Proposed Oakland A’s stadium. Source: Bjarke Ingels Group

I was in Silicon Valley last week while plans for the new Oakland A’s ballpark were revealed. Between the numbers and images flying around, I got to thinking about Rangers’ stadium taking shape in Arlington.

I’ll stop right here and say that the last baseball game I attended was a Chicago Cubs’ game (against lord knows who) in the late 1980s (I was a plus-one good friend). I’ve never cared for sports or the foam-fingered, face-painted, booze-sopped civic pride they engender.  So please don’t take this column as some sort of shot at baseball – this is about creating useful architecture.

First, it’s interesting that the in-person audience for professional baseball appears to be shrinking. Ranger’s Stadium is slimming from 48,114 seats to an estimated ~42,000. The Oakland A’s are also proposing a smaller, 34,000-seat stadium – their current digs seat 63,000 and were shared with the departing Oakland Raiders.

(more…)