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Multi-purpose Stadiums Newsbeat

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hail and farewell to football games played on baseball dirt

Sunday will close the book on a small but significant era of NFL football: the early-season days when NFL games would take place on the infield dirt of dual-use stadiums.

Oakland’s home stadium — it’s now called RingCentral Coliseum, but you wouldn’t have guessed that if I’d given you a hundred chances — will see its last Raiders game Sunday with the infield dirt from the A’s still in place. Oakland’s next “home” game is in London, and between byes and road trips, the Raiders won’t return to Oakland until after the baseball season’s over. And Oakland is the final dual-use baseball-football stadium still hosting games in the NFL ... for a few more weeks, at least.

That’s a tiny tragedy, if only because it means we’ll never again get the deeply weird visual of a running back skittering out toward right field, a kick returner picking a route right over the pitcher’s mound, or a quarterback rolling out to deep short.

If you’re of a certain age, you remember the era when games across the country were played in squat futuristic donuts like Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Busch Memorial in St. Louis — ugly modernist circles that hosted both baseball and football teams. And since baseball season ran into the opening weeks of football season, even for terrible teams like the mid-70s Braves or the mid-90s Pirates, you were guaranteed to see some beefy corn-fed massive-shoulder-padded monster drive a running back with a neck roll as thick as your thigh into the unexpected russet brown of infield dirt.

Some thoughts on the end of the multi-purpose stadium that takes a much different tone than those linked to lately.

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:53 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: concrete ashtrays, multi-purpose stadiums, oakland coliseum

 

 

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