I have been wanting to make the trip to see the Cardinals AAA affiliate in Memphis play and specifically AutoZone Park. So we made the 9 hour drive to see them square off against the Iowa Cubs.
The park is beautiful and is ranked as the #2 best minor league park in the nation. The #1 park is brand new and AutoZone was built about 15 years ago so that proves how hard the work to make it pristine.
Some specifics about it. The entrance is well built with some space for a crowd to filter in without bumping into each other.The ticket guy was friendly and allowed me to ramble and appeared interested in what I had to say even though he probably forgot about it 1.6 seconds later. At least he made the friendly decision.
We entered the park early and went into the gift shop. It was very hot outside and they had the shop very cold and that was a bit too extreme. The girl behind the counter never acknowledge me or my wife even though we were one of four in there. She was as cold as the room.
We then ventured down the concourse looking at things as we went to our seats. The ushers were not in place yet down the first place line as we were an hour from game time. In our seats the view of the outfield and city was awesome. The skyline and art work was well done and thought out in its creation. Made you feel very good just sitting and waiting.
Then we headed for the food and every park is pricey so this one was no different. The food was good and the lady that waited on us had moments and held a short discussion with us and appeared friendly and engaging.
Time for the game.
Things went smoothly as the Redbirds were able to win the game but I am not writing this about the on-field game. However, the promotion people have a problem. I don’t mind activities every half inning as that is minor league baseball. But the girl on the field and dugout showed no interest what-so-ever in what they were doing. When on the dugout for dancing or air guitar playing they went through the motions and never smiled. Many times they just chatted with each other during the half inning and never engaged with the fans. This was the weakest part of their fan experience.
I made a point to strike up a conversation with a corporate type walking around and he was great to talk to and show interest. On the way out after the game I was wondering if the usher at the exit would say anything and she did. She told us “thanks for coming” and passed my test.
I attend a lot of minor league games in different areas and these are the things that make a game/stadium either good or bad. They control that. On the field, they don’t.
I recommend you go to a game at AutoZone. I hear people say Memphis is a rough town. Maybe, but you don’t have to go there. Get a room directly across the street at the Doubletree or Peabody and there is lots of police presence before and after the game along the street.