Posts tagged with "baseball":

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Seven unbuilt stadiums are brought to life in renderings

Ticket retailer Vivid Seats teamed up with NeoMam Studios, a content marketing agency, to produce renderings of proposed baseball stadiums that could have transformed cities across the U.S. had they actually been built. The extremely realistic visualizations, posted last week on Vivid Seat's blog, show what the buildings would look like in 2018 in their urban contexts. Many of the stadiums incorporate space-age futurist features, like the glass bubble of the Brooklyn Dome, or the sliding The Shed-esque canopy of the Pontiac Dome. Ultimately, these expensive flourishes may have been what doomed the projects—many of these structures would be barely feasible with today's technology and budgets, much less with what was available fifty years ago, when some of them were proposed. The detail of the renderings has a way of making all of the designs look reasonable, though, and even the most Jetsons-y designs seem to fit into their modern settings. And given the superlatives other football stadiums have recently reached, these designs don't seem like long shots.
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Snarkitecture swings for the fences with All-Star Game installation

The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. may have already passed, but the MLB Assembly, a weeklong collection of art, architecture, fashion, and food projects centered around baseball, is worth revisiting. New York-based Snarkitecture contributed to the Assembly, which ran from July 13 through July 16, with their Field installation. Visitors to the Wharf’s District Pier were greeted with a rising forest of baseball bats supported on white plinths and arranged into four diamonds that referenced the layout of a baseball field. At the beginning of Field’s four-day installation, 1,100 baseball bats were mingled with 200 billets, or unfinished raw wood cylinders. A woodturner was stationed in a booth behind the installation and using a lathe, they converted the billets into fresh bats. The project was envisioned as an interactive exhibition, where visitors would enter the rising arrangement of baseball bats and uncover the performance on the other side. Field was constantly evolving and on the last day of the exhibition, the billets had all been swapped out for finished bats. Field was not the only immersive Snarkitecture installation available to those in D.C. Fun House, the sprawling 10-year retrospective of the firm’s work, is on display in the lobby of the National Building Museum for the rest of the summer, and the same sense of spontaneity brought to Field permeates that show.
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Jackie Robinson Museum finally starts construction after a decade-long wait

Work has finally begun on a New York City museum that will honor Brooklyn Dodgers legend Jackie Robinson. Originally, the museum was slated open in 2009, but the Great Recession stalled fundraising for ten years. Now the museum, designed by Gensler’s New York office with exhibition design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, is set to open in 2019. The 18,500-square-foot museum is being built into the ground floor of One Hudson Square, in Manhattan’s Soho district. A permanent exhibit will inform visitors of Robinson’s part in the civil rights movement, showcasing Jackie Robinson’s achievements against the backdrop of U.S. history from 1919 to the present. Beyond learning, these panels are functional, retracting to form the walls of an arena setting, or sliding out of sight to create more space for larger events. In these cases, temporary seating can also be installed. More hands-on exhibits, meanwhile will inform visitors on subjects including baseball, segregation, citizenship, personal integrity, and social change. A 75 seat theater will round out the program. "The Jackie Robinson Museum is an opportunity to bring an important cultural landmark to NYC—one that challenges visitors to think about the history of social and cultural change and tolerance," wrote said Joseph Plumeri, chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation National Legacy Campaign, in an information document about the museum. "The lessons learned from Jackie’s personal journey will touch people of all ages, educational levels, and cultural backgrounds." In terms of funding, the Associated Press reported that about $23.5 million has been raised to build the museum. The Jackie Robinson Foundation has its eyes set on a total of $42 million to pay for the museum's operating costs (42 was the baseball player's number).
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Detroit citizens take preservation into their own hands to save a historic Negro League stadium

Automobiles and baseball: Not much else is more American. And Detroit has been defined by both for the last 100 years. Notably, Detroit was one of the most important cities in the negro baseball leagues of the first half of the 20th century. Hamtramck, a town surrounded by the city of Detroit, is home to one of the last remaining Negro League stadiums, along with Birmingham, Alabama, Paterson, New Jersey, and Indianapolis, Indiana. Now, after years of neglect, the Hamtramck Stadium may see America’s favorite pastime once again.

It all started six years ago when a group of baseball-loving Detroiters decided to save, at the very least, the memory of Navin Field. Located in the Corktown neighborhood, Navin Field was home of the Detroit Tigers from 1912 through 1999. Despite being a Michigan Historic Site and on the National Register of Historic Places, the field was razed in 2009. The land was quickly overgrown and, as a result, the Navin Field Grounds Crew was founded. After repeatedly being chased off by the police, the NFGC eventually convinced the city to maintain the diamond on the site of the old stadium.

The NFGC is made up of volunteers and is funded completely out of the pockets of those volunteers. Even so, the crew has been out at the Navin Field diamond most Sundays for the last six years. Now they are taking on a new challenge, revitalizing the Hamtramck Stadium. As with Navin Field, the crew plans to roll out their personal lawn mowers and rakes, and get to work this spring.

The difference this time is that the NFGC won’t be alone its efforts. In January, the National Parks Service announced a $50,000 African American Civil Rights Grant for the redevelopment the stadium. Even before that, a new group, Friends of the Hamtramck Stadium, was making plans to raise funds this coming summer to repair the stadium’s grandstand. 

Built in 1930, the Hamtramck Stadium was home to the Detroit Stars and Detroit Wolves throughout the 1930s. The site of the 1930 Negro National League Championship Series, the stadium saw its share of famous baseball players, including Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell. The stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Currently, the stadium is in the configuration that was established in the 1970s. The main remaining structure, a large grandstand, has not been used since the 1990s.

Like Navin Field, the hope is to bring baseball back to the neighborhood. As originally built, the Hamtramck Stadium could hold upward of 8,000 spectators. Much of the grandstand is original, but over the years it has been reduced from its original size and is now able to hold about 1,500 spectators.

The stadium wouldn’t be the first in Hamtramck to be revitalized. Last year the Detroit City FC soccer team redeveloped the Keyworth Stadium, bringing another classic civic space back to life. In a time when nearly $2 billion is being spent in Detroit’s downtown to build the Little Caesars Arena and entertainment district, Detroiters are demonstrating what they really value with their lawn mowers and weekends.

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The St. Louis Cardinals begin ambitious second phase of mixed-use development

The St. Louis Cardinals National League baseball team is leading the way in reimagining the sporting-event experience. Phase one of Ballpark Village, completed spring 2014, was the mixed-use development surrounding the team’s Busch Stadium called Ballpark Village. After the success of this $100-million project, the team and the city are preparing to begin the second, more ambitious phase of the plan.

With planning and design led by Denver-based architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht, Ballpark Village II will include residential, retail, hospitality, and office spaces. The development will consist of a pavilion with a 10,000-square-foot public market; a 29-story residential high-rise with 300 units looking directly into the stadium; 15,000 square feet of retail at its base; and a 10-story mixed-use building on the westernmost portion with 100,000 square feet of office space, 200 hotel rooms, and ground floor retail. The office space will be the first new Class A office tower to be built in St. Louis since 1989.

The development team plans to use the taxes generated by the phase one Ballpark Village project itself, in addition to private equity and debt investments, to finance $220-million Ballpark Village II.

Currently, the project is waiting for the city to review a bill that would amend the existing development agreement, allowing the developers to pursue their latest, more ambitious plan, which includes the new residential and office towers.

Mixed-use projects around new and old stadiums have become popular in cities hoping to attract year-round attendance to areas formerly used only for sporting events. Development of new offices, hotels, residential, and entertainment venues around the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field is well underway. Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, currently under construction, will be part of the redeveloping 50-block District Detroit. The arena will be the centerpiece of planned neighborhoods that will include six theaters; retail, residential, and office spaces; and three sports venues. A similar development and stadium for the Texas Rangers has been approved in a ballot initiative and will cost an estimated $1 billion.

Though these more recent projects may be more ambitious in scale, there is no doubt that phase one of Ballpark Village is being used as a model—with an estimated $50 million in revenue in 2015, it has been deemed a major success. The next phase hopes to continue this success with the expanding of programs on the site. While the initial phase included mostly sports-related spaces, the new development will bring the Ballpark Village closer to being an actual village, and soon enough, Cardinals fans will be able to watch live games from their living rooms, maybe even in their bathrobes.

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Texas Rangers unveil HKS as the architecture firm behind their new Arlington, Texas ballpark

Dallas-based architecture firm HKS has been chosen to design a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers baseball team in Arlington, Texas. The stadium will be constructed as a public-private partnership between the team and the City of Arlington: It will serve as the Rangers' home field and as a multipurpose arena for high school, college, and international sports. As the design phase wraps up, images and information from a press release reveal that the field will offer a retractable roof for shading and climate control purposes and will be interwoven with the adjacent Texas Live! entertainment district that is currently in development. Costs so far are estimated at $1 billion with the City of Arlington's contribution limited to $500 million. The Rangers' current home, Globe Life Park, which is also in Arlington, is owned by the team on a 30-year lease from the city. This is due to end in 2024, but as per a new agreement between the Rangers and Arlington, their partnership for the new arena will continue until 2054. 22 years ago, HKS was the architect of record when the Rangers first moved into Globe Park in 1994. “For us, the new Texas Rangers Ballpark development is very special. It carries its own rich identity based on a combination of tradition, heritage, character and ambition that will ultimately represent itself as the premier destination in North Texas,” said Bryan Trubey, HKS executive vice president and principal designer on the project, in a press release. “We are delighted to be part of this exciting new development that will impact not only the Texas Rangers and their fans, but the city of Arlington and the entire region for many years to come.” Meanwhile, Rangers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Rob Matwick added: “HKS’ vision for this new facility will incorporate all of the features that will make this venue the best in Major League Baseball. We look forward to working with them to achieve that result.”
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Proposed $1 billion new Rangers stadium approved by Arlington City Council

The Texas Rangers may continue to call Arlington home until 2054: the Arlington City Council has unanimously approved a deal for a $1 billion retractable roof stadium, according to an article from The Dallas Morning News. The article states that, after months of negotiation behind closed doors, the city revealed its plans for this agreement on Tuesday. The decision will lead to a public vote on November 8. Until that time, voters will need to be persuaded to spend $500 million to keep the Rangers in Arlington. The city of Dallas has made efforts to convince the Rangers to relocate to Dallas. A Fort Worth Business article details the new private-public partnership: the Rangers have pledged $500 million and any costs that exceed the estimated $1 billion cost for the project. Arlington voters will vote on whether or not “to extend a half-cent sales tax that was approved to help finance Cowboys Stadium and $500 million [for] construction of the new stadium,” according to the article. The stadium, which would feature a retractable roof and air conditioning, would replace Globe Life Park, the Fort Worth Business article states. Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 1991 to help pay for the current stadium which, although only 23 years old, lacks climate control and a retractable roof. The absence of these features has reportedly prevented the stadium from adequately meeting the needs of fans, players, and visitors. While critics have questioned the need for a new stadium and the process of negotiating the deal, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams is optimistic that the deal will receive voters’ approval in November, stating “This is going to pass, it is too great of a deal for the Rangers and Arlington, and it will pass in November." Rangers co-owner Ray Davis hopes the new stadium to be functioning by 2021. The new stadium will still be located “within the Rangers complex, south of Randol Mill Road, on the site of two current parking lots,” the article states, obviating criticism that the project would disrupt a different part of the city. While there are plans for the Rangers to retain part of the current stadium, there is the possibility for the construction of additional facilities and even the extension of an entertainment and hotel complex project known as Texas Live!
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Cincinnati decided this waterfront skyscraper just wasn’t complete without an old-timey hat and handlebar mustache

When Mies van der Rohe set out to remake the world in the image of a crystal-clear tower with steel columns behind walls of glass, he probably wasn’t thinking about dressing up those buildings with old-timey hats and handlebar mustaches. However, a century later that's exactly what's happening in Cincinnati. The Queen City's 468-foot-tall Scripps Center, a 1990 office tower resembles any Midwestern skyscraper with a curved wall of glass keeping watch over the Ohio River. But thanks to red, white, and black colored panels applied to the top of the tower, the building now looks a little like the Cincinnati Reds’ mascot, Mr. Redlegs. Mies would probably loathe this decorative approach to giving buildings character, but it's not 1921 anymore, Ludwig. The Reds gave the building a pillbox hat and mustache in celebration of the 2015 All-Star Game, which will be played in July at the city's Great American Ballpark. The panels are made of the same material that is sometimes used to put advertisements on buses. In anticipation of the game and its parallel festivities such as the Home Run Derby, the city is pulling out all the stops, including shutting down part of a freeway and projecting images on the nearby Carew Tower, one of the city’s most iconic structures. And all throughout the city, 850-pound sculptures of mustaches are being decorated in baseball-themed art. https://twitter.com/robinburke/status/608787417626234882 https://twitter.com/JSchachleiter/status/610235652332982272 https://twitter.com/FOX19Joe/status/606891545112027139
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Pictorial> Minneapolis’ downtown transit hub by Perkins Eastman, “green central”

Minneapolis hosted the Major League Baseball All Star Game this year, and many of the 41,000 people in attendance used some new public transit to get there. In May the city opened Target Field Station—a multimodal transit hub and public space at the foot of the Twins' Target Field that designers Perkins Eastman hope will catalyze development. Their bet appears to be paying off, as nonprofit marrow donation organizer Be The Match is moving ahead with a $60 million headquarters next to the new station. The METRO Green Line, which stops at Target Field Station, this year opened its long-awaited route to St. Paul—the first inter-city light rail connection between the Twin Cities in decades. Here's a gallery of the station, copyright photographer Morgan Sheff and courtesy Perkins Eastman—except for the night aerial shot, which is copyright Nick Benson:
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Wrigley Field renovation saga goes into extra innings as neighbors reject latest plans

Chicago’s Wrigley Field turns 100 years old this year. To many neighbors and architectural historians, however, the ballpark’s centennial celebrations are an afterthought to the real action: the years-long debate over how to update the landmark park without corrupting its beloved 1914 character. At a community meeting Monday, Lakeview residents expressed concern over proposals including five new outfield signs and two video scoreboards. The plan goes to the Landmarks Commission on Thursday, but local Alderman Tom Tunney said he will not support it. In 2013 Chicago’s Landmarks Commission laid out guidelines for Wrigley upgrades, which its owners and operators maintain are necessary to help pay off structural renovations and modernize the country’s second-oldest ballpark. But opposition has been strong from wary neighbors and the owners of adjacent rooftops, who say new signage will kill their business renting out their ersatz outfield seats. The plan debuted this week differs from the blueprint approved by Landmarks last year. Repeated delays and neighborhood opposition have scuttled plans from owner Tom Ricketts to add a Starwood hotel, 40,000-square-foot gym and open-air plaza in the areas surrounding Wrigley Field. Residents of Wrigleyville now face a dilemma: call Ricketts’ bluff over moving the team to suburban Rosemont, risking the loss of an economic engine, or cave on design guidelines they say are necessary to preserve the character and livelihood of their prosperous North Side community. Unsuccessful bids for development around Wrigley Field go back years. In 2010 developers proposed a mixed-use complex wrapping around the southeast corner of Clark and Addison Streets that never happened. Last year AN contributor Edward Lifson hosted a discussion at Moe's Cantina in Chicago with Elva Rubio, Bill Savage, Dan Meis, and Jonathan Eig “to discover why design matters (even if it might not help the Cubs win the World Series).”