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Friday, June 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Cookie-Cutter Ballparks Steal Flavor From Major Leagues

By Vic Ziegel New York Daily News

A list of the bottom 10 major league ballparks - the fields of dreary - is too easy. The good news is that several of them are rounding third and coming down.

Avoid, by all means, just the way the locals do, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The park’s worst feature, besides too much joyless concrete and artificial turf, is an almost-domed roof that doesn’t close, leaving a round hollow space. It’s why the park is called the world’s largest outdoor toilet bowl.

The best thing about Detroit’s Tiger Stadium, to be replaced by a new downtown stadium, is that the stands are almost on top of the field. It would make for a great view if there weren’t so many poles. There isn’t much charm and there aren’t nearly enough bathrooms.

Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium is a flophouse. The team is awful and the park needs replacing. It was built in 1971, when baseball threw up too many of the no-charm cookie-cutter stadiums now being scrapped.

Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium, which succeeded the seedy and completely charming Crosley Field, is another of that type. So is Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.

A few years ago, right after the White Sox moved into new, ugly Comiskey Park, baseball finally threw away the cookie cutter. The architects who came up with Baltimore’s Camden Yards first offered that design to the White Sox. The same team that threw the 1919 World Series said no thanks.

The Minneapolis Metrodome, kind of funky, has a right-field wall that’s really a giant Hefty bag. Why would they build a domed stadium in a part of the world where summer is the only time you step outside?

Seattle’s Kingdome, a stadium-cum-mausoleum, is another park being replaced. So is Milwaukee’s County Stadium, where the rust wins more often than the team.

The Mets are talking about building something nearby to replace Shea Stadium and it can’t come too soon. The serenity and charm of baseball is buried in the noise from too many jets. If you’re driving from New Jersey, the tolls are about $12, which is a lot of beer you never get to drink. The upper-deck roof leaks and so does the press box. That’s the last straw.

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