Sunday, April 05, 2009

FBO: 'Main Street Baseball'

Are we sheep? New York City is all a-glow over the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field built with $2 billion of state and federal money for the two highest-salary baseball teams in the country. It's particularly bad situation with the Yankees. Their new stadium cost the city $1.5 billion, average ticket prices rose 76%, and the number of seats diminished by 5000 (the Mets' new home has 14,000 fewer seats -- now having to cut back on Little Leaguer events). Now pro teams around the country are hoping to get some of the stimulus-package funding to pay for stadiums.

America's sport?

I'm going with minor league baseball this year, the populist sport league, in a year when, in my mind, domestic travelers should consider more 'main street' itineraries to ensure their money goes to places that need it the most. That is, not pooling all the funds of a trip into a single resort or destination -- but spending it in private businesses visited along the way, on road trips, by stopping off in towns not seen as usual destinations (ranging from a few days in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh to Spokane, Washington or Fargo, North Dakota as it works to recover after the recent floods).

For here in New York, it's hard to beat the two minor league teams. The Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees (farm teams for the Mets and Yanks, respectively) have far superior locations -- both on the water. The Cyclones, right in the heart of Brooklyn's just-opened Coney Island, and the SI Yanks on the lip of New York Harbor [see view from outfield seats]. Non-bleacher single-game tickets against teams with colorful names like the Vermont Lake Monsters are about $15. Comparable tickets at Yankee Stadium run $150 to $375 each.

In late summer I might even go see the Little League World Series.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

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