Who are more polite?

Orchestra-goers or baseball fans?

Photo by Manuel Nägeli on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I first began exploring this question some years ago while attending a major league baseball game in Philadelphia.

I noticed that probably 85 percent or more of the fans who needed to get by me to reach their seats at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Yankee Stadium in New York, Wrigley Field in Chicago or Camden Yards in Baltimore said, “Excuse me” or “Pardon Me” as I stood up to let them by. Or mouthed “Thank you” as they passed.

But my experience was very different during Philadelphia Orchestra concerts at the Kimmel Center or plays at the Arden Theatre.

There I estimate about 15% of the people even acknowledge your existence. Most of them just push past you as if you were their servant.

I’m just not sure why I’ve seen such a difference in politeness or boorishness at the two different venues.

Normally you expect to find more rowdy behavior at a baseball game than a concert. And I’ve never seen a fight at the orchestra or theatre.

Yet to me, fan behavior is far more egalitarian at a Phillies’ game at Citizens Bank Park than a program at the Kimmel Center by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Has anyone else noticed this? Or had a different experience?

I’d be interested in hearing your response.

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Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy

Jim is a writer, former magazine editor and certified tour guide in Philadelphia. His book Real Philly History, Real Fast was published in June, 2021.