Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 10:30AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:10PM
San Francisco Giants
San Francisco, Calif. :: Opened: 2000 :: Capacity: 41,503
Average Ticket Price: $24.53
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $103.50
How expensive is stadium parking? FREE: 8% $5-$10: 3% $10-$15: 9% $15-$20: 45% More than $20: 30%
Is public transportation a viable option? Never: 3% Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 10% A good option to avoid rush hour: 14% Pretty easy if you know the system well: 36% The only way to go: 35%
How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game? To the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 4% Slow, but usually steady: 20% Moves well outside of rush hour: 35% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 26% A smooth ride at all times: 13%
From the game: A slow-moving parking lot: 7% Slow, but usually steady: 31% Moves well outside of rush hour: 21% Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 30% A smooth ride at all times: 10%
How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women? Bring a map: 0% It depends on your section: 7% Never more than a short walk away: 19% A satisfactory amount: 29% Plenty: 32%
How long is the wait to use a bathroom? Always available: 40% 1-5 minutes: 56% 5-10 minutes: 3% More than 10 minutes: 0%
How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options? Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 0% Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 0% A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 5% A nice variety but locations are spread out: 31% You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 63%
How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you? $5-$10: 5% $10-$20: 63% $20-$30: 26% $30-$40: 3% More than $40: 1%
How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game? Nonexistent: 3% So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 4% Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 24% Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 12% A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 54%
Considering all of the other reasons worth visiting San Francisco, it's impressive that Candlestick, er, Pac Bell, er, SBC, er, AT&T Park has become a tourist attraction. With panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and the Oakland Hills, the park has the "best view of any ballpark in existence." Oh, and the stadium is pretty nice, too, highlighted by McCovey Cove and its battalion of kayaks looking to fish out a home run ball. Families with children will be happy to find a mini baseball diamond and a slide for kids to play on during those games against the Pirates. But popularity does have its downside -- for some fans, at least. "There are too many cell phones and people waving into the cameras. The people who are into the game are great fans, but they are fewer and farther between every year." That seems like a small price to pay for a ballpark that one can eat his or her way through. The garlic fries are "fantastic." The cha cha bowl (rice, beans, jerk chicken and pineapple salsa) "rocks!" And the Irish coffee is a "must on cold Bay evenings." That's only a slice of a smorgasbord that includes sushi, lobster rolls, crab cakes, wine, local microbrews and clam chowder. (Enough of writing about this; let's get out there.) True, the prices are steep, but is anything in Frisco cheap?
"It's San Francisco. You could write a book about all of the things to do around here." From the Acme Chophouse in the park to the 21st Amendment or MoMo's ("a must for the younger crowd") across the street, finding a place to eat or drink steps from the game is not difficult. If the game gets you in a literary mood, you can stroll into a Barnes & Noble just outside the stadium. While public-transportation options are numerous, downtown San Francisco and all of its sights are only a 20-minute walk away.
2006 record: 72-71 (all statistics through Sept. 10) Players worth the price of admission: Barry Bonds (23 HRs, 64 RBIs, 108 walks), Ray Durham (.300 Avg., 23 HRs, 86 RBIs), Jason Schmidt (11-8, 3.45 ERA, 167 Ks).
If you're going to steal someone's wallet, this is the way you do it: Give them a beautiful setting on the water in one of the country's most picturesque cities. Feed them well. Occupy the kids with plenty of activities. And throw in a playoff contender with the game's most controversial player. Hell, we'd give away our wallet for that. Unfortunately, the Giants would probably take it.