July 13, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Oakland ("McAfee") Coliseum, etc.*

Oakland Coliseum I have updated the Oakland Coliseum diagrams, making adjustments to the grandstand and adding details such as lights and concourses. There is also a new diagram version for 1968, when the dimensions were slightly greater, especially behind home plate.

In response to a recent fan inquiry, I also included a comparison to another Colosseum (note the spelling difference) from many years ago...

* "etc." is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase "et cetera," meaning "and other things."

In the course of researching this and other ballparks that are "in the works," I came across a great source of ballpark photos at chrisputro.com.

Lerners won't pay the rent

The owners of the Washington Nationals are escalating the dispute with the D.C. government, and are refusing to pay rent on Nationals Park because of its allegedly incomplete construction status. The Lerner family's refusal to make the $3.5 million rent payment is based on a very narrow reading of the contract terms under which Major League Baseball relocated the former Montreal Expos franchise to Washington. This refusal is on top of the Lerners' demand for $100,000 in damages per day, for the same reason. See Washington Post. Deadbeat franchise owners: Well, isn't that swell! Maybe the fans should refuse to pay for tickets until the owners field a team that wins ballgames more often.

The mail bag

A fan named Nicholas has an urgent inquiry, and I'm not sure of the answer off hand. Of all the dual-use stadiums in which the lower deck was rotated back and forth for football and baseball games, Shea Stadium seems to be one of the only ones, if not the only one, in which the dugouts were below the ground level. If so, they would have had to cover that area because the football end zones were there. Does anyone out there know how they did that?