Is the social media cafe at AT&T Park a good idea?

A cafe at a ballpark? On the surface, it sounds stupid. But digging deep into it, it makes the most sense.

I heard about this over the weekend but really didn’t pay much attention to it. Then this morning, I decided to look more into this new cafe AT&T Park is putting together at the ballpark and I was confused on how I should react.

My first initial reaction was that this was stupid. Ballparks shouldn’t have cafes like Starbucks or a Peet’s. Whatever happened to a simple ballpark with hot dogs and beer? And as one of my friends pointed out, the stereotype of Giants bandwagon fans not paying attention to the game gets furthered with this. This cafe idea to me was just not necessary.

But then again, that Build-A-Bear wasn’t necessary either and the Giants embraced it. I then realized that this is the way the Giants will always be. They aren’t your typical, classic baseball atmosphere. That was lost when they left Candlestick Park.

AT&T Park has changed the culture of Giants baseball and the fanbase. I understand it, but it’s not me. But for the fans that do go to the games, this is what they love. The panda hats, the idea of going there to be seen, it’s what AT&T Park has become.

Not all Giants fans are like that. I have tons of friends who are real Giants fans and they don’t do any of that. They remember Candlestick, they can name the 1992 Giants team. But on the surface for me as an outsider, the bandwagon fans are what I see.

With that in mind, this is where the cafe makes sense. It caters to the fan that doesn’t really care about the game. It caters to the fan that is always on their phone with their free Wi-Fi connection. This cafe isn’t baseball… but the fans at the game fit that perfectly.

And in a way, this may be the way newer parks will approach things. I don’t know about sipping coffee at a cafe in a ballpark, but the social media aspect of it is growing in America. It’s that strong. It’s the future.

Including that in a ballpark is inviting and it sure would generate a lot of attention to the park. I suppose for me it’s the question of whether we stick with the simplicity of a classic ballpark feel or adapt with the times.

This isn’t for me. I would never want my stadium to have this. But then again, I don’t fit the clientele and fanbase the Giants have. They’re a different breed now. This works for them. So let them have their lattes and Tweetdeck. I get it. It’s just not for me. It wasn’t built for people like me.

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