Friday, February 8, 2008

Checkin' In On Other Teams Ballparks

By M. Haas

After the new Twins stadium opens in 2010, it looks like the era of the new stadium will be over. In the 20 year period between 1990 and 2010, 24 of the 30 teams in baseball have/ will have new stadiums. Here are the six remaining stadiums built before 1990:

1. The Big A - California Angels - Anaheim stadium opened in 1966, and has undergone many changes. They brought in HOK Sport for a $119 million dollar renovation in the late nineties, so this could stadium could still technically be considered part of the building boom.

2. Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City Royals - Opened in 1973 at the height of the cookie cutter era, (Cookie cutter = Busch, Three Rivers, Shea, Veterans) it remains a genuinely original and beutiful ballpark. HOK is doing a major $250 million renovation to be completed in 2010. So this stadium too could be considered part of the 'building boom.'

3. Joe Robbie Stadium - Florida Marlins - This was the home of the NFL's Dolphins for six years before Miami was awarded an expansion franchise in 1993. They had to pour $10 million big ones into the stadium to make it ready for baseball. Their lease is up after 2011, but should have a new stadium to move into for 2011 or '12.

4. Dodger Stadium - I'm not sure how this stadium is regarded out in L.A., but it has to be considered a classic classic by now. Hell, it was luxurious and state of the art in 1962, and now it's the third oldest stadium in baseball. I don't see them blowing it up anytime soon.

5. Fenway Park - Built in 1912, blah blah blah, green monster, blah blah blah, green seats, yeah yeah. We all know about Fenway. It's not going away anytime soon, as they have put a lot of money into it lately. But check out the late 90's renderings of a new Fenway they were thinking about. Crazy.

6. Wrigley Field - Another untouchable classic, but there is actually a lot of discussion about the future of this beloved stadium. The ownership situation is all goofy, and the stadium is falling apart. They've talked about building an exact duplicate in the same spot. Cool.

New Stadiums Opening Soon:

Nationals Park -
Opening this year - I think their lease at RFK must have been running out or something. I think it looks cool, but people at have been giving it a hard time on account of its cold look and low profile. I don't know, I guess it's supposed to incorporate elements of the monuments and stuff in Washington D.C. It looks cool in the renderings. Also interesting is that it will be called Nationals Park this season because they couldn't find a lucrative enough corporate naming deal. So it could be a while 'til Twins ballpark has it's corporate whore of a name if the Twins follow the Nationals route of playin' hardball.

Citi Field -
New York Mets - Opening in 2009, this park will be pretty damn neat. It looks big and clunky, but hey, it's New York. The facade hearkens back to everyone's favorite Ebbets Field. There will be lots of Santana jersees there for years to come.

Yankee Stadium - Yes, they are building a new stadium. It's kinda strange that they'd tear down the House that Ruth Built, but it's technically not that same house anymore. Steinbrenner messed up that place when he did the ugly renovation in the 70's and turned it into a dump. The new one costs $1.3 billion. It looks big and cold. Fitting.

Cisco Field - Fremont A's - This is all up in the air. If built in Fremont, a suburb of the bay area, it would be one of the best stadiums around. But it looks like the owners of the A's are just jackin' around the fans and the legislators, trying to get the best deal possible in funding the stadium. Gotta love stadium politics.

And then there are the Rays. They are the only team playing in a terrible stadium without a plan on the horizon; at least the A's and Marlins are close. The Rays want out of Tropicana by 2012, and just came up with their first proposal and renderings. If they somehow get this thing built, it would be the craziest and most original park ever.

So the Twins ballpark won't be the last ballpark built for years, but it'll certainly be toward the tail end of the trend. It's pretty remarkable that 27 of the 30 teams in baseball won't have to worry about their stadium for years to come. I'm really Twins Ballpark is toward the tail end of the building boom, because all those parks built between '94 and '04 look a lot alike. I think Minnesota's will be original and cool, and the small site actually helps. I look forward to 2010.


TwinsWin83 said...

Kaufman Stadium was already the cream-of-the-crop from the 70's-80s time period and with the new upgrades its only going to get better.

This list assumes that Oakland is getting a new stadium and we dont know for sure if they are yet. If Oakland does get the new plan they are looking for it will be the best of the new parks (the Twins is 2nd). If you look at all the new parks, including the ones built over the last couple years, I think the Twins have the coolest design and concept, and that is stated with an attempt to be as unbiased as possible. I wouldnt have said that 3 months ago but after they released the new designs two months ago I really stepped up my opinion of the new park.

I think the plan for the Marlins new park is a cool concept but there is almost 0% chance it gets done.

Karin said...

Dodger Stadium is really badass. It's old but it's well designed and definitely a classic. Real Dodgers fans would be mighty pissed if they got rid of it.

Fremont is a hole. But really...the same could be said about Oakland.

TwinsWin83 said...

the town Fremont might be a hole but the plan they have for the new park and everything sourounding it is pretty cool.

haasertime said...

yeah TW83, you're right. When i started writing this article, for some reason I thought that the A's deal was done.

I still think the stat 24 of 30 teams will have newish stadiums by 2010 will still hold cuz the marlins look close. Give or take a few years, since i think skydome was in 89 and marlins probably wont be done til 2012.

haasertime said...

haha. They won't have a place to play after 2011. the 'phins are kickin em out. you think they'll move? to where?

TwinsWin83 said...

I dunno...I just dont see the Marlins opening a new park by 2012. The people of Miami have been about 5x more unwilling to help out their MLB team then the Twin Cities has been over the past 12 years.

haasertime said...

yea well i guess i have no idea, but the article to which i linked (see joe robbie section of post) seemed pretty optimistic.

Holmer said...

Due to the number of new/renovated stadiums in our near anyone planning on going to see any of these parks for the last time this summer?

tfrezac2002 said...

Holm, there is currently a plan in the works to see Shea and Yankee ball fields. And you guys know me, I'm always willing to make a trip.

haasertime said...

yes, new york in July. No other plans, besides our usual destinations of St louis and chicago, are currently...planned.