Major Sports Arenas with no Nearby Businesses

I have been to many sports arenas and stadiums in many cities, but I have never seen anything quite so depressing as the immediate surrounding area of the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.

Even Comiskey on the South side of Chicago has a million times more personality than this area of Oakland. Heck, it even made Detroit look like a nice place. Did I miss something? I drove all around the area around the Oakland Coliseum looking for a restaurant and ended up having to go to over to Alameda to find a decent place to eat. There wasn’t even any off-venue parking available for the Warriors game (which I must say, was sold out). The whole area seems completely deserted.

You usually hear about how a sports team and its arena/stadium are supporting the surrounding businesses, but this does not appear at all to be the case with Oakland. Are there any other cities with such dismal immediate surrounding areas near their major sports teams’ arenas?

San Antonio’s AT&T Center might be up there. When they were talking about how to fund the building, one of the things the pro-arena folks always said was that it would revitalize the long blighted area where they built it (next to the site of a still existing smaller arena). It opened in 2002 and the neighborhood’s still basically a wasteland.

But I’ve been to Oakland Coliseum, and it’s surely worse than San Antonio.

Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, has very little of anything nearby - maybe a restaurant or two across the street. But that’s just in a suburban/rural area, not a blighted one.

When I was last there, the Meadowlands complex in NJ had very little of anything around it, due to its location on swampland. I haven’t been there in 15 years, so I don’t know if that’s changed.

Amusing, when I saw the thread title, I instantly thought to myself “That sounds like the Oakland Coliseum to me.”

There actually aren’t a ton of nearby businesses to the Giants’ stadium in San Francisco (AT&T Park), but being San Francisco you don’t have to walk too far either up Second/Third or down Embarcadero to find restaurants, bars, etc.

Is the Arco Arena, ahem, Power Balance Pavillion, in Sacramento, CA, still in the utter middle of nowhere?

Texas Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys played from 1971 through 2008, was in the middle of a freeway interchange - there really wasn’t much nearby except for a few light industrial businesses.

It was demolished in April 2010 but the Google Maps aerial photo still shows it.

Actually, Bob Kraft took care of that and built a new mall right next to the Stadium.

There’s not a whole lot near Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t miss something. I was half afraid someone would say, “oh you just needed to drive another block down 66th and the place is hoppin’ with bars and restaurants.”

I have been to many minor league stadiums without much going on in the immediate area.

I should have added “last time I was there, which was 6 years ago”.

There’s not much of anything in the immediate vicinity of Miller Park in Milwaukee, where the Brewers play. It’s next to a freeway interchange, and has an industrial area to its east, a VA hospital to its south, and several cemeteries to its west. If you’re willing to drive 5-10 minutes from the stadium, you do get to residential areas, where there are plenty of bars and restaurants, and downtown Milwaukee (including the Potawatomi casino) is less than a 10-minute drive away, unless you’re stuck in post-game traffic.

The area around the Washington Nationals stadium doesn’t have much. It is still new, so hopefully stuff will grow up around it.

I was going to say this. It’s not just bereft of businesses; it’s just plain run-down.

Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums in Kansas City are pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve never been to it, but I keep hearing that Tropicana Field in Tampa/St Pete is in the middle of no where.

No, it’s pretty much surrounded by commercial and residential development now. Not exactly a ‘revitalization of a downtrodden area’; this was more of a ‘development of the last remaining unused space within the city limits’.

Sports stadiums and arenas constructed from about late 1950s to around 1990 where built with the car in mind. Thus, they were surrounded by huge parking lots and were often built in then-undeveloped or industrial areas. Also, concessions generate a lot of revenue for a franchise. If you have a sports arena where there are a lot of eating and drinking establishments nearby, people are more likely to eat there before or after the game rather than at the concession stands.

This trend in arena construction has mostly fallen out of fashion in the last 20 years starting with the construction of Baltimore’s Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Now, the preference is to build a new stadium or arena in more urbanized area so that it’s more integrated into the city rather than being out by itself.

Detroit’s baseball and football stadiums are downtown with restaurants, bars and casinos nearby. You can walk drive to a myriad of restaurants and basr.Take the people mover to a casino if you want.

The Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Pistons play, on the other hand, is in a fricken wasteland if you’re hoping to walk anywhere. It’s surrounded by Orion Assembly, some light industrial complexes and residential neighborhoods. Across the street, you have a bar. Anything else is over a mile away.

It isn’t really the case anywhere, actually. Numerous studies have shown the economic impact of a sports franchise/stadium/arena is actually not that big, and is most comparable to that of a big-box retail outlet. See Andrew Zimbalist’s, Sports, Jobs & Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams & Stadiums. People who tell you otherwise are team owners or construction contractors pushing for your local team to soak the taxpayers for the ball club’s new crib.