Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Snyder’s Soapbox: The A’s ballpark renderings may look outlandish, but that’s what the Vegas Strip is for

Welcome to Snyder’s Soapbox! Here I pontificate about a matter related to Major League Baseball on a weekly basis. Some of the topics will be pressing matters, some might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things and most will be somewhere in between. The good thing about this website is it’s free and you are allowed to click away. If you stay, you’ll get smarter, though, that’s a money-back guarantee. Let’s get to it.

Last week, the team that will maybe, possibly, eventually be the Las Vegas Athletics unveiled artist renderings of its proposed ballpark in Vegas. Pay particular attention to the bottom two pictures in here for the purposes of our discussion: 

What comes to mind? Yeah, the Sydney Opera House. The entire internet saw it. I found it hilarious how many people just had to make that comment on Facebook or other social media sites, as if it took some elite-level, astute mind to see the connection. It was so widespread, it was to the point that it felt exaggerated. 

The millions of people saying this weren’t wrong, even if the architect denied his inspiration. I get it. I see it. 

My response was that we need to consider where this thing is being built. 

The plan right now is on the site of the current Tropicana resort. That’s on the famed Vegas Strip, down on the south end close to the likes of MGM Grand, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay. 

While others might laugh at the prospect of a ballpark looking from the exterior like the Sydney Opera House, I laugh at the possibility of a “normal” ballpark sitting on the Strip. Picture something like Great American Ball Park or Citizens Bank Park or Truist Park on the Strip. Maybe it sounds cool for many and I wouldn’t exactly hate it, but I feel like a ballpark on the Vegas Strip should have more color or be almost outlandish. Actually, we can lose the word “almost” in there. A lot of the Strip is outlandish, so let’s embrace that. 

You’ve seen the Strip, right? Maybe not in person, but certainly in photos or moving pictures.

The Strip has: 

  • Gondola rides on fake “Venice” waterways
  • A fake pirate ship that used to have live-action shows
  • An Eiffel Tower that isn’t the actual Eiffel Tower
  • The New York skyline that isn’t actually skyscrapers. There’s a roller coaster around that property (no, there isn’t a roller coaster going around the actual New York City)
  • A volcano that erupts multiple times a day (it’s not a real volcano)
  • A Roman “Colosseum” outside a place called Caesars Palace
  • A pyramid with a sphinx, only the pyramid has hotel rooms and a casino inside

Do I really need to keep going? 

C’mon. 

The people asking why a baseball park looks like the Sydney Opera House are asking the wrong question. The actual question is why wouldn’t you build a baseball park that looks like the Sydney Opera House on the Vegas Strip? 

The next question might be: What does this have with the history of the Athletics baseball franchise? 

The answer? Nothing. Nothing at all. And I don’t really care. What does a roller coaster have to do with a mini New York City that contains a casino? 

In fact, if a team wants to move to Vegas, I want the ballpark exterior to completely ignore the history of the franchise. It needs to be ludicrous to the point that passers by have no idea what it actually is. That’s part of the attraction of being on the Strip and possibly drawing in unsuspecting patrons. 

Once we enter the park, yeah, let me see a “normal” baseball yard. Throughout the concourse, the A’s can give nods to franchise greats from all generations — Eddie Collins to Jimmie Foxx to Reggie Jackson to Rickey Henderson and much more. They could even start with statues for those four. 

But the exterior? 

This is the Vegas Strip. The only way to blend in is to do something outrageous. I absolutely love this proposal and hope it comes to fruition. 

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