July 3, 2009

Brandon remembers a pretty crappy stadium

(Flashback to 2005 in the bay area, people are carrying around 4 GB iPods, Detroit is riding high after a Pistons NBA Championship and American Idol is that new show that's moping up in the ratings)

So while attending a journalism convention in San Francisco, my coworkers and I had to fly into Oakland and ride public transportation to our hotel in San Fran. One of those stops was next to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum - a.k.a. where the Raiders and Athletics play.

After getting off the train at a transfer spot I looked outside to see the mammoth pile of cement, cyclone fencing and razor wire.

"Is that a prison?"

"No, that's the Coliseum"

... you know, some people rag on these retro-ballparks and how much they're like shopping malls around baseball diamonds. However, does any of these reluctant sports fans remember how crappy the multi-purpose stadiums were? For example:

1. In St. Louis, temperatures would reach 130 degrees on the AstroTurf in the old Busch Stadium.

2. The Kingdome was the darkest most depressing thing in Seattle since rain.

3. Two words... sliding pits.

4. Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, County Stadium in Atlanta, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati and JFK Stadium in Washington D.C. were essentially the same stadiums. Break out the Cookie Cutters!

The Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are the last teams to be playing in multi-purpose stadiums. And you know what? Nobody goes to Athletics and Marlins games. The Blue Jays are in Canada so I really can't comment on that because they just do things differently up there and the Twins were one of the teams that were supposed to be abolished a few years ago when Bud Selig wanted to make MLB smaller.

And out of all of these teams, Oakland by far has the worst stadium of them all.

At least the Raider fans seem to stay away unless there's a human sacrifice taking place in the outfield.

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