FiveThirtyEight and Yelp’s Stadium Survey: Coliseum ranks 29th

Nate Silver’s plenty busy writing about politics year round, but occasionally he’s able to write about baseball in some capacity. In a blog post at FiveThirtyEight, Silver ranks all 30 MLB ballparks and 4 other previous ballparks via Yelp’s ratings system. The Coliseum ranks next-to-last among active venues with a 3.13 rating. Upon reading several pages of “reviews”, I had to conclude that at least for the Coliseum the rating is flawed. Numerous people based their review on the stadium as a football venue. Others rated based on attending both Raiders and A’s games. More than a few mistakenly rated Oracle Arena next door, instead of the stadium. I’d go through the trouble of parsing the reviews to get a better contextual sample, but not even I’m that patient with Yelp.

That’s not to say that the methodology is flawed for all venues. Most ballparks are getting reviews for being single-purpose baseball facilities, so there’s no contamination with most ratings as there is with the Coliseum. No, this is not a particularly scientific study, but as Silver notes, it’s more comprehensive than a single writer’s opinion as he takes an all-expenses paid trip all over North America to review venues. Silver also lists the standard deviation, which for the Coliseum is among the highest (1.21). All that means in laymen’s terms is that the ratings for the Coli were all over the place, whereas the ratings for PNC Park (st. dev.: 0.49) were uniformly excellent.

5 thoughts on “FiveThirtyEight and Yelp’s Stadium Survey: Coliseum ranks 29th

  1. We beat the Toronto Skydome? Another “ballpark” that doubles as a football stadium, no?

  2. I’d buy the Coliseum beating out Rogers Centre if not for the fact it has that cool retractable roof and is actually a decent looking stadium even if that look is one of the last of the old concrete style stadiums. Not some hodge podged piece of crap like the Coliseum is thanks to Al Davis.

  3. Also Yelp, has anyone actually read the moronic comments left by people who post Yelp reviews of ballparks?

    • From the article:

      Four ballparks, meanwhile, stand out for being at least a standard deviation below the curve. They are Miami’s Sun Life Stadium (3.35 stars), the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field (3.20) in St. Petersburg, Oakland’s unfortunately-named Coliseum (3.13) and Toronto’s Rogers Centre (3.02) — which was completed in 1989 as the state-of-the-art SkyDome but which now seems dreary and passé.

      At least two of these four stadiums are soon to be replaced.

      So, what’s the 2nd one? I haven’t heard of any new stadiums opening soon other than the Miami one. The Rays seem to be having just as much trouble as the A’s in getting a stadium built. And I haven’t heard anything about Toronto even thinking about building a new stadium.

  4. I think we’re the second one. We’re actually quite close to it happening if Selig would get of his ass.

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