21 Jul IdealSeatChallenge (Part 2): Texas to New York
It’s been nearly two months since we left IdealSeat headquarters in Seattle, WA for a three month trip to explore every nook and cranny of every stadium in Major League Baseball during the #IdealSeatChallenge.
So far, we’ve crossed 20 state lines, driven over 8,000 miles, visited 17 total ballparks, and consumed countless hot dogs.
Here is a quick countdown of the most recent stadiums, the top highlights of each park, and a photo update of our travels and the best views in baseball today.
In the stats department, our data is proving itself time and time again. We’ve tracked foul balls in every game and had a ball land in our recommended IdealSeat section in 14 of our 17 games, giving us over an 82% rate of accuracy.
Follow us on Instagram for pictures of lucky fans catching balls in our recommended sections, and to follow our trip. And if you’re skilled enough to catch a foul ball at any of the games we’ll be at for the rest of the trip, you could win season tickets for the 2016 season.
Game 8: Texas Rangers, Friday, June 12
We picked a picture-perfect evening to take a game at the “big as Texas” Globe Life Park, and we were rewarded with great weather, great fans, and a great game. We sat in Section 15, down the third base line and just off the dugout, about ten rows up.
Globe Life Ballpark Highlights:
- Centerfield area with Nolan Ryan statue
- Stands in Right Field
Game 9: Houston Astros, Sunday, June 14
After a quick stay in Austin, we left early to make it for the Mariners at Astros day game and brought the entire family. The Park itself it located in a historic train station and the train theme runs throughout the park, including a train moving on the track above left field after each home run. On the downside, when it rains they close the playground, a big hit to the four and two-year-old’s plans.
Minute Maid Park Highlights:
- Train in right field
- Beer hall in right field
- Retractable roof
Game 10: Tampa Bay Rays, Monday, June 22
We were chased out of Texas and Louisiana by a tropical storm with torrential rain that deposited us into Florida for the Rays game at Tropicana Field. Some of the more renowned baseball people might rank the Trop at number 30 on the top list of stadiums, and it is sorely in need of an upgrade, but there something nostalgic about the domed roof and Astroturf.
Tropicana Field Highlights:
- The Rays Tank in Centerfield
Game 11: Miami Marlins, Wednesday, June 24
Miami was up next on the tour and the newest park in baseball did not disappoint. We were able to grab a seat down the first base line and enjoyed a great game against the Cardinals. The new home of the Marlins is very fan friendly and includes some good spots for a Cuban sandwich.
Marlins Park Highlights:
- Cuban Sandwich
- Dolphin Sculpture in Centerfield
- Retractable Roof
Game 12: Atlanta Braves, Wednesday, July 1
A two hour and ten minute rain delay couldn’t stop us from catching a game at the soon to be replaced Turner Field. We battled the weather and were rewarded with a great game and great seats right behind the dugout on the third base line.
Turner Field Highlights:
- Kids play area in left field Upper Deck
- Historic areas throughout the stadium
- Waffle House Cheesesteak Hash Brown Bowl
Game 13: Cincinnati Reds, Friday, July 3
The All-Star Game was quite the buzz around town as the ASG would follow us the next week. Cincinnati was fully decked out throughout town with activities on almost every corner. In the stadium, were all the latest and greatest in fan engagement to go with an already top-notch park on the river(boat).
Globe Life Ball Park Highlights:
- Riverboat in center field
- Great selection of food venues throughout, especially RF
- Riverview from Upper Deck
Game 14: Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, July 5
From one river to another, we rolled to the east in time to catch the Sunday day-game at PNC Park. PNC is simply one of the best parks. Full riverfront experience with the bridges and the steel, and not a bad view in the park. The only downside was the “boring” playground according to our four-year-old attendee, as she is an expert in these things.
PNC Park Highlights:
- River and downtown view
- Steel Structure in Left Field
- Pirogue Races
Game 15: Cleveland Indians, Monday, July 6
We went back-to-back from PNC to Progressive Field, and once the rain had passed, the blue skies opened up for a great night of baseball on the lake. This park is another gem, and the newly revamped Right Field pavilion had more food and beer than we’d seen all trip. Upstairs in Right Field, the kids area was also top-notch. We settled into our very reasonably priced tickets not far from the dugout and enjoyed the game.
Progressive Field Highlights:
- Right Field food and beverages
- Downtown views
- Kids Play area in Right Field Mezzanine
Game 16: Baltimore Orioles, Friday, July 10
Camden Yards is the original retro ballpark, the one that led the pack to bring the fan experience back to the fans. Since then, countless retro parks have been built, and Camden still ranks as one of the best. We were greeting with a near-perfect evening for a sold-out Nationals vs. Orioles battle. We settled in deep down the line, just behind the foul pole with our lowest chances to get a ball. Low and behold, in the late innings, one of the Orioles wrapped a shot around the pole for a home run.
Camden Yards Highlights:
- Eutaw Street and the Warehouse
- Center Field Legends Park
Game 17: New York Mets, Sunday, July 12
On the final day of the first half of the season, we squeezed in one more game by leaving Baltimore at the crack of dawn and rolling into Citi Field on time for first pitch. It was a very warm day, and our seats in Section 128 were hot. And they were also very warm for foul balls, as three landed in our section. It was a great ending to the first half.
Citi Field Highlights:
- Bridge in right field
- Food and beverages in center field
- Skyline view above home plate