Seattle’s floating baseball field and other stadiums that never made it

March 5, 2011

This proposed baseball and football stadium would have floated on Elliott Bay in Seattle. Fly balls would have been a great adventure for outfielders who would have played there. (From the Seattle Municipal Archives)

Thanks to Greg Ponder — my wife’s brother-in-law, my Spring Training ticket supplier and one of the biggest baseball fans I know — for sending me this Slate.com slideshow of sports stadiums that never got built. The featured designs are testaments to the issues involved with getting stadiums from the conceptual phase to construction, from securing funding and public buy-in to making unusual ideas work.

My absolute favorite design is the floating, retractable-roof stadium that was proposed for Seattle in the early 1960s to attract pro baseball and football teams to the city. According to the Seattle Municipal Archives, the stadium would have floated on Elliott Bay, blocks from the site of the 1962 World’s Fair — “if a way could be found to keep the playing field level.” For some strange reason, a funding referendum got shot down in 1966, partly over “questions about the project’s feasibility.”
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Finally, the blog has come back

February 18, 2011

For as long as we’ve known each other, Jimmy and I have enjoyed debating sports with each other. In September 2009, we decided to channel those spirited discussions into a blog about the nation’s premier college athletics conference, the ACC. We figured it would be great if we could pick up a few readers along the way, but mainly, we just wanted to have some fun blogging about what we already texted, e-mailed and talked about.

A lot has changed in the year and a half since we launched Instead of Texting. For example:

  • The name for our blog was inspired by Jimmy’s girlfriend, who suggested that we post our sports conversations online “instead of texting.” Today, Jimmy is happily married to this literary genius.
  • When we began, I was a committed Cincinnati Bengals fan (in more ways than one). Then they signed this guy and this guy, and I decided I’d had enough.
  • In September 2009, we were bracing ourselves for Sidney Lowe to lead N.C. State through another mediocre basketball season in a red blazer. Today, he’s leading N.C. State through another mediocre basketball season while wearing a bowtie.

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IoT’s first month

October 1, 2009

Between its Sept. 1 launch and Oct. 1, Instead of Texting got a respectable 1,400 visits, or an average of 36.67 per day.

But all isn’t as it seems. The IoT Two got more than 600 hits — nearly half their total — on a single day. Add in a 112-page-view day in mid-September, and you get a pair of boom-or-bust bloggers.

Just kidding. We did just finish our first month, and we did get slightly more than 1,400 page views in that first month. Special thanks go to James Curle at Yet Another N.C. State Sports Blog and Joe Ovies at The ACC Sports Journal, who’ve graciously linked to a couple of our entries.

If you’re new to the site, here are some of the early pieces you may not have seen:

Va. Tech, BC the biggest winners in the expanded ACC (9/2)

What lies ahead for Russell Wilson? (9/3)

Can the ACC get two teams into the BCS? (9/3)

The luckiest guys in the ACC (9/10)

Getting expansion right (9/14)

Repent, Rashad McCants! (9/15)

Mars and Venus, watching sports (9/18)

Tyler Hansbrough, pitchman (9/21)

Ranking Miami (9/26)

Live blogs

Miami-Florida State (9/7)

Georgia Tech-Miami (9/17)

Miami-Virginia Tech (9/26)