San Diego celebrates 50th anniversary of hands-down nuttiest stadium idea ever

Just because this was proposed back in 1964 doesn’t mean that there was every really a serious chance of San Diego building a floating convertible baseball/football stadium for the Chargers and Padres, especially since the Padres were still a Pacific Coast League team at the time. Still, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the holy crapness of it all:


13 comments on “San Diego celebrates 50th anniversary of hands-down nuttiest stadium idea ever

  1. Amazing. And so far ahead of its time. They really understood how venues would be modernizing with luxury suites, premium seats and retail.

  2. Nutty, but I like it! There are stadia today with huge moving parts, like Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, home of the top Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The entire field slides out of the stadium on off-days, the better to get full sun and air circulation, and to avoid damage during concerts and other non-soccer events.

  3. The Arizona Cardinals field rolls out into the sun too. Still, there’s a big difference between a field on rollers and an actual grandstand on … what would it be, pontoons?

  4. Aloha Stadium in Honolulu had the grandstands on rails to move from a baseball to football configuration. Until it became too expensive to move and maintain so they locked it into a permanent football configuration.

  5. Perhaps underwater rails mounted to concrete pylons?

    I think the planned Doha Port Stadium, being constructed for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, might have San Diego beaten. It’s a modular stadium, to be disassembled after the World Cup and “sent to developing countries to further their football development.”

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1271091

  6. (To be clear, I’m not a fan of the Qatar World Cup–it will be a massive carbon-wasting glorification of an illiberal oil kingdom.)

  7. Maybe send this one to the guys at newballpark-dot-org. They’re looking for a stadium solution for the A’s, and Oakland wants to put one in at the Port of Oakland. This could work out for both the A’s and the Raiders.

  8. Back when the Colorado Rockies first came into existence they played at the old Mile High Stadium, and they would FLOAT half the stadium on less than an inch of water about 150 ft back to configure it for baseball.

  9. You would think it would make more sense to leave the RF section attached to the home plate section, and just move the 3B one. Sell more seats for football and only one movable grandstand needed. Were they trying to avoid football on the baseball diamond?

  10. The sliding/exchangeable field idea is one of the few modern enhancements that actually makes sense to me. The stadium is then available for all kinds of other events, not held hostage by it’s primary tenant that “won’t allow” anything to compromise the playing surface (unless they get their vig, obviously).

    Thanks for the this Neil… hadn’t seen the pics before.

  11. Team Owners: If you don’t give me more tax money I’m going to raise anchor and float the whole operation to Santa Monica.

    But, living in an area where we make floating bridges out of concrete for the bargain price of $4 billion dollars or so, I see no problems with the concept as long as no access portals get left open in a freak Thanksgiving storm.
    http://www.king5.com/traffic/news/skagit-river-bridge/History-of-Western-Washington-bridge-disasters-209108591.html

  12. Mmmm, I can smell the public stadium cash rolling in like gravy to build one of these things!

    Not that any self-respecting NFL owner would share his stadium and his revenues and his public financing with some baseball guy, sheesh! What’s ours is ours, especially when it starts out as yours, hehe.

  13. “The sliding/exchangeable field idea is one of the few modern enhancements that actually makes sense to me. The stadium is then available for all kinds of other events, not held hostage by it’s primary tenant that “won’t allow” anything to compromise the playing surface (unless they get their vig, obviously).”

    The problem in pretty much every place it was tried was it was never an enhancement, the best you could hope for is an inconvenience to the ground crew. Often though it just made it a bad fit for either sport at least for the fans but could also cause in game incidents.

    Another thing most people do not consider in pro sports at the business level the competition is not the other teams in their league, where they are mostly a group of local monopolies, the real completion is other local pro teams you are fighting for sports entertainment dollars of the same population.

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