Many professional sports teams across America are preparing to transfer into elaborate new facilities in the near future while staying in the same city. The Washington Nationals kicked off the movement, hosting baseball's Opening Day ceremony with the grand opening of Nationals Park. The stadium boasts spacious accommodations and views of both the Capitol and the Washington Monument. After spending the last three years toiling away in the decrepit RFK Stadium, the young team finally has a facility to be proud of.
Unfortunately for the New York Yankees faithful, 2008 will be the last year the Bronx Bombers play in Yankee Stadium. The baseball landmark will be demolished soon, and the Yankees will move into the new Yankee Stadium, which was designed to resemble the original 1923 version. The latest incarnation will seat 52,000, and the club plans on providing 24,000 seats priced under $45. One borough over, the Mets will also say goodbye to Shea Stadium after 2008. The team will relocate to Citi Field, a stadium whose exterior was designed to resemble Ebbets Field, home of the long-since-departed Brooklyn Dodgers. This nod to the past has received heavy praise from New York fans since the stadium design was unveiled two years ago.
In football, New York's two teams will be sharing a new field in the Meadowlands. After the proposal for a stadium on Manhattan's Lower West Side was shot down in 2005, the Jets and Giants sought to continue their stadium-sharing with another New Jersey-based field. The currently-unnamed stadium will open in 2010.
In Dallas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is constructing a new home for his beloved team. The unnamed stadium will seat 80,000 and is designed in such a way that players taking the field will walk right past fans sitting in club seats. The field is scheduled to open in 2009.
This year, football's Indianapolis Colts will also occupy a new home, leaving the RCA Dome and moving across the street to Lucas Oil Stadium. The brick-and-glass indoor stadium was designed to pay homage to the city's auto-manufacturing roots.
Hockey fans in Pittsburgh will be relieved to know that the Penguins, a team that recently was dangerously close to declaring bankruptcy, will be moving into a new stadium in 2010, securing the franchise's place in Pittsburgh for the long-term future.
It's a lot to take in at once, but fans don't have much choice: New stadiums are sprouting across the country like never before.