I’ve never been married, but I’ve often thought if I were to pop the question, I’d prefer to do it in relative privacy – perhaps in a location of significance to me and my beloved, but not necessarily in view of onlookers. The idea of a special moment like that shared between two individuals without a lot of fanfare is appealing to me. (For the ceremony itself, I wouldn’t rule out a Vegas drive thru.)
Still, there’s a case to be made for the public spectacle. Professing one’s commitment in front of an audience – family, friends, complete strangers – is probably romantic in its own right. Also, if you’re the kind of guy who proposes without being absolutely sure the lady will accept, a public proposal might be a sneaky way of getting her to go along, if for no other reason than to avoid making a scene.
Indeed, I’ve long believed that kind of coercive subtext was at the bottom of marriage proposals made via sports stadium scoreboards. You’re almost daring the lady to humiliate you by saying no (which is a dangerous game). That may be uncharitable, but I can’t be the only one who sees “[NAME], will you marry me?” on the Jumbotron and thinks it’s a sign of dysfunction, misdirected irony, and/or old-fashioned tackiness.
I also can’t be the only one who has wondered what something like that costs. Thanks to a lovely site called Swimmingly, my ignorance is at an end! Earlier this week, they published a delightful article headlined Here’s How Much It Costs to Propose at Every Major League Baseball Stadium. Knowing is half battle, as they say.
As a Brewers fan, naturally I’m most interested in what it costs to pop the question at Miller Park. According to Swimmingly:
$100: Single-line message (up to 35 characters) displayed among others on scoreboard.
$250: Full scoreboard message (up to 75 characters).
Am I a snob if I think the $100 option is out of the question? A brief message mixed in with others might not even be noticed. How’s it going to look if you happen pop the $100 question at a game when another guy bought the $250 package? If she does say yes, you can bet she’ll never let you live it down. You’re better off buying her $100 worth of Hank the Dog merchandise at the team store.
At first blush, $250 seems a little pricey for what is essentially a text message in a ridiculous font size. For $209, the Twins give you “Proposal featured live on video board.” The most luxurious team in the league, the New York Yankees, only charges $100. For $250 at Busch Stadium, home of the goddamn Cardinals, you get “Private tour for a group of up to 20 that ends with a surprise proposal on the field.” Christ, they even do this crap better than the Brewers.
The two teams charging especially exorbitant fees are the Washington Nationals ($1,500) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,500). That’s probably not so bad when you adjust for cost of living, but in those cases I suppose I would withhold my “tackiness” criticism. If you’re shelling out a cool grand or more to propose to that special lady in public, you’re a catch as far as I’m concerned.
At the low end, the Pittsburgh Pirates are only asking $38.50 for a scoreboard message. If you spent the same amount of money on beer at stadium prices, I’m not certain your odds of having sex that night would be much different.
Five teams don’t even offer the option of in-stadium proposals. I can only assume they are bitter about previous failed relationships, but really, I shouldn’t read too much into this information. Still, there is one heartwarming thought on this topic I just can’t shake – if you propose to a lady via stadium scoreboard and she accepts, she must really love you. Count yourself lucky, Romeo.