Sam

Turnpike Stadium

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I just finished watching the Rangers conclude their series with the Yankees, on their way to their first World Series. Athough I have rooted for the Yankees for years I find myself indifferent to their fortunes now – since they have moved into the new “Yankee Stadium.” By the fourth or fifth inning today I found myself rooting for Texas, a strange phenomena in itself. I mean I don’t even like the Rangers, one reason being that the stadium they play in is a claustrophobic monument to bad architecture. It looks more like a set at the Grand Ole Opry than a baseball park. I cringe to think that the World Series will be played there.

The old Arlington Stadium, on the other hand, seemed like a nice place to watch a game. It was built in 1965 as Turnpike Stadium and was similar to other Modernist ballparks of the era e.g. Candlestick Park , Dodger Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum. The open design of these stadiums lent itself to introspection. Between pitches you would often find yourself looking into the blue void beyond the outfield thinking of nothing in particular, maybe a distant memory from your childhood, or a time when you saw Mickey Mantle play or maybe just something as mundane as the new AC Delco battery in your car.  In this sense, the design of ballparks like Arlington Stadium, underscored baseball’s nature as a quiet, reflective game.

Unfortunately, parks nowadays, like the new Rangers stadium, are anything but meditative. Your senses are bombarded from the minute you enter the gate. All the concession stands have TV monitors, the radio broadcast is audible in the bathrooms and your ears are assualted with rock music between every batter.

Silence is no longer golden. Apparently, it is now bad business.

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