Oldest Baseball Stadiums: Journey Through Baseball History

Baseball is one of the oldest games to date. It’s a game people have played for many generations before us and it’s a sport that will never die. With a sport so prevalent to our society, I think its notable to take a look at the oldest stadiums and their relevance to the history of the sport of baseball and all of their fans. Let’s take a journey through the history of the oldest and most notable stadiums the game of baseball has ever seen.

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington:

Opened April 1, 1994 the complex is only used for baseball and is made up of 270 acres. The rangers over their span have had many notable moments and events they will never in their lives forget. Some sad and tragic such as the death of a fan who fell trying to catch a ball by Rangers player Josh Hamilton. In his honor, a statue of the man who lost his life is placed in front of the home plate gate of him holding his sons’ hand.

Times aren’t always dim for the Rangers. Two years after opening their stadium, Rangers blessed their fans with their first home playoff appearance. More than 50,000 fans packed into Ranger ballpark in Arlington to watch the Rangers play a playoff game since they came to town in 1972. At the end of the night, they would leave with their hearts ripped out by the Yankees, losing 3-2. Although the end result wasn’t favorable, they were on their way up.

In 2010, the Rangers brought something back to Arlington that they can be proud of. Starting the game down 2-0, Colby Lewis went on a tear and completely dominated. Allowing no more runs for the rest of the game, the Rangers go on to win the game 4-2 en route to the first World Series championship

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Placed just two blocks away from the birthplace of one of the most legendary heroes the game has ever seen, Babe Ruth. The stadium causes instant hype from the moment it opened in 1992. Let’s face it, the orioles have been horrible for as long as we can all remember. If anyone can name a positive season off the top of head, they deserve a reward.

They may even require a nursing home. They have never won a world series since they have been in their current stadium. The last World Series was in 1983 at memorial stadium. Since then, the orioles have been in steady decline.

Tropicana Field

Originally named the Florida Suncoast Dome, in 1990, went through a series of name changes due to new teams arriving and naming rights issues. Eventually, renamed the Thunder Dome in 1993 due to an NHL expansion team. The field was finally named Tropicana Field October 4, 1996 after an agreement between the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Dole Beverages.

This field is known for being super versatile, hosting numerous events and setting attendance records. The 2008 World Series, 1999 Final Four, and a record-breaking NHL playoff game between Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers. The crowd drew a record breaking 28,183 hockey fans. In 1990, 53,150 people attended a three-day tennis event.

Kauffman Stadium

Established in 1973, “The K” has hosted over 70 million fans and stood tall through the battle of time. Due to an expansion team, Kansas City was forced to build this stadium and it has since become one of the most memorable stadiums for fans to visit. The stadium was renamed after Ewing Kauffman in 1993.

Kauffman Stadium had a reputation to keep, so they embarked on a renovation journey, that would take 2 years and cost $256 Million. They began in 2007 and finished in 2009 increasing the stadium capacity to 38,177. Also, adding fountain view seating, widened concourses and an outfield concourse that allowed fans to circle around the stadium.

O.Co Coliseum

Home of both the Oakland A’s and the Oakland Raiders. The stadium that now holds 60,000 people wasn’t always what it is today. The stadium was first proposed in 1940 and wasn’t actually decided upon until 1962. The stadium opened after 4 years and the first game was played in it in 1966 by the Oakland Raiders. The A’s played their first game in 1968, packing the coliseum with over 50,000 fans.

Not many changes were needed to be made to the stadium being that the football franchise had moved to Los Angeles. But after they decided to come back, they agreed upon an expansion of the stadium. The rights with the stadium shifted many times. Until 2011 when overstock purchased the rights for 1.2 million annually over 6 years and named the stadium o.co coliseum which it remains until this very day. Overstock did not renew their rights and its just called the Oakland Coliseum again.

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Before their stadium was built, The Angels played at Wrigley field and Chavez Ravine. The stadium was opened in April 1966. They played their first game against The San Francisco Giants; their first American League game was against the Chicago White Sox later on that month. In the 70’s, the Los Angeles Rams hosted football games at the stadium, when making the transition out of the LA Coliseum.

The stadium was expanded to accommodate the Angels and the Rams throughout the 80s. After the Rams moved to St Louis in 1994, the Angels got their wish and converted into an only baseball facility. A visit to Angel Stadium is a must today for any loyal fans.

Dodger Field

Dodger Field is a classic, feeling brand new at all times but keeping their classic touch is golden for fans. The history always stands strong as being one of the early stadiums around. The franchise was originally founded in Brooklyn, NY. Walter O’Malley bought the franchise and began to search for new locations to build a ballpark. City officials prevented that from happening, forcing O’Malley to look elsewhere, ending up in LA.

The Dodgers recently planned to renovate for the beginning of the 2020 season. $100 Million to include a field plaza that will have beer garden, sports bars, and other amenities to attract their fans to such a classic field.

Wrigley Field

The stadium that fans come to see the ivy-covered outfield walls, and the hand operated scoreboards. It’s truly another classic stadium that all baseball fans must visit. Established in 1914, Wrigley Field is the second oldest baseball stadium and is still standing tall. Up until 1988 the stadium didn’t have any lights.

The biggest change made to the field since 1937 when the bleachers were put in was the $575 Million project in 2014 to essentially renovate the entire stadium. A numerous amount of renovations was made by the 2017 season. The renovation was finally finished this year, including upgraded steel infrastructure, new roof to replace old wooden one and a retail/entertainment complex.

All of the concourses were expanded as well as restrooms being updated. Wrigley Field is the last Federal League park standing, and even with all of the new upgrades Wrigley field still remains old fashioned.

Fenway Park

People love familiarity, they hate to see the things they love change. That’s exactly why so many people love this stadium. Although it is the oldest stadium to date, it has made very little changes over the years.  The plan for Fenway was proposed and completed within a year and the stadium was ready to go. The infamous “Green Monster” was created in 1947, it was made of tin but later replaced by hard plastic in 1975.

Since 2003 there have been constant improvements and upgrades to the stadium. It doesn’t matter how old the ballpark is. It is one of the most beloved ballparks in the entire MLB. The atmosphere makes everything that much better. The activity that goes on outside, before games makes it an unmatchable experience and puts it above and beyond most other parks.

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