A Tale of Two Cities: Baseball Edition

Sequence San Francisco and Sequence New York have a lot in common: smart and talented people, more than a few design awards, doggie mascots, and both are just a hop, skip and a jump away from two legendary ballparks.

Last week, both offices took the afternoon off from spreadsheets and Photoshop to enjoy America’s pastime. On the West Coast, we went to AT&T Park to watch the Giants take on the New York Mets, and on the East Coast, we went to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees play the Kansas City Royals.

Sequence NY & SF

Both stadiums are great venues to watch a ballgame, but does one offer a better experience? At Sequence we create and develop experiences, so I was interested to know whether the Giants or Yankees create a more impactful experience for visiting fans. In order to answer my question, I investigated nine attributes (across nine innings), and the ballpark that scored better for each attribute received one point (or run). Here’s what I found:

First inning: Public transit

If you don’t want to deal with driving and high parking lot fees, you can take the subway, train or bus to Yankee Stadium. To get to AT&T Park, you can take the train, bus, light rail, ferry or ride your bicycle and park it for free at the bicycle valet parking area. With more public transit options, this inning goes to the Giants.

Second inning: Surrounding neighborhood

With views of downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and marina, the surrounding neighborhood at AT&T Park cannot be beat by the surrounding neighborhood of the Bronx at Yankee Stadium. This inning goes to the Giants.

Third inning: Stadium appearance

Both stadiums are new ballparks, with AT&T Park opening in 2000 and Yankee Stadium opening in 2009. AT&T Park’s construction was inspired by classic ballparks such as Wrigley Field, and the exterior brick structure gives the ballpark an authentic old-time feel. Irregular outfield fence lines, a 24-foot high right field wall, a unique promenade that circles a large portion of the stadium from the outside, and a 80-foot Coca-Cola slide, and an old-fashioned glove in left field also adds to the park’s appearance. Yankee Stadium looks palatial, keeping in line with the design of the original Yankee Stadium from 1923. But by contrast to AT&T Park, the construction of Yankee Stadium is more cookie cutter. This inning goes to the Giants.

AT&T Park

Fourth inning: Stadium comfort

With a seating capacity of 50,287, Yankee Stadium is larger than AT&T Park, which can seat up to 41,503 fans. The larger stadium in New York doesn’t just accommodate more seats, but also boasts more room in general. With a 32-foot concourse to walk around the inside of the stadium, you never feel crowded trying to get to the restroom or standing in line to buy a hotdog. This inning goes to the Yankees.

Fifth inning: Close to the action

With a larger footprint, fans at Yankee Stadium are not as close to the action as fans watching games at AT&T Park. Seats at Yankee Stadium are spread out across four levels, while seats at AT&T Park are spread out across three levels. The distance from the first row of seats to homeplate at AT&T Park is 48 feet, which is closer than the first row of seats to homeplate at Yankee Stadium. The enormous scoreboard screen at Yankee Stadium (59×101 feet) tries to make up for this, but nothing beats being able to hear the ball pop in the first baseman’s glove when a runner is thrown out at first base. This inning goes to the Giants.

 Sixth inning: Quality of concession stands food

If you don’t want the average hotdog, pretzel or nachos, both ballparks have options. In New York, you can get Asian noodle bowls, sushi, Southern BBQ, and of course kosher food like knishes. However, if you want a true gourmet food experience, AT&T Park is the place to go. With menu items such as clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, crab sandwiches, carved meat sandwiches, Cuban delicacies, farmer’s market fresh fruit and veggies, authentic Mexican tacos and nachos, and Ghirardelli ice cream sundaes, your taste buds will be dancing. This inning goes to the Giants.

 Seventh inning: Price of food/drinks

While prices are steep at both ballparks, more gourmet food options mean more money. On average, the price of food and drinks at AT&T Park is more money than the price of food and drinks at Yankee Stadium. I ordered a fresh crab sandwich at our outing at AT&T Park, and while delicious, it was a little hard to swallow the $16.50 check. This inning goes to the Yankees.

Yankee Stadium

Eighth inning: Price of tickets

Some of the most expensive ticket prices in baseball can be found at Yankee Stadium and AT&T Park. The average ticket price for a game at Yankee Stadium is about $52, while the average price at AT&T Park is about $30. And some might even argue that the best seat in the house at AT&T Park isn’t even a seat. At no charge, up to 100 people can stand in back of right field at the knothole fence viewing area, just an arm’s reach away from the right fielder. With the huge pricing difference and the free knothole area, watching a game at AT&T Park is definitely the better deal. This inning goes to the Giants.

Ninth inning: Showcases team history

Both the Yankees and Giants have a lot of team history, and both teams celebrate the achievements of their greats at their ballparks. The Giants have a Wall of Fame on the outside walls of the ballpark, along with commemorative plaques and four statues of retired players. It’s nice that the statues and plaques are on the outside of the stadium for public viewing year round, as opposed to the monuments and memorabilia that the Yankees have on display inside their stadium. While you will need a game day ticket to see the Yankees memorabilia, the Yankees do a great job walking you down memory lane, starting with the classic “Yankee Stadium” sign as you approach the ballpark. Once inside the stadium, you can go to two destinations: Monument Park and New York Yankees Museum. At Monument Park, you’ll see retired numbers and plaques dedicated to Yankees hall-of-famers, and at the Yankees Museum you’ll see memorabilia and historical artifacts such as World Series rings, signed baseballs, uniforms, and original player contracts. This inning goes to the Yankees.

After nine complete innings, this takes us to the end of our ballgame, and the final box score is:

Box_score

Based on these nine attributes, AT&T Park edges out Yankee Stadium for best fan experience.

However, despite which ballpark truly offers the better experience, we all had a great day out. The day was filled with sunshine, homeruns, nachos, beer and some good ole fashioned Sequence team bonding.

Go Sequence!

Julia is a Sr. Project Manager at Sequence SF.

 

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