I had a chance to visit the Metrodome on Sunday to see the Twins play the White Sox. I had a great time. I was really struck by the difference between going to a big market stadium (like Fenway Park) versus the small market experience of going to the Metrodome (no offense).
It started with the parking. I paid just $5 for parking just a couple of blocks away from the Metrodome. Then just out front of the stadium a scalper (probably the wrong term but I'll get to that in a minute) approached me asking if I needed a ticket. I said yes but I misheard him. I though he said "I have a good seat for $131." "I'm not paying that much for a ticket." "Whoa - don't speed away. How about the ticket for $20." It was then that I realized that he wasn't saying "$131" but actually "one for $31." I bought the ticket for $20 (less than face value so it wasn't scalping - more like discount retailing). The seat was 10 rows off the field down the third base line. I had almost the same seat at Fenway earlier this year and that ticket cost me $180.
Nice is the best word to describe the crowd and the people in general at the game. Very respectful. There was one thing I found amusing and wanted to comment on. During the singing of the National Anthem you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was standing still, all hats removed and many with hand over heart. However, at the Metrodome the American flag is in centerfield while the Canadian flag is behind home plate. Pretty much everyone in the stadium was facing towards home to watch Miss Minnesota sing the anthem. They were supposed to be facing the American flag. Instead they were, in a manner of speaking, paying homage to the Canadian flag instead. I found that amusing.
At Fenway Park - the game is the thing. Nothing extra. At the Metrodome there was all sorts of extras. Shooting T-shirts into the stands, a between innings pop fly challenge, a Blue Bunny (ice cream) promotion, etc. It was like being at a AAA game (no offense).
The Brats and beer were great but one thing that has to be noted was the trough-style urinals in the men's room. Stainless steel troughs. Augusta National is the only other major sporting venue that I can think of that still uses trough urinals. I wonder if trough-style will be used at the new stadium downtown?
One final note. About 80% of the shirts people were wearing at the game had Mauer or Morneau written on the back. There is no way that the Twins will allow either player to walk as a free-agent. No way.