Have Game? Will Travel!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers

Having not been to Miller Park for 4 seasons, I drove up to Milwaukee last night. I entered the ballpark a little over an hour after I left work, so the decision to drive to Miller Park rather than Wrigley Field was the correct one – the Cubs game was in the 5th inning at the time.

As I entered the parking lot, I noticed that parking increased $2 (since 2004) to $8. Not too bad (especially when compared to Chicago). I knew the cheapest seat in the stadium was $8 for Upper Levels. Thus, I budgeted $5 to buy a ticket outside.

As I approached some scalpers, I noticed a woman approaching them at the same time – “She must have extra tickets,” I thought. I asked her for an extra ticket but she did not hear me. She told the scalpers, “I’ll sell you 15 tickets for $25.” I interrupted the transaction and asked her, “Can I get one of those before you sell them?” She handed me an upper deck ticket and I went on my way.

Ticket Buying Tip #1: When looking for extra tickets, try to find someone walking away from the stadium. They most likely picked up their tickets at Will Call and are looking for a scalper to make a quick transaction.

Ticket Buying Tip #2: Always complete your transaction before the scalper completes his. Once money changes hands you must buy from the scalper which means paying a little (or a lot) higher – in this case it was the difference between free or $5.

Once inside Miller Park, I needed to decide which sausage to buy for dinner and which team to root for. After walking by a few concession stands I found the “chorizo” – the sausage the Brewers added to their infamous sausage race during the 2006 season. The Brewers’ chorizo comes wrapped in a tortilla with salsa as the condiment. This is my new top sausage choice when attending Brewers’ games (btw, the Polish Sausage won the sausage race).

Given the choice to root against the Cardinals or Brewers, I found myself rooting for the Brewers even though the experts predict the Brewers will be the Cubs main competition this season. I could not bring myself to root for the Cardinals. An interesting note on this game was that the pitchers for both teams batted 8th rather than the usual 9th. Both Tony LaRussa and Ned Yost are using that strategy this season.

Miller Park Tip #1: While most stadiums stop beer sales around the 7th inning, Miller Park has a loop hole. If you find yourself still thirsty after the 7th inning head down to the left field bleachers and enter TGI Fridays. Since they are technically a restaurant within the ballpark they can sell beer until after the game ends - but you'll need to order food if you want to sit down.

The ride home took longer than I expected. With construction consuming the entire highway from the Wisconsin – Illinois border until the Wrigley Field exit, I would advise planning some extra time if you are planning a visit to Miller Park from Chicago this season.



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