Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Last weekend, here in San Francisco, former football greats gathered in Candlestick Park.  Instead of shoulder pads and helmets, they strapped on velcro belts and played flag football...these guys are in their fifties and sixties and cannot play tackle anymore!  It was the final athletic event at the famed site. See, Candlestick Park is set to be demolished later this year and the 49ers will play in a brand-new stadium.

This prompted us at the DUNER BLOG to research other beloved stadiums that have since been destroyed.

#10 The Kingdome, Seattle. (1976-2000). The last of the great domed stadiums to be built, the Kingdome was home to the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners.  Since neither team won a championship, attendance has always been an issue.  Ken Griffey Jr. provided the stadium's best memories.  He homered in his first at-bat here and hit the last ever home run as well.

#9 Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha. (1947 - 2012). The home of the College World Series, 'The Blatt' became a site of pilgrimage for collegiate fans.  For two weeks a year, it became a beehive of activity as sixteen teams arrived from all over the nation.  Even Kevin Costner joined the 'Save Rosenblatt' crusade to no avail.

#8 The Metrodome, Minneapolis (1979 - 2014) Always raucous, the 'Thunderdome' achieved the loudest sound ever at a stadium...a whopping 125 decibels.  It was also the only stadium to host a Super Bowl, World Series, MLB All-Star Game and a NCAA Final Four.

#7 Veteran's Stadium, Philadelphia (1967 - 2014).  Few cried when 'The Vet' was imploded earlier this year.  It was hastily and shoddily built and was rundown after four seasons.  At one point, cats were employed to control the mice problems. Perhaps the stadium's best asset was the hole in the wall on the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Dressing Room.

#6 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh (1968 - 2001) During the 1970's, this picturesque stadium reached its apex.  The Pirates win the World Series and the Steelers in the Super Bowl.  It also hosted concerts by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Stones AND The Who.  Rock on!

#5 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn (1912 - 1960) Nothing epitomized baseball like the cigar-box stadium in Flatbush.  35,000 people crowded onto benches to watch their beloved Dodgers.  In 1956, it hosted its last World Series game, when Bob Larsen pitched the only perfect postseason game.

#4 Candlestick Park, San Francisco (1960 - 2014) Built on the coldest and windiest place in the City, Candlestick confused many visiting teams and fan, who thought California was warm.  It was the site of the last Beatles Concert in 1966. (Last song: Long Tall Sally).  It hosted eight NFC championships.  It's most famous moment came in 1989, when an earthquake struck during the World Series.

#3 Texas Stadium, Dallas (1969 - 2010) Originally, the idea was to have a retractable roof.  They began construction before realizing it wasn't structurally sound.  So, they stopped building, leaving a large, open rectangle as a ceiling. It's best explained by linebacker D.D. Lewis: "Texas Stadium has a hole in the roof so God can watch his favorite team play."

#2 Boston Garden, Boston (1927 - 1998) This intimate arena was originally built for boxing.  "I want the seats close enough so fans can see the sweat on the boxer's brow," clamored the owner.  When converted to basketball, this gave the Celtics an astounding home-court advantage. Sixteen NBA championship banners hung in the rafters above the immortal parquet floor.

#1 Yankee Stadium, The Bronx (1923 - 2008) Love 'em or Hate 'em, there's no denying the New York Yankee's success.  All but one of their twenty-seven championships were won in the hallowed stadium that "Babe built."  Millions across New York City cried when their beloved cathedral of sport was demolished to create a newer, cleaner ballpark.  NOTE: The stadium also hosted three Papal Masses!

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