Liscio: One man’s quest to give an insider’s look at all 30 MLB ballparks

From SABR member Stephanie Liscio at It’s Pronounced Lajaway on October 28, 2013:

Everybody knows the basics of attending a ballgame – most people reading this right now could tell me how to purchase a ticket and where to park my car.  What if I were to ask you about the most inexpensive place to park, or where to find a cheap ticket deal?  Even if you manage to know about that kind of stuff for Progressive Field, what if you wanted to visit PNC Park in Pittsburgh, or Turner Field in Atlanta?  Kurt Smith had these types of things in mind when he came up with his idea to make a series of Ballpark E-Guides for all of the major league baseball stadiums.  It’s currently a work-in-progress for Smith, who has published PDF guides for 16 of the 30 ballparks, since he started the project in 2010.  Even if you’re a stranger to a particular city, the guide can acclimate you to the ballpark and the surrounding neighborhood.  Smith also has a number of brief tips on his website, under the links for the 16 parks with guides.

While I have not seen the guides for all of the cities, I have seen the guide for Progressive Field.  (To be fair, I don’t know as much about the other cities, and probably couldn’t be an accurate judge of the provided information).  I found the 39-page guide to be pretty comprehensive – Smith discusses subjects like sections of the ballpark, parking, food and drink and purchasing tickets, offering numerous suggestions for saving money.  As someone that attends between 25-40 home games per season, there wasn’t much in the guide that I wasn’t aware of, except for a service called “Park Whiz” (think of it as Stub Hub for parking spots).  If you don’t want to take a gamble that you’ll be able to find free street parking, that could be a pretty interesting option.  In fact, the only critique I probably have of the guide is that it was written before the new “dynamic pricing” structure on tickets, so it doesn’t address the increased randomness of ticket prices.  Otherwise, it seemed to be pretty spot on and had a lot of helpful information.  I know of a number of Indians fans that could probably still learn something from the guide, even if they attend games on a fairly regular basis.  For example, some people are still surprised when I point out that you can find free parking if you’re willing to cruise around looking for a spot on the street.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 29, 2013. Last Updated: October 29, 2013.