Monday, April 24, 2012, Imo, Jessica, George, John and I attended a Kansas City Royals’ baseball game. That game was the first professional baseball game Imo ever attended. We had great seats down the third base line just 9 rows from the field. The Royals were amid a 10 game home losing streak, which they extended to 11 on that night. Sitting at Kauffman Stadium I thought of the discussions we are having about the experiential character of tourist settings.
Kauffman Stadium provides an experience, which includes a baseball game. The events between innings of the baseball game intrigued me. After a team’s 3rd out Kauffman Stadium’s hi-definition video board, largest in the game, takes over. Through the video board we were engaged in contests, viewed videos from the past, chose the fan of the game watch a young slugger win a “value pack” and the like. I felt that my attention was taken away from the game and directed to activities not related to the game the teams were playing on the field.
Nine-year-old John was just as interested in how many times he was or could get on the large screen as with the game itself. He told me that he was on six times at a game the day before. He only made the big screen once on this trip. It is important to note that he took his ball glove to snatch any foul balls that might have come his way, none did.
I remember saying to Jessica that I saw no one scoring the game. The art of scoring relates to the events on the field. I don’t even remember the hawkers selling programs that would allow participants to score the game. Back in the day, people enjoyed scoring the game. It was part of the game day experience. Not so much now. Jessica speculated, people choosing to sit behind home might be more inclined to join in by scoring the game. While those seats are closer to the heart of the game they are also much more expensive.
We had a great experience. We took pictures, ate and drank the only way you can at a ball game. We cheered for the home team and witnessed several spectacular plays. We even interacted with the fans seated around us. We had in the day of hi-definition technology what passes for a baseball experience. Play Ball!