Bullpens moved at Comerica
Thanks to Steven Poppe for alerting me to great news from Motown: The Tigers are moving the bullpens from right field to the 25-foot wide gap in left field that was created when they moved the outfield fence in three years ago. This reconfiguration will "add about 950 additional seats in homer-friendly right field..." See mlb.com. Is somebody in Detroit reading this Web site? As I wrote on the Comerica Park page, "If they decide to leave that inner fence in place, they should either move the bullpens to the area behind it, or else put in a picnic area, like they used to have at Crosley Field."
There is plenty of stadium "action" elsewhere, as well: The Florida Marlins are asking the state of Florida for an additional $60 million to help pay for a new retractable-roof stadium. Negotiations on this issue have been dragging on for over a year, and because of the renovation plans at "Dolphin Stadium" (ex-Pro Player Stadium) that were recently unveiled by the Miami Dolphins, the Marlins will be "homeless" unless a new stadium is built by 2010. See mlb.com. The Kansas City Royals are putting pressure on the [Jackson County] government to help fund major renovations to Kauffman Stadium. The stadium itself is in fine shape and of adequate size for that small market, but it is thought that added amenities and luxury suites will bring in enough extra revenues to enable the team to acquire more first-class players. [There's even talk of building a new stadium in downtown K.C.] See mlb.com. CORRECTION: T. J. Zmina tells me that the close-in box seats at U.S. Cellular Field will soon be upgraded to super-luxury status (the "Scout" seating area") to rake in extra ticket bucks. Also, the sterile blue seats are being gradually replaced with dark green ones, which are all the rage these days. See the White Sox Web site. Sorry for the miscommunication.
The first ballgame hosted by the Washington Nationals at the renovated RFK Stadium will be a charity fund-raising exhibition game against the Mets on April 3. The first real game will be against the Diamondbacks on April 14. Less than three months to go!
The Metropolitan Stadium page has been revised, with yet another dynamic diagram showing the baseball-to-football transformation -- which in this case involved no movable seating sections. That was the stadium that lured the original AL Washington Senators westward, in 1961.