January 5, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Stadium info pages updated

To take account of the new stadiums in New York, I have updated the following pages that feature background information on ballparks:
    Stadium chronology,
    Stadium chronology (annual), and
    Stadium statistics.
More such updates are pending...

Ballparks in the news

Thanks as always to Mike Zurawski for keeping us all abreast of ballpark news. It seems that, in the aftermath of the latest change in ballpark plans by the Athletics (see Dec. 9) Bud Selig has had a change of heart about adhering rigidly to franchise territorial rights, talking vaguely about "other communities" in the Bay Area. If enough team owners vote to allow such a move, the Athletics might end up in San Jose (currently "owned" by the Giants) after all. The Mercury News boasts that they are "the Bay Area's largest city with the best baseball weather. The prime site, just south of downtown's Diridon Train Station, has already cleared an environmental impact report for a ballpark." Of course, this is probably just a negotiating ploy to put pressure on Fremont city officials to cough up the dough.

Also, the Tampa Bay Rays are exploring alternative sites for a new stadium, focusing on the Carillon office complex, which is mostly vacant. It would be easier for people in Tampa to get to. The proposed waterfront site in downtown St. Petersburg was just too cramped to provide adequate parking; see tampabay.com. I still think they should tear the roof off Tropicana Field and make it last another 20 years or so; stay tuned...

Finally, demolition of Shea Stadium is proceeding rapidly, with much of the concrete having been knocked away already, leaving not much more than a steel skeleton left. There are some fantastic, up-close photos at baseball-fever.com, but like watching an autopsy being performed, it's not for the faint of heart! One of those pages includes a link to a youtube.com video of the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea.

On a related note, somebody in that discussion thread mentioned the recent Discovery Channel program on the demolition of the Orange Bowl last summer. I caught the last 15 or so minutes of it on Saturday night, channel surfing by happenstance, and it was indeed fascinating to watch. Whether a new ballpark for the Marlins gets built in the now-vacant lot any time soon remains to be seen...