With all the new, fancy sports venues being built these days, it doesn’t take long before the older houses become outdated. Between money issues and city politics, it’s not always easy to get a new place for a team to play, so they can be stuck in an older location for quite some time. There are tons of old stadiums and arenas in North America that teams have been inside far too long. We picked 10 that we thought were in need of some major renovations.
Qualcomm Stadium – Home of the San Diego Chargers
Built in 1967, this multi-purpose stadium has been home to the Chargers since their AFL days and it’s also the home of San Diego State football. It seats about 71,000 fans but in an era where the multi-purpose stadium is endangered, Qualcomm Stadium shows its age. After the Padres left in 2003, the NFL made it clear that if San Diego wanted to host another Super Bowl, it would need a new stadium. That says it all.
Joe Louis Arena – Home of the Detroit Red Wings
Ask almost anyone who has been to “The Joe” and they’ll tell you it’s one of the few cathedrals left among National Hockey League arenas – but after years of wear and tear, it could use a facelift. The arena opened in 1979 and has housed several different teams, in several different sports, over the years. It’s got long lines for the bathrooms with just two per gender, some concession stands still don’t accept debit cards and it has a number of poor sightline seats. The historic home of the Red Wings could soon be going the way of the buffalo though, as the city looks for real estate to build a new area.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – Home of the Oakland Athletics and Raiders
Opened in 1966, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – built for the Athletics and Raiders – was ahead of its time as one of the first multi-purpose stadiums. But little has changed since then and while both teams still call the stadium home, it’s simply too large and outdated for today. The sightlines for football games can be poor depending on the seats and the entire top tier is closed off for baseball games, not to mention the large amount of foul territory. With all the money the A’s save using their Moneyball tactics, you’d think the stadium would get renovated.
Tropicana Field – Home of the Tampa Bay Rays
The city of Tampa would be better off just building the Rays a new stadium but “The Trop” certainly could be fixed – at a hefty price. The field is in poor shape, the seats are unkempt and the concourse is cluttered. The area around the stadium is just as rundown as the inside but at least outside you don’t hear the muffled fan noise or their cowbells.
Ralph Wilson Stadium – Home of the Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been the sole inhabitants – besides an NHL Winter Classic – since the stadium opened in 1973, but the harsh Buffalo weather has taken a toll on it. It’s among the larger NFL stadiums, seating almost 74,000, but because the stadium was designed just for football it can be difficult to see non-sporting events there. The field has never had natural grass, suffers from heavy winds and has an outdated concourse, meaning a dome could really be beneficial. Maybe that’s why a remodel is planned to start this year – including a new entrance plaza and sports store.
Candlestick Park – Home of the San Francisco 49ers
The third oldest NFL stadium, Candlestick Park has seen it all. It’s hosted the World Series, hosted the Super Bowl and was even at the center of an earthquake in 1989. It housed the Giants until 1999 and now only the 49ers call the stadium home. It holds just over 70,000 and most of the stadiums' flaws left with the Giants. The concourse is beat up, along with the seats, and we’re not even going to mention the area around Candlestick Park, where a transformer exploded last season causing a lengthy delay. The 49ers are officially moving into a new stadium in Santa Clara, hopefully as soon as 2014.
Scotiabank Saddledome – Home of the Calgary Flames
It might have been renovated in 1994 to add luxury boxes, a restaurant and employee offices, but today more work is needed to Scotiabank Saddledome to help it compete with other NHL arenas. The arena seats just over 19,000 but has become a bit rundown since it was built in 1983 as part of Calgary’s attempt to host the Winter Olympics, which it eventually got in 1988. Financial analysts say that newer arenas generate more revenues than the Saddledome does for the Flames. They’re almost out of renovation ideas so the next step could be a new arena.
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome – Home of the Minnesota Vikings
Technically, the Metrodome was recently renovated when the roof collapsed after a bad snowstorm but it could still use a lot of work to better the fan experience. The stadium opened in 1982 and housed the Twins and the Vikings until 2009 but is now a football-only stadium. Poor sightlines – especially for baseball – are scattered throughout the seats, especially in the corners during NFL games. It has not withstood the test of time. There’s no doubt that either more money will soon be put into the arena, or the city will just build a new one.
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Home of the New York Islanders
To put it nicely, the Nassau Coliseum is a mess. It is run down, has poor sightlines and isn’t exactly one of the cleanest arenas in the NHL. Not to mention, Islanders games are sometimes interrupted by birds that fly around the arena or by technical difficulties. Last year Long Island fought to get it renovated but was hindered by the locals and now the team is destined to relocate to Brooklyn in 2015.
Fenway Park – Home of the Boston Red Sox
Now wait just a minute, before you go off the deep end, hear us out. The place is a baseball museum but even museums tend to weather and build-up dust. The entire area around the park is nice but the concourse inside... not so much. The concession stands and hallways inside are tight, plus additional seating would be nice since Fenway only holds about 37,000. All we’re saying is, it needs a touchup.
Photo Credit: Getty