas right field bullpen

Watch for a batting practice home run in your nachos.

Miller Park Party Areas, #3) The Aurora Health Care Bullpen. The Aurora Bullpen is on the field level behind the right field fence, next to the visiting team’s bullpen. The Patio is for groups, although individual tickets are sometimes sold.

The area includes a full bar (outside!), hi-def TVs, and enough tables and barstools and such to accommodate around 75 people. Your group gets a buffet that includes brats, dogs, BBQ chicken sandwiches, mac and cheese, a nacho bar, and two complimentary beers (Blue Moon!).

Tickets go for around $100 a person for the moment, which with a buffet and two beers is a decent value. The view isn’t great through the fence, but it’s a neat place to hang out and feel like a relief pitcher.

 

That’s three spots where fans gather courtesy of their employer or to celebrate some other occasion with a Brewers game. Lots of fun for all with their baseball. Stay tuned.

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Miller Park With Kids – 3 Things To Know

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re a parent, you really should visit Miller Park with kids; it’s one of the most kid-friendly ballparks in baseball, and the Brewers do a lot to bring in young fans.

Here’s just a few things you should know…

 

Miller park with kids club

Kids get to do all the cool stuff.

Miller Park With Kids, Tip #1) Join The Club. The Brew Crew, like most teams, go after the young ones early with a Kids Club. For a very reasonable fee, your kid gets six ticket vouchers in the Terrace Reserved seats, good for most weekday games. It’s great if you plan to take the little one to Miller a few times. (And they’ll probably want to go back.)

The young one also gets a lanyard, a water bottle, a wallet to hold all that money he’s saving on tickets, and a poster, not to mention all of the exclusive stuff like be in a pregame parade, tour the ballpark, and get a picture with the racing sausages. Not a bad deal at all.

It’s very popular, so get on it well before spring training starts.

 

miller park with kids playground

It gets much more crowded when the Sausages hang out.

Miller Park With Kids, Tip #2) Three Play Areas. On the Field Level at Miller is the U.S. Cellular Power Playground, where kids can participate in a race to first base or a small scale Sausage Race, sit in a huge glove or mock-up dugout for a photo, or use the pitching and batting cage. It will definitely keep the little ones occupied for a while.

On the Terrace Level is Bernie Brewer’s Clubhouse, an equally fun play and concession area full of padded stuff for smaller kids. It’s a hike to get there, but if you’re using your Terrace seats from the club you’ll be on that level already.

Outside of the ballpark there is a playground at Helfaer Field too, so the kids can burn off a bunch of energy while you’re waiting for the gates to open.

With all of these places to play here, they might actually want to sit in their seats for the game afterward!

 

miller park with kids run the bases

Sometimes turning 17 isn’t all that great.

Miller Park With Kids, Tip #3) Kid Promotions. The Brewers also run frequent promotions for kids; they can run the bases on Sundays, get autographs from a Brewers player on certain dates, or have their birthday celebration at the game. If you want to run the bases, sitting on the first base side puts you closer to the line.

There are contests to be an announcer for an inning, or pose on the field with a Brewer, listed on the Brewers website. These promotions are popular, so you should hop on them early.

 

One last thing: when a Brewer hits a home run, poke the kid and tell him to look up to Bernie’s Terrace in upper left field, where Bernie will slide down into the lower terrace. Everyone loves it.

Want to know more about Miller Park? Sign up here for my completely free Miller Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

4 Ways to Score Cheap Brewers Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Brewers are more fan-friendly than most baseball teams, even when they’re in the hunt for a pennant. Here’s a few ways to score some cheap Brewers tickets. Notice that my first suggestion is to go through the team…I don’t say that often.

 

cheap brewers tickets team newsletter

The Brewers have a lot of partner promotions too. Everyone loves them in this town.

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #1) Get The Team Newsletter. The Brewers offer a lot of specials in their e-mail promotions, even for a ballpark that already has a bunch of cheap seats.

The Brewers offer discounted tickets for students, kids, seniors, first responders, and more, and they have quite a few discounted ticket days like their “5 County Fridays”. They often waive ticket fees for a short time, and that’s not a small chunk of savings.

Their e-mail newsletter will remind you of these things, and many of them are popular and limited to availability, so jump on them quickly. Sign up here. You’ll thank me.

 

cheap brewers tickets cloudy days

Don’t worry if it’s a little cloudy. No rainouts, remember?

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #2: Be Flexible. If you’re not picky about which game to attend, click on the Dynamic Deals link in the ticketing section to see what the best ongoing offers are at that time.

Check for flash sales too on the Brewers’ website; the Brewers offer Terrace tickets for almost nothing at times. (This will also likely be in the newsletter, but you can check the website first.)

 

cheap brewers tickets groups

As you can see, it’s not difficult to persuade people to go to a Brewers game.

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #3: Bring Your Friends. Milwaukee folks love to attend games in numbers, and the Brewers appreciate that. Groups can get tickets for crazy discounts on certain nights, and group leaders will receive a voucher for two free tickets in an e-mail with another couple if they can bring 100 folks.

The larger the group, the bigger the discount, so summon all your game-selling skills to your co-workers (it shouldn’t be too hard in this town); the savings can be huge.

 

cheap brewers tickets community

They give you chances to win money during the game too.

Cheap Brewers Tickets, Tip #4: Help Your Fellow Milwaukeean. The Brewers have several ways to score tickets helping out your fellow Brew Crew fan; look for them in the “Community” section of the team website. You could win tickets by participating in any of several marathon runs or other programs.

On their website, there is also a link called “Brewers Buddies Ticket Requests”. The team will donate tickets to charitable organizations, so if you’re part of one, send in a request for tickets on your charity’s letterhead. You deserve it!

 

Those are just a few ways to score deals on Brewers tickets; there’s other ways to save some bucks at the ballpark too. Stay tuned.

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3 Miller Park Seating Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

Miller Park has an impressive seating bowl, with four whole tiers of seating. I talk about cheaper seats elsewhere, but here’s three Miller Park seating tips for the lower levels.

If you’re planning a game, be sure to use SeatGeek in your searches for tickets! (That’s an affiliate link, thanks for your support!)

 

miller park seating tips lower level

Improve your chances of catching a foul while the tailgate continues…

Miller Park Seating Tips, #1) Field Level. The lowest level seats at Miller have a low slope, but the view is just fine. The seats closer to the outfield are angled towards second base for less neck strain. All the seats between the bases cost the same; you have to get close to the corners to see a price drop.

The first five or so rows of each Infield section is considered Diamond Box, and command a significantly higher price. So if you want one of the better seats, try a third party seller like SeatGeek.

The Field Box seats, like most all seats at Miller, are surprisingly reasonable in today’s baseball climate. There are some 25-26 rows in most sections.

 

miller park seating tips loge level

A well-populated section of Brewers fans. Good place to be.

Miller Park Seating Tips, #2) Loge Level. The Loge section is the second tier, from foul pole to foul pole, and follows the same pricing pattern as Field Box; infield and outfield seats, and the lower row seats are Diamond seats. The price disparity isn’t as large here though.

Loge seats can be the best value in the ballpark. In many ballparks the second tier is the suite or club level, but at Miller they’re for the common folk and are physically only slightly higher than field level. Great view for the price, especially on bargain nights.

The higher rows of Loge Box seats can suffer from view problems with the overhang of the Club Level; generally about the 18th row up might give you problems seeing the scoreboard.

 

miller park seating tips club level

I half expect to hear cartoon music using these.

Miller Park Seating Tips, #3) Club Level. The Club Level is the third tier above the Loge Level and are fairly high up for premium seats. The seats there cost a bit more, but you have access to the climate-controlled, carpeted Club Level concourse, which is nice on a cold (or hot) day. You’ll also have access to the huge SKYY Lounge on the Club Level, overlooking Helfaer Field.

There are plenty of deluxe (for a ballpark) food options—carveries and stations for pasta, burgers and stir-fry foods to choose from. In the infield seats you can request waitress service.

Getting to the Club Level is an adventure; you can use either the escalator that finds its way up through a maze of impressive structure, or use the clock tower elevator next to the front entrance. Should you land a Club Level ticket, it’ll be helpful to have it within easy reach, since the Brewers are big on ushers checking tickets at this level.

The Club probably isn’t the best place for families; they don’t have the playgrounds that the lower concourse has, and the kids might not enjoy it as much. Better to save this one for a client or a date.

 

There you go; three levels of Miller Park seating for those of discriminating tastes. You can always save a few bucks with the cheap seats though…there’s plenty of them here.

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Cheap Seats at Progressive Field

Posted by Kurt Smith

For folks and families on a budget, you have plenty of options for cheap seats at Progressive Field. Here are three suggestions from Ballpark E-Guides…all of these sections have their advantages and disadvantages, so pick what works for you.

 

cheap seats at progressive field view box

Stay warm in the lower seats.

Cheap Seats at Progressive Field, #1) View Box/Upper Box. With the deals to be had on Tribe tickets, you’re probably better off seeking View Box or Upper Box than Upper Reserved. The price difference between Upper Box and Upper Reserved isn’t much, although View Box can cost a chunk more. (It’s worth it for the ease of getting to the concourse).

The upper level at the Prog is pushed up pretty high by the three levels of suite seating, and is steeper than you’d probably like, especially in Upper Reserved sections. It can also be considerably cooler up there…dress warm.

All that said, these are still among my favorite seats here for one great reason: the stunning view of the Cleveland skyline and the Big Board, especially from first base side. If you like big scoreboards and city views at the ballpark, the upper level in Cleveland offers one of the best.

 

cheap seats at progressive field bleachers

Featuring backs with assigned numbers for less cheek sharing!

Cheap Seats at Progressive Field, #2) The Bleachers. The bleacher benches are among the dirt cheapest seats in the ballpark, and they’re fairly popular. The Indians even sell some season tickets here…but if you’re going to sit on these benches 81 nights a year you should probably bring a cushion.

The benches have backs and aren’t too uncomfortable, and the view isn’t bad save for missing some of left field. You are facing away from the Big Board here, though, and that’s one of the Prog’s more striking visual features.

The bleachers are also, of course, where you’ll find John Adams, the Tribe fan that has been carrying his big bass drum to Indians games since 1973. John’s a nice fellow; introduce yourself and he’ll chat with you when he’s not pounding the skins.

 

cheap seats at progressive field district ticket

Life at the Corner. It’s pretty hopping.

Cheap Seats at Progressive Field, #3: The Corner Standing Room. OK, I know it’s not technically “seating”, but the very inexpensive “District Ticket” includes a drink, and The Corner is a terrific standing spot. There are lots of drink rails to lean on and a multi-level bar, with a wide selection of great craft beers.

The upper level in the Corner has sofas and a fire pit, making it a great spot for those chilly April Cleveland nights; if you’re single it’s not a bad place to meet a fellow single Tribe fan.

One very important caveat though…at dusk the sun will be directly in your eyes. Might want to hang out at the drink rails in left field for the first inning or so.

There you go…some cheap seats at Progressive Field for fans on a budget. If you’re spending a few extra bucks, try taking a look at these.

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Progressive Field Seating (For Larger Budgets)

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Progressive Field seating chart has everything from dugout suites to bleachers and loads of party areas. But if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spend on seats, check these out…

 

Progressive Field seating dugout suites

I don’t know if you can ride the wagon to your seats, but that would be pretty cool.

Progressive Field Seating, Ginormous Budget: The Dugout Suites. Yes, those are fans sitting behind that screen that you see on TV during Indians games. It’s just like sitting in the dugout, except without the water coolers.

You need to be of considerable means to get one of these…they’re for mostly groups and I believe you can order them for individual games. You do get all of the suite amenities, which of course includes a private restroom, complimentary food and in-seat wait service. And three parking passes for your group. I saw it during a tour of the ballpark…the field level view is pretty amazing.

 

progressive field seating home plate club

Indoors is often a great place to be in Cleveland, especially in April.

Progressive Field Seating, Big Budget: Field Box. The Field Box seats aren’t the top level seats; they’re the lower level seats that are found behind the Diamond Box seats. If you search for these on SeatGeek for an April game, you could find a very nice deal. (Note: that’s an affiliate link you just passed. Thanks for your support!)

They’re mostly great seats to begin with, but a Field Box seat season ticket holder (and I presume, anyone who buys a third party ticket on SeatGeek from one) has access to that swanky new Home Plate Club, which features a full bar and some of the hot new Cleveland-based food items that the Indians have added to the Progressive menu.

The Home Plate Club is climate-controlled, which is no small thing here, and presumably lines for food wouldn’t be as long.

One caveat about Field Box though…avoid the “Field Box Back” or even “Field Box Middle” on the first base side…these seats are below the overhang of the Club Level, which blocks the view of the impressive scoreboard if you’re high enough. Plus being in the shade in April isn’t fun.

 

progressive field seating club seats

You can almost have that end section for yourself.

Progressive Field Seating, Medium Budget: The Club Seats. With the price of food at the game being what it is, often fans will go for an all you can eat deal that teams offer. In most places, this means generic ballpark food in the worst seats in the ballpark.

But in Cleveland, you can get a nice inclusive deal. Club seating here is a better value than at most ballparks.

The club seats in Progressive are fantastic seats: they are close to the field on the first base side, with a boffo view of the impressive scoreboard and the Cleveland skyline, not to mention the plays at first base.

They also have access to the Club Lounge, with food and non-alcoholic drinks included in the ticket. The food is a class above the basic undersized hot dog and nacho cheese sauce; there are pasta, stir-fry and carving stations, salads, and a chef’s action station with a changing menu. You could get your money’s worth on that.

All this in a comfortable climate-controlled area—again, no small thing in April in Cleveland. April’s a good month to try this out, in fact…you may find some pretty good deals on SeatGeek. (Legal bit: that’s an affiliate link, through which Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission. Thanks for your support!)

That’s three tips for Indians seating, but there’s a lot to know about all of the seats at the Prog. If you’re interested in getting in on the cheap, you have some perfectly nice choices. Stay tuned.

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Citizens Bank Park With Kids – 3 Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

You could do worse as a parent than a game at Citizens Bank Park with kids. There’s a lot for them to do, and they can burn off a lot of energy before the game.

Here are three of my favorite reasons to take my little ones to the Bank:

 

citizens bank park with kids the yard

“Get your head in the game, kid!”

Citizens Bank Park With Kids, Tip #1) The Yard. New as of 2018 is a very cool field, called the Yard. It’s an artificial turf (normally frowned upon in baseball, but probably a good idea here) wiffle ball field that’s made to look like a miniature Citizens Bank Park. And it’s got a short porch in left…if you get a hold of one, you can easily reach the scoreboard with it!

You have to wait in line to get your licks at the plate, but the kids can play in the field as much as they like. It’s a great opportunity to teach your child the value of strong defense up the middle.

The Yard gets crowded pretty fast, so try to get there when the Left Field gates open (a half hour before the rest of the gates).

 

citizens bank park with kids phun zone

What a sad day it is when we turn too old for these.

Citizens Bank Park With Kids, Tip #2) The Phanatic Phun Zone. The Phun Zone is a favorite spot for my little ones…and with good reason. It’s a truly intricate habitrail, much better than the ones at your typical Chuck E. Cheese outpost. There are some pretty high slides on this thing. Kids can also pretend to operate a concession stand, and get started young living the dream of being a ballpark concession worker.

The nice thing about the Phun Zone is that’s there’s only one way in and out, so parents can relax a little bit. Most of the area is soft and padded. Just keep an eye on the entrance and let the kids go bat guano in a very cool play area.

 

citizens bank park with kids discounts

In a clubhouse store this majestic, you can always use discounts.

Citizens Bank Park With Kids, Tip #3) Discounted Stuff. The Phillies have a Phanatic Phood stand next to the Yard, and a Kids Corner concession stand on the upper level. Both have smaller-sized kids’ hot dogs and PB&J sandwiches at lesser prices, a nice thing for frugal parents. (Remember, you can bring in your own food, too.)

If your kid would like some cool gear and souvenirs, the Junior Phillies Club membership costs just a few bucks and includes a cinch bag, a water bottle, a poster and discounts on tickets and merchandise. The Phillies don’t have many “run the bases” days, but the fan club offers front of the line access for it, and that’s well worth it if it’s in your plans.

Remember too that you can get a $1 hot dog during “Alley Hour” at the concession stand, underneath the left field scoreboard, before the rest of the gates open. That’s a hike from the Yard though.

There’s a few things you should know as a parent bringing little ones to a Phillies game. And don’t forget to point out the Phanatic to them.

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3 More PNC Park Food Options

Posted by Kurt Smith

Like most ballparks these days, PNC Park in Pittsburgh has some great samples of local flavors…I’ve talked about the Primanti Bros. sandwich and BRGR stuff here. But they’re hardly your only choices…here’s a few more great PNC Park food options:

 

pnc park food options mannys

BBQ sliders, beans, slaw, and a handshake from a Pirates great.

PNC Park Food Options, #1) Manny’s BBQ Platters. Longtime Bucs fans of course remember Manny Sanguillen, the star catcher of the great 1970s Pirates teams. Today Manny sits behind the counter and signs autographs for people patronizing his BBQ stand, like Boog Powell does in Baltimore.

Manny’s is located in the Riverwalk area in center field. Their burgers are grilled on smokers in full view behind the counter and across the aisle. You’ll love the smell. Loaded burgers especially get good reviews, and the platters with beans and slaw offer decent bang for your ballpark buck.

 

best ballpark in baseball pulled pork pierogi stacker

Anyone want my extra pierogi?

PNC Park Food Options, #2) The Pulled Pork Pierogi Stacker. Manny’s (and the Familee BBQ stand in Pops Plaza) is also home to the Pierogi Stacker, which was pulled pork with onion relish, barbecue sauce and pierogies—yes, pierogies—piled on it and sandwiched between two soft pretzel rolls. It’s vintage Pittsburgh.

Such a sandwich would probably require a fork and napkins to eat, and it’s probably not the healthiest thing, but who cares. At least you’re not likely to be hungry afterward.

 

pnc park food options menchies yogurt

Well worth the sugar crash afterward.

PNC Park Food Options, #3) Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Menchie’s frozen yogurt is pretty popular; the chain has locations all over the world. And one in PNC Park.

The PNC outpost almost looks like you can help yourself (but no, it’s not free); pick a cone or a cup, fill it with vanilla or chocolate yogurt and then top it with a great selection of toppings including Reese’s pieces and crushed Oreos.

This is probably the fanciest dessert item outside of the Club areas; and the yogurt is kosher and gluten-free as they point out. I’ve tried Menchie’s and it’s awesome, especially for the price…highly recommended for dessert at PNC.

 

There you go…now you have more of an idea what you can eat at the Pirates game. Stay tuned, I’ll share more…

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The Best Way To Get To PNC Park (Without A Car)

Posted by Kurt Smith

One very cool thing about PNC Park in Pittsburgh is that because of its location, you have a choice of not just the free downtown buses and light rail (I talk a little bit about that here), but also some fun, romantic and greener ways to arrive at a Pirates game. For the best way to get to PNC Park without a car, check out one of these choices…

 

best way to get to pnc park gateway clipper

“And folks, if you look to your left, you’ll see…oh wait, here we are!”

Best way to get to PNC Park, #1) The Gateway Clipper. The Gateway Clipper folks have a fleet of inland riverboats that run folks from Station Square to the outfield entrance of PNC Park. The fee is reasonable and free for kids under 6. You can usually park in the West Lot at Station Square cheaply, so long as there isn’t a special event going on.

Clippers begin carrying passengers over two hours before the game starts, and begins return trips in the 7th inning until a half hour after the game (or ½ hour after postgame fireworks or kids running bases). The lines for the return trip can get long afterwards, so be prepared.

The Clipper is a fun and novel way to get to or from a ballgame; it’s also a cool romantic thing if you’re so inclined. Station Square is a happening spot, with stores, restaurants and hotels and a railroad car that can take you up the Monongahela Incline for a spectacular view of Pittsburgh.

Just try to get on the earliest boat, because they’ll sometimes wait until a boat is full before sending it, and this has made people late for games in the past.

 

best way to get to pnc park pittsburgh water limo

Marketing fail: website address should always be dockside!

Best way to get to PNC Park, #2) Pittsburgh Water Limo. Coming from the Strip District area (east of the ballpark on the North Shore), Pittsburgh Luxury Cruises rows boatfuls of fans to Pirates games on weekends.

Prices are reasonable, and you can park for free or inexpensively at the Lockwall One Marina. Reservations are recommended; it only holds 49.

Three boat rides run a half hour apart starting 65 minutes before each game; boats start returning passengers to the marina starting at the 7th inning stretch and continuing a half hour after the game. They’ll also run boats after fireworks or a concert.

As if all that wasn’t cool enough, you can buy a beer or glass of wine on the boat, and probably cheaper than it would be inside the ballpark.

The Strip District is another happening part of Pittsburgh with eateries and nightlife. If you’re doing the whole ‘Burgh experience you can have breakfast at Deluca’s, ride a boat on the Allegheny and take in a Pirates game. Great for romantic outings if your other can stand baseball (and even my wife can do that in Pittsburgh).

 

best way to get to pnc park bicycle

Featuring a solar-powered station, for further carbon footprint reduction with your baseball!

Best way to get to PNC Park, #3) Ride your bicycle (or rent one). PNC Park isn’t a bad ballpark to two-wheel it; there are bicycle paths near the park, including a scenic route along the waterfront. Cyclists can use any of the bridges that connect the North Shore to Everywhere Else in Pittsburgh except for the I-579 Veterans Bridge. There are ample bicycle racks on Federal Street on the east side of the ballpark.

An organization called Bike Pittsburgh features a map of trails and dedicated bicycle lanes in the city on their website. If you’re using a car/bicycle combination, Bike Pittsburgh suggests parking for free at Washington’s Landing north in the Allegheny and using the North Shore Trail straight to the park.

You also have bicycle rental options in Pittsburgh; for a small fee, Healthy Ride bikeshare members can take a bike from various stations throughout the city and return it to another station.

Healthy Ride a few stations close to PNC; one is right at the ballpark at Federal and Isabella. You could also use the station on the North Shore Trail, a very pleasant ride along the waterfront, or Fort Duquesne and 7th if you’d like to walk across the Clemente Bridge for the amazing view.

From what I’ve read in reviews of Healthy Ride, which weren’t always flattering, it’s definitely a good idea to get everything set up as far as accounts and such before trying this.

 

best way to get to pnc park pedicab

Nothing like having the right of way in downtown.

Best way to get to PNC Park, #4) Take a rickshaw. For a novel way to avoid traffic, save gas, and be eco-friendly, Green Gears Pedicabs will pedal you in a bicycle rickshaw to PNC Park and back from most downtown locations. Just call them and tell them where you are, and they’ll send one.

You can even bring a reasonable amount of cargo, and the nice part is that you don’t have to wait for the driver on the phone in front of you to get moving.

Up to three can ride in a Pedicab, and the price is fairly reasonable for the experience (parking would be cheaper, but just saying), although they would probably like you to tip.

 

Baseball fans talk glowingly about the view in PNC Park, and rightly so, but I consider the multiple ways to arrive at the place a great plus too. For your next visit to PNC, try an unusual way to get there and experience more of a great city.

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3 PNC Park Seating Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

It’s hard to go wrong with any seats at PNC Park…you’re going to have a pretty sweet view in any direction wherever you sit. But some spots are better than others. I talk a bit about splurging on club seats here, but if you don’t plan to shell out extra cash, here’s a few more PNC Park seating tips.

 

pnc park seating tips infield box

Well worth taking in the view even after the game.

PNC Park Seating Tips, #1) Infield/Outfield Box. The lower level of seating at PNC isn’t too rough on the wallet as these seats go. The third base side might be preferable for the overall view (especially on fireworks nights), but you’ll be very happy with any seat that’s not in the corners.

Outfield Box Sections 107 and 127 especially cost much less than seats just one section over, but if you can get Infield Box close to home plate, go for it. Infield Box seats are priced the same all the way out to just beyond the infield dirt, so it’s a good deal if you can swing it.

Manny’s BBQ excepted, the lower level concourse has the best food choices at PNC Park, like the Primanti Bros. sandwich and the Abso-Bac’N-Lutely Burger…you can read about those here.

 

pnc park seating tips grandstand

Watch boats go by on the Allegheny at no extra charge.

PNC Park Seating Tips, #2) Infield/Outfield Grandstand. The panoramic view from the upper level Grandstand is truly impressive…probably the best in baseball. There’s also some sweet views of the rivers and bridges from the right field concourse.

But it’s pretty good for watching baseball, too. Upper level seats are closer to the field than in most ballparks, and they’re very affordable, including discounted tickets for kids as I write this. I wouldn’t get too far in the outfield though…like any ballpark, you can still be pretty far away from the action.

One caveat: watch for obstructed views from glass landings. On the Pirates 3-D seating map, you can see which sections have landings (313, 315, etc.). It’s not terrible, but I’d avoid Rows H-K in those sections.

 

PNC Park seating tips outfield

Some Pirates fans come to see a ballgame, not a river view.

PNC Park Seating Tips, #3) Bleachers/Outfield Seats. Outfield Reserved seats in right field are cheap and have a fun atmosphere, but they doesn’t offer much in the way of a panoramic photo-op. It’s probably the only spot from which this ballpark’s view won’t wow you.

The Bleachers in left field offer a better overall view and are closer, but unlike Outfield Reserved seats, they’re hard metal benches and can be uncomfortable. No shame in bringing a cushion. The bleachers are also in front of the big scoreboard, so you’d be missing out on pierogi races or whatever if that matters.

One thing making the Bleachers preferable to Outfield Reserved is their proximity to the Jim Beam Left Field Lounge and the shaded Block House Corner under the rotunda, so it’s easy to grab a snack or craft brew and escape the elements. Millennials like that kind of stuff.

On a hot sunny day you will definitely bake sitting in outfield seats; bring a hat and sunscreen. I speak from experience.

 

There’s three PNC Park seating tips for you…hopefully this helps whatever your budget and taste at your next Pirates game. If you’re planning a trip to PNC, be sure to get this absolutely free e-mail newsletter…it’ll tell you everything you need to know…and then some.

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Citi Field Seating – 3 Useful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Citi Field seating chart offers something for every price range and style. Spend multiple hundreds on a Delta Club ticket (or get your employer to do it), or spend just a few bucks to get in and sit in the rafters in left field.

Well, ok, don’t do that. The upper left field seats at Citi are awful. But here are three Citi Field seating options for you…for various budgets…and some things you should know about each.

 

citi field seating hyundai club

And you thought the Geek Squad cars were cool.

Citi Field Seating, Tip #1) Hyundai Club Seats. If you have the considerable means, Hyundai Club seats are the only tickets that allow you into every club and restaurant in Citi Field, including…wait for it…the Hyundai Club!

Why does that matter? Because the Hyundai Club, as far as I can tell, is the only club in Citi Field where food and non-alcoholic drinks are included in your ticket…you can fill your plate up from hot dog, slider, nacho stations and a chef’s selection (Citi Field has a ridiculous number of chefs). So it’s actually decent grub.

In addition to this, the Hyundai club seats are low and closer to the field at Citi than most ballpark club seats at this price level, especially compared to seats that are just slightly better.

You can get access to all of the clubs except the Hyundai with less expensive Metropolitan Silver seats, but all-inclusive food is well worth the extra few bucks. For high end Citi Field seating, Hyundai Club is probably the best deal.

 

citi field seating m&m sweet seats

Worth the price just for selfie opportunities with Red and Yellow.

Citi Field Seating, Tip #2) The M&M’s Sweet Seats. If you’re bringing a group of 15 or more to a game, you have a bunch of hospitality choices that include complimentary beer if you don’t mind drinking Bud Light. (I do, but that’s just me.) The M&M’s Sweet Seats are one of these spots. This area occupies the spot in left field where the Mets moved the fences in before the 2012 season.

The Citi Pavilion seats in right center are comfortable and phone chargers and whatnot, but the M&M’s Sweet Seats are right on top of the action and offer a view of the scoreboards, which are impressive here. It’s also a great spot to snare a batting practice home run ball, especially with the exclusive access.

It’s well worth it for the complimentary Nathan’s dogs and cookies, and group leaders get free tickets to a future game.

 

citi field seating coca cola corner

Clearly designated with signage to make your seats easy to find. If you’re an American, anyway.

Citi Field Seating, Tip #3) The Coca-Cola Corner. Underneath the iconic and animated Coca-Cola sign in right field are the Coca-Cola Corner sections, which are among the cheaper seats at Citi. If you like outfield seating, these are a pretty good deal for several reasons.

First is that there is a separate concessions area…and shorter lines…and this area features cornhole games and other fun stuff for the kids while still offering a view of the field.

Second, Coca-Cola Corner tickets offer some decent club access, including the Foxwoods Club just a few steps away with its Rao’s specialty sandwiches and the Jim Beam Highball Club and its cool grub options.

Finally, there’s a great view from the terrace of the chop shops that go for blocks across the street. This beautiful ballpark is still in Queens.

One thing about these sections though…blinding sun, especially at sunset, and no shade. Bring sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. You’ll thank me.

Those are just three options for Citi Field seating…stay tuned, I’ll be adding more about this…

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Posted by vlm

3 Yankee Stadium Standing Room Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

In the tradition of making ballparks more millennial friendly, the Yankees ripped out a bunch of seats for the 2017 season and created several new standing room options. This is in addition to the assigned standing room areas that already existed in the ballpark, so Yankee Stadium is now a much nicer place to wander around in after buying a cheap ticket.

You can now get a “Pinstripe Pass” standing room ticket, which is a very inexpensive ticket with your first beer or Pepsi product included. At ballpark prices, that’s almost like getting into the ballpark for free.

 

yankee stadium standing room field level

Standing room with bar stools and a counter isn’t so bad. Especially in the shade

Yankee Stadium Standing Room Tip #1: Field Level. The reserved standing room tickets on the field level aren’t as bad a deal as you might think looking at the price (you can’t access this with a Pinstripe Pass). There are barstools and counters, and in most spots you have a pretty nice view of the field and scoreboard.

The Yankees call is “café seating”, and it’s restricted to ticket holders. Nice and shaded, and easy to run for a beer or garlic fries from your spot.

 

cheapYankee stadium standing room pinstripe pass

Showing the last year you were able to get a Yankees ticket this cheap.

Yankee Stadium Standing Room Tip #2: Outfield Areas. The Yankees tore out the bleachers sections with obstructed views…a smart move given that fans lost half the view of the field there…and these are now standing room areas with their own bar, drink rails, and barstool seats.

You even have some specialty food and craft beer options with the money you’ve saved on your cheap ticket.

The best part is that these areas are close to the bullpens (the visitors bullpen is in left field), making it a great place to offer some friendly encouragement.

 

yankee stadium standing room terrace

Anyone have a four-foot stool?

Yankee Stadium Standing Room Tip #3: Avoid The Terrace Level SRO. I don’t know if the Yankees sell standing room tickets that are designated for the Terrace level anymore, but just get a Pinstripe Pass instead and stake out a better spot.

The Terrace standing areas are behind the handicapped seating, which is almost always occupied, and you need to be about 11 feet tall if you want a decent view of the infield. You’ll probably dislike the view enough to move.

 

There’s three Yankee Stadium standing room tips for you…click here for more cheap seating options. Remember Yankee Stadium has open concourses, so should your spot not be everything you dreamed of, there are plenty of places to view the game from your feet.

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