When I was a young lad, I remember my first trip to Fenway. The mere size of it was overwhelming to a seven-year-old. The distinct smells of Fenway Franks, crackerjacks, and beer still give me nostalgia to this day. I thought that there could be no better place for the Red Sox to play their home games.
Then I went and saw a baseball game at another stadium and I realized how much we were missing out.
Fenway Park is a historical icon, although most of the history that has happened there hasn’t been good history. Both of Boston’s recent World Series clinchers came on the road. However, history alone should never be the reason that a franchise holds onto an outdated, uncomfortable, and overrated facility.
Fenway’s unique and cramped dimensions are the result of being built around an existing neighborhood, instead of vice versa. It was built in 1912 when William Howard Taft was President.
To put that in perspective, the second oldest park in the American League is the Oakland Athletics‘ County Coliseum, which was built in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson occupied the Oval Office. The Kansas City Royals are the only other team in the AL to have not have a stadium built in the past 25 years.
The Ballpark in Arlington is a sight to see. Although it was built nearly 20 years ago (1994), it is light years ahead of Fenway. It seats nearly 50,000 people, and gets much louder than Fenway ever could. It serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area and was strategically built in a vast open area that provides ample parking and easy access.
When you arrive at the stadium, the unique brick structure makes it seem as if you are entering some sort of castle. As you walk in, you see escalators going in all sorts of directions. The concourse is huge and doesn’t get overcrowded. The seats all angle towards home plate, instead of towards Center Field as they do at Fenway.
As you enjoy the splendor of the massive stadium with the throwback theme, you can’t help but wonder, why not us? Why can’t we have a beautiful ballpark like this to go to to enjoy watching the Red Sox? Why do I have to travel 2,000 miles to do this? I’ve seen the Red Sox play in Arlington, Pittsburgh, New York, Anaheim, and Baltimore. All of these parks have generally left me asking the same question.
What exactly is the team waiting for? The time for change is now, Red Sox Nation. Even the most nostalgic of Red Sox fans will thank me later.
So what do you think? Should the Red Sox build a new stadium? Where have you seen the Red Sox play? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments to keep the conversation going.
Aidan Kearney also writes for his own blog aidanfromworcester.com. Follow him on Twitter @aidanfromworc