It had been 6 long years since I had been back at historic Wrigley Field.
Ya know...before they broke a 108 year long curse and tickets were semi-affordable for a broke college student.
If you follow me on Twitter-FrankGargano77-you've probably seen me complain about how much I hate baseball in recent years. And to be fair...it's because I do a lot of work for baseball teams and it's hard to see the game from a fan's perspective now that I'm a disgruntled media member.
So why would I want to spend my small amount of time and money on going to a baseball game?
Well, it's because the young, bright eyed 10 yr. old kid inside of me needed it. Especially after what we all went through last year with the Covid-19 pandemic.
And I'd bet a good amount of money, that you probably need it too.
Here's why you should consider attending sporting events again:
1. To Feel Normal
This is numero uno and for good reason. We all need a sense of normalcy. This is the first time in over a year I felt like everything was fine, and for the most part, last year never happened. There's a comradery aspect to being a fan that really can't be replicated. Sure, everyone at a concert is probably a fan of the artist, but do you really cheer for the artist to hit a home run? No.
When Willson Contreras hit a 2-run bomb to left-center field, the entire crowd erupted like it was a playoff game against the Cardinals. Right now, you'll see stadiums with an added layer of energy from being cooped up inside all of last year. If you usually can't afford to go see a playoff game and experience an energetic crowd, I highly suggest you go see a regular season game right now; people are pumped up.
2. Your Alcohol Will Taste Better
When I tell you my draft of Old Style on a Tuesday night in Chicago rivaled the best beers I've ever had, I mean it! I swear everyone I talk to about the pandemic, brings up how they drank more last year at home because there was nothing else to do. I promise your $12 beer will taste better than whatever fancy cocktail you're drinking at home. Especially when you pair it with a nice hot dog with a bun so stale, it breaks apart as soon as you pick it up. And you'll only be slightly mad about it weeks later!
In all seriousness though, it's time to stop depression style drinking at home. You're much better off going to Fifth-Third Field, catching a Dirt Chickens game and enjoying a cool one with the crack of a wooden bat in the background.
3. Stimulate The Economy
Ah yes, a phrase we are all tired of hearing! But it's true, this really does help the economy on a local level. Professional Sports took some huge hits from this pandemic. NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, said the league lost millions of dollars by deciding to play this season without fans in attendance. No fans, means no tickets sold. No tickets sold, means no concessions sold. No concessions sold, means no concession workers.
So many stadium workers rely on fans being in the stands to be able to work. The surrounding restaurants and bars that pay big money to be located around a stadium, rely on fans to pay their rent.
The only people that were happier than the fans at Wrigley Field last week, were the employees welcoming me back "home", at every opportunity they got.
"Should I See A Game?"
While I believe all of the reasons I listed above, I definitely think you should go see a game in person. But only if you're comfortable in doing so.
Personally, I'm vaccinated and my healthcare provider said I absolutely should go if I wanted to.
Organizations have protocols in place to provide a safe, welcoming atmosphere to attendees.
If you're still not comfortable being around crowds like that, I totally understand! Consult with your healthcare provider and make the best decision for you.
But if you are comfortable, and follow the guidelines, I 100% think you should look into seeing a game.
Whether it's at Wrigley Field to see the Cubbies, Comerica Park to see the Tigers, or at Fifth-Third to see the Mud Hens, I think you should take the family out to a game.
Your community and mental health, will thank you for it.