Back in the day, eating at a baseball game was simple. After you bought your MLB tickets, the only serious choices you had to make involved which condiments you wanted to put on your hot dog and what size beer you were going to enjoy. Nowadays, though, it’s – pardon the pun – a whole new ballgame. Baseball stadiums all over America have expanded their concession menus and all of a sudden, fans have more choices than ever. Sushi? Sure. Steaks? Why not? Today you can spend hours at the ballpark and get so consumed with the food and beverage offerings that you might not even realize a game is going on. Is that a good thing? Does fancy food really belong at the game? Here’s what two hypothetical fans have to say on the subject:
The Fancy Fan knows what he wants and how he wants it. He realizes that the finer things in life cost a little more and he’s willing to foot the bill because he knows that you get what you pay for. He’s the guy that’ll spring for the extra legroom seats on the plane. He’s the guy that gets his shirts custom-made instead of off-the-rack. He’s the guy that drives a little further to get his pizza because he’d rather support an independent shop instead of the chains.
Fancy Fan says: “Who says stadium food needs to be mass produced? The new age of baseball is upon us and let me tell you something – it’s delicious! With San Francisco Giants tickets, I enjoy AT&T Park with a dungeness crab cocktail. I can devour California rolls at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati! With Colorado Rockies tickets, I can sip wonderful craft beers with tableside guacamole in at Coors Field! You’re telling me that’s a bad thing? Hardly.
Fancy food at the ballpark is just another step in the natural evolution of sports entertainment, like luxury suites and personal seat licenses. If there’s an opportunity to upgrade your options at the old ball game, why wouldn’t you want that? It’s not like you’re being forced to buy the Mets-themed cannoli at Citi Field. Baseball is a game for all types of people and it only makes sense that there’s all types of food to please those people. We live in a world where just about anything is available twenty-four hours a day. There’s no need to limit ourselves with this outdated thinking that only certain foods should be available at baseball games. Open your mind, people! Enjoy the variety you’re seeing at Major League Baseball games all over America! If I want to enjoy a chardonnay during the fifth inning, I will!”
The Fed-Up Fan doesn’t embrace change. He wants to watch MLB games the way he used to when he was growing up: with a hot dog in one hand, a mitt in the other, and a constant stream of insults being hurled at Sammy Sosa.
Fed-Up Fan says: “Are you kidding me, bro? Where’s the love for the classics? Hot dogs. Peanuts. Cracker Jacks. I don’t remember hearing a line in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” about buying any lobster or bison burgers. I was watching a Mets game at Citi Field the other day and the lady at the concession stand asked if I wanted to try a Pat LaFrieda Original Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich. Um, no, lady. I want a burger. Can you handle that? It’s like we’ve turned baseball into this whole big production where the game is just a small part of what’s going on. I don’t care about fireworks after the game is over. I don’t care about who’s singing during the Seventh Inning Stretch. All I care about is whether or not my team is winning or losing and if I get a good ol’ fashioned hot dog in the process. Baseball’s been around since the 1800s and good ol’ Abner Doubleday must be rolling in his grave at the thought of people taking in nine innings with a nine-course meal. This game is America’s pastime and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a game for the people and by the people and the people don’t need fancy food. That’s why I like catching games at Miller Park in Milwaukee. They’re not trying to put on airs or nothing. They serve big, juicy brats with big foamy beers and that’s exactly the way it should be. Am I right? You know I am.”
Fancy or Fed up, ultimately the type of food you want to enjoy is completely up to you. If you’re not into the fancy stuff, stick to the hot dogs you’ve loved for your whole life. If you’re in the mood for something a little more upscale, plenty of ball parks are happy to accommodate you, too. Whether you’re more of a Fancy Fan yourself or fall into the Fed-Up category, the only thing that really matters is that you have great seats that allow you to both see the game and have a great meal with the best tickets in town from ScoreBig, where you get to name your price and root for your favorite team in style.
So what do you think? Who’s the smarter fan here? Fancy Fan or Fed-Up Fan? Give us your vote in the comments below. And don’t miss out on our guide for How to Eat 10,000 Calories Before the 3rd Inning and The 10 Best New Restaurants in the MLB.
By Jason Kessler for the ScoreBlog
Featured image credit: Jake Khuon