The Unbuilt Brooklyn Dodgers Domed Baseball Stadium – 1956
Model of the proposed domed all-weather sports stadium planned to house the Brooklyn Dodgers is unveiled at the Dodger offices. photo Bob Laird February 6 1956
There are many “might have been’s” in baseball. One of the greatest has always been what if the Dodgers never left Brooklyn?
This photograph of what looks more like a kiddy pool with a baseball diamond in it, is a low-tech model of the proposed all-weather baseball stadium the Brooklyn Dodgers wanted to build. The Dodgers proposal was made ten years before the Houston Astrodome, the world’s first domed sports stadium made its debut in 1965.
For years before they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers owner, had complained about the functionality of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The ballpark had character, but O’Malley considered it old and too small with only 32,111 seats and parking for 700 cars.
In 1955, O’Malley enlisted architect R. Buckminster Fuller to design a domed stadium to possibly replace Ebbets Field. The stadium would be in the form of a large bowl and seat approximately 55,000 people. Over the stadium, supported on a light-weight aluminum truss structure, would be a thin plastic dome 750 feet in diameter. The dome would be 300 feet high at its center and it would weigh only 500 tons. Up to that time the largest dome ever built was the 365 foot diameter Dome of Discovery at the Festival of Britain in 1951. Continue reading
Metropolitan Stadium Under Construction
Although the weather can be unpredictable in Minnesota, this scene was not photographed during baseball season. Taken 60 years ago today, December 22, 1955, this photograph predates the Twins baseball team by more than five years.
Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, MN is shown nearing completion here.
The caption reads:
Here’s something that should be a smile-bringer to bond drivers and bond buyers both as the Metropolitan Stadium push hits the final post. You see the Bloomington project stands are this far along looking from the right field approach. Johnson Drake and Piper, the construction firm in charge, says work is progressing very satisfactorily despite the weather. Both dugouts are in and you may see the first base bench in the picture. 12-22-55 photo – Chester Freden
Built to attract a major league baseball team, Metropolitan Stadium was originally home to the American Association’s Minneapolis Millers. Continue reading
Stupid Stadium Naming Rights – Where Does It Stop?
A future potential stadium name? Why not? Viagra has money.
The fact that Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, sold their stadium naming rights to The GEO Group should not really surprise anyone. The Geo Group is a private prison corporation that will have its name emblazoned on Florida Atlantic’s stadium from 2013 until 2025.
The rights for Geo Group Stadium cost $6 million for 12 years and was paid for by Florida Atlantic University alumnus George Zoley, the CEO of The Geo Group.
Obviously the money will help to run Florida Atlantic University’s athletic programs. Some people are upset over the association of prison with academics.
The question is why? As we pointed out in a previous article, if companies are stupid enough to pay millions of dollars to market their product (uselessly), and the teams, cities and owners are willing to take that money regardless of what the new arena or stadium name represents, what’s the harm? Continue reading
Is Every Arena Owner A Corporate Whore?
Looking at Rush’s upcoming concert tour of North America I noticed something interesting. Take a look at this schedule:
St. Louis, MO
San Jose, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
San Antonio, TX
Verizon Wireless Arena
Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater
CONSOL Energy Center
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Palace of Auburn Hills
Credit Union Centre
Webster Bank Arena
Wells Fargo Center
Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
First Niagara Center
Quicken Loans Arena
Time Warner Cable Arena
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
MGM Grand Garden Arena
US Airways Center
American Airlines Center
Out of 34 venues only one arena is not named after some corporation (The Palace in Michigan).
No arena except The Palace has the name of the city it is located in or attaches the local sports team to its name. Virtually every arena has sold its “naming rights.” Yes, arenas today still have unique names if you consider auto companies, airlines, tech companies, mega-banks and their ilk to be representative of the city.
If someone asked me where The Quicken Loans Arena, The Jiffy-Lube Live Amphitheater or The Honda Center was I’d be hard pressed to tell you. What do these corporate names say about the cities and the arenas they stuck their names on?
Up until the 1970’s most arenas and stadiums were clearly defined: The Boston Garden; Detroit Olympia; The Montreal Forum; Memorial Stadium in Baltimore; The Spectrum in Philadelphia; Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto; Buffalo Memorial Auditorium; Pittsburgh Civic Arena – and on and on it went for traditional names. The Buffalo Bills were one of the first to do a naming rights deal with Rich Stadium in 1972 and the practice picked up steam in the 1990’s to the point of obliterating almost all historic stadium and arena names. Corporate naming rights are now expected if a new facility opens up. Continue reading