Phoenix Municipal Stadium

This makes for long, slow-moving lines at concession stands and rest rooms. Fortunately, Muni usually employs lots of wandering beer vendors, solving at least one major hassle. Still, at some point you're going to want to see what's to eat. I'm guessing here, but I'd say that Muni has fewer doddering elderly fans per capita than the other parks. The lines here can be long and slow, but not as slow as shorter lines at other parks. Do you see what I'm getting at here? If you are planning on eating something at the park, arrive an hour early and eat it then. For the rest of the afternoon, sit tight and save your energy for flagging down strolling beer vendors.

®MDRV¯Parking: One of the best things about this stadium is the fact that plenty of on-site paved parking is available. Emphasis, there, on paved. True, some of the parking seems miles from the entrance, but, parking-wise, this is still the best deal in S.T. The A's will be charging $2 per car to park this spring.

®MDRV¯Navigation: This is very simple. Don't screw it up. Approach Muni from one direction and one direction only, that direction being the north. The approach road is Galvin Parkway, and you can get to it by turning south on Thomas or McDowell at 64th Street, which eventually becomes the Galvin. (For an even better top-secret route onto Galvin, just keep reading.)

®MDRV¯Pre-game: Leave work at about 10:30. Proceed directly to Honey Bear's BBQ at 50th Street and Van Buren. Buy some beef sandwiches and some beans, and maybe a side of potato salad. Beverages I'll leave up to you. Now drive east on Van Buren to 52nd Street. Then drive north on 52nd Street to Moreland. Turn right. You'll pass the turnoff to the Papago Park Golf Course (and if you don't like barbecue--Communist!--the snack shop here is a fine place to grab a bite) and keep going until you almost run into the base of a large red butte. Park your car and, while ogling the great view of downtown in one direction and Tempe and Scottsdale in the other directions, eat your delicious lunch. See that thing that looks like a ballpark just a few hundred feet to the south? That's Phoenix Muni. When you're done with lunch, hop back on the road you were on, which will take you through some lovely desert parkland, the last of its kind left somewhat untouched for many, many miles, so enjoy it while you can. This little road twists and turns and finally exits onto--guess where!--Galvin Parkway. Hang a right and roll down into the parking lot. Play ball!

®MDRV¯Post-game: Many a fine lounge lies within a short haul. Even a long haul isn't out of the question, because of the park's proximity to several major crosscut routes. In fact, this might be a good time to recommend that you visit any of the eateries or pubs that had the foresight to advertise in this special section, especially the ones I'm not going to mention specifically later on. I mean, if they were willing to invest in a class production like this, they must have something on the ball, right? Right.

Now that I've got that bit of groveling out of the way, I can proceed to plug my favorite post-Muni joints. Out downtown Tempe-way are several fine spots, all within walking distance of one another, which is probably the transportation mode you should be adopting about now. The names of these places, all of which I personally attend at regular intervals, are the Bandersnatch Pub, McDuffy's, the Paradise Bar and Grill and the bar at the Spaghetti Company.

Heading west from Muni you'll want to stop for a pop (and, depending on your budget, dinner) at Riazzi's, 5238 East Van Buren. Not only is this a class joint, but it possesses no small amount of impressive baseball mojo, meaning Harry Caray sometimes eats there.

To the east (and the dreaded Scottsdale-Tempe borderlands) are several fine dumps I would be proud to be thrown out of, among them Between the Buns (good burgers), Zachary's (good wings), the Chicago Sports Bar (good beers) and the Melody Lounge (more good beers). Or go north on Galvin to Thomas, take a left and park in front of the Acapulco Bay Beach Club. Go inside. Have fun. The Mexican food is fine here, but it is the atmosphere that is just absolutely the bitchinest. The floors are concrete, the music is loud, the beer is cold. The Beach Club is as casual as can be, and if you've spent all afternoon sweating under the hot sun at a ballgame, that's important.

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