In a short span of 24 hours I went from the raging and intoxicating excitement of Game 5 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio to a Monday night Astros game in Houston. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s like driving a Bugatti and then having to hitchhike.
Rather than going the negative route, which I often do with the Astros, I figured I’d play Positive Peggy and list some of the benefits of such a dismal turnout at Minute Maid Park – things that were a bit more difficult at AT&T Center just the night before were a piece of red velvet cake last night. Fervent yawning aside, even on a four-game win streak for the Astros, there were some advantages to having the 1,263,240 square-foot ballpark all to yourself and just a few close friends.
10 Benefits of Attending an Astros Game you won’t find at the NBA Finals
Free Tickets. Having worked for the Astros years ago, it’s not terribly hard to get free tickets, but walking up to Minute Maid Park last night, people were practically begging you to take tickets off their hands. And good seats too. (Opposed to the $650 ticket price for Game 5.)
Free and Easy Parking. Yup, just like the Dierks Bentley song. No need to arrive early to sit in traffic and be on the lookout for a spot, and no need to try and “beat the crowd” upon exiting, unless of course you’re just that bored, which is understandable.
Cell Phones. What was impossible the night before, took just seconds last night. We were able to post photos to Facebook and download that new Taylor Swift album with ease, as opposed to the FAILED message I got trying to upload an Instagram photo the night before that subsequently drained my entire battery.
Also, please note the difference in comments received. At Game 5 they were along the lines of “OMG, so jealous, I love your life, I wish I was there!” At the Astros game they were more like “Wow, you must be bored” or “Wouldn’t you rather be watching hockey or catching up on sleep?”
Leg Room. Stretch out and relax, this isn’t a United flight and there’s no one in front of you to make it awkward to prop your feet up.
Team Store. Want an Astros shirt? No problem! They have them in EVERY SINGLE SIZE (as opposed to Game 5 where there were slim pickins’).
Upgraded Seats. At MMP, there’s no need to wait for the StubHub Move of the Game for better seats, just get up, act like you belong, and go sit behind homeplate. Bring all your friends too, because there will be open seats all around you.
Discounted Beer. I’ve gone to more games than I can count in my lifetime and have never been offered a discounted beer. The Aramark beer vendors were so bored the guy in our section offered us a $7.50 Bud Light for $5. #Winning
No Lines. Not for bathrooms, beer or food. And probably not to go on the field and shake the players’ hands either, but I’m just guessing there. At Game 5 you’d miss at least 5 flops per team just by trying to use the restroom.
Conversations with Orbit. Although “Mascot Rules” indicate a professional mascot cannot speak while in costume, the furry guy was so bored he hung out snapping photos and being silly. Although the downside was he hung out a little too long and started to creep everyone out, even the children.
Social Media Contests. Every stadium runs social media contests for fan involvement to promote their sponsors. Last night, the video board (the largest in MLB, mind you), ran a contest for Wich Wich asking fans to tag #Strowich on Twitter to win some ham and cheese concoction. Seven minutes after the contest ran on the board, just ONE fan used the hashtag. ONE. Even better, she just used the hashtag and said nothing else. Congrats on your new sandwich Astros fan and I’m sure Wich Wich is throughout impressed with their ROI on that promotion.
For you number folks: I realize the baseball outing was just one of 81 regular season games at home and the other was an NBA Finals game, but there were 18,581 in attendance at the Spurs/Heat game (of a total capacity of 18,591) and only 13,870 (if you buy those numbers) in attendance at the Astros/White Sox game (of a total capacity of 40,950).
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.
Jayme got even closer to the action when she interviewed Texans cheerleader “Moe”. She found herself unwillingly part of the story when her pleasure cruise turned into Dispatches from Hell’s Neverending Bachelorette Party.