Saturday, May 9, 2009

Camden Yards and its Progeny

With the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field this year, I was reminded of a trip to Camden Yards that I took a few years ago. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Construction of the ballpark was completed in 1992.

When Camden Yards opened, I remember thinking that it was the most beautiful ballpark I had ever seen. While it had a "retro" feel, Camden Yards felt fresh. It reminded me of the more traditional ballparks that were designed for baseball only. Up until Camden Yards, the design trend of baseball stadiums seemed to be geared toward round, symmetrical, dual-purpose stadiums like the Astrodome in Houston, RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. and Shea Stadium in New York. Camden Yards broke away from that trend and started a new trend toward retro style, baseball only ballparks, with modern amenities.

About two years after Camden Yards was completed, the Cleveland Indians opened up Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field). Jacobs Field continued with the "retro" style, baseball only, ballpark. It seems that every baseball venue that has been built since has followed this style, including Turner Field in Atlanta, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Comerica Park in Detroit, and more recently, Nationals Park in Washington D.C. and Citi Field.

This is a picture I took at Camden Yards during our trip a few years ago.

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