With the MLB season approaching, we wanted to help travelling sports fans dealing with the potentially experience-defining decision of where to sit. MLB probably isn’t as popular worldwide as the NBA or the NFL, but it is played during the warmer months (when more people are visiting the USA), there are many more baseball games per season than other sports, and it is an iconic American experience. All of these things lead many tourists to find themselves at a ballgame.
For these people, we wanted to provide an easy-to-understand visual guide to help with their decision-making process. Rather than just relying on our own opinions (which no one should ever do) or just pointing people to our site to find a specific tip for their stadium (which everyone should always do), we decided to compile data from every tip on our site related to where to sit at baseball games into one straightforward reference graphic. We wanted a consensus from all of the baseball fans contributing to our site – or at least something close to it.
So how did we do it?
I can sense you scrolling past this part straight to the results – I probably would, too – but the method is as important as the result. So here is how we compiled the data:
We started by making a generic baseball diamond and dividing up the possible seating sections, like this:
Then we went through all of the cities on our site with Major League Baseball teams/venues and read all of the seating tips, city-by city:
…and we allocated each venue 2 “votes”. This was to account for when venues had multiple tips saying different things, or if the ‘top tip’ recommended two different spots. (In the Fenway Park example, above, Jedlow’s tip would have earned at least one vote for the Green Monster, which is in the ‘F’ section of our previous graphic).
If a venue had multiple tips that were contradicting each other, then we went with the one that had the most votes. (This should serve as a reminder – your votes and your tips count!)
Once we’d compiled all of the data from the fan tips, we had the legend Stephanus whip up a graphic to display the results.
THE RESULTS: The best place to sit at a Baseball game is…
According to Sports Where I Am users, the best place to sit in baseball venues across the USA is along the third base line. This is followed by sitting behind the home plate area or along the first base line.
…Some judgement calls had to be made. For example, there were some great tips about how to get the best value seats or tips about how you can save money by buying a ticket in one place and then moving seats during the game. For the purpose of this guide, we wanted to use people’s ‘best seat in the house’ in general, disregarding price.
…There are some intangibles that don’t show up in this data: for instance, sitting in the bleachers was not recommended by many as the ‘best’ place to sit, but was mentioned as a place to be amongst the “real fans”. Similarly, some unique or iconic places like the Green Monster or the Miller Lite Deck aren’t always in spots with the best view of the action, they’re just unique and iconic, so they got the votes. As always, checking the SWiAM tips for your stadium before buying a ticket is the best way to make sure you’re getting the right advice.
…Arizona fans have to get their act together and put up a seating tip on SWiAM. It was the only MLB team without advice listed for where to sit at their stadium.
What do you think about this seating guide?
Whether you agree or disagree, you should log in to SWiAM and either add your tip or vote on someone else’s. We’ll be going through the same process for Basketball, Hockey and Football soon – so get onto the site and make sure our data is accurate.