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Aporkalypse

I made it up from Dallas for the game Saturday night. I agree, I really loved the park. There's very little at all I would've done differently - and I'm a picky bastard. I still think the green is overdone, the siding on the skyboxes and dormer just looks really strange by being green. Maybe the train theme could've been taken a bit further - Union Pacific throwing in a couple of railcars to use in the outfield for some purpose. Railroad ties out front might've augmented the theme a bit. As far as amenities, what could you add? Some of those with preschoolers/toddlers suggested a playground. I'm not sure where it would go or how much it would be used. I guess it could go over well, even using railroad ties and/or Thomas the Train themes.

All in all, though, it's pretty much everything we would want. Peeking in at the restaurant, it looked first class and I'm going to try it when it opens. The park was very kid-friendly and tough to lose sight of your little ones. The kids seemed to love the berms and all of the grass. The store was nice and the concessions were friendly and diverse with good local touches. Thumbs up on the Damgoode Pies. I actually liked the beer selection. Lines were reasonable.

The view is exceptional, especially from the picnic area and along the 3rd baseline. Don't let anyone develop anything that blocks that view!!!

Based on a more moderate attendance (because of the cold) that I would expect for the average game once the initial buzz wears off, the seating and parking was more than adequate. I parked a block away for $3 and there were plenty of spaces.

People moved into the empty reserved seating around us. There's no way you're going to be able to stop that. The kids/teens especially moved around in those seats a bunch.

I'm moving home halfway through the season so I didn't purchase season tickets this year. Count me in for next season and every year after that.

cracker

I heard the mayor compared it to Wrigley Field? I vomited.

How do you think it stacks up against the other new parks around? Springfield? Memphis? Frisco? Round Rock?

Flippy

I think it was actually the governor that compared it to Wrigley. Wrigley has a lot of exposed concrete, too, so I guess he's right.

cracker

Midlands hitters seem to like it.

7,700 today, another huge crowd.

The Travelerocity reporter

The stadium that could be compared to Wrigley is where the Travs played last year.

The park appeared to be a little more than half-full Sunday afternoon, yet the D-G says it was about 6,000. I guess the season-ticket holders' seats are always counted regardless of a warm body?

Just curious how that works.

Our stadium is definitely as nice as the ones in Springfield, Memphis and Frisco.

The Travelerocity reporter

I thought Saturday's crowd of more than 5,000 was very suspect. I had hoped that with the ticket scanners they are now using we would get an actual count of paid attendance. But it looks like they are reverting back to counting all season tickets automatically for every game regardless of whether they show up. Or maybe with the outfield areas there are more people there than look like from the seats?

Since the season has started now, I wonder if the Travs' ticket man could report on how many season tickets have been sold and how that compares to last year. Thanks

Rackensacker

Aporkalypse

I thought everybody was using paid attendance.

Man, I thought we were doing great until I saw Corpus Christi and Springfield's attendance numbers this weekend. We'll still be 4th in the league in attendance.

cracker

Here's what I've seen so far:

Apr 12 - 7,943 (Opening Night)
Apr 14 - 5,087 (Saturday DH)
Apr 15 - 4,989 (Sunday day game)
Apr 16 - 7,706 (Monday day game... school kids)

Aporkalyptic

Couldnt make it to the first game, but hoping to catch one soon. Stadium looks (from pictures I've seen) to be far better than Tulsa. Has anyone seen Frisco's stadium? Pretty ridiculous.

The naturals have a message board now. Its getting NO traffic. awesome.

cobra22nd

Memphis has a Playground AND a miniature theme park. Its always packed with kids.

Its a nice park, I will be doing a write up for my site later this week. But, it won't be from Joe Fan's prospective. Think of it as an after action report. :D

Aporkalypse

Speaking of Memphis and of actual attendance, there was an article in the Commercial Appeal linked on the Ark Times blog today about this. Apparently Memphis is struggling a bit financially to pay on the bonds as the gap between paid and actual attendance has led to a $1 million drop in concessions between 2005 and 2006.

Apparently 60% of Redbirds paid attendees are no shows.

cobra22nd

That's what happens when you sell blocks of prime seats to corporations......

Our crowds have definately been getting smaller. Last week we set the record LOW.

They are trying to make up for it with a "special" 10th anniversary souvenir cup for $6. That's $2.50 more than the regular plastic cup that is the same size.....Why not sell the $2.50 cup in the store for $2.50? $6 fountain drinks = sticker shock.

BBQ nachos are $8 this year. Lines for those are way down. For $12 (nachos + coke), I can eat good at denny's or TGI Fridays across the street.

cracker

I haven't been over to Memphis yet this year. I'll be there Sunday afternoon if the weather is good though. I usually make it a half dozen times or so. Love the park.

I need to go read that Times blog I guess. That's too bad.

The procedures for every single Minor League Baseball team for attendance reporting is based upon paid attendance. The Travs used to allow the actual attendance to be published by local media, but they were the only team in town that was held to this standard.

UALR, the D-League Team and the fake "football" team that plays at Alltel all use paid attendance just like every other professional sports team in the country. The Travs should be no different.

The Travelerocity reporter

Then the figure shouldn't be labeled as "attendance." It should say "number of tickets sold." This number is worthless then.

The Travelerocity reporter

cobra22nd, what is your web site?

Scotto

We've been discussing this all year on the UALR Trojan basketball board. The Jack seats 5600. Many nights the announced attendance is 3000 to 3200, yet the place is only about 20% full.

I have come to the conclusion that attendance numbers are whatever the AD wants them to be and are not reality based.

The Travelerocity reporter

Scotto, can you convince Curtis to do his thing at least once every home series at Dickey-Stephens? I love the guy. He is the greatest fan entertainment since Fat Guy at Barnhill Arena.

Scotto

Curtis is one of a kind, to be sure. I really like the way the cheerleaders follow along. It's like he has a harem following his every steps. I also like the way visiting teams quits paying attention to their coach during that timeout and sneaks peaks at Curtis.

Maybe Curtis could get on top of the dugout with the Hooters girls. How classic would that be..?!?

I'll pose the question on the Trojan board.

cracker

If he at any point blocks my view of the dancing Hooters girls and their dancing hooters, there will be hell to pay.

Hell to pay I say.

Arky

"Scotto, can you convince Curtis to do his thing at least once every home series at Dickey-Stephens? I love the guy. He is the greatest fan entertainment since Fat Guy at Barnhill Arena."

Please, God, NO! to Curtis. I'm embarrassed that UALR puts up with that during their games.

We need Diamond Dolls or nothing at Dickey-Stephens.

Arky

Scotto

Not an issue. Curtis responded by saying the Mambo #5 dance is reserved for Trojan games only.

Maybe the Hooters girls can do it solo...

cracker

I'm not a praying man, but I will go to church this Sunday if it helps insure that NOBODY will dance to Mambo #5 at any game I attend. If they play it, I might go all Dmitri Young on somebody with a souvy Travs bat. Don't make me Porkchop-Up.

Voice of Reason

Thank the baseball gods that Curtis won't dance at Travs games. His act has become so tiresome over the previous two seasons now. It was fun for maybe three/four years, but with the same song, dance and crap...I think it's time for him to come up with something new or retire and just sit in his seat.

No Diamond Girls and no dancing morons (fans in the bleachers exlcuded) at Travs games please!

Scotto

How 'bout those air guitars..??? Not sure that is any better...

We need Hooters girls with the big bazoka gun shooting out Travs t-shirts. That's the ticket.

Karch

I have always been and advocate of "Inning Girls"....similiar to the ladies we would see at a boxing match. I think the Hooter girls would be prefect.

bill valentine

We gave actual attendance at Ray Winder Field for over 29 years....then Minor League Baseball used total tickets sold as the attendance for all minor league baseball and we, of course, had to switch to that form of announcement.
It actually was better for us because by announcing the actual attendance it made it look like everything thing in town was drawing twice as many fans as we were..when we were actually out drawing them....
I still like actual attendance...

Scotto

Dang. Something Mr. Valentine and I agree on.

Is the sky falling..?

cobra22nd

Travelerocity reporter, the article I write will be similar to this one I wrote about State Mutual Park in Rome:

http://graphhounds.proboards77.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=rbr&thread=1174445467&page=1

My "site" is a message board. It is easier for me to maintain on the fly. I tend to get around! Its mainly a place for me to stash my knowledge and have it available at a click, instead of fumbling though MiLB.com or the BA directory.

I am an autographer.

Also, the park at Ole Miss is "sold out," but those people are so fickle, the park won't fill up unless there is a playoff game....It helps me because I don't have the option to buy an $8 seat. They only sell $5 GA/SRO's. Don't even start me on concessions there. The $6+ hot wing plate was 3 wing pieces and some fries. That's right. $6 for 1.5 chicken wings.

cobra22nd

On the subject of the Hooters girls. At least one of them looked straight out of Shreveport. What's up with that? She looked old enough to have been one of the Swampdragons ill-fated "Fire" girls, and they were ALL straight out the trailer. Even their half nakedness could not overpower their unnatractiveness. I wonder how many strip clubs Steve Nitzel had to make recruiting trips to in order to put together that team of ugnaughts. The female interns were 10x better looking.

Sorry, but Frisco has the BEST park in the Texas League, if not in all of minor league baseball. Nothing beats the atmosphere at every one of their games. DS is nice but there is really no contest.

Frisco has two cheesy cheerleaders on the field that yell and scream into the microphone between innings to generate false excitement over free t-shirts and goofiness.

Frisco also has fans that come late and leave early.

Frisco's park is a beautiful unique ballpark, but it isn't run like a ballpark. It's an amusement park that happens to house a baseball team.

Tuesday night was the first chance I've had to hit DS since opening night. Several tweaks were in place I noticed related to issues raised on this blog. Good job to the Travs staff on responding to expressed needs.

Someone was in place in the reserved parking to assist in arranging the cars, thus getting more cars in that lot. The brats were hot. The "mustard shelves" had been rearranged thereby increasing the empty space on those shelves sufficiently so that at least two people and possibly more could now sit something down while they "mustarded" their grub.

Since the crowd was much smaller than opening night, lines were short both to bathrooms and food stands, though it looks like there will always be a wait at the brat/pizza station which may be the only place they sell nachos too, not sure on that.

Since the lines were short, I made it a point to sample other foodstuffs solely so I could report on them to blog readers (ahem). Pizza slice was way better than what was at RW and it was hot. The new barbeque was tasty.

On a game note, I feel Davidson's pain - two very well pitched games but no W for him. And I greatly enjoyed the ephus pitch thrown by the Midland pitcher! Has anyone thrown that since the 40s?

Rackensacker

cracker

"Sorry, but Frisco has the BEST park in the Texas League, if not in all of minor league baseball"

If you have been to all of the parks in minor league baseball, that's a valid opinion.

It's only a matter of opinion of course, but I like Springfield, Round Rock and Memphis all better than Frisco. That's not to say I don't like their park, it's very unique, just not as much as the others. If I lived there though I'd sure get out to a lot of games.

square

Can someone clarify what areas are general admission seating and what exactly that means? We've had people checking our tickets to sit in the bleachers and beer garden area. Since when are bleachers not general admission?

Oh yeah, nice park.

Karch

Should we have Travelerocity repost Bill Valentine's comments on the seating in the bleachers and whatnot? Seems it might be of help to some.

I would also like to thank David for helping me out yesterday. Thanks! His actions were typical of the Trav staff....which is why we make around 60 games a year.

square

I didn't catch Valentines post on the seating, where can I find it?

Karch

Not sure....that is why I was going to let Travelerocity handle it.

The bleacher seats...along with the Beer Garden were supposed to be assigned seats...to help with the age limit dealio. Not sure if that is still going on.....thank those who make smoking outdoors such a crime.

The Travelerocity reporter

Karch, as you know Valentine has had several posts and I'm not sure which one you are talking about. But I think I got from a posted comment that they only allow general admission tickets in the bleacher section. So I guess you can't sit there if you are holding a reserved seat somewhere. I guess that helps to not overcrowd the general admission areas.

The Travelerocity reporter

I think Bill Valentine said those tickets have a number for sales tracking purposes but not for seating purposes. But one way or another they are restricing who goes in that area.

Karch

At one time I thought he said that the seats themselves will be numbered....now I have not seen numbered seats in the bleacher...as of yet. I thought this was to sell to the over 21 crowd...keep that age thing in check. Things may have changed though....I know that you buy tickets to sit in the bleachers....if you don't have a ticket for the bleachers you are not supposed to get in.

I think there are some communication issues over the general admission seating areas. The seating chart for the stadium shows the bleachers along with the seats at the end of the 1st and 3rd base lines to general admission. When I asked for a general admission ticket Monday, I got one that says "berm". I know $6 is a cheap ticket but I shouldn't be limited to the berm.

Although it's easier to ask for a ticket, I think if the Travs are concerned about age issues issues in the beer garden, they should check ID's not ticket stubs.

I'm just looking for clarification here. Don't tell an area is gen admission when it's not. I'm sure it will get worked out but for now it makes for an unpleasant experience.

dre301

does one need a bleacher ticket to purchase beer from the draft beer concession? if the organization limits sales to the bleachers that is leaving a lot of money on the table. that area can't seat more than 150 or so. i understand you can't have under 21 in that area, and yes karch open air smoking is troublesome to nonsmokers.

dre301

i was not allowed in the bleacher area monday morning. overcrowding the bleachers was not a problem that day. overcrowding reserved and some box seat areas was. yes,i rant on.

bill valentine

We have added over two thirds more ushers, etc at Dickey-Stephens...I never thought that a person would not be allowed in the bleacher area...how would you buy a draft beer if you can't get in? I don't say it hasn't happened but if it does I certainly want to know about it...the bleachers are adults seating and you know why...but that doesn't mean a person with a reserved, box or general admission ticket can't go there...the only time a person would not be allowed TO SIT in the bleachers should be when we have a sell out and all seats are taken...I have talked to Pete about this and I hope we will have things in order by Monday...since all seats are sold by section/row number it stands to reason that persons would not be allowed in general/box/reserved seat area without those tickets...the bleachers are NOT sold by section/row/number so there is no reason other persons can go in the area..we only limit the number of tickets SOLD FOR THIS AREA...we dont need to know about problems the next day..my office faces the lobby and if I am in the office and you have a problem knock on the door..I also sit acoss from my office in the top of the stands....it is too late to correct tomorrow what could be taken care of tonight..

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