December 25, 2014 [LINK / comment]
Just in time for Christmas (!), I updated the Coors Field diagrams, showing for the first time the platform seating areas and access stairs in the upper deck. I added new versions for the second and third decks, which show the structural beams that demarcate each section of the stadium. That proved invaluable to getting certain details right, such as the position of the grandstand near the right-field corner. Among the changes are: the scoreboard on the right field wall extends about ten feet further toward center field, "pushing" the bullpens in that direction. I may add a lower-deck version as well eventually.
This update rectifies a glaring omission that I belatedly mentioned in November: the major renovation to the right field upper deck which Coors Field underwent one year ago. All of the seats above where the entry portals used to be were removed in the process of that renovation. One obvious question stemming from this is how much was the capacity reduced. Wanna guess? ZERO! At least that's the official story: "Coors Field's capacity remains at 50,398, including standing room only tickets." (denverpost.com) Talk about bogus! Given that there were eight and a half sections with 16 rows and 24 seats per row, plus a couple hundred more in the three rows situated on the "balcony," I estimate that there were 3,450 seats taken out, so that's an awful lot of SRO.
Note that the Coors Field page features enhanced block-style "dynamic diagram" links, making it easier to compare different diagram versions. After tweaking that new format, I'll probably incorporate that into all my stadium pages eventually, along with other enhancements.
I also updated the text on that page, calling attention to Todd Helton's retirement at the end of the 2013 season. He had spent his entire career (17 years) with the Rockies, amassing 2,519 hits, 369 home runs, and a .316 batting average. [See MLB.com.] He's certainly worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame.
For many weeks, I have been curious about plans to begin demolition on Candlestick Park. According to a recent story at Yahoo sports, crews will begin tearing it down early next year, perhaps within a month. That story includes photos taken by an amateur drone aircraft that show the "eerie" insides of Candlestick Park, with most of the seats already removed. For your amusement, take a look at the whimsical proposal to turn Candlestick Park into a giant community greenouse: sfgate.com.
On a brighter note, folks in Houston are doing their best to keep the Astrodome in good physical condition, in hopes of making it a permanent historic landmark. Mark London tells me that a local group is planning a massive exterior "bath" that will cost about $63,800. See click2houston.com. So, chances are still good that I'll get to see the Astrodome one of these days, but alas not Candlestick Park.
In Chicago, work continues on rebuilding the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and thanks to Mike Zurawski, you can see some renderings of what the completed project will look like at curbed.com.
Mike also drew my attention to some new renderings of the Atlanta Braves' future home, Sun Trust Park, at MLB.com. My initial impression is that it resembles Target Field, with distinct "postmodernist" stylings. We'll see if my skeptical attitude can be overcome.
I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get caught up with news about trades involving Jon Lester, Stephen Souza, etc. In the mean time,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, baseball fans!