A Universal Ballgame Parking Tip

July 30, 2014
In two recent ballpark outings, in Boston and Baltimore, I have learned that not only has the price of parking at a ballgame escalated, but also that the price is higher for high demand games these days.

Thankfully in Boston I always know better than to drive to Fenway Park; I know traffic in Kenmore Square on game day and parking prices are going to be insane. This last visit was no exception, but even I was surprised at what some lots almost a half mile away from the ballpark were charging. Fortunately, I was wise enough to use the T.

But in Baltimore I ran into a situation that someone of my ballpark knowledge should know enough to avoid. I used the common exit from I-95 to get to Camden Yards (Mistake #1), I stayed on I-395 to get to the lots north of the ballpark, in the heart of downtown Baltimore and its insane traffic (Mistake #2), and I settled for one of the first garages I found (Mistake #3).

So Kurt Smith, America’s foremost expert at saving money at the ballpark, ended up paying $20 to park for a game at Camden Yards.

E - Smith.

But in this line of work I need to take one for the team once in a while. Here’s how you can learn from my errors.

I could have avoided all three of my big mistakes by simply reserving my parking beforehand. Had I done so, I would have found a reasonable lot that served my purpose...namely being fairly close to Sliders and their $3 Natty Bohs on game day...and I could have either used Mapquest or a GPS to get there fairly easily.

Many teams will enable you to buy a parking pass beforehand, often at a discount, but this is only for the team lots and usually include those blasted ticket convenience fees, since it’s such hard, sweaty work for a processor to e-mail you a ticket. If you want more choices at the game, try a website called ParkWhiz.

If you’re familiar with StubHub, and I expect you are, think of ParkWhiz as StubHub for parking spots. You can search from a number of lots on the night of your game, find the closest one to your favorite tavern, and buy a reservation that you print and take with you to the game. Easy peezy and spares you not only some cash but some serious traffic aggravation.

Anyone from a public lot to people with driveways can sell their spots on ParkWhiz, and you can even read customer’s reviews of each lot or space. It may take you a few minutes to make a decision with ParkWhiz, but picking a spot in the comfort of your home is a dang sight better than trying to find a reasonable lot on game day.

I will definitely be using ParkWhiz when I drive to ballgames in the future. You should too. Even if you don't though, you should pick a parking spot at the game before you go.

Full disclosure: they're an affiliate of mine too. So tell ‘em Ballpark E-Guides sent you.

The Wrigley Rooftops Need Better Legal Counsel

July 9, 2014

I have been keeping up with interest on the ongoing saga that is the Cubs vs. Wrigley Rooftop owners. The latest story, other than the Rooftop owners offering a “two sign” concession to the Cubs, is that the recent Rooftop defamation lawsuit against a local sports consultant was thrown out of court.

When you get a suit thrown out of court that quickly, you’ve probably put up a weak argument. At least, that’s the perception.

If you’re unfamiliar with the background of this, briefly, t...
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Reaching 203

June 28, 2014

Joe Mock at the Rickwood Classic in Birmingham, Alabama

Fans whose yearly vacations revolve around a baseball road trip probably know the name Joe Mock. If they don’t, they should.

Mock is the author and webmaster at Baseballparks.com, the premier website for baseball roadtrippers. He is also the author of 2001’s "Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide", a delightfully illustrated book about the 30 MLB parks in use at the time. He regularly contributes to USA Today’s Sports Weekly about the North Amer...
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Cool New Stuff at Citizens Bank Park

March 28, 2014
It’s pretty cool to park in Lot S at Citizens Bank Park, even if there isn’t a ballgame going on.

Lot S is the Media Lot, and yes, expert that I am on all things Citizens Bank Park, I didn’t know that either.

Thanks to Ken Dunek and JerseyMan Magazine, and to the kindness of the Philadelphia Phillies, I was invited to a Phillies 2014 Media Event, where the Phillies and the nice Aramark folks tell hungry newspeople what’s new at the ballpark this year. Oh, and to share hot dogs with chee...
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Baseball’s Biggest Loss of 2014

March 9, 2014
Few things were funnier than my father’s occasional profanity-laden philosophy.

Before baseball's last collective bargaining agreement, I asked him if he would quit watching if the players went on strike again. Like everyone else, he was angry as hell about 1994 and once said to me that he wouldn't care if he never saw another millionaire play baseball again.

But this time he said, "You know Kurt, I've been thinking about that. In life you have to give up ****. I gave up smoking, I gave up d...
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StubHub’s “All-In” Pricing

January 31, 2014

Recently I received an e-mail from the nice folks at StubHub, informing me that the ticket resale giant now features “all-in” pricing, meaning that the price you see listed on the screen is the actual price that you’ll pay for the ticket.

In their page describing the format, StubHub compares the ticket pricing structure to “a well-known competitor” that adds a couple of fees to the original price of the ticket, so that the consumer ends up paying $72 for a $54 ticket.

Wonder who that ...
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Metal Detectors at Ballparks

January 28, 2014
Recently it was announced that all of the MLB venues will be requiring fans to go through security screenings to get into the ballpark starting in 2015. Fans must either walk through a magnetometer or have someone use a wand on them.

My first thought, which would surprise no one who knows me, is the scene from the movie “The Naked Gun”. Leslie Nielsen is attempting to provide security for the queen, and at one point takes one of the metal wands and noisily and forcefully runs it all over a...

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The Limitations of Big Apple Ballparks

January 22, 2014

As I write this, my friend Paul Swaney at Stadium Journey is preparing for an interview with the Wall Street Journal. (Here is the link.) The subject? Why New York City hasn’t been able to turn out a great stadium.

Perhaps the folks at WSJ don’t think as highly of Citi Field as they might of, say, PNC Park in Pittsburgh or AT&T Park in San Francisco. I’m not sure exactly how the subject came up, but it raises an interesting point.

There might be some who disagree with the premise that N...
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Touching ‘Em All

October 31, 2013
Despite my not often paralleled ballpark geekdom, most people are surprised to learn that there are still ten existing major league ballparks that I have not yet visited. Yes, I can tell you all about the tailgating in Milwaukee or the obstructed views in Boston or the game day scene in Wrigleyville, but I still cannot yet share with you how AT&T Park and Safeco Field compare to the best.

Well, Eric Kabakoff can. He’s been visiting different ballparks now for four decades, and he’s see...

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The Ballpark Cyclist

October 26, 2013
Greetings Ballpark E-Guides readers! I know I haven’t updated this blog in a while, but of course it doesn’t mean I don’t still love you. I just haven’t had the time, so to speak. True. I’ll do better in the future, I promise.

Anyway I wanted to share a great story that I’ve found.

Many of us fans dream of a trip to see every ballpark, but Jacob Landis did something that I doubt has ever been done…he bicycled to each one of them in one season. In fact, I’m positive that...

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