Describing a “baseball McMansion”

The term McMansion is generally a pejorative word, typically referring to the size or the poor architecture of a home or the cookie-cutter nature of a suburban neighborhood. Occasionally, it gets applied to others structures, even baseball stadiums.  In a review of Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, a writer suggests that another spring training facility, Salt Water Fields, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, is more like a McMansion than a home:

Salt River Fields, someone said later, “isn’t spring training.” It’s a baseball McMansion. Scottsdale Stadium just feels like home.

Here is a little more of the description of the two ballparks. Scottsdale Stadium is described as, “intimate and evocative of its sport,” “the Cactus League’s quaintest stadium,” “The place blends into the landscape as if Frank Lloyd Wright had come back from the grave to assist the architects who replaced the old wooden park 20 years ago,” and “There is no such thing as a mediocre seat.” In contrast, here is how Salt River Fields is described: “The world up there seemed so different, the trip should have required a passport,” “Salt River Fields sits next to a Target and movie multiplex. Concrete rules the landscape, offset by some sprouting trees and cactus gardens,” “The parking lot and the walkways at the new stadium consume more space than the entire Giants facility,” and “Shade, like everything else, is more abundant than at the Giants’ park.” Overall, Salt River Fields is more suburban, bigger, less intimate, and features more space (particularly in the parking lots) while Scottsdale Stadium is more like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.

It would be interesting to find out how fans respond to these two settings. Both offer certain amenities. Not everyone likes cozier, more intimate facilities like Wrigley Field. While Cubs fans tend to like the place, many others (including other teams) complain about the lack of space and outdated facilities (like the bathrooms). Additionally, we could ask whether Scottsdale Stadium really is authentic or simply borrows architectural and design features from other successful ballparks and tries to put them all together.
Ultimately, will baseball fans go in greater numbers to Scottsdale Stadium because of its design and atmosphere and avoid Salt Water Fields with its McMansion nature?

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