It’s difficult to explain how a new stadium that cost $1,500,000,000 could still have obstructed view seating.
It was only discovered after the fact that the new Yankee Stadium has a major design flaw. The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar that takes up the batter’s eye in center field is a rectangular building placed smack in the outfield bleachers. As a result, people sitting in the wrong parts of Sections 201 and 239 may have of a portion of the field blocked from view by a bar for people who pay more because they can. The blocked portion of the field can be pretty large…up to a third of the action.
In response to this, the Yankees leapt into action. Certain seats were determined to be “possible obstructed view” and the prices of such seats were lowered to $5. On top of that the Yankees mounted hi-def TVs on the sides of the Mohegan Sun, so that any action taking place in the blocked portion of the field can be seen. Heck, I’ll pay $5 to watch a game on a hi-def TV near Yankee Stadium.
But even at this, it isn’t much fun to be at a game and not be able to see most of left or right field. But if you know how the seating is arranged, you can score a cheap seat without much of a limited view at all.
There are 24 rows in both sections 201 and 239, the higher the row the worse the visibility. Similarly, the closer to the Mohegan Sun you are, the worse your view. Here is a key bit of knowledge: in Section 201, the low-numbered seats are closer to the Mohegan, while in Section 239 it’s the high-numbered seats. I don’t know how many seats are in a section, but knowing this should help greatly. In seat 1 in row 15 or below of Section 239, or at least in that general area, you should not only be able to see most everything just fine, you’ll be able to afford a Lobel’s steak sandwich with the money you’ve saved buying a bargain basement seat.
I was looking at tickets for the May 5 game against Baltimore on StubHub, and saw a ticket in row 2 of Section 201 listed for $4 (keep in mind that you’ll still pay Stubhub’s fee, which is usually around $5). Even though it says “possible obstructed view” (which in most parks should be avoided at all costs), in row 2 it can’t possibly be that bad. Granted, it’s a weekday game against the “once proud” Orioles, but it’s still likely you can get a great deal on a bleacher seat if you know what you’re doing.
I’m not a bleacher seats type–not because I want to avoid overly raucous fans, but because I don’t like not having a panoramic view of the entire park, scoreboard and all. But if you just want a cheap seat and don’t mind the bleachers, or you want to be in long home run territory, or you just want to get into the place, this is an absolute steal.
Especially in New York City.
Anyone who has sat in the Grandstand seats at Fenway Park in Boston can tell you that it’s one of the best places to see a ballgame. It can also be one of the best places to not see a ballgame.
Fenway was built in the early 1900s, when baseball owners tended to not give much of a whit about fan comfort or views. The goal then was to pack as many butts into the place as possible (as opposed to today, when the goal is to get the most cash out of each butt), and Fenway was clearly designed with this sort of expediency in mind. Most computer monitors these days are wider than Fenway’s Grandstand seats.
At any rate, the construction of Fenway Park (as with Wrigley, although the problem isn’t as pronounced there) included support poles to hold up the upper deck that are about a foot and a half wide. The placement of these poles is such that most every Grandstand seat is going to miss some portion of the field, so the Boston Red Sox have a rather high standard when it comes to actually informing the consumer that their view is obstructed before stamping an “OV” on the ticket. Obstructed view seats were discounted once but no longer are (as of this writing anyway).
So if you are informed that your ticket is obstructed view, know that either you will be sitting directly behind a large support pole (and I mean directly behind it, really) or at least two key parts of the field are going to be blocked from view by those confounded pillars. In other words, your view of the pitcher’s mound could be blocked and it would not count as obstructed. So if the Red Sox say the view is obstructed, believe it.
Even with this knowledge, it doesn’t help that most Grandstand seats bear no such warning, and you will want to know before you buy a ticket how bad it is.
Fortunately, we live in a world where people solve problems and give the solutions away free on the Internet.
The “Precise Seating” (www.preciseseating.com) website is operated by some seriously dedicated and unselfish fellow baseball fans. They have clearly spent countless hours figuring this entire joint out. The purpose of Precise Seating is to provide vital information about as many seats in Fenway Park as possible–currently their number is up to 36,000.
While you are ordering tickets from the Sox’s website or through another source like Ace Tickets (several are linked to the site), you can pull up Precise Seating, enter the section, row and seat number of your potential ticket and Precise Seating will provide for you:
– The exact location of the seat
– The portion of the field that will be obstructed from your view
– What percentage of the field you will be missing
– Whether there is a “walkway advisory” warning of people traffic in front of the seat
– Whether it is sheltered from the rain
– How many feet from home plate the seat is
– A 3D view of the field from the seat
– A general rating of the seat on a 1-10 scale
And it works, too. I put in Grandstand Section 18, Row 5, and Seat 6. Precise Seating gave this seat a 6 rating. It informed me that the pitcher’s mound and 15% of the field is obstructed, that I can see all of the bases, that I’m sheltered from the rain, and that I will be 149 feet from home plate. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to see pitcher’s mound, I would probably opt for another seat if I could. Without Precise Seating, I probably would have jumped at this seat.
Many people complain about obstructed views at Fenway and rightly so. Precise Seating gives you an opportunity to avoid them. With this available at no cost to you the consumer, there isn’t any reason not to use it anytime you are ordering tickets to see a game at Fenway Park.
The Internet is some great place.