|Chronological Tour: Stop 209|
The main gate of AutoZone Park, Jul-2013.
From left field, the buildings of Main Street are visible beyond the ballpark.
The park was wedged into a downtown neighborhood.
Maybe it was the weather (hot and sticky). Or perhaps it was the ineptitude of the staff. I asked for an outfield seat and was sold a more expensive outer infield seat. I requested a correction, and when I started to explain the delay to the person behind me in line, the clerk snapped at me.
Then I got inside and discovered that they had no whiteboard for the lineups, that the lineups were displayed on the scoreboard but were tough to read, and, worst of all, that the scoreboards (there are two of them) don’t always display the score of the game you’re watching. They aren’t regular scoreboards, they’re matrix boards, and they put up promos and St. Louis Cardinals scores and everything else.
Fortunately, according to a fellow I met at the ballpark when I finally got back there in 2013 (after having been rained out of a return visit in 2008), the non-profit group that owns the club chose to enter into a contract for running the ballpark with Spectacor, the facility management division of the media giant Comcast. Many of the defects I noted in 2001 had been corrected, enough that I was able to upgrade the park from three baseballs to four on my 1-to-5 scale.
There is a streetcar line behind the left-field stands, although I did not investigate how often or how late the trains run.
The surcharge for day-of-game sales here is a rather steep $3, making it much more expensive for spur-of-the-moment travelers who walk up to the ballpark on game day.
There is now a whiteboard for the day’s starting lineups on a wall behind the plate, near the entrance to the club level. The team also hands out a playbill-sized game-day program.
The main scoreboard, a monochrome matrix board in 2001, has been replaced by a video board, and yes, the score of the game is up there most of the time (and the ball-and-strike count is always displayed during an inning). In addition, the small matrix board in left center displays the runs, hits and errors throughout the game, although it is not always in sync with the video board.
There is a kids’ play area beyond the third-base stands, out of the way (and pretty much out of view of the game, so if you bring the kids there and also want to see the game, you’re basically out of luck).
The Redbirds also dispense with most of the on-field gimmicks between innings, allowing the intense fan to concentrate on the game, although there are a select few on-field promotions.
|481||Fri 3-Aug-2001||Pacific Coast||AAA||MEMPHIS 4, Sacramento 3|
|1257||Mon 22-Jul-2013||Pacific Coast||AAA||Round Rock 9, MEMPHIS 0|