I guess it has been a long time since I've paid attention, but a recent exploration into buying a couple tickets to an LA Dodgers home game was quite the experience.
Too Many Choices and Stupid Names
Back "in the day", you had your box seats, your mezzanine, your upper deck and your outfield bleachers: 4 choices with meaningful names. At Dodger stadium there are 22 different names for areas of the ballpark, none of which really tell you anything about where they are located. Where would you expect "Infield Reserve" to be? Well it is the upper deck area, though it is closer to the infield that the other upper deck areas. "Lower Reserve"? It's actually upper deck, but not as upper deck as some other seats.
Even when they have a meaningful part in their name, they add these cutesy variants that again give you no idea what the difference is. There's "Premium", "VIP" and "MVP", all of which tell you nothing about where they might be located relative to one another.
The Color Eye Chart Test
More brilliant graphic design here in the seating chart. Those 22 sections each have a unique color that you have to match up against the key that labels the sections. Each primary color has 4 to 5 different shades, some of them impossible to distinguish when trying to cross-reference with the diagram. Edward Tufte would be proud.
Hunting around to write this blog entry, I did find a better location to view they seating chart. Seems I got to a Ticketmaster site when going from their schedule to buy tickets. Guess I should have known that was not the right way to do things. However, this better chart page suffers form the typical MLB pages that seem to assume you have 1 Gigbit bandwith to their servers.
The Punch Line
I was debating whether to get the cheapest seats, just to get into the park, or maybe splurge $30 a piece to get an upgrade. With the price ranges at Dodger stadium, $30 does not get you much, and in fact, I think they get you worse seats than the bleachers.
In their ticket buying options (again, this is really a Ticketmaster site), they have a 'find best available' choice. So I am curious as to what might be the best available so I could make a decision on whether they were worth it or not. What they suggest to me, are the "Dugout Club" seats at $500 a piece....$500 a piece....you've got to be kidding me.
They are not even the best seats for watching the game, though I suspect anyone who thinks a $1,000 for two baseball tickets probably is not really caring about getting the best "baseball watching" seats. They just want to be exclusive, and have 40,000 other people around them to observe their exclusiveness.
Professional baseball is doing everything they can to drive away baseball fans. The prices, the catering to non-baseball fans, the greed, everything but the game is the focus. MLB is an evil organization and it is painful to watch what they have done to a great sport.