YAZ COUNTRY ~ RY: STADIUMS

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tadiums

I intended for this page to display action photography of game play, but it has turned primarily into a survey of stadiums and arenas, inside and out, and sites of former sporting venues. Click on the dates to see each set of photos.

HOCKEY
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE:
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON
- August 19, 2008
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY - February 27, 2014
Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA - January 18, 2009 (4 pages), December 7, 2009 (6 pages). 
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
- February 6, 2009 (6 pages), February 10/11, 2011 (4 pages)

MINOR LEAGUE:
Albany River Rats vs. Hershey Bears
- November 2, 2008
Cambria County War Memorial, Johnstown, PA - January 17, 2009 (Home of the movie Slapshot.)
Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, OH - December 13, 2012
Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY - December 7,  2012

BASEBALL
MAJOR LEAGUE:
Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA
- August 15, 2008 (Outfield wall, home plate)
Polo Grounds, New York, NY - February 28, 2009 (Staircase, site of home plate)
Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI - August 17, 2008 (Since demolished)
Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
- July 1, 2007
Target Field, Minneapolis, MN - December 19, 2008 (Stadium Under Construction. Also, Metropolitan Stadium home plate.) 

MINOR LEAGUE:
Heritage Park - Colonie, NY (Off-site Link)

NEW YORK:
Shea Stadium, Queens, NY: 
April 25, 2008
(1 page), July 8, 2008 (3 pages), August 5, 2008 (3 pages), September 26, 2008 (3 pages), September 27, 2008 (8 pages), October 10, 2008 (2 pages),  Neon Ballplayers.(2 pages).

January 2, 2009 (page 1), January 29, 2009 (Night Photos - 2 pages), 

Shea Stadium Panoramas:

First base side, Loge (April 25, pre-game),  Home plate, Loge (April 25, pre-game), First base side, Loge (April 25), Citi Field from Right Field Upper Deck (July 8), Third base side, Upper Deck #1 (August 5), Third base side, Upper Deck #2 (August 5), Citi Field and Shea from Loge, Left Field (September 27), First base side, Mezzanine, (September 27), Right Field, Upper Deck (September 27). View all 2008 panoramas, resized down, on one page.

Exterior 10.10.08 #1, Exterior 10.10.08 #2, Exterior 10.10.08 #3, Exterior 10.10.08 #4
View all 10.10.2008 panoramas, resized down, on one page.

Citi Field, Queens, NY: 
January 2, 2009, April 4, 2009

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
October 10, 2008
, November 7, 2008 (excavating home plate).

Yankee Stadium Panoramas:
Exterior 10.10.08 #1, Exterior 10.10.08 #2

New Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY - October 10, 2008   


MUNICIPAL / MULTI-PURPOSE
Memorial Field - Mount Vernon, NY (Off-site Link) 
Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA - February 23, 2011 (Exteriors)



 LINKS 
There's No Place Like Shea

Fond Memories Endure as Shea Crumbles
- The Journal News, February 16, 2009, by Len Maniace. (I'm quoted in the article and shown in the video. I happened to be at Shea taking photos in the parking lot just as the JN reporter and photographer arrived, separately.)

Ballparks by Munsey and Suppes - Tour professional athletic arenas and stadiums, past, present and future.

Ballpark Reviews - Devoted to Major League and Minor League Ballparks in the United States and Canada. Including stadiums present and past.


There are many many websites dedicated to stadiums past and present. I wish I could suggest one, but they are all very much similar. I also find that most sites are lacking in the modern-day photo department (which is what I intend to make up for with this page), though they are thoroughly informative. Use an internet search engine to find out more about these other stadium websites by searching for the name of  a particular stadium that interests you..



 MY THOUGHTS : (Originally written 2008)
I am a fan of the older stadiums, especially the vanished ones that I never got to see, and of some of the stadiums that have been, or are being, torn down now. Sure, Citi Field may be more aesthetically pleasing than Shea Stadium, for example, but Shea was perfectly serviceable. It's been called "a dump" but people never tell me specifically why - maybe because of its location? The planes to and from LaGuardia Airport are going to fly over the new stadium too, and the new stadium will still be surrounded by acres of parking lot. Does that make Citi Field a dump too?) The new park may be a more pleasing place to watch a game, but only be default it is more intimate than Shea, holding 10,000 fewer seats. Of course the highest seats are going to be closer to the action. What that means is less seats and higher prices, and the average fan get shut out. It does not necessarily make for a more fan-friendly built stadium.

The new parks aren't being built better for baseball playing or watching, but only to house more food-stands, souvenir shops. And for places for people to stand and hang out, as if the builders are attaching malls to the new stadiums. I still go to a stadium to watch a baseball game, not eat five hot dogs or drink ten beers. But it sounds like I might be in the minority - baseball executives now acknowledge that many people go to the games simply to socialize, and these "fans" barely pay attention to what is happening on the field. Seems strange to me to pay upwards of 30 dollars per person for the right to do that.

I think it is funny too, that the multi-purpose venues of the 1960s and 1970s have been largely decried as "cookie-cutter," while the new parks are hailed for being something, different? Having been to a few of the newer  stadiums (mostly on the east coast), from the 1990s and 2000s, I can't help but feel that they too are "cookie-cutter." In a different way from the older venues, but still they are all largely similar to each other. Quite a few buildings were designed by the same architectural firm. (I'm sorry, but having an asymmetrical outfield does not a unique ballpark make. Be more creative than that, please.) 

Of the newer stadiums, I think my best all-around experience was at the new Pittsburgh park (forgive me if I can't remember the corporate name - they change so often to render the names irrelevant). The stadium is one of the "neo-retro" parks but unlike many others, isn't too neo as to render it utterly non-retro. We got a tour of the stadium for 6 dollars (compared to 25 dollars for a tour at Yankee Stadium), and our seats about 20 rows from the visiting dugout cost twenty-seven dollars. In New York, that same seat might go for hundreds of dolars. And the fans in the midwestern towns are so much more friendlier than in Boston, New York or Philadelphia. (Not to say that there aren't friendly people in the northeast, but you can wear an "away team" jersey in Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Detroit and not get hassled - try that in Philadelphia or New York). And Pittsburgh actually had vegetarian food. Imagine that, having a diverse menu. Many of the new parks claim to offer so many different restaurants and food options, but most all the concessions stands serve the same exact food, just under different banners.

Regarding hockey rinks, I think the new arenas are all entirely bland and utterly boring, and all are *exactly* the same, both inside and out. Blind-fold me and drop me inside the Bell Centre, the Comcast Center, or the XCel Energy Center and I would not be able to tell you what rink or city I'm in. The new arenas  generally hold more seats than the rinks they replaced, and by way of design, put spectators much farther from the action. And ticket prices are ridiculously expensive across the US and Canada for hockey. Far more so than for baseball games, especially if you want to be anywhere but the upper deck. 

I think it is criminal that Yankee Stadium is being demolished. Sure, it was completely overhauled in the 1970s, but the outside is very much the same as the original, and it is the same playing area. If Rome can hang onto its Colosseum for a few thousand years, I think we can deal with the original Yankee Stadium. It is the original Field of Dreams; people would still pay to walk in there even if no one is playing. Better yet, it should have been designated for use by local colleges, high schools, and little leagues, and summer baseball camps.

I think it is even more criminal that Tiger Stadium was demolished. It was one of the three intact original parks (along with Fenway in Boston and Wrigley in Chicago; one of four if you count revamped Yankee Stadium). On top of the stadium's historical merit, Detroit isn't exactly hurting for development space or experiencing a building boom, so it will only be replaced by another empty lot. Tiger Stadium stood empty for ten years; what was the rush to tear it down? Too bad that the Illitch family, which has done good things with their money to preserve several Detroit landmarks, abandoned Tiger Stadium and left it for dead.