Take Me Out to the Ballgame, If You Can Afford It

What was so bad about uncomfortable seats?
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 7:50 PM CDT
Take Me Out to the Ballgame, If You Can Afford It
Construction workers watch as the final steel beam, draped with an American flag, is put into place during the ongoing construction of the new Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx borough of New York.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, File)

Modern ballparks may have more conveniences and better food, but they've become more expensive for everybody—even if you're just looking for cheap seats and beer—writes Josh Levin in Sports Illustrated. Higher prices across the board pay for the luxury restaurants and malls in the parks, which make make big bucks for owners but don't do much for everyday fans. Insult to injury: The newest parks "have the look and feel of a mall food court."

Execs defend the propagation of luxury seating areas—the new Yankees stadium will have the equivalent of a "gated community"—by saying that the revenue helps subsidize more affordable seating elsewhere. "But this idealized scenario, in which the poor fan benefits from the rich fan's largesse, is the opposite of how the 21st-century stadium operates," writes Levin, citing Washington, DC, as an example. "Nationals Park gives to the rich and takes from the poor." (More baseball stories.)

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