Opening Daze 2013

What will be the price tag this season?

For those of us that endured many horrible April games at the old County Stadium grounds, news that temperatures will be in the 30′s today in Milwaukee stir up fond memories of Opening Days past. If you were one of the frigid faithful that piled into school buses year after year in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s to see your beloved Screwers get crushed time and time again, you know what I’m talking about.

You were there despite the rain, snow, sleet and ice, crappy baseball and games that finally started at 4pm, the stadium nearly empty, as Bud seig made the rounds adding up the concession tape receipts. It really didn’t matter if the Blew-Ha’s won or lost, it was a day off of work, or if you were unemployed, a heavier day of drinking than the day before.

It was bus trips, and tailgate tents, the party was on the asphalt and concrete outside the ugly confines of County Stadium, because after all, who wanted to pay the outrageous prices for $2 beers inside the ball park? You got your buzz on before the game, then hung on until the driver tossed you out into the Park ‘n Ride once you were back in Madison, or maybe it was back at he bar you started from. Any way you look at it, Opening Day translated into one big party.

And that is why, now in the age of climate-controlled stadiums like Miller Park, that the real zest for Opening Day has all but vanished. It doesn’t matter now if its 35 degrees or 65 degrees, (as it happens every ten years or so), you are guaranteed a warm and dry seat for a game that will start on time and have you back home rested and ready for work the next day. Where’s the fun in that?

What has changed is the price tag once you get inside the ball park. I’ll refer to it a s $8.50 Miller Park until I hear otherwise from the faithful attending today – since that was the price I paid the last time I visited there, that being the price for a big, screw-top plastic bottle of Lite beer. Beer in a plastic bottle, it doesn’t get much better than that, huh?

The photo above ($6.75) is dated, probably two years old. The point being, now, more than ever, you better get your game on in the parking lot because, unless you are making six figures plus, it is simply way too expensive to consume large quantities of suds inside $8.50 Miller Park. THe days of catching a round for the boys with a $20 bill and still tipping the vendor vanished the last time Pedro Garcia strode to the plate. Now, hombre, you better pack at least a couple of C-Notes in the old George Castanza wallet, or make sure your debit card has been re-charged before you step up to the all-you-can-drink plate at $8.50 Miller Park.

So, if anyone attends the game today, please report back to me here or on Twitter the going rate for a nice, flat, warm draft of the beer that used to taste great and was less filling. These days your wallet is filled less and nothing tastes like actual beer.

Opening daze indeed.

And For What

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