The Lifespan Of Ballparks

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Sitting in Tropicana Field during this past school year truly gave me a perspective on lifespans of new age stadiums in sports. When Tropicana Field was first made in the 1980’s to attract a baseball team to the area it was the state-of-the-art stadium. It had the major dome with air conditioning to keep the fans and players cool in the Florida heat.  It had seats to fill 50-60 thousand people and amenities galore.

However not attracting a team to the stadium until it was almost out of style was a problem from the get-go. Now I am not saying that these things are not still there but in the short span of 20 years or so, the stadium is on life support. With the new age of wide concourses, being spectator friendly and all of the amenities you could dream of, the older stadiums cannot compete with those being built, save a few exceptions.

Those exceptions being the likes of Wrigley Field and Fenway Park; the improvements made to those ballparks have been to increase the fan experience while keeping the nostalgia and history of the parks. But as those are the few exceptions now the world is striving for those fan experiences using Camden Yards and Citizen Bank Ballpark as the blueprints for future of the ballparks.

Those ballparks have implemented bringing the fans closer to the game. It is about elevating the fan experience with bringing in local establishments that are staple to the cities they reside in. By elevating the experience of the fans it allows the fans to be packed and flourish. It has that wonderful essence about the game, it gets the people going.

On the flip side though are the ballparks like Tropicana who are not keeping up with the rest of the new stadiums. By sticking behind, not only does it make the ballparks not fan friendly but it will help drive attendance away. Its come to the day and age that having a good team will not packs the stands full. Unfortunately to build up a fan base you sometimes need that excitement of a new stadium.

I am not saying that building a new stadium will help because as it is evident in Miami a new stadium with a poor team will still bring poor attendance.   The question however more comes down to what is needed to draw in that new fan base.  With that question it purely comes back to the point of having to have state of the art stadiums. With keeping the fans happy it will keep the revenue coming. By keeping to the local flair along with all the amenities under the sun these stadiums have turned into five star resorts more than ballparks. With this it really comes to the sad reality if you are not going to cater to fans then relocation will take place. It has turned from a players and owners demand to a fans demand and will sadly dictate the land of baseball and the lifespan of ballparks for the near future of baseball.

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