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Final days of Metrodome, Candlestick Park at hand

Candlestick Park

Two former Major League Baseball venues have dates with the wrecking ball early next year, as the Metrodome and Candlestick Park are set to come down after the 2013 NFL season.

The San Francisco Giants played at Candlestick Park between 1960 and 2000. It was originally built for baseball, with a nice open design. It was closed off in 1970 after the San Francisco 49ers moved from Kezar Stadium. (Here’s your trivia question for the day: the Oakland Raiders were the first NFL team to play at Candlestick Park, playing three games there in 1960 and the entire season in 1961.) The waterfront site is scheduled to be developed with an outdoor mall and more.

The Minnesota Twins played at the Metrodome between 1982 and 2010, winning the only World Series in Twins history under the Dome. In recent years the Metrodome has gone from three main tenants to one, with the Minnesota Vikings wrapping up their Metrodome tenure at the end of this season. The site will house a new Vikings stadium (one with baseball capabilities); the team will play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium until the new facility is completed. In fact, the groundbreaking for the new Vikings stadium is set for today.

Speaking of the Metrodome: it looks like the sale of assets will go well for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is auctioning off the stadium’s contents at the end of the season. Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen reports there is a lot of interest in the Metrodome seating. But we think she’s a little misguided as to who is interested: while she attributes the interest to nostalgia, judging from our conversations with MiLB owners, the interest comes from those wanting to acquire cheap seating for ballparks. There’s always plenty of demand on the secondary seating market, and having 50,000 or so used seat hitting the market has certainly stimulated interest. Two issues. Metrodome seating was installed in long rows on the front of a riser (not the floor), so they’d require some reconfiguration in a ballpark. Second, as these seats were sold for indoor use, we’re not sure they received any UV protection, so there’s the strong chance they’d fade in sunlight.

These are some hard days for former MLB venues. In addition to the impending demolition of these facilities, Turner Field is set to be demolished in 2017, and the future of the Houston Astrodome is in doubt after voters rejected a bonding plan for a renovation. If the Tampa Bay Ray do succeed in acquiring a new home, you can bet Tropicana Field will be torn down to make way for redevelopment. And, of course, there’s an ongoing debate over the future of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, as we reported yesterday.


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