November 8, 2010 [LINK / comment]
The mail bag: overflowing again
Now that the 2010 baseball season has ended, I can start getting caught up with various tasks, such as responding to e-mail inquiries. As usual, Mike Zurawski has sent me a steady stream of stadium-related news items. Last month, he brought to my attention news that a decision on the never-ending saga of a new stadium for the Athletics in San Jose may be coming soon. No word on that yet, but there is a report at fieldofschemes.com which suggests that the World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants may make it easier for the Athletics to move into the Giants' own territory.
A few miles to the northwest, the San Francisco 49ers say that, because of uncertainties over the NFL labor contract, their proposed stadium in Santa Clara is not expected to open until 2015, a year later than previously planned. See ESPN. Sounds like a lame excuse to me. As Mike says, everything will depend on getting the 49ers and Raiders to collaborate on a new stadium, as the New York Giants and Jets have done. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently met with Raiders owner Al Davis, evidently trying to persuade him to cooperate. A new stadium at the current site of the Coliseum is being strongly considered; see mercurynews.com. (Can you say "Oakland 49ers"?) Speaking of the Raiders, they sold out Oakland Coliseum yesterday, and fans were able to watch a Raiders home game on TV with no blackout for the first time this year.
Further south in California, there is continued talk of getting an NFL team in Los Angeles. AEG is offering to manage the Los Angeles Convention Center, as part of a deal in which it would invest $1 billion to construct a new stadium that would also serve as a convention venue. See sportsillustrated.cnn.com. The most likely scenario for this to happen is the relocation of one of the six struggling medium-market NFL franchises; see dailynews.com.
And still further south, Mike tells me, the Chargers' hopes for a new stadium in downtown San Diego are rising again, thanks to a provision in the California legislature's budget agreement, which lifts a cap on downtown redevelopment funding. See signonsandiego.com.
Back north across the 49th Parallel, it seems that enthusiasm among Canadians for American football is not that strong. Prospects that an NFL franchise may move to Toronto are just about zilch. In Canada, football is a sport, not a multi-billion dollar business; see suntimes.com. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the 49ers beat the Denver Broncos at London's famouse Wembley Stadium. Does this portend a new NFL franchise in London, or perhaps even some city in Germany? I certainly hope not. See skysports.com.
Thanks as always to Mike Zurawski for his relentless news gathering efforts.
Señor Donald Hector Estes, MD wants to make sure that the deepest point in New Yankee Stadium is slightly to the left of center field, and I confirmed that. I estimate that it's about 410 feet. He also made an intriguing suggestion for a new stadium comparison page, and I'm already working on it. Stay tuned...
Paul Dimitre created some extreme panoramic montages of AT&T Park, Candlestick Park, and a number of other notable sporting venues around the world. I'll be posting some of them on the above pages in the near future.
Finally, Charles Butler recently wrote just to say how much he enjoys this "awesome" Web site. Thank you, Charles, and thanks to all the rest of you fans out there.
50th anniversary in Pittsburgh
Among other long-time fans (and sponsor!) of this site, Mark London wants everybody to know that October 13 was the 50th anniversary of the dramatic walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski in Forbes Field, as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the heavily favored New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series, four games to three. For some older fans who were actually there to witness the event, it "still feels like it happened yesterday." On October 13, Mazeroski and nine other members of the 1960 Pirates team were present for a ceremony in which a historical plaque in his honor was unveiled at the site where Forbes Field once stood. About 1,000 fans were in attendance. On Sept. 5, a statue of Mazeroski was dedicated outside PNC Park, on the occasion of his 74th birthday. See www.post-gazette.com; also see the video from that historic game. Thank you for sharing that, Mark! Speaking of which, Forbes Field is high on my "to-do" list of stadium diagram revisions.
Page revisions continue
I have made minor revisions to the Stadiums by class page, which now conforms to the new layout/navigation system. The layout of the rest of the baseball reference pages and stadium pages should be updated by the end of the year.
Wrigley Field reality TV
If I hadn't been watching Sunday Night Football last night (poor Cowboys!), I probably would have seen the entire episode of the CBS reality show, "Undercover Boss." (Unlike most other "reality TV" shows, this one seems to have some social merit.) Anyway, Todd Ricketts, one of the new owners of the Chicago Cubs, was posing as a simple worker, being filmed by a fictitious reality TV show. The ending was full of feel-good moments, and it was great PR for the Cubs. See CBS.com.
Speaking of which, Mike Zurawski also sent a news item about possible future renovations at Wrigley Field: see bleedcubbieblue.com.