May 16, 2009
After herculean efforts at reconciling dozens of visual and data clues that often seemed to contradict each other, I have finally managed to release a greatly-enhanced set of diagrams for the Kingdome in Seattle. There are separate diagrams not only for baseball and football, but for basketball (!), and one showing the roof structure. The previous diagram was too big in diameter by at least thirty feet, which falls far short of my accuracy standards. Among other things I learned while doing research was that most of the upper deck seats were bleacher-style benches. For a "baseball stadium," that's pretty weird! I have learned that it is very difficult to accurate render domed stadiums, or any circular stadium in which you can't see the grandstand profile from the side.
Speaking of which, I've been sweating over diagram revisions for the Astrodome as well. I recently realized that the version I updated last September was about 15 feet too small in diameter.
It was in March 2007 that I added a "dynamic diagram" (conforming to my enhanced, uniform standards) to the Kingdome page for the first time.
Telegenic televangelist Joel Osteen, who broadcasts his upbeat message weekly from Lakewood (mega-) Church in Houston, held a service in the new Yankee Stadium on April 25. Admission cost $15, so "two tickets to paradise" (as in that 1980s song by Eddie Money) would go for $30. Not bad! Nearly 42,000 people participated in Osteen's "Historic Night of Hope." Coverage of the event was very scant in the mainstream media, but I found a fairly objective news report at the Christian Post.
In the true orginal "green cathedral" across the street, meanwhile, workers have begun removing the grandstand seats, which are going on sale right away. See wcbs880.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski. As physical dis-Mantle-ment gets under way, this is going to be hard to take for old fans like me. I wonder if they have begun filming that movie there yet?
Finally, my good buddy Brian Vangor was at Opening Day at new Yankee Stadium (I previously posted several photos he took), and he subsequently sent me a very thorough and detailed review, including the following highlights, both positive and negative:
The concourses (on every level that I was on) are open to the field. ... I could not get used to the openness of the whole thing. It was very un-Yankee Stadium like. It reminded me of several other ballparks (which bothered me). ... The bathrooms are much larger, but, very plain. ... The bleachers are at more of an angle than the old stadium (which gives a better view). My wife went to the second game (in the bleachers) and loved it out there. You can also go into and out of the bleachers from the rest of the stadium. You could not do that at the old stadium. ... There is more of a variety of food, also. The cheapest beer is $9. Parking at the normal parking lots was $19 (last year $14). ... There were a ton of customer service reps to help you with anything. They actually held up signs which read "can I help you?" This was totally different from the old stadium. ... From your seat, is where it looks most like Yankee Stadium. It is very similar. The famous Yankee façade is much simpler than the original -- just a bunch of steel beams. The point from which it hangs is set much further back than the original (or rebuilt) Yankee Stadium roof. It looks stubby. The sound system is way better. The big HD screen is also way better. No Bob Sheppard is way worse. The field looks the same. The walls are a darker blue. ... Overall, I would say I was disappointed. I would take the old stadium back in a second. I guess we'll get used to it.
UPDATE: In his second game at NYS on April 21st, Brian
came away with a positive feeling. ... I am in right field with the "Bleacher Creatures" (Sect 203, second row). I can see every pitch go right into the catcher's mit and I am much more down at field level (than I was in the upper deck). My wife says she will never go back to the upper deck. Also, the rapport between the creatures and our right fielder Nick Swisher adds a whole other dimension to the game. Speaking of the upper deck, the new one is actually better than the old one. It allows a view of the field and avoids the old aisle that used to go between the tier reserved and tier box. ... Anyway, I am starting to get excited by the new place. ... It's not the old Yankee Stadium, but, it's an awesome place unto itself.