New stadiums are falling apart too, nobody’s calling for them to be replaced (yet)

So a bolt fell off the retractable roof of the Indianapolis Colts‘ Lucas Oil Stadium last night and hit a woman in the head. This came just two years after a railing collapsed at the same stadium, and just a little over a week after a piece of concrete fell in a concourse at the Detroit Tigers‘ Comerica Park.

Now, it’s important to understand that this stuff happens, though obviously it’s not ideal. When it happens at older stadiums, though, it’s taken as a sign that they’re dangerously outmoded and in need of replacement — recall both the falling expansion joint incident that helped launch Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for a new Yankees stadium and the falling Wrigley Field concrete that began talk about replacing or renovating the Cubs‘ home field. When it’s a newer stadium, though — Lucas Oil Stadium stadium opened in 2008, and Comerica in 2000 — it’s just an unfortunate mishap.

Of course, given recent trends in stadium lifespans, it’s probably not all that early for the Tigers to start talking about needing another new stadium to replace Comerica. Anybody spotted Mike Ilitch returning a blowtorch and hacksaw?


3 comments on “New stadiums are falling apart too, nobody’s calling for them to be replaced (yet)

  1. Well, Comerica is 15 years old, and there aren’t many 20 year old sports facilities… Maybe this is the beginning of the end.

    We’ll start getting articles about one shortcoming or another that really can’t be addressed with simple fixes. “Uh oh, we’re having a hard time getting hot water into the showers, and digging up those pipes might break a fingernail. Better start over.”

    This is how it begins. And the process sometimes takes 10 or more years. I’d wager Comerica will be replaced by 2025.

  2. If we are admitting that the “business” of stadium development and construction is just too lucrative for the delicate economy, why should we worry about tenant franchises?

    Let’s just start building stadiums everywhere. Who cares if there’s no one to play in them (how is that worse that having a tenant that pays no rent? Or a tenant who the host city must PAY to play in the arena taxpayers built for them?)… just build baby. Put an 18,000 seat arena or 40,000 seat baseball stadium in every city with a population of more than 10,000.

    Hey, if they are such great economic drivers, why not?

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