SAN FRANCISCO — After winning the World Series last season and twice in the past three years, the San Francisco Giants have spoiled their fans.
For a team that hadn’t brought home a championship since they moved west from New York in 1958, winning it all twice was surely a relief and a major accomplishment, bringing tremendous pride to all of San Francisco.
But 2013 has been a different story. The Giants are tied for last place in their division with a record of 51-63, and it will be a long shot for them to even make the playoffs. Clearly, their performance has disappointed fans and experts alike.
However, take a stroll around AT&T Park and the energy is still high. Fans are accepting this season as a “down year,” and have no reason to lose faith in their team or stop coming to games.
Just ask Aldo Garcia, who brought his two daughters to a game against the Brewers on Wednesday night.
“They’ve won two out of three world championships,” he said. “It’s good for kids, great atmosphere.”
He’s right. AT&T Park provides one of the greatest atmospheres out of all the ballparks in the league, and TripAdvisor ranked it as the second-best stadium, behind PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
It also helps that the Giants have sold out 222 consecutive games as of Wednesday, the longest streak in baseball. They average more than 41,600 fans per game, filling the stadium to 99.4 percent capacity.
The stadium, built in 2000, is full of things to do, including sliding through the giant Coke bottle behind left field. Right next to it is a huge glove, and a bit further down in right field, visitors get an amazing view of the bay, where kayaks and sailboats were out in full force.
And don’t forget about the food. Travel and Leisure ranked AT&T Park among the top stadiums in America when it comes to food, pointing out the garlic fries as a specialty.
For the die-hard fans who care more about the team than the ballpark, they also have a reason to keep coming.
“Loyalty,” said Jack Domer, standing by a railing near the concession stands. “They’re not playing the Dodgers, but it’s still fun.”
Mike Colloni echoes that thought, as he collects his food after purchasing it from a vendor.
“We had been starved for a championship for 56 years,” he said.
So after so many years of misery, shouldn’t fans be able to cope with one bad season?
If not, they can look at those two World Series banners and enjoy the luxuries of AT&T Park.