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Back to the Big A

Today Daniel and I went to our first Angels game in two seasons. Last year we planned on going, but we really did not find time, and the Angels were struggling so it dropped to the bottom of our priority list. I actually have been to AT&T Park in San Francisco twice since my last trip to Angels Stadium and I was worried I would think the classic Big A would be a dump.

There has been talk recently of the LA Angels wanting to get a new stadium in Orange County. I’m not sure if it is just the owner blowing smoke or if they are really into getting something new, but I am all for it. As worried as I was, I still think Angels Stadium is a great place to watch a game. We sat in the left field near the foul pole which had a great view despite not being angled towards home plate. The beyond-outfield view of the San Gabriels and the 57 freeway, although not as stunning as AT&T Park in San Francisco, still is better than stadiums like the Coliseum in Oakland or Chase Field in Arizona. The problem, like most older facilities, is in the bones. You can make the stadium bowl as nice as you want, but it’s the restrooms and concession stands that really make a ballpark experience shine.

When I have gone to Chase Field, I’ve loved the wide concourses and variety of options to purchase food inside the park. I’m not a fan of the whole roof thing, but it makes a summer game in Phoenix very bearable and almost comfortable. AT&T Park being only 14 years old has great bones as well as the spectacular bay views which really set it over the top. The last time I was at Dodger Stadium, it looked great in the bowl area but again, some of the facilities – specifically the trough urinals in the restroom – were truly showing their age.

I am not even sure it is possible to leave the stadium bowl intact while gutting the concourses, but if they can do it at Angels Stadium I think it is well worth it. However, I am thinking that it is less expensive just to build a new one. I would prefer they use the same land in Anaheim, mainly because I cannot think of any site in Orange County (or LA County) that can provide a nice scenic backdrop for the outfield. Maybe along the coast?? Good luck in getting that approved in California!

One of the things I love is following the building of new stadiums. The poor Oakland A’s have been waiting years to get a new one although I just wish we could magically go back to the way it used to be when I lived up there in the late 1980s. There is a great website which tracks the developments in getting the A’s a new home. Hopefully the Angels will get something grand and nice that is a worthy successor to the Big A or they do another massive renovation to bring it into the 21st Century.