The 12 Stupidest Stadium Ideas Ever

Matt MartinezCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2011

The 12 Stupidest Stadium Ideas Ever

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    When most people come up with a big-money idea, they run it by some experts. They check their sources; they do their research.

    Others put a crack team together to make sure the idea is foolproof.

    These ideas can best be described as hair-brained. They are bone-headed and lack foresight.

    Let's take a look at the stupidest stadium ideas.  

12. Heinz Field's Lack of Irrigation

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    If the Steelers weren't so good every year, I'm sure no one would complain about their poorly irrigated field. But it is a sloppy mess come late-November through January.

    This stuff is fun to play in if you're a mud football enthusiast on Thanksgiving, but it is unforgiving in the NFL. I'm not sure if Pittsburgh planned on such a soggy surface, but it sure has worked out well for them.

    But what about the other 31 teams in the league? I guess the Steelers shouldn't have them in mind (no, seriously).

    Look at Hines slipping all over the place. It's not like he's sure-footed or anything.

11. Tropicana Field

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    As a former broadcaster in the Florida State League, I know Florida weather is pretty sucky. Like clockwork, rain comes tumbling out of the sky at 4pm. It's eerie.

    But Florida baseball should be played outside in the elements.

    I know nothing can kill a crowd like a rain delay—oh, wait a minute.

    So here's the question: had Tampa built an outdoor stadium, would their attendance still remain at the bottom of the bigs? (Sunshine State—what a joke).

10. Olympic Stadium

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    I guess this is what we thought the future would look like back in 1976 when Olympic Stadium opened. Initially, it was built to provide the main venue for the 1976 games, and later serve as a multi-purpose arena after the Olympics concluded.

    Their main tenant: the Montreal Expos. The problem: Olympic Stadium was anything but a baseball stadium. Because its designers had the CFL on their minds, they built the seats way too far back for enjoyment. The box seats were seemingly miles away, too.

    In 1992, they got their act together. More seats were built closer to the stands and home plate was brought back. The renovation took the stadium's capacity from a little over 59,000 to a much more cozy 46,000.

9. Candlestick

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    When I was a kid, this place was a palace to me. If I wasn't cheering on my beloved Giants, I was rooting for the five-time Super Bowl champion 49ers. I loved it.

    But the 'Stick is beyond dumpy, and it was a terrible idea to build a baseball stadium in Hunter's Point.

    Let's start out with the obvious: Candlestick at night is both windy and freezing. When do most teams play their home games (this is rhetorical—don't answer quietly at your computer)?

    Secondly: damp air equals wet surface.

    Thirdly: worst traffic ever.

    When the ballpark opened for the Giants in 1960, it was designed in a boomerang shape to cut down on the wind. No dice.

    When the Niners moved in, the stadium was enclosed to cut down on the wind. Again, no dice.

    The wind only got more and more unpredictable. Thank God the Giants moved out of this hole in 2000.

8. Veterans Stadium's Turf

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    If it isn't the "Field of Seams."

    I'm sure many of you were wondering when this doozy would pop on the countdown. Well, here she is: The Vet.

    I'm not sure who laid the Astroturf at Veterans, but I'm pretty sure they were drunk. It was horribly uneven, and the visible seams gave it the aforementioned nickname.

    In fact, a couple of well-known injuries took place on the awful surface. Wendell Davis of the 1993 Bears stepped into a seam and tore both of his knees up, forcing him to retire. Six years later, Michael Irvin jacked up his neck and never played again.

    Philly fans still relish in the latter injury as the Eagles trailed 10-0 before the mishap and went on to beat the hated 'Boys, 13-10. 

7. Minute Maid Park

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    What's wrong with this photo? Where do I begin?

    At first glance, Minute Maid Park is a gem. It's like a cathedral in comparison to the old Astrodome. But there is one glaring issue: Tal's hill.

    Named for Houston's President, Tal Smith, the mound of grass beyond the warning track in center makes no sense. It's a sudden incline for any outfielder tracking a ball to depths of center and to make matters worse, there's a flagpole sitting in play.

    Haven't we learned anything from the past? Flagpoles in play are trouble.

    Sure, there's some padding on it, but who wants to take a nose dive into this thing (unless your name is Aaron Rowand and it will secure you a huge contract)?

6. Metrodome's White Roof

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    Alright Minnesota, try and stay with me here.

    I know the Metrodome's roof collapsed last year, but that's not what this is about. Those cold Minneapolis winters are unpredictable and I feel sorry for you guys every time I see your weather forecasts on the national news in the morning.

    No, this is about the color of your stadium's roof.

    In 1982 (when the Metrodome opened), as far as I know, baseballs were white. They have always been white, to my understanding. So, why would your roof be white?

    It's not like the Twins just showed up in April and said, "Let's play here!" The Twins and Vikes were always slated to share the field. But for some reason, the roof was white.

    I'm sure the ball never got lost against the ceiling of the same color. Nah.

5. Astroturf

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    If you haven't lived in Houston, then you probably don't realize that more precipitation occurs during the baseball season than in any other stretch of time.

    A domed stadium was inevitable, but without sunlight, how would the grass grow?

    I know! Let's invent Astroturf!

    I'm not talking about the Brady's lawn that for some reason Greg meticulously manicured on The Brady Bunch. I'm talking about the real deal, in Houston.

    Though it paved the way for many artificial turfs in a myriad of stadiums, Astroturf was unpredictable and dangerous. The ball scooted across the turf at breakneck speeds. It was scary.

    An ironic twist to indoor baseball in Houston: in 1976, the Astrodome suffered its first rain out. With an immense amount of flooding in the area, most of the fans and the umpires couldn't reach the ballpark.

    Instead of playing that night, tables were brought onto the field and the 'Stros and Pirates ate dinner together. 

4. Jerry-Tron

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    At the time it was installed, it was the biggest HDTV screen in the world. It's 160 feet long, 72 feet wide and in all honesty, a fabulous idea.

    That is, if it were high enough off the ground.

    I know I'm not breaking any news here, but the screen isn't out of reach to the field of play. You see, those long-legged, skinny, single-bar-helmet-wearing punters can hit the screen. It happened in a game against the Titans and the ball actually traveled backwards as a result of the play. The down was replayed, but nonetheless, Jerry Jones complained.

    He didn't take responsibility for the misjudged height, he claimed A.J.Trapasso (Tennessee's punter) was trying to hit the screen.

    Alright, Jerry. Whatever you say. Maybe you should go practice your wooden delivery in another episode of Entourage.

3. Bull Ring in Tafalla, Spain

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    Dear Spain:

    When constructing your Bullfighting rings, make sure the walls aren't high enough for a bull to leap over.

    Take the highest height a bull has jumped in the past, and double it. Otherwise, this happens.

2. Football Goal Posts at the Front of the End Zone

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    The entire world of American football was to blame before this giant erected monstrosity was put out of play behind the end zone. For some reason, it seemed logical to place the goalpost directly on the goal line.

    Now, in high school, college and the NFL, the goalposts are out of play—far from potential death, they are where they should be.

    The CFL hasn't followed suit. Get it together guys. I mean, come on. 

1. The Monuments at Old Yankee Stadium

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    Don't get me wrong—Monument Park at the old Yankee Stadium was a fabulous idea. Enshrine your very best so that all can see their glory. Great idea, right?

    Well, I guess it depends on how you do it. 

    Before the remodeling of Yankee Stadium in the 1970's, Monument Park was in play. That's right, beware center fielders. Imagine you're running down a monster fly ball to the deepest park of the park.

    You're in a full sprint, and you're just about to settle under the ball when, WHAM! You run into a bronze Babe Ruth.

    To make matters worse, the flagpole was in play, too. Talk about a looming Looney Tune in center. Thankfully, decisions were made and the fence was brought in from 457 feet to 417 feet. But before that, center was a Ruthian 530 feet from home plate. Talk about a shot!