Dallas, Pittsburgh, Orlando, and New York City have all opened glistening new stadiums over the past couple of years, but not every sports town is so fortunate.There’s still plenty of teams out there languishing in horrific venues across the country. They’re outdated, unprofitable or just plain ugly.
Even when some teams escape to greener fields, they leave behind empty shells that gobble maintenance fees and scar skylines.
Arenas and stadiums are part of a city’s fabric, but like an ageing family pet, sometimes you need to learn to let go.
Year opened: 1923
Seating capacity: 93,607
Why it should go: It's been dying a slow, tortuous death for years, and now it's time to put the sad home of the Trojans out of its misery. The gorgeous, super-chic Staples centre stands right down the road, cracking jokes at its deformed colleague. A new downtown stadium could finally put it out of its misery.
Year opened: 1960
Seating capacity: 69,732
Why it should go: Originally the home of MLB's San Francisco Giants, it now houses only the NFL's 49ers. So a football team plays full time in a baseball stadium deemed unfit for baseball. Thankfully, the 49ers are planning to get out by 2014 and hopefully it will be given a solemn funeral.
Year opened: 1981
Seating capacity: 20,049
Why it should go: The arena sports a ridiculous exterior that, if painted the appropriate colour scheme, could easily be mistaken for an IKEA instead of a sports venue. The home of the New Jersey Nets before they left for Newark this year, the Izod centre's interior design (where everyone would be funneled into one massive, overstuffed concourse) stifled its public perception.
Year opened: 1988
Seating capacity: 18,717
Why it should go: Extra-cramped seating and insufficient renovations highlight (lowlight?) the ageing home of the NBA's Bucks. Maybe all that could be ignored for an amazing atmosphere, but it's hideously metallic, sterile interior removes any sort of potential emotional connection.
Year opened: 1967
Seating capacity: 71,294
Why it should go: Aside from being horribly generic, the home of the Chargers is severely limited because it was designed for both baseball and football. Qualcomm Stadium's lack of renovations (the last significant one was in 1998) made it fall far behind modern football venues, and now everyone involved wants out, fast.
Year opened: 1914
Seating capacity: 42,157
Why it should go: It may have a lot of history (doesn't everything that's 97 years old?), but that doesn't offset the fact that it's been literally falling apart for years. You can't even hold a decent football game there. Cut out the wall ivy and iconic red sign and paste it on a stadium that won't drop a chunk of concrete on your head.
Year opened: 1975
Seating capacity: 80,311
Why it should go: Empty since the Lions relocated to Ford Field a decade ago, the lonely Silverdome lingers on. In 2009, it was auctioned off to Canadian real estate CEO Andreas Apostolopoulos for $583,000 (the stadium cost $55.7 million to build in 1975). It would cost tens of millions to renovate the 35-year-old stadium. Might as well just build a new one.
Year opened: 1965
Seating capacity: 62,439
Why it should go: The world's first domed stadium has lost every last morsel of luster. No one is allowed to enter the dome now aside from maintenance personnel, due to numerous code violations. Every plan to convert it into something usable has been shot down. Sadly, the space would be much better served as a parking lot for adjacent home of the Houston Texans, Reliant Stadium.
Year opened: 1912
Seating capacity: 37,402
Why it should go: It's been a century Boston. Time to let go of the sardine box-sized park. Fenway has more oddly nicknamed areas (The Triangle, Pesky's Pole, Green Monster, Williamsburg...) than any ballpark that's ever existed, which is a testament to its long history. Aren't most of the old memories there bad ones anyway?
Year opened: 1990
Seating capacity: 36,973
Why it should go: Terrible location, terrible layout, terrible field, terrible atmosphere. It's like watching a baseball game inside a gigantic warehouse, and it doesn't help when the ridiculous catwalks on the dome's ceiling affect play on the field. No wonder Rays manager Joe Maddon doesn't consider it a 'real baseball field' and fans stay away in droves.
Year opened: 1972
Seating capacity: 16,250
Why it should go: The Coliseum has the lowest seating capacity and is the second-oldest arena in the NHL. Simply put, it's old, run-down, and horrible to watch anything in. Isles owner Charles Wang has been trying to renovate the area through his Lighthouse Project, but there's been no progress at all.
Year opened: 1982
Seating capacity: 64,111
Why it should go: The family of the former Vice President probably wishes they would take his name off this ugly marshmellow. Who could forget the collapse of the Metrodome's roof in December, forcing the Vikings out into the cold? Fortunately the Twins got out in time, having moved to Target Field in the off-season. They ended up postponing fewer home games last year in their 81-game schedule (1) than the Vikings did in 8 games (3).
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