When reporters ask me how long a stadium can be expected to last before it becomes obsolete, I like to remind them of sports economist Rod Fort’s classic quip that “I don’t see anything wrong, from an owner’s perspective, with the idea of a new stadium every year.” At least, I thought it was a quip at the time:
[Columbus Crew president Mark] McCullers says the time is approaching when the team’s owner, Hunt Sports Group, will have to decide whether to upgrade Crew Stadium or build a new facility in the area.
“The stadium is 15 years old now,” he said. “We don’t want to throw good money after bad. We need to start having the discussions about a longer term facility solution for us and that could take a variety of forms.”
Crew Stadium actually opened May 15, 1999, which makes it a little less than 14 years old, not 15. And there are examples of teams wanting replacements for buildings younger than that — the Fort quote above, for example, was in reference to Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos demanding a new arena just 12 years after his existing one opened. (For that matter, McCullers said something similar three years ago, when his stadium was only 11 years old.) But it is possible that McCullers may have set a record for youngest sports facility to be used in the same sentence with the phrase “throw good money after bad.”