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Ranking and Rating the Cactus League Ballparks

Posted On: February 29, 2016 | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker Note: Written in 2012.  Sloan Park not included. The ballparks in the Valley of the Cactus League are generally considered the gold standard of spring training, generations ahead of more intimate yet basic facilities in Florida, often lacking the 360-degree open concourses, outfield berms, video boards, and gorgeous views seen in Arizona. While […]

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History of Premium Seating and Future Trends

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker It was not the demand for charming architecture, fan friendly amenities, or intimately scaled seating that drove the ballpark building boom, but the need for revenue generating premium seating. For better or for worst, it is a fact that we would not have these ballparks if not for the economic side of […]

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Architecture of the Retro Ballpark Movement

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

Examining the Criticism By: Cole Shoemaker In recent years, it has become popular amongst ballpark aficionados, fans, and architectural critics to bash HOK (Populous) and some of the new retro ballparks, as the style has become more blasé.   First off, it should be noted that the general public is happy with most of these […]

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Sightlines: Examining Field Proximity

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker   One of the primary complaints regarding some of the new ballparks is the lack of cantilevering. Cantilevers are the long projecting beams underneath the upper decks that support the extension of the decks farther out, closer to the field, above the lower deck. Some decks today only have a slight overhang, […]

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The Evolution of the Modern Ballpark

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

A general review   By: Cole Shoemaker     The so-called “retro movement” not only had architectural implications, but functional ones as well. It is important view these trends as an evolution, not a revolution started by one ballpark, specifically Camden Yards. While Camden is seen as the starting point for the evolution of the […]

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The Merits of Retractable Roof Ballparks

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker Despite the possibility of fielding outdoor baseball and growing real grass, traditionalists and ballpark critics alike have criticized some of the new retractable roof ballparks. Every modern retractable roof ballpark, except Safeco Field, has routinely landed at the bottom of the ballpark rankings. Safeco gets a pass because it maintains a permanent […]

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Timelessness of a Ballpark: Future Historic Shrines

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker Written 2010-2011 After witnessing the building boom of the 90s and 2000s, where owners and architects followed the retro aesthetic like sheep, why wouldn’t we have another building boom in the next 15 years, when another trend catches on? Most of these ballparks used Camden Yards as a template, breaking little new […]

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Seating Geometry

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker Angling the seats down the lines with a combination of bowl geometry and reoriented seating is a priority in new modern ballparks. All seats should be pointed toward the infield.   Effectively angled seats in Petco Park   Generally, there are two ways of doing this. Most of the new ballparks employ […]

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Three Movements in New Retro Ballpark Construction

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker     When I look at the 20-plus new ballparks constructed since the opening of Camden Yards, I see three distinct strands. Each strand represents the general sentiments of ballpark architects at the time. From my analysis, when comparing each movement, I see the architectural merits gradually worsen. Of course, this is […]

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Interior Design Topic: Faux Retro Ballpark Contrivances and Gimmicks

Posted On: | Categorized In: Article

By: Cole Shoemaker In terms of interior design, one of the most common and overused buzzwords we hear from critics is “contrived” or “gimmicky”. As I’ve touched upon in multiple articles, some of the new retro ballparks added gimmicky features to superficially distinguish the design because of underlying similarity. It can apply to dimensions (contrived) […]

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