Saturday, July 05, 2008

Cobb vs. Dehler

Here's my Outpost take on the new baseball park. I've seen three games since writing that, and my updated take is bit harsher.

Perhaps harsh is the wrong word. I understand fully what the ballpark supporters were up against, and I realize that we were damn lucky to get a new park at all -- which was badly needed. Still, I don't think I will ever like the new park as much as I did Cobb Field.

The reasons are small, but they add up. The seating is really cramped. Nobody can get in or out of the middle of a row unless everybody stands up. Sitting next to a stranger can be a considerably more intimate experience than you really might want.

The lack of a roof has made a fairly big difference twice: on opening night, when it rained for six innings, and yesterday afternoon, when the scoreboard thermometer got as high as 108 degrees. I'm still enough of a Texan to be fairly heat tolerant, but I think a lot of older fans just won't go in hot weather. My mother-in-law is a baseball fan, and a Texan for longer than I was, but we couldn't have gotten her to a game at all last year if not for a promise that she could sit in the shade.

The biggest downside, in my opinion, is that it just isn't possible to sit up as high as I often like to. Sitting close to the action has its pluses, but I often like to sit as far from the diamond as possible, with the game laid out before me like a chessboard, watching the geometry of the game unfold. Can't really do that here.

I don't really mean to complain. I voted for the park, and I'm not asking for my money back. It's as much as, and perhaps a bit more, than we could reasonably have hoped for. But I wish it were easier to persuade taxpayers that, when you are going to build something that has to last for 50 years or so, it's worth spending a bit more up front to get it right.


GS said...

I also have mixed emotions about Dehler. Been to two games so far; one with general admission (we wandered about trying to find a good spot to watch the game - never really did succeed) and one with reserved seats (section 120, far down the third base side - the Mustang heads in the bullpen obscure your view, excepting any action in the outfield). I've found that I have a hard time focusing on the game and I miss the perspective that the fans could get from sitting high in the grandstands at Cobb. I also voted for the new stadium and I don't regret my vote as a new stadium was badly needed. For the Mustangs players, I'm know Dehler is a big improvement over Cobb. For the fans, well, the restrooms are nice. I'm trying to keep an open mind and give it a chance; with time, perhaps it will grow on me.

Chuck Rightmire said...

But maybe, since the biggest contribution is by way of taxes, it should be called (not original with me) "taxpayer" acres.

Anonymous said...

I hear that more shade will be added as dollars are raised. I can wait. It's a miracle that the voters passed it. I suppose we could bellyache all day about what it isn't, but I'm a "glass half full" type of person and prefer to dwell upon the blessing of a pleasant evening in a comfortable seat with a cold drink watching America's pastime in a pretty damn fine city.