Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stadiums Hosting Both Baseball and Football

Using the same stadium for baseball and football never works.

In the early days of pro football, most of the big stadiums in the big cities were the baseball parks. Most of the major State universities, with college football programs, were either in or around State capitals, which may or may not have also been the biggest cities in the State. So stadiums big enough to house NFL teams were not, generally, in big cities.

So early NFL teams were usually forced to play in 30,000-to-50,000-seat stadiums that were designed for baseball, and the sight lines didn't exactly work. Stadiums like Griffith in Washington, Shibe Park in Philadelphia, and Wrigley Field in Chicago often had to add 10,000-seat bleacher sections from left-field fence to 1st-base foul line (to keep a north-south alignment for sun purposes) to provide closer seating.

And in the 1960s and '70s, when the multipurpose stadiums went up, the sight lines became not so good for football, and atrocious for baseball, even with the movable field seating, as seen at places like Shea and the Vet.

Thankfully, people with the power to do something about it began to figure this out, and such situations are now, almost, all gone, emphasized this week with demolition beginning on the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Here's the entire list, with my thanks to In each case, the baseball team playing there is listed first. In some cases, the stadiums were known by multiple names:

Anaheim, Anaheim Stadium (now Angel Stadium): Angels and Rams, 1980-94.

Atlanta, Atlanta Stadium/Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium: Braves and Falcons, 1966-91.

Baltimore, Municipal Stadium: Orioles (minor-league edition) and Colts, 1947-50 and 1953. In 1953, it was converted into...

Baltimore, Memorial Stadium: Orioles and Colts 1954-83.

Boston, Braves Field: Braves and Bulldogs, 1929; Braves and Braves, 1932. In 1933, the NFL Braves became the Redskins.

Boston, Fenway Park: Red Sox and Redskins, 1933-36 (the Redskins then moved to Washington); Red Sox and Yanks (yes, "Boston Yanks"), 1944-48; Red Sox and Patriots, 1963-68.

Buffalo, Bison/Offermann Stadium: Bisons (minor-league) and Bisons (NFL), 1924-29.

Buffalo, War Memorial Stadium: Bisons (minor-league) and Bills (AAFC), 1946-40; Bisons (still minor-league) and Bills (AFL/NFL), 1960-72.

Chicago, Comiskey Park: White Sox and Cardinals, 1920-59.

Chicago, Wrigley Field: Cubs and Tigers, 1920; Cubs and Bears, 1921-70.

Cincinnati, Redland/Crosley Field: Reds and Reds, 1933-34.

Cincinnati, Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field: Reds and Bengals, 1970-99.

Cleveland, League Park: Indians and Indians, 1921.

Cleveland, Municipal Stadium: Indians and Rams, 1936-45; Indians and Browns, 1946-93.

Denver, Bears Stadium/Mile High Stadium: Bears (minor-league, later Zephyrs) and Broncos, 1948-92; Rockies and Broncos, 1993-94.

Detroit, Navin Field/Briggs Stadium/Tiger Stadium: Tigers and Heralds, 1920; Tigers and Tigers, 1921; Tigers and Panthers, 1925-26; Tigers and Lions, 1938-74.

Houston, Astrodome: Astros and Oilers, 1968-96.

Kansas City, Municipal Stadium: Athletics and Chiefs, 1963-67; Royals and Chiefs, 1969-71.

Los Angeles, Memorial Coliseum: Dodgers and Rams, 1958-61.

Miami, Joe Robbie Stadium/some other names in between/Sun Life Stadium: Marlins and Dolphins, 1993-2011.

Milwaukee, Athletic Park/Borchert Field: Brewers (minor-league) and Badgers, 1922-26.

Milwaukee, County Stadium: Braves and (occasionally) Packers, 1953-65; Brewers and (occasionally) Packers, 1970-94.

Minneapolis, Nicollet Park: Millers (minor-league) and Red Jackets, 1929-30. They also played some games at Lexington Park, home of the minor-league St. Paul Saints.

Minneapolis, Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington): Twins and Vikings, 1961-81.

Minneapolis, Metrodome: Twins and Vikings, 1982-2009.

Montreal, Montreal Stadium/Delorimier Downs/Hector Racine Stadium: Royals (minor-league) and Alouettes, 1946-53.

Montreal, Olympic Stadium: Expos and Alouettes, 1976-86, and again 1996-97.

New York, Polo Grounds: Giants and Giants, 1921; Giants and Yanks, 1949; Giants and Giants (the version that lasted), 1925-55.

New York, Ebbets Field: Dodgers and Horsemen, 1926 (2 of Notre Dame's "Four Horsemen" played on it); Dodgers and Dodgers/Tigers, 1930-49.

New York, Yankee Stadium: Yankees and Yankees (an early AFL team that moved into the NFL), 1926-28; Yankees and Yankees (the 2nd AFL), 1936-37; Yankees and Yankees (the 3rd AFL), 1940-41; Yankees and Yankees (AAFC), 1946-49; Yankees and Yanks (Dan Topping was an owner of both teams), 1950-51; Yankees and Giants, 1956-73.

New York, Shea Stadium: Mets and Jets, 1964-83. The Yankees also used it in 1974 and '75, and the Giants also used it in '75, making that the only year in which 4 major league sports teams used the same facility.

Oakland, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum: Athletics and Raiders, 1968-81, and again since 1996.

Philadelphia, Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium: Athletics and Eagles, 1944-54; Phillies and Eagles, 1944-57. The Eagles then played at Franklin Field, before moving back in with the Phils at...

Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium: Phillies and Eagles, 1971-2003.

Pittsburgh, Forbes Field: Pirates and Steelers, 1933-63. The Steelers then played at Pitt Stadium, before rejoining the Buccos at...

Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Stadium: Pirates and Steelers, 1970-2000.

St. Louis, Sportsman's Park/the first Busch Stadium: Cardinals (and Browns) and All-Stars, 1923; Cardinals (and Browns) and Gunners, 1934; Cardinals and Cardinals, 1960-65.

St. Louis, the second Busch Stadium: Cardinals and Cardinals, 1966-87; Cardinals and Rams, 1995 (because what's now the Edward Jones Dome wasn't quite ready).

San Diego, San Diego Stadium/Jack Murphy Stadium/Qualcomm Stadium: Padres and Chargers, 1969-2003.

San Francisco, Candlestick Park/3Com Park: Giants and 49ers, 1971-99.

Seattle, Kingdome: Mariners and Seahawks, 1977-99.

Toronto, Exhibition Stadium: Blue Jays and Argonauts, 1977-89; SkyDome/Rogers Centre, since 1989.

Washington, American League Park/Griffith Stadium: Senators and Senators, 1921; Senators and Redskins, 1937-60.

Today, the last one left in America is the Oakland Coliseum, and A's management is trying hard to get out, but a move out of the Bay Area entirely now looks more likely than a new stadium there. The only other one in North America is the Rogers Centre in Toronto, and neither the Jays nor the Argos have any plans to seek a new home field.

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