Build the Next Major League Baseball Stadium

This thread is for everyone who’s either a baseball fan or just like building pretty things.

In the 1960s-1980s, new baseball stadiums basically came in three types:

  1. Large, ugly multipurpose stadia that looked like giant cement ashtrays, often with artificial turf. See examples: Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia), Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh) and Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego) now known as “Qualcomm Park,” God help us. And of course, the creme de la crud of all super-ugly stadia, Toronto’s infamous Exhibition Stadium. Royals/Kaufmann Stadium is an exception, a concrete turf park that actually looked nice.

  2. Ugly little domes, such as the famed Astrodome, Seattle’s Kingdome and others.

  3. Toronto’s SkyDome, which is sort of a combination of 1 and 2.

Then the Orioles built Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it was a sensation. This produced two new lines of stadia:

  1. The Camden Yards Ripoff, including Jacobs Field (Cleveland), The Ballpark in Arlington, and Pacific Bell Park (San Francisco).

  2. The Camden Yards Ripoff With a Retractable Roof, including Enron/Astros Field (Houston), Miller Park (Milwaukee) and Safeco Field.

I think it’s high time they built a new kind of ballpark. I’m not an architect, though, so what sort of ballparks could you build? What do you think WILL get built?

  • A steel and glass, super-modern ballpark?
  • A Victorian stone, almost European-style ballpark?
  • A classical, Roman/Greek style ballpark?
  • A subterranean ballpark? Bronze Age? You tell me.

I propose…the Solid Gold ballpark!

These days, ballparks are designed around extracting revenue from luxury boxes and corporate suites. The entertainment industry in general, of which professional sports is a subset, is moving toward a revenue scheme (and I don’t mean that word in a bad way) in which the same product is packaged with added personal luxury and marketed to an audience with more disposable income.

So the next logical step is the ludicrously opulent stadium. We will see gilt and stained glass. Red carpets everywhere. The brochures will mention the pedigree of the grass on the field. It will offer services such as valet dry-cleaning while the game is being played. Why limit the luxury image to just the boxes, while making the high-paying customers pass through all that horribly common stuff on the way? Better the whole stadium reflect the image they want to sell.

Nothing but trampolines…

I think they did a pretty good job on the Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Retractable roof stadium that allows enough light for natural turf, decent seating, plenty of skyboxes and so on. The best part however has to be the brewery!