Monday, February 28, 2011

Driving By Osceola County Stadium

Heading over to Lake Buena Vista and Disney World this morning, The African Queen and I travelled along a different route, on Hwy 192, from Melbourne via St. Cloud and Kissimmee. Unbeknownst to us, we happened to drive past Osceola County Stadium--the spring home of The Houston Astros. Having never been there, we stopped by for a short visit.

The Astros' Facility is located within an exhibit, arena and convention hall complex. From the outside, the ballpark looked nice, the training facilities OK. But what really struck us was the congestion on Vine Street running by the ballpark. Stoplight after stoplight, traffic backed up for a few miles and nearly every single fast food and tourist operated gift shop one could imagine lining the street. Kissimmee wasn't beautiful nor near beaches like Viera, Florida is to Cocoa, Satellite and Melbourne beaches. Kissimmee was like driving down Route 1 in the Fairfax County portion of Alexandria, Virginia.

Just not pretty.

A turnoff if Our Washington Nationals are seriously considering the Osceola County Stadium Complex for spring training in the future. No question, Disney World and Universal Studios are close, shopping opportunities available to no end. But that's not enough, because The Osceola County Stadium complex didn't look as fan friendly as Nationals fans have come to appreciate in Viera since 2005.

On another note--this conversation actually took place while on the grounds. Looking to pick up some information about the Osceola County Stadium, I walked to the ticket office and got involved in the following conversation:

Two guys from New York wearing Yankees gear were questioning The Astros Ticket Agent about why there was not a game today at the ballpark? The lady behind the window stated there was no game in Kissimmee as The Astros were playing The Atlanta Braves at the Disney World Sports Complex. But these guys insisted they had purchased two tickets to see The New York Yankees play The Atlanta Braves today. That's right, The Yankees against The Braves.

Ticket Lady: "Why would the Yankees and Braves play here?"

New York Guys: "We are not from here, but that's what it says on our home printed tickets."--as they palm the copy onto the window for the Ticket Agent to look at--"Our GPS told us to come here!!"

Ticket Lady: "I am not responsible for your GPS or your online purchase. You need to take that up with whomever you bought the tickets from."

New York Guys: "Well, were do The Braves play?"

Ticket Lady: "Wide World Of Sports at Disney World."

New York Guys: "Where's that?"

Ticket Lady: "Never been there."

So I chime in:

SBF: "Guys--just go west here on 192 and take the Downtown Disney exit and follow the signs to the Sports Complex at Disney World--it's not too hard."

New York Guys: Well are The Yankees playing The Braves there?

SBF: "The schedule right here says The Astros are playing The Braves there today and then again here tomorrow."

New York Guys: "But what about The Yankees?"

SBF: "I have no idea."

New York Guys: "OK, thanks we'll go over there and try to figure it out."

As they walk away, this retired guy standing in line watching this conversation play out:

"What in the world were those guys smoking!!"

Everybody busts out laughing.

Ticket Lady: "There was nothing else I could tell them."

SBF:  "Me too." (laughing)

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

kristen23 said...

I would definitely miss the beaches along the coast, but this is one of my favorite spring training stadiums. It's so lovely and intimate inside with great food and friendly ushers. I just love it there. :)

Have a great rest of your trip!