This weekend I got the chance to head down to Camden Yards and watch the Baltimore Orioles take on the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a great time with great company, but I couldn’t help but compare it to my experiences back home at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. Being the objective ranking oriented sort of person that I am, I decided to rank my experiences at both venues based on a series of criteria: Team spirit, price, quality of the team, transportation, ballpark interior, ballpark exterior, and finally, and arguably most importantly, the food. So, without further hesitation, let’s jump right into the rankings.

  1. Team Spirit: This one is tough. When you go to a game at Safeco Field it’s not like everyone is decked out in Mariners gear screaming go M’s at the top of their lungs (something that is very characteristic of Seattle Seahawks fans) but at the same time if you go to a Friday or Saturday night game you’ll be hard pressed to find an empty seat anywhere. It’s quite literally a sea of people and the atmosphere is just ELECTRIC. On the other side of the coin it seemed like wherever I turned at Camden Yards I saw black and orange (the Orioles colors), and by the time I left those gates I had the phrase “Welcome to Birdland” ingrained in my head. Oddly enough, however, with all that spirit the stadium was mayyyyybe half full, and when I caught a game last year it was even more empty, quite perplexing to say the least. After much deliberation I had to give the edge to Birdland here, as much as I want to give it to my hometown Mariners, seeing “Go O’s” in the window of every restaurant in downtown Baltimore pushed it over the edge.


    Blurry pic of my friend Alex and I rocking our O’s hats…she decided to                                                         wear a Mets jersey too

Advantage: Orioles

  1. Price: $7 Student Tickets on Fridays… all I gotta say

Advantage: Orioles

  1. Quality of Team: Both team were good last year, both are playing mediocre this year, and both have historically been pretty bad. I’m a diehard Mariners fan so I’m gonna give the edge to my hometown team here

Advantage: Mariners

  1. Transportation: I think my answer would be different if I lived in a housing community in the suburbs on the outskirts of Baltimore and had to plan out how I was going to get to the stadium every time I wanted to catch a game. In reality, however, I’m on a college campus 20 minutes away from the park with free bus service that drops you off a half mile away; back at home it’s a 45 minute drive through traffic with 20 dollar parking and a half an hour waiting process to get out of the parking garage. If I want to take public transport it requires a bus change and over an hour of driving time…not fun.

Advantage: Orioles

  1. Ballpark Interior: This isn’t even close…Safeco Field is absolutely gorgeous from the inside with its massive scoreboard, perfectly cut outfield grass, giant compass fixture, retractable roof, and quintessential yellow line that borders the outfield wall…it’s truly iconic. Camden Yards is nice, don’t get me wrong, but nothing about the field really pops out to me, and it left me with no real impression.


    The view of the skyline behind                the stadium is unreal

Advantage: Mariners

  1. Ballpark Exterior: For all that Safeco Field is once you get inside, its exterior leaves something to be desired. It’s like a gigantic metal cage with a metal glove outside of the gates being the only real defining feature. The huge warehouse wall that defines the border of much of Camden Yards is massive, mysterious, and captivating, and its charm instantaneously gives Baltimore the edge here, but in addition the rest of the stadium is on street level and you can see much of the festivities and happenings just by walking around the gates which is insanely cool

19239647_1141194729318400_788649687_nAdvantage: Orioles

  1. Food: Ah, food, the category we’ve all been waiting for, and what a category it is. In one corner we have Crab fries and Old Bay Seasoning, in the other we have garlic fries, gigantic pizza slices, and Seattle style hot dogs. The competition is fierce, and the creamy delicacy that is Chesapeake Bay crab sauce over a bed of crispy fries puts up an admirable fight, but in the end it is the tangy, familiar taste of Grounder’s Garlic Fries and Randy’s cream cheese and onion Seattle Dogs come out on top

Advantage: Mariners


So after a final tally up it seems as though the city of Baltimore and its beloved, Avian themed baseball club take the crown in this tale of two cities. While I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the gang of sailors that man the S.S Safeco Field, I do have to admit that watching the orioles play is a pretty great experience.