Instead I started wondering about my seating habits when I go to the games at Camden Yards. And the only way to do that thoroughly is to analyze the data. To do so, I decided to create a map of everywhere I've sat.
This really wasn’t that hard to do, given that I keep a spreadsheet of my sport-going whereabouts, including section/row/seat. Between that and some photoshop, it was pretty easy. I’ve been to 82 games at Camden Yards since I moved here in 1997, so I thought it would make a pretty solid visual representation. The red dots are the places I’ve sat.
So this is how it turned out.
Click the pic to "embiggen."
Yeah, I was underwhelmed too. On one hand, I could have made the dots bigger, to be more visible, but on the other hand, I tend to sit in the same areas so often, the dots would be all over each other. (Even with the small dots, I have the same problem.)
If you look, you can see several 4 tight groupings:
Section 34, behind home plate. Those are seats that Sitcom Kelly’s mom’s company has, so I've seen 5 games with her. While the dots may look slightly dispersed, those were all in 1 or 2 seats.
Section 54, behind 3rd base. Those are the company seats that my company used to have. I've seen 8 games from there, and again, the dots may look dispersed, but they were all located among four seats. Free tickets are the best!
Section 74, by left field pole. Sitcom Kelly and I sit there with some frequency. Also, some years ago, my brother-in-law had company seats there. At $30, they’re a pretty good value and you can often get up in the first couple of rows. It’s a great spot for getting on TV.
Section 92, centerfield bleachers. AKA, The Cheap Seats. I used to sit there a lot when I first moved to town and had much less disposable income. They’re narrower than the other seats, and don’t have armrests of cup holders. You have to be prepared to sit cheek to cheek with your fellow man.
Aside from these clusters, you can see that there’s a pretty good distribution throughout lower left field. I usually look for whatever outfield section gets me closest to the outfield wall. Most often, that’s section 74, but sometimes there’s room further down the wall.
When it’s a special game, or I feel like treating myself, you can see I like the seats in sections 10-14, where you can also get close to the field. That lower dot in Section 10? That’s the seat I got burned trying to upgrade in April, that possibly sent my heart out of rhythm. I kept the dot because I did catch 2 innings there. And the dot that’s behind the first one? That’s where I was when I caught my first and only foul ball. (On the bounce… I’m no hero.)
I tend not to get upper deck seats very often. I end up there most often when I go to the game with a group, or the seats were give-aways. They’re not bad seats though, especially if you can stay low in a section that’s around the infield.
That second section, starting with 9 and wrapping around until 87, are located under the upper decks. Those are nice for hot summer day-games, because they’re in the shade. The last place you want to be on a hot Sunday afternoon is out there baking in the outfield.
Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the club sections… those are the 200-level seats between the lower bowl and the upper deck. They run pricey, but if you get the ones in the left field corner, they’re no more than my regular left field seats. True, they’re farther away from the field and you have a miniscule chance of getting a foul ball or home run, but they’re shaded and have recourse from the rain. The way my ballgame luck it running this year, that’s a necessary resource.
Well, since this “map” isn’t quite as visually impressive as I’d like it, I’m going to have to keep adding to it game by game. Looks like I’ll have one more thing to track now, besides my spreadsheet.
Can you say “Too much spare time?”