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    Also, attendees, any thoughts on the seating? Looking at the photos it seems like unless you're right behind the batter the best price/view is actually in the outfield bleachers (maybe along one of the foul lines?).

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      I joined the MLB London Facebook group last year when the games were announced. Everyone said the tickets went really quickly and then in the past few weeks have been laughing at how many tickets have been put up for sale by people who could suddenly no longer go. There was definitely some kind of price speculation going on from multiple-ticket purchasers who thought there would be huge demand.

      People in the group who went have generally said it was either really good, or have been complaining about everything including having to queue for food and stuff or the trains back afterwards. It's a bit like TripAdvisor where there will always be some numpties who slag a place off over trivial things. I mean, show me a major sporting venue where you don't have to queue for food.

      Initially I was going to try and go to the game, but the rapid sell out of tickets meant I didn't buy any when I was most enthusiastic about it, plus it's in London and that's just a huge hassle to get to, plus I've seen the Red Sox at Fenway Park, plus it was the Yankees and I can't stand them or their plastic UK fans. (Although tbf there is one girl in one of the UK fan groups who seems like a baseball fan who likes the Yankees and knows her stuff, as opposed to most Yankees fans who don't know which end of a baseball bat is the end you hold.)

      Another friend who watches a lot of baseball on ESPN said he didn't bother going because, like me, he's seen baseball in the States, and he thought it would turn into a fakey Americana festival trying to be something it's not. I'd like to know if it was like that. The vibe I'm getting is that it didn't try to be an American experience in London, it was trying to be a London experience of an American thing.

      Back on the question of stadium food hawking from a couple of pages back. Mrs Thistle still regrets not buying a 'Yard of Squishee' from a vendor in Petco Park. (This is one of our 'If we had a chance to do things again what would we do differently?' moments) At Fenway we had vendors selling cups of clam chowder to punters, which I just thought was gross.

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        Originally posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
        Also, attendees, any thoughts on the seating? Looking at the photos it seems like unless you're right behind the batter the best price/view is actually in the outfield bleachers (maybe along one of the foul lines?).
        The Cat 2 & 3 tickets here? ;




        They looked a pretty good view. I was in row 2 of block 139 and this was my view (the photo doesn't do it justice really) and it felt like we were well-placed. We had some friends join us late on when the crowd was thinning out a little and they said the upper tiers at either end felt very remote.


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          You are right (PT) about the tickets. A friend of mine failed to get anything in the first two releases before she was successful on the third a couple of weeks ago. I looked last week and there still a few available through the official source. I saw one tout who seemed to be doing no business at all.

          Our seats were a long way back, right behind the pitcher, but the view was really good, the only problem being that we couldn't see very deep centre field. And we were also in shade for all but about 20 minutes in the evening, which was a real bonus given the weather.
          Last edited by Capybara; 01-07-2019, 12:57.

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            Personal taste is very important when it comes to baseball seating, much like cricket (though baseball tends not to have the complications of members' pavilions and the like).

            I have always preferred to seats along the foul lines, perhaps because that is what I grew up with, but have many friends who much prefer the view from behind home plate or beyond the outfield fence. If one has the chance to go to a sparsely attended minor league or college game, one is often able to wander around, taking in the game from different vantage points, which is more efficient in deciding what works best for you than going to a couple of dozen matches.

            The recent explosion in the use of defensive "shifts" (essentially setting the field to counter the tendencies of individual batters) has made somewhat elevated positions more appealing, as it can be difficult to fully understand them from field level.

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              The Cat 2 & 3 tickets here? ;
              No, I meant 8 or 9. No way I'm paying over £200 for tickets. Though maybe I'll have to if everything else sells out.

              Incidentally, this thread is now hidden for me too.

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                I thought you were talking about overall view not value, sorry!

                Capybra is probably the best person to comment on those as I think he was in that area and broadly pleased.

                I presume you're considering next year's games then?

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                  More than considering. Won't miss it unless it's totally unavoidable. I don't get to see the Cubs in person very often, let alone in London.Twice in my lifetime so far, so this would double that. I've also never seen a game against the Cardinals, so it will be extra special, even when we inevitably lose.

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                    I am disturbed to realize that the Yankees are not just the beneficiaries of a closed system where they exclusive rights to over half of the largest market, but are also a Real Madrid-style international "brand" and there doesn't seem to be anything to stop them.

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                      I am disturbed to realize that the Yankees are not just the beneficiaries of a closed system where they exclusive rights to over half of the largest market, but are also a Real Madrid-style international "brand" and there doesn't seem to be anything to stop them.
                      Other than baseball's limited appeal outside a handful of countries. I mean, even in my office which has more than a few Americans, I don't know any other fans. Basketball is way more popular.

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                        That's true within the US too.

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                          Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                          I thought you were talking about overall view not value, sorry!

                          Capybra is probably the best person to comment on those as I think he was in that area and broadly pleased.

                          I presume you're considering next year's games then?
                          As Ursus says, where you prefer watch from is a matter of personal taste and I prefer to be high up for most sports. Of those I was with, I was the only one who had attended a baseball game before, but the others seemed happy enough with the view. We were in Cat 8 seats. This is my view on Saturday. It looks worse than it was.





                          Given that they only just about sold out for the most popular teams in baseball, perhaps they might have further thoughts on the pricing for next year.
                          Last edited by Capybara; 01-07-2019, 17:33.

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                            I normally like to be near the dugouts, but because of the shape of the field they're a lot further from the action than normal. Conversely because the fences are so much closer than usual, it looks like a high outfield seat could be much better than I'm used to. Certainly your pic seems to back that up.

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                              It appears that most of those seats are empty. Why is that?

                              I suspect that they won't be able to get the Yankees and Red Sox every year, if they want to keep doing this. They'll probably try the Dodgers - Cubs. Perhaps the Angels and Phillies at some point, given that they have big home run-hitting stars. You're not likely to see the Pirates, Reds, Rays, Marlins, etc. That is unless one of those teams ends up moving to London full-time, but that's at least a generation away, at the earliest.



                              For MLB tickets, I find the best option is to be high up but behind home plate. That's the most cost effective, usually. Bleachers beyond the outfield are cheaper, but it can be really hard to follow the action out there. (Though I once sat about 15 row behind home plate in San Diego for about $40. I had gone in thinking it would be very expensive and so I prepared to spend that much just to get any kind of decent seat at all. If I did that again, I'd spend less to get a somewhat less perfect seat. I was just a few rows behind players' wives).

                              For minor league baseball or college, I sit either near the dugout or, sometimes, about 10 rows behind home plate. Or move around, as UA suggests. The seats close to the end of the dugout are a good idea if you can get them because then you hear a lot of the dugout conversation and if there's an argument between the manager and the umpire. If you really want to know what they're saying, you'll have to understand Spanish, which I generally don't. (This year's State College Spikes team has fewer American players than any I can recall).

                              Lately I haven't been going to any games unless my friend whose company has a box - I wouldn't call it "luxury" - takes me. Then I get to go for free and the seats are about 30 ft higher than the field level, about 100 feet away from the field, and about halfway down first base. I could also get free Bud Light if I wanted to drink that, but I do not.

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                                Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                No, we've never had those and I found them novel in the UK

                                What we have had for a long time are transistor radios and, now, smartphone apps that allow one to listen to a broadcast. But nowhere near as many people do that for a MLB game as I have seen use those gadgets at an England cricket match.
                                Penn State was selling/renting these at football games a few years ago. I don't know if they still do. If you try to listen to the radio broadcast over the internet on a mobile device, it's at least five or 10 seconds behind reality, so people like to have something that's closer to real-time. Most people don't have transistor radios any more anyway and I think the ones they sold at the games were meant to somehow get a clearer signal of the game.

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                                  For MLB tickets, I find the best option is to be high up but behind home plate. That's the most cost effective, usually. Bleachers beyond the outfield are cheaper, but it can be really hard to follow the action out there. (Though I once sat about 15 row behind home plate in San Diego for about $40.
                                  Have you seen the London pricing? Even the very cheapest tickets behind home plate are £170.

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                                    Cubs and Cardinals are already set for 2020 and I share Flynnie's view that Giants/Dodgers is nailed on for 2021.

                                    After that, it gets more difficult and one risks the NHL Winter Classic issue of having the Bruins, Blackhawks or Flyers appear nearly every year, though I can also see MLB re-evaluating the entire endeavour after three iterations.

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                                      I thought the Dodgers were very much focused on the South of the Border market, so am a little surprised they'd be willing to throw a road-trip to London in when they could be playing somewhere in Mexico.

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                                        Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
                                        It appears that most of those seats are empty. Why is that?
                                        Corporate hospitality was over on that side. Also, that picture was taken at 9:45 in the evening.

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                                          Originally posted by Ginger Yellow View Post

                                          Have you seen the London pricing? Even the very cheapest tickets behind home plate are £170.
                                          Yeah, I meant to add a sentence in there about how even those are sometimes too expensive in absolute cost - in Boston, Yankee stadium, London and maybe some other places too.
                                          Also, when I say "behind home plate," I mean that broadly to include any section from dugout to dugout.

                                          But I got distracted by actual work and forgot to add all that.

                                          If money were no object, I'd say those are a better deal than the £120 ones in the outfield or even the £60 ones, perhaps. You can follow the game a lot better.

                                          But if I lived in England and this was my only chance, perhaps ever, to see live MLB baseball, I might go for the £60 or the £30.

                                          Of the really expensive stadiums, I may never go to Fenway again, and that's fine. I've never been to Yankee stadium and refuse to go on principal. I'd like to go to Dodger Stadium and Wrigley, but not sure when that could happen. Same with St. Louis. Sounds fine, but when am I going to be in St Louis?

                                          Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 01-07-2019, 18:39.

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                                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                            Cubs and Cardinals are already set for 2020 and I share Flynnie's view that Giants/Dodgers is nailed on for 2021.

                                            After that, it gets more difficult and one risks the NHL Winter Classic issue of having the Bruins, Blackhawks or Flyers appear nearly every year, though I can also see MLB re-evaluating the entire endeavour after three iterations.
                                            Those are important rivalries, but I'm not sure they mean much to people who don't really live with them. That seems a bit like trying to sell Liverpool vs Everton in the US.

                                            The Cubs are well known and obviously doing well, but I'm not sure the Cardinals really have a lot of recognition outside of their core territory. So MLB has a year to make Paul Goldschmidt and Harrison Bader household names in the UK.

                                            Giants Dodgers makes sense, though the Giants are in a bit of a low-ebb at the moment. Maybe that will change in a few years.

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                                              Originally posted by Capybara View Post
                                              Corporate hospitality was over on that side. Also, that picture was taken at 9:45 in the evening.
                                              Oh, I see. I forget how late it gets dark there and thought that was the middle of the afternoon.

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                                                Further to my view, there were a shitload of Giants fans at the game yesterday, probably more than any other team besides the ones playing and maybe the Blue Jays, thanks to the Canadian community here. So if Cubs-Cardinals proves a much tougher ticket, they might look to rebound with Giants-Dodgers.

                                                Also, there were a ton of Dutch people there. Way more than any other nationality besides US/UK.

                                                I was in 219 for Game 2 (my buddy pulled some strings and got me behind the dugout for Game 1) and the view was surprisingly good. I think the London Stadiumís shape is mitigated somewhat by the fact youíre not ten miles above the field - in the corner thereís only two decks. Ray is right, it actually felt like a ballpark and more like one than it feels like a football or rugby ground. It felt more like a Japanese stadium than, say, Candlestick or even Oakland.

                                                my experience was 7.5/10. Food was good, I ate an all beef dog watching the game which is manna from heaven for me. Had a sausage and peppers during Game 1, like you get outside Fenway Park, and it was good. Beer was cold, if pricey, and they had Lagunitas.

                                                my only real complaints are the merchandise tents were consistently rammed with no explanation of what lies within and how much it costs. So it was wait 40 minutes for the opportunity to buy... ???? Not often I pass up a chance to buy MLB schmatta in the UK, but thatís one way to get me to do so.

                                                also, the scoreboards had too much info on them for their own good, making them bloody hard to read. There was a radar gun reading for pitches, but it was a tiny, hard to read line. Meanwhile there was a load of space on auxiliary scoreboards for a radar gun reading.

                                                And they didnít sell scorecards or put one in the programme, which was annoying. I sat next to an old guy from Boston who was keeping score on a notebook he bought with him.

                                                Overall, I had fun. If they remain silly with the ticket prices, then Iíll just hold my ground next year. There were enough empty seats that some scalpers took a bath, no doubt.

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                                                  "my only real complaints are the merchandise tents were consistently rammed with no explanation of what lies within and how much it costs. So it was wait 40 minutes for the opportunity to buy... ???? Not often I pass up a chance to buy MLB schmatta in the UK, but thatís one way to get me to do so."

                                                  That's something they may fix in the future now that they see how much demand there is for it. Or maybe it's just hard to build a functioning shop to handle that kind of volume for three days only.

                                                  Regular MLB parks have permanent stores set-up for large crowds and enough staff to keep the lines moving. The shops are open non-game days too so they have full-time and regular part-time staff. There are also stalls around the park.

                                                  The London Stadium might not have dedicated space for those things, and even if they do, it may be hard to find enough people willing to staff them for just a three day event.

                                                  There should be a scorecard in the program - that's an easy thing to fix - or maybe you could have bought one at the merch tent that you couldn't get into.

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                                                    The stadium has a big West Ham superstore, though I don't think it was being used at the weekend (probably because they've just launched their new kits and it will be full of that stock).

                                                    Their other outlets normally manage to cope well with huge merchandise demand even at events like the Olympics (though there were stores dotted all around the Park for that too) so I think the problems there may be on MLB themselves. They will have taken control of that aspect, like almost all others, in the rental deal just like the NFL do for their London games.

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