Modern ballparks may have more conveniences and better food, but they've become more expensive for everybody—even if you're just looking for cheap seats and beer—writes Josh Levin in Sports Illustrated. Higher prices across the board pay for the luxury restaurants and malls in the parks, which make make big bucks for owners but don't do much for everyday fans. Insult to injury: The newest parks "have the look and feel of a mall food court."
Execs defend the propagation of luxury seating areas—the new Yankees stadium will have the equivalent of a "gated community"—by saying that the revenue helps subsidize more affordable seating elsewhere. "But this idealized scenario, in which the poor fan benefits from the rich fan's largesse, is the opposite of how the 21st-century stadium operates," writes Levin, citing Washington, DC, as an example. "Nationals Park gives to the rich and takes from the poor."