Sports stadiums (and baseball parks, in particular) are something of a hobby of mine. I've spent way too many hours online searching for pictures of them, reading people's opinions on them, and basically, just trying to find as much information on them as possible. And with the closing of both Yankee and Shea Stadiums over the past week, they've been in the news a lot.
Now, I'm generally not the most nostalgic guy when it comes to most things, and I don't blame the Yankees and Mets owners for wanting new stadiums and the extra revenue that they bring (although, I don't think the Steinbrenners or Wilpons are going to starve anytime soon), and I know the 2 new ballparks will be nicer and shinier and more 'fan friendly' and all that good crap, but I'll still miss that the New York stadiums aren't around anymore.
This doesn't just apply to those places, either. With the exception of a few, it seems that almost every major league ballpark, stadium, or arena will have been built in the last 10 to 15 years. I guess that, generally, this is a good thing. It brings more people out to the games and gets more people involved in the sports. But still, I'll miss all the crap that came with boring old stadiums.
I can't argue that dual-purpose stadiums aren't very idea, especially for baseball, but I like the fact that some of them still exist. I know that fans of these teams might not agree with me, but I like the folded up seats in the outfield in the Metrodome. I like the acres of foul territory at the Oakland Coliseum and those staircases in the outfield. At Yankee Stadium, I like that gap between the bleachers and the left field stands. I like the old bleachers, the remnants from the old, pre-renovation Stadium, that are way the fuck out there. I like that nothing there is perfect.
And, I think, that's my problem with new stadiums, mostly. Everything is too perfect. All the charm that these places try to create is contrived. The seats in right field in San Diego that jut out for no reason and basically the entire outfield in Houston. In most cases, these new stadiums are improvements on their previous homes (I won't try and argue that Three Rivers was a better place to see a game than PNC Park), and I look forward to seeing them when they open, but part of me misses the fact that I mostly missed out on era of stadiums.