Baseball Building Boom Over?


From Neil deMause, over at Baseball Prospectus:

Next spring, the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies will take up residence in new stadiums, Petco Park and Citizens Bank Park respectively. [?] [I]t will mark the first time since ground was broken for Toronto's SkyDome in October 1985 that not a single new big-league ballpark will be under construction on planet Earth.

Before you bust out the champagne, here's a sobering sentence:

It's been quite an 18-year run: 19 new stadiums, 18 new corporate monikers (including such double-dippers as Enron Field/Minute Maid Park and Pac Bell/SBC Park) and around $5 billion in taxpayer money sunk into the cause.

Plenty of chunky stadium-swindle information in the article, and it turns out deMause has a useful website on the topic entitled Field of Schemes.


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  1. Nobody likes a smart ass, Matt.

  2. New Fenway is dead dead dead.

  3. The Enron one is Creditors’ Field.

  4. Apropos of nothing in particular…. I wonder if this Neil deMause is the same Neil deMause who wrote a wonderful text adventure game a few years back in which you got to thwart Robert Moses’s plans for paving over NYC by going back in time and pushing him in front of a subway train…? I bet it is.

  5. Major League Soccer is about to build at least six new stadiums in the next three years. The latest is the Home Depot Center in LA.

  6. Let Home Depot build it’s own center, they have enough tools.

  7. The ownership of the St. Louis Cardinals are on schedule to secure financing for a new stadium next month, and to break ground before the end of the year. So it looks like the streak is still alive.

  8. …And the Expos are ready to move to the first city that secures taxpayer funded financing for a new stadium.

    Speaking of the Skydome, isn’t that thing about outdated yet?

  9. Petco Field? That’s not embarrassing.

    The City of Boston might end up putting money into preserving and upgrading Fenway. Fenway Park is one of the most significant historic resources in Massachusetts – you walk in, and you’re walking in the footsteps of kids who would grow up to fight in World War I. Personally, I consider stadium deals to be a bad economic development policy, but the cultural significance of Fenway tips the scales.

  10. Actually, JSM, that might be the case. Domes are old hat; retractable roofs are cutting-edge now. The Astro- and Kingdomes are gone, and the Metrodome may go with them soon enough.

    Since these things are being built on the taxpayer googol-dollar, the club owners and pols can afford to keep up with the latest trends, including seat licensing, luxury boxes, built-in microbreweries and video arcades, and the odious habit of selling “naming rights” to some bank or telecom.

  11. I believe the SkyDome has a retractable roof. But I think it was the first baseball stadium with a retractable roof. So perhaps that makes it outdated.

  12. Yes, and enough equipment on the shelves for them to use, too. You keep setting ’em up, and I’ll keep knocking ’em down, Doug.

  13. This is very sick. $5 billion in public money to subsidize a limited partnership. What a sick country we live in.

  14. bread and circuses — welfare and ballparks. no difference. sad.

    anyone been watching the debacle in milwaukee? that team could NEVER have raised private capital for a new park, and so bought the government of wisconsin (which comes cheap) to procure a tax-funded park. and everything since has validated the libertarian point of view: if you can’t get it done on private financing, it shouldn’t be done.

  15. it bears mentioning that pac bell in sfo was almost entirely financed privately.

  16. Almost all of the points above were spelled out in the article, BTW….

  17. Real site for the all people .. have a good continuation!!

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