As an architecture major at Southern Illinois University, I see the world through a very different point of view than most people. This certainly applies to ballparks and sports facilities as well. Stadiums are my biggest architectural passion, and I have long aspired to design a ballpark or arena.
Despite the fact that the Cubs always have been and always will be my biggest love, I am also a fan of the Detroit Tigers, mainly because of my dislike of the Chicago White Sox. Wrigley is home, but Comerica is my favorite new-wave ballpark. Comerica is a perfect balance of tradition and progress, and unlike so many new ballparks, it is extremely unique.
However, I am extremely disappointed with the changes to the Comerica Park scoreboard unveiled this year. The clock, which was one of the most unique aspects of the original scoreboard, was removed to make room for the horizontal "Tigers" sign. Although the font is much more original than the basic font used on the old design, it is extremely similar to the "Indians" sign used on top of the scoreboard at Progressive Field.
This is the biggest reason why I object to the changes. Even the most oblivious of all people can look at the Comerica Park scoreboard and recognize the similarities to the Progressive Field scoreboard. The toothbrush-style lights and font of the sign are very similar, as well as the atmosphere as a whole. Even the swoop of the "s" underneath the team names of "Tigers" and "Indians" almost match identically.
Now take a look behind the scoreboard. Notice anything? Although this isn't a new aspect, even the fact that there is a stadium directly behind the scoreboard is a similar attribute of the two ballparks. This simply tops it off.
Of the thirty ballparks in Major League Baseball, twenty of them have been designed by the same firm, Populous LLC. of Kansas City, Missouri. Although this certainly has its benefits, it also has many downfalls. Many of the ballparks designed in recent years are too similar. The two that I have already mentioned, Progressive Field and Comerica, are both designed by Populous. This may perhaps contribute to the similarities in the scoreboard designs.
All in all, a rectangular scoreboard with toothbrush-style lights, the team names in similar fonts, with a stadium in the background is all too similar between the two ballparks. Perhaps many people that read this will see this as all an insignificant observation of a nit-picky Cubs fan/architecture student. But of all ballparks to copy, one would think that the home of a division rival only two hours away would be the last place a team would imitate.
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