Monday, June 23, 2003

Sunday at The Ted

Enjoyed a fine, hot, sunny afternoon at The Ted yesterday with the boys from Shakerville. I've got the sunburn to prove it (at least I wore a hat ...)

Not having been to many Braves games this year, it's interesting to see the evolution of the ballpark experience. The Braves, like a lot of other MLB teams, are getting a lot more creative in ticket packaging (we were on the "family 4-pack" plan, and there are all sorts of sponsored deals that give you discounted rates on certain nights), and that park in general had much more of a carnival feel.

They make bats and gloves at the Plaza stand that used to be a daquiri shop. There's a booth where you can pitch balls into baskets to win prizes, and they've opened a dedicated funnel cake food stand. And I saw all this between the gate and my seat. No telling what else is going on around the park.

The Braves have also expanded their lame between-inning jumbotron entertainment to include more audience-vote gimmicks, a race around the bases by Home Depot tools and a hilarious video of players and Bobby Cox detailing prohibited behavior in the ballpark and what will happen to you if you do, say, run on to the field and punch the umpire (Chipper: "Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law").

I guess this is all designed to boost attendance, but personally a louder, more kid-focused environment won't draw me out to more games. Show more hotties on the big screen, please.

Speaking of ballpark hotties, they were in rather short supply in our particular section on this day. There were a couple of contenders, but by the 7th inning the sows coming and going made me feel like I was living the last 15 minutes of Shallow Hal.


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