Krah: What makes ballparks a home away from home

From SABR member Steve Krah at The Elkhart Truth on December 26, 2014, with mention of SABR member Ed Mayo:

When Ed Mayo sees a ballpark, he views more than a place where a baseball game is played.

“A ballpark, for a lot of us, is like a home away from home,” said Mayo, a sports marketing professor at the University of Notre Dame who also heads Mayo Sports Marketing Group. “It’s a place to meet our friends, tell the manager what a lousy job he’s doing, boo the umpire and do the same things you do at home.”

With the idea of home, Mayo is convinced the park should function much like our dwelling places.

“We like our homes to be functional and comfortable,” he said.

Mayo founded the sports marketing department at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, but his father “Steady Eddie” Mayo played professional baseball for 24 years, including nine in the majors between 1936-48 with the New York Giants, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers

Mayo looks at a baseball stadium with an eye toward design and describes the view using terms like “gestalt” and “focal point”. 

Gestalt is a psychology term that means “unified whole”. It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories attempt to describe how people tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied. As it pertains to graphic design, these principles are:

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Originally published: December 29, 2014. Last Updated: December 29, 2014.