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Standing Room Only at Miller Park: Cubs at Brewers

29 July 2008 No Comment

After traffic in Chicago’s northern suburbs and around Milwaukee’s airport, I finally parked at Miller Park at 6:45 pm – 20 minutes before the first pitch and 2 hours after I left the office. As I approached the Miller Park box office, no ticket scalpers were offering tickets for sale, but mainly asking if anyone had extras. The lines for Will Call were long, but I saw a tickets.com tickets kiosk. I slid my credit card into the machine and out came my ticket. I had not used a ticket kiosk before and this experience was quite painless. That was worth the extra $6.25 I thought. I entered the ballpark before the first pitch. It appeared my decision to buy a ticket ahead of time was the correct one, especially since the Brewers had cut off SRO sales by the time I had arrived.

I went straight to T.G.I. Friday’s and put my name down for a table. The host said it would be 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I was nowhere close to the top of the list so I left and bought a chorizo from a concession stand.

I eventually sat close to Bernie’s Terrace in the upper level – the worst seats in the park and, yes, they are pretty bad. After the 7th inning, I thought that T.G.I. Friday’s should have emptied out a bit but I was mistaken when the host said it would now be at least a one hour wait.

I watched the remainder of the game from the first level standing room area. The SRO only sections of Miller Park are more like a bar with a baseball game in the background. The atmosphere was pretty intense – more like a playoff game than the regular season.

The entire game went back and forth as each team took the lead. Derrek Lee hit the game winning double in the top of the 9th inning and Wrigley North (as Cubs fans like to call Miller Park) was ecstatic. I raced to my car when the game ended as I did not want to sit in traffic after the 3rd largest crowd in Miller Park history. The largest crowd in Miller Park history was Sept. 6, 2003 when the Brewers packed in 46,218 fans (also against the Cubs).

SRO at Miller Park Tip: One problem with Standing Room Only (SRO) at Miller Park (which is not applicable at Wrigley Field or United Center) is that fans must enter the sections in the first and second level from the top. Meaning it is difficult to scan for empty seats when looking from the top down. Only the third level allows SRO ticket holders to enter the sections from the bottom of the section. Scanning for empty seats from the bottom up is much easier because you know exactly what seat to aim for when climbing up the steps. Plus, when entering from the top of the section, the rest of the people in standing room know you are looking for seats, which also makes “finding seats” more difficult.

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