Last night we (The Wife and I, my father, her mother, and her brother) saw a ballgame at Miller Park. The Brewers beat the Pirates 7-5, but the whole story is much more interesting than the score. The Miller Park Experience turns out to be one of the better baseball experiences I've had in several years. Particularly comparing it to the Dodger Stadium Experience, Milwaukee compares very favorably:
The Building: Miller Park's stadium is newer, the seats are a tad bit wider, and the building itself is quite good looking. Ivy grows on the walls in the outfield, and the overhead cambers aare an impressive feat of engineering.
The Field: It's mowed nicely and has interesting nooks and crannies in the backfield. The bullpens are visible behind the outfield walls. It's easy to see what's going on and the play is nicely-balanced between running and hitting.
The Food: I'm used to Dodger Dogs, Pizza Hut pizzas, and King Taco. But at Miller Park, you get your choice of five different kinds of sausages including the bratwurst I had in honor of my buddy in San Diego. Also a welcome addition to stadium fare are deep-fried cheese curds and frozen custard.
The Fans: They are knowledgeable about the game, rally when scoring opportunities present themselves, and they wear the jerseys of more than the biggest superstar on the team. We spotted jerseys of guys who regularly do nothing more than pinch-hit.
The Wave: I consider The Wave a distraction from the enjoyment of a baseball game. Miller Park fans are not immune to its charms, but they did have the good grace to not start The Wave when the home team was at the plate and runners were in scoring position.
Parking: We got in and out quickly. Unlike Dodger Stadium, which is a ninety-minute trek from my house with good traffic conditions, and which takes half an hour to exit after a big game, we got in and out in less than five minutes.
Tailgating: Permitted. I understand why it isn't in Los Angeles (Raiders Fans).
Tradition: The Sausage Race is pretty fun. It helps that the sausage I picked (Chorizo) won handily.
Play: Any game that begins with a two-run inside-the-park home run is going to be good. And a Kirk Gibson-like walk-off homer to win it for the home team was a good way to bookend that.
I get to take The Wife to one baseball game a year and this was a great one.