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Eric Habermas said on April 5th, 2010 at 9:53 am

The opening of Camden Yards was a seminal event in the retro movement, ushering in an era of open-air ballparks, typically characterized by exposed steal beams; panoramic views of downtowns, bridges and bodies of water; and integration with their surrounding neighborhoods. The concrete monstrosity that is SkyDome and the new Comiskey were an extension of (and thankfully the final chapter of) the forgettable cookie-cutter era. I bet both the Blue Jays and White Sox would love to have do-overs. Recent ballparks influenced by Camden Yards include Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Washington and Minnesota, among others.

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Brian Connolly said on April 5th, 2010 at 11:36 am

I don’t think its fair to say that “new builds are not primarily financed through public funds any longer”. Over the last few years, high-revenue teams like the Yankees, Mets and Cardinals have been able to build new ballparks with less than a 25% public contribution, but other franchises have still needed significant amounts of public funding for new builds. Construction of the Nationals, Twins and Marlins new ballparks were all more than 70% publicly funded. And even in the case of the Yankees/Mets, the construction bonds were issued by the City on behalf of the teams in order to help them save on interest costs.

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Jared Frank said on April 5th, 2010 at 11:55 am

I agree with you Eric. Camden Yards did jumpstart the “throwback” era of stadium construction that spurred urban development in most markets. I chose SkyDome as a reference point to compare costs. I tried to communicate (uneffectively I would say) that SkyDome was a seminal event for modern high cost projects. I could’ve stated this better. Bottom line is in the postmodern world, buildings have to last a heckuva long time and be functional and profitable for that same length of time.

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Jared Frank said on April 5th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for reading the post and commenting Brian. Your criticism is fair. Financing of new stadiums is market dependant. But not all new builds in all markets are primarily funded by public money. This is all I was trying to point out. It is worth restating your point here for everyone- “primarily” was probably not the best word choice. Rather, “some” new builds are not entirely funded by the public. Regardless of the owner/financier, thier investment needs to last and there are greater means today of achieving that sustainability than ever before.

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Brian Connolly said on April 5th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I do agree that the current economic/political climate is generally making it more difficult to obtain public funding. And you are right, one of the outcomes of that increased scrutiny is that municipalities are now requiring a stronger commitment that the ballpark (as well as any surrounding development) will be sustainable and provide a long-term return on investment.