How the UFE Team Rated the 30 MLB Stadiums.
The UFE ( Urine/Feces Everywhere) Team, visited all 30 Major League Baseball parks to grade each one on cleanliness standards. From the moment the Team entered through the antiquated turnstiles (more about the turnstiles later), until the moment it exited the park, the UFE Team evaluated each stadium. Through thorough study of the restrooms, facilities, vendors, and fans, using over 79 different criteria, the UFE Team ranked and rated all 30 Major League Baseball parks according to Urine/ Feces Everywhere cleanliness standards.
One major area of study was the restrooms. The team took a critical look at the restroom habits of both men and women attending the stadium. Did the fans wash their hands after going to the restroom? Have the ballparks done all they can to encourage hand washing? Does the design of the stadium restroom facilities encourage or discourage proper hand washing by the fans after using the facilities, or does the stadium staff take a blind eye to the happenings in the restroom? For a ballpark restroom to meet top UFE standards, it needs to be 100% touch-less: touch-less soap dispensers, towel ,dispensers, doors, and flushing mechanisms. Remember, we say urine/,feces, but there are many other contagions (fluids, bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) that we won’t mention. The UFE mantra is Remember to touch only where no man has touched before. How close does each stadium come to reaching that hands-free goal? Surely some of the new parks are designed to reach that goal, right? You would be surprised!
What many do not realize is how they are personally affected by the people next to them who have not washed their hands. After all, why should one care if other fans wash their hands or not? Well, just imagine that right after using the restroom, one of those fans decides to buy a hot dog and beer. His urine/feces-covered hands touch the counter, hand over urine/feces -laden money to the concessionaire, and finally he uses those same filthy, and possibly contaminated hands to touch the ketchup dispenser, the mustard dispenser, and the spoon to scoop up some tasty onions, etc. Now every fan who touches the dispenser after the non-hand washer is contaminated with the urine and/or feces. Now holding that same beer and hot dog, the fan (and hundreds of others like him) finally goes to his seat and happens to land right next to an unsuspecting thirsty fan who is purchasing a beer from a mobile vendor. Money, which has an UFE score of its own, is passed down the line of fans, going from one hand to the next. The original smiling, seemingly clean, non-hand washing fan contributes even more UFE by helping with the passage of money from the parched fan to the beer vendor, and then back down the line of hands with the ice cold beer. And the worst part is yet to come! The beer is passed from one UFE hand to the next, so now every fan that helped with that innocent exchange has become tainted and is now a contributor of the UFE contagion. The most frightening part is that our research shows that any substance that is on your hand will be on your face within 60 minutes. Get the point? Now multiply that by thousands of fans and you end up with an UFE nightmare!
As some might guess, men are worse at washing their hands than women. They not only go to the restroom at a much higher frequency than women, they also make up a much larger percentage of fans in the stadium. It does not take much to detour hurried men from washing their hands after using the restroom facilities. They claim the line is too long at the sink, there is no soap, no paper towels, or the game is just too close and exciting; there is no end of excuses for their lack of hand hygiene. For some men, not washing their hands is the norm-they just never do it. Other men, though, are “situational washers.” For instance, they will wash their hands if the person they are with is washing his hands, or if someone is watching them in the restroom (peer pressure). As one fan put it, “My hands are cleaner than the sink, so there is no way I am going to wash my hands. “Did you ever see what men do in those sinks,” they ask? ” Again, the fan is using the excuse that sinks are dirty; and therefore, he is doing the world a favor by not washing his hands, instead of actually washing his hands.
In addition to the restrooms, the UFE team also takes a critical look at the food service workers behind the counters and the stadium vendors. What are they touching? Do they touch filthy UFE-laced money and then proceed to hand out food or drinks? Who is wearing gloves? How often do the beer vendors wash their hands? Are they touching their faces, sweeping the floor, taking in money and finally, handing you a beer with their fingers firmly placed at the top of your glass? What does the condiment area look like? When was it decided that beer is not a food? Stadium beer vendors and counter beer vendors seem to get a sanitary free pass – a lot more leniency goes into the serving of beer than other types of food. Do the food service workers who wear gloves change them frequently? Between glove changes do the employees wash their hands? From what the UFE Team has observed, glove wearing seems to be a facade because gloves give the appearance of cleanliness even when the gloves touch many unsanitary items. For all 30 Stadiums, lack of proper employee hygiene is a real problem.
Remember the turnstiles? All stadiums have electronic tickets, so why do they still have turnstiles? Old habits are hard to break, but a few stadiums the Team entered did not have turnstiles. To those Stadiums, they say, ” Thank You”! One of three things occurs when a fan passes through a turnstile at the ball park: either it slides across the groin area of the fans (yuck!), the fans, many of whom have been tailgating for hours, drinking beer and using outhouses, grab the turnstile bar with their hands as they pass through.Worst of all, children touch the bar with both hands, sometimes letting their lips make contact with the turnstile bar as they wait for their parents to present the tickets. As a famous person once said, “MLB, tear down those turnstile.”
The members of the UFE Team have divided the MLB stadiums into three groupings: The Best of the Best, the Middle of the Pack, and the Worst of the Worst. They have let it be known that if they never stepped foot into one of the “Worst of the Worst” parks again, it would be just fine with them. On a good day, they might consider going to one of the Middle of the Pack stadiums, as long as they left by the seventh inning. Gladly, though, they would go to a Best of the Best stadium. Yet, even the Best of the Best, have room for improvement, especially when you consider that only one stadium received an A rating. So, forget the playoffs! Sit back, relax and see how your team scores in UFE Cleanliness.