Back in the 1960s and 1970s, all the craze was to build the most boring sports stadiums on earth: The cookie cutters (the P.C. term was "multi-purpose"), complete with rock-hard artificial turf, boring dimensions for baseball and bad seats for football. But, since two franchises could play in one venue, it was half the price and thus twice as appealing.
St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Seattle, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, San Francisco, New York, Oakland, San Diego and Miami have all had multi-purpose stadiums built in that era that shared baseball and football. What resulted were stadiums that were so-so for football and awful for baseball.
Since then, the economic boom of sports has destroyed the cookie cutter. Of all those cities mentioned above, only six have those same stadiums still in use. Oakland, Minneapolis and Miami are building new baseball stadiums. San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium and San Francisco's Candlestick Park (or whatever they call it these days) is football-only now. And when the L.A. Rams left town, Anaheim's stadium was renovated to be baseball-only.
Well, almost. Angel Stadium actually played host to the CIF-Southern Section football championships in December, squeezing a full football field over the infield and left field of the Orange County venue. On one play, Long Beach Poly quarterback
Morgan Fennellaunched a tight spiral pass some 50 majestic yards downfield. It was impressive, until you realized that it's merely the distance of a can-of-corn pop fly off the bat of
Apologies for the left-field foul pole getting in the way a couple of times. Playing football at a baseball stadium always leads to a few quirks. Thankfully, most cities are starting to correct that misjudgement--at least at the professional level.
It is my great pleasure to finish this blog with a picture of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Imploding. May all the cookie cutters eventually have the same finish.