I had never heard of a company called Review Trackers until and intrepid reader (crotch grab in the direction of @patrickjbryden) brought to my attention the fact that the online review tracking company had just published a pretty deep — and, they say, sophisticated — look at 130,000 big league ballpark reviews written by real fans and parsed entirely by snappy algorithms in order to spit out rankings by various factors.
Here’s the full report.
I’m not sure what entirely to make of it or their methodology, to be honest. But, hoo boy, this sure passes the smell test:
Uh… doesn’t it?
I mean, I’m not going to sit here and defend the food and drink selection at the Rogers Centre — or the beer selection, which this clearly has a lot to do with (the stadium’s beer situation also ranks last in MLB) — but that’s a pretty grim ranking right there! And… like… most stadiums get quite positive comments for their food and drink? Really? I know there are some pretty great eats out there around the majors, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if maybe we’re just especially good at complaining about this. (Especially those of us who haven’t yet realized that you can bring just about any food that you damn well please into the ballpark).
Maybe we’re good at complaining about other things, too! Like… family friendliness?
I know that Jays fans can be a bit surly, and aren’t necessarily well policed (or evenly policed), which maybe detracts from some folks’ experiences, but second last in this, too?
The Jays do try to be pretty family friendly — or so I thought. In fact, one of the conclusions given in the report sounds precisely like the club’s Junior Jays Saturdays promotion: “Investing in strong family-centric promotions — like dedicating one day a week to families — will resonate among fans with kids and leave them talking about the experience.”
Maybe someone with kids can explain this to me. Or maybe it’s just that, y’know, the building kinda sucks and is going to get dinged no matter what.
Or maybe these don’t quite pass the smell test?
I don’t know. Whatever! Bottom line is that the food and beer situation — selection, lineups, prices — fucking sucks at the Rogers Centre, especially as compared to the actual real stadiums out there — which by this point is pretty much all of them. (Hey, but at least the Jays’ contract with Aramark — a ten year deal signed at the beginning of 2008 — is about to expire! Assuming it hasn’t at some point been renewed.)
Wrigley, Fenway, and Dodger Stadium are all cathedrals. O.co is on its way out, Angel Stadium (built in 1966, but renovated extensively after the Rams left in the 90s) doesn’t really count, nor does the exquisitely renovated (or so they say) Kauffman Stadium. The next oldest park in the majors is the Rogers Centre. The Braves already have moved on from a stadium built after the Rogers Centre was opened, and the Rangers not going to be far behind them.
Mark Shapiro has got his work cut out for him. In more ways than one.