Home-field advantage didn’t help the Texas Rangers in last month’s playoffs. But on Tuesday, it landed them a new $1 billion, retractable roof stadium. An Arlington proposition to help fund at least half of the new ballpark passed easily with the opposition conceding early in the evening. The deal will keep the Rangers in their original hometown through the team’s 82nd season, which would come in 2053.
In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys tried to get voters in Irving, where the team played, to leave the regional transit system and instead spend that sales tax revenue on upgrading Texas Stadium. Voters stuck with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Cowboys eventually left for nearby Arlington, who helped finance a new football stadium.
Not to steal the spotlight from the Chicago Cubs’ World Series run, but the crosstown rival White Sox began hoisting the sign for the baseball park’s new name. And yep, despite the social media hullabaloo that erupted when the naming-rights deal was announced two months ago, the newly named Guaranteed Rate Field still will carry the mortgage provider’s logo — a downward-pointing arrow.
Chicago and Cleveland. Two Great Lakes cities. It’s been 60-plus years since the Indians won a World Series; it’s been 108 years since the Cubs did it. Neither team’s current ballpark existed when they last raised the world championship pennant, yet both venues have provided a template for the most recent generation of ballparks.
What’s wrong with just watching a baseball game? Yankee Stadium is preparing to become the ultimate hangout in the Bronx for adults and children alike. The Yankees announced that the Stadium will undergo its first series of major design enhancements since the ballpark opened in 2009, adding seven new social gathering spaces as well as additional food and beverage areas. Construction will begin this week with the anticipated debut coming prior to the start of the 2017 season.
The Cubs against the Dodgers. Chicago versus Los Angeles. Carl Sandburg’s “city of the big shoulders” — “stormy, husky, brawling” — taking on the blue-skied, freeway-laced city of the future. A dense tangle of ivy on the outfield walls in one stadium and the clean lines of mid-century architecture in the other. Baseball’s National League Championship Series, which begins Saturday night in Chicago, would seem to be a classic matchup of architectural and even civic opposites.
It’s really happening. Tal’s Hill isn’t long for this world. The Astros held a ceremonial ground-breaking of their center field renovation project Monday at Minute Maid Park. Although’s Monday’s ceremony involved a simple pile of dirt, five shovels and some Astros execs decked out in suits instead of construction duds, the day still symbolized the beginning of the end for Tal’s Hill.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expects news within a year regarding potential plans for the Athletics to build a new ballpark in Oakland. MLB is monitoring weekly calls the A’s are holding to plan for a new stadium, and the low-budget franchise is exploring several potential locations. “I have spent more time with the A’s, on their stadium situation, than I have spent with any other franchise over the last two years,” Manfred said Monday.
Turner Field may have played host to its final Major League Baseball game, but the stadium lives on as a functional sports facility. In a testament to sustainability, the 20-year-old stadium, originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics before it was converted to a ballpark for the Atlanta Braves, will now be turned into a college football venue for Georgia State University.
Walter Banks posed for pictures, caught up with old friends and turned a bit wistful as he remembered all the good times as an Atlanta Braves usher. It was time to say goodbye. Again. The Braves played their final game at Turner Field on Sunday, ending a run that lasted a mere 20 seasons with a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. They’ll be moving to a new stadium in the suburbs next season.