May 22, 2009
The Astrodome diagrams have been revised based on several pieces of new information that I came across. The biggest change is that the diameter is about 15 feet bigger than I previously estimated: 710 feet altogether. Some construction photos and blueprint-type line drawings were especially useful in getting the details right.
One problem in rendering the Astrodome for easy visual display is that the middle (third) deck was so thin when viewed from the side (vertically) that it is hard to see in the diagram profile. It's a design feature that aims to save space and construction materials, in effect "compressing" the structure vertically. Other stadiums with this characteristic include Anaheim Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium, and New Yankee Stadium. The following closeup view of the Astrodome profile makes this clearer:
In the near future, I will elaborate the FAQ section of the Baseball introduction page to explain how to interpret the profile diagrams. I am beginning to create separate profile-only diagrams for each stadium, in such a way that it will be easy to compare stadiums to each other, much as you can compare the "top-down" view of stadiums at present.
But of course, all that will take time, and the amount of time I spend on it will depend to some extent on support from visitors to this Web site. I greatly appreciate those folks who have supported this site in the past, but it's time for some new folks to "step up to the plate" and SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The Astrodome is a classic case of a dual-use stadium that was made worse for baseball when it was expanded to make room for more football fans. Instead of big, bold scoreboards with big banners and fireworks displays, they put in thousands of new seats that were just not needed for baseball. True, they did make the seats colorful in Houston, but it's still depressing when you can never hope to sell-out a game's tickets. Here are the other most notorious examples of that syndrome, showing the years they were expanded:
Bad news: I recently found some minor inaccuracies in the Jack Murphy Stadium diagrams. Groan...