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July 11, 2006

Split upper deck

MOJO asks an interesting question in the comments on a post below. From a post on Dave St. Peter's blog, Dave writes:

Signature elements of Busch Stadium include the Cardinal red brick; wonderful views of downtown St. Louis and – of course – the Arch; a variety of tributes to the great Cardinal teams and players of the past; more group Party Rooms (40-plus) than any ballpark in America; and a split upper deck (which is the same design we would like to implement in Minnesota’s new ballpark).

[I think] This is what Dave is talking about concerning the "split upper deck" [but as MOJO has pointed out, I am probably wrong]:

newbusch.jpg

Contrast this with PNC Park, which only has two "decks" ... an upper and a lower:

pnc.jpg

An interesting fact about PNC is that it is the first ballpark with a two-deck design to be built in the United States since Milwaukee's County Stadium was completed in 1953. The highest seat is just 88 feet from the field. It looks like the new Busch Stadium has seats quite a bit further away than that.

Or does it? I'm not sure. PNC is also one of the smallest ballparks in America. It only seats a little over 38,000 fans. Could a split upper deck allow our park to accomodate more fans? Or is a split upper deck necessary due to the tight constraints of the Rapid Park site?

I don't know, but I do know I love PNC Park.

Posted by snackeru at July 11, 2006 11:58 AM

Comments

PNC would be perfect if that upper deck was a "true" upper deck. However, they just took the club-level seats (and I believe the press box) and put them in the lower half of the upper deck.

So, the affordable seats open to fans are actually all in the upper half of the upper deck. Probably not much better for them than a split-level plan.

Posted by: spycake at July 11, 2006 12:41 PM

Shane.....I think I might have confused St Peter's comments. I thought he was referring to a Split or Break in the upper deck similar to the park in Philadelphia. I posted a link to a picture that refers to what I am talking about.....just click on my name. The reason I brought this up is because St Louis also has this design.

I think I would be ok if there are 2 upper decks similar to what you mentioned in your blog, however I am not a fan of the "break" in the upper deck.

Posted by: MOJO at July 11, 2006 2:33 PM

Hmmm ... you might be right MOJO. There is a distinct possibility that I don't know what I am talking about. It has certainly happened before. I could have misinterpreted Dave St. Peter's comments on his blog post. Oh well, whatever the case the closer they get to PNC Park the better, but it looks like they are favoring St. Louis's design. I must admit that like spycake, I care more about how much tickets will cost at this point. But unlike spycake, I'm not too worried about that either.

Posted by: Shane at July 11, 2006 2:49 PM

MOJO and Shane missed another key quote from Dave St. Peter. In his blog, he mentions that the Twins are visiting a number of new ballparks and then he goes on to mention a number of Twins staffers by name and job title. After listing those staffers he then adds criptically "along with assorted team advisors."

Who are those assorted team advisors? Shane I would think you deserve to be an "assorted team advisors."

Posted by: freealonzo at July 12, 2006 10:21 AM

The press box in PNC Park is actually situated above the top row, as I believe it was in Forbes Field. Dick & Bert complained about it more than once when the Twins visited Pittsburgh last month.

Even with the club seats taking up most of the lower boxes of the upper deck there, I think it's still superior to the split-levels, simply because even the cheap(er) seats aren't stacked so high. Plus, there are $16 seats on the 'club level,' down the OF lines.

In new parks, there has to be club seats and luxury suites. So given the choice, I'd rather have the club seats on the same deck as the hoi palloi with the luxury suites down by the LF corner than to have multiple decks on top of stacks of club and luxury suites. Barring a copy of the PNC Park deck design, something like the deck design of Camden Yards would also be good for Twins fans who like to sit on the upper level.

Posted by: frightwig at July 13, 2006 3:10 AM

Agreed, there's not much you can do about those darn club seats and luxury boxes around the infield. I wonder, though, if a "split-level" design, with an overhang over some of the club level, wouldn't actually get the upper deck closer to the field. Similarly, a split-level design could mean a less steep grade too. I hope St. Peter is taking measurements!

The real travesty is the lack of outfield seats. Many of the classic parks, with a seating bowl going all the way around, offered lots of great outfield seats at cheap prices. Even the cookie-cutters had this, even the Dome somewhat despite the baggy, but now, they've been all but completely eliminated largely due to aesthetics. I agree it's nice to have some openness in the outfield, but it seems like most new parks install small, token sets of bleachers in left and right, maybe configured around the bullpens, and the use the bulk of the outfield for concourse activity, large gathering places, restaurants, etc. That takes away the best places to sit close for relatively cheap.

Posted by: spycake at July 13, 2006 11:14 AM

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