Minor League Baseball...With a Purpose
Both stadiums seem to be part of a plan to revitalize urban centers which have been hurt by the onslaught of suburban life. The stadiums are quite ornate, and there's a lot to do in addition to watching baseball.
Baseball is the main event though, and here you will see a member of the Reading Phillies go up to the plate.
Ticket sales seemed to be pretty good, and the Reading ballpark was small enough that almost all of the seats were good ones.
Local Reading businesses seemed to rally behind the place, judging by all of the ads at the home run wall.
Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, PA also had a positive and friendly vibe to it. They also seemed to take extra care in having non-baseball things to do.
They even had a Ferris wheel. How cool is that? Shea Stadium really needs one of them, that way kid can play while the Mets blow big leads in the ninth inning when they play a closer who sucks.
Minor league parks give you a close seat to the action that you really cannot cheaply get in a major league atmosphere. Also, things like steroids do not appear to be visible, although I imagine they are part of the small town game as well.
What this is doing for the urban centers they are trying to revitalize is not clear. I did not see a lot of things going on outside of the stadiums, but they did bring in a few thousand people into a city that they might have normally avoided.
You may recall that I was a big fan of New York City building a football stadium, as it was a sign that the city was trying to maintain its greatness. In places like this, it's more a matter of survival. If nothing is done, the cities will implode. These stadiums seemed to be a good effort to avoid that.