Baseball Park Construction Trends in the 1990s

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Baseball Park Construction Trends in the 1990s

The current trend in baseball park construction is a retro design, reminiscent of the early years, combined with modern technology. This trend, dubbed “The Construction Era” by Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated, is prominent in three new American League parks: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Jacobs Field, and The Ballpark at Arlington. The current idea for ballpark construction is to locate the retro style parks in the heart of urban areas. The whole movement was initiated by the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and it’s radical new design concept.

It all started on April 6, 1992, the inaugural game at Baltimore’s new stadium: Camden Yards. That day 47,930 people packed out the new stadium to witness what Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated, called “ The single most influential athletic creation since artificial ice”(#2).

This was the birth of the current trend in construction of ballparks. The goal of the designers of Camden Yards was to create the first fan, and player friendly ballpark. The designers wanted to capture the feel of an old fashioned ballpark combined with twentieth century technology. The designers accomplished this in many radical new ways.

First they started with the outside of the stadium. They chose a brick front, which enhanced its retro look. Secondly they incorporated the B&O warehouse in the backdrop, which by the way is “the longest building on the east coast: 1,016 ft long by 51 ft wide”(#7). The warehouse is used as the Orioles main offices, a restaurant, a gift shop, and a club.

Second of all, the designers incorporated the Baltimore skyline with its open style “park” as opposed to the bowl style prevalent in the 1970’s.

Thirdly, th...

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...clusion the “Sports Construction Era” ballparks are a radical change in the way we experience a major league baseball game. The radical changes benefit both the baseball club and the fans. Finally the new style of construction employed by these three “pioneer” cities has been such a success that they have become the standard for the future of major league ballpark construction throughout the country.



1. The Ballpark in Arlington. 04 APR 2000. .

2. “To everything, turn, turn, turn…” CNNSI.

04 Apr 2000. . 20 Oct 1999.

3. “Cause and Effect”CNNSI. O4 APR 2000. 26 Jul 1999.

4. Jacobs Field. 04 Apr 200. .

5. The Ballpark in Arlington. 04 APR 2000. .

6. “About the ballpark” Jacobs Field. 04 APR 2000.


7. Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 04 APR 2000.
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