January 31, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Yankee Stadium to host All Stars
As had been rumored, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the 2008 All Star Game will be played in Yankee Stadium, in its final year of existence. Mayor Bloomberg expects the big event to attract more than 175,000 visitors to New York, which is three times the capacity of Yankee Stadium. (Is that much standing room available?) The Bronx Basilica was also the site of All Star Games in 1939, 1960, and 1977, so it will match Cleveland Stadium for the record of hosting the most All Star Games. The new version of Busch Stadium will host the event in 2009, and the venues after that are yet to be decided. PETCO Park, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field (the Mets' future home), Chase Field, and the Nationals' future home* are the leading candidates. See MLB.com.
Well, at least the second most famous sporting palace in human history (after the one in Rome) will go out with the honors that are its due. I know, many traditionalists refuse to consider the rebuilt post-1976 version of Yankee Stadium as authentic, but it's still the same place that Babe, Lou, Joe, and Mickey used to play. Knowing that it is widely considered "sacred ground," the Yankees plan to maintain the existing field as a memorial park, not paving it over to make a parking lot.
* That article mistakenly states "The new ballpark in Washington, D.C. ... is slated to also open in 2009..." Last I heard, it's still on track to open fourteen months from now. The article rightly calls attention to all of the silly circus-like side shows to the All Star Game that have been created over the past couple decades, making it more of a Hollywood spectacle than an athletic competition. In that respect, it reminds me of the Super Bowl!
Oakland fans resist relocation
The good people of Oakland are not taking the proposed relocation to Fremont lying down; an "Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition" has mobilized to keep the A's where they have been for the past 39 years. Their oaklandfans.com Web site provide arguments to show that Oakland can continue to support the team, blaming the recent owners for a lack of commitment, and they present the pros and cons of various stadium site alternatives: one in "uptown" Oakland, one on the waterfront, one next to the existing Coliseum, and the one in Fremont. Other proposed sites have already been rejected. (Hat tip to Bruce Orser.)