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After NBA, last Fours, concerts and also NFL, baseball involves San Antonio’s domed stadium

It to be the building where the new Orleans Saints came to play ~ the Superdome was severely damaged by Katrina. NCAA’s final Four — both because that men’s basketball (three times) and also women’s (two times) — has actually been a regular visitor. A significant college-football bowl game is play there each year, together is the country’s premier high-school football all-star game. The NBA play there because that for ripe season (including the championship series in 1999), and also it to be the website of the league’s all Star game in 1996. It’s additionally seen soccer, rodeos, ice hockey and huge concerts. In fact, it’s where George Strait elected to hold his taking leave concert.

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Yes, mountain Antonio’s Alamodome has hosted all kinds of significant events in its 20-year background … yet never baseball. That readjusted on march 29th and 30th of 2013. That’s as soon as Ryan Sanders Baseball, owner of the Round absent Express and also Corpus Christi Hooks, placed on an event called large League Weekend. The rangers (parent team that the Express) and also Padres (parent of the local San Antonio Missions) squared off in 2 exhibition games just before the start of the continuous season.

Was that a success? prior to we answer that question, let’s take it a look in ~ what type of baseball basic the Alamodome made.

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If friend drive close to downtown san Antonio, it’s virtually difficult to miss the Alamodome. The huge rectangular structure features tall masts protruding skyward from each corner. These are provided to assistance the roof/dome.

The structure itself is top top the eastern side that I-37 as it skirts by the key tourist area that has the Alamo. Directly throughout the highway is the enormous Tower that the americas (above left) which is in Hemisphere Park.

The north-side plaza of the Alamodome is shown in both of the shots above. Prior to a sporting event here, the plaza is complete of live music, attractions because that kids and lots of civilization milling around. In the street on the right-hand photo is a transit center, whereby park-and-ride buses and also direct bus courses drop pan off. Indigenous a public transit perspective, the Alamodome to be perfect because that the 2 baseball games. Native a parking perspective, the was just inadequate. As soon as the Spurs supplied to beat basketball here, illustration well under 20,000 fans, the lots nearby to stadium were most likely sufficient. Currently when a large event like huge League Weekend comes along, there simply isn’t sufficient parking next to the facility. And also if you go virtual to to buy a parking pass (like i did), the happen that has a face value of $20 (which is about what you’d expect) ballooned to virtually $32 with the business charges tacked on. Nice ridiculous.

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Once inside the Alamodome, it hits you pretty conveniently what sort of compromises and also accommodations had to it is in made come shoe-horn a baseball ar in here. Top top the left, i beg your pardon is a close-up that the first-base side, you check out the Rangers’ “dugout,” if you can call it that. The right-hand shot reflects the foul territory on the third-base side. In order to have a dugout for the Padres there, a number of rows that seats had to it is in eliminated, placing the an initial row that seats about 15 feet above the level that the field. This to be a clever way to enable as countless fans as possible to check out the plate and also the base-path between 3rd and residence … although, as we will see, over there were various other complications that retained fans from gift able come see.

The bullpens, through the way, were just past the outfield fence in left field.

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The shot on the left over was taken from high over center field, looking toward the right-field foul pole. The covered seats developed the batter’s eye. The seats past those tarps were 16 feet above the field, i m sorry was important to to the right the outfield there. The distance to the RF foul pole was a brief 285 feet together it was. The height of the wall surface was vital to include to the distance needed to hit a home run, similar to the tall wall in right field at at & t Park in mountain Francisco. Also, note exactly how deep the facility fielder and also right fielder are playing in the picture. Any farther back and they’d be on the warning track.

The shoot on the appropriate was taken indigenous the earlier of the club Level looking out toward facility field. It’s exciting to note that there to be no much more specators behind me, due to the fact that I was standing in former of a substantial corner the the building, simply as it is in left facility field in the picture on the best above. Also note in this picture that the lighting was uneven. I mean it operated well once the spur played here since they didn’t use any of the room that was in LF or CF for this baseball game. Instead, the basketball court ran parallel to, and also quite nearby to, the first-base foul line. Also, my guess is that football games probably didn’t endure a absence of execution because of the uneven lighting either.

All points considered, Ryan Sanders Baseball did a an excellent job working through the Alamodome people to be able to play baseball here at all. “We know the troubles we had getting the field to fit into the stadion here,” Ryan Sanders CEO Reid Ryan told me. “There will never be a full-season baseball tenant right here (in the Alamodome) because of that.” and also Ryan’s company spent heavily to outfit the stadium to prepare it for the 2 baseball games. The synthetic turf alone cost around a million dollars.

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San Antonio is a city of lots and also lots of military personnel, and they to be honored at a number of different points throughout the weekend, as they should be. One clever means was to have actually two soldiers rappel from the ceiling rafters high over the field, transferring the baseball for the ceremonial very first pitch of the game on Saturday in march 30th. In the photograph on the left, among the soldiers is nearing the field listed below him as he climbed under a rope. Top top the appropriate was the step just adhering to the ceremonial first pitch, where two Ranger legends formed the “battery.” because a variety of Ranger regulars were given the work off, sporting activities writer Anthony Andro tweeted, “Who says there’s no starpower in the rangers lineup today? Nolan Ryan cram out an initial pitch come Pudge Rodriguez.” Nolan is the one ~ above the ideal in the right-hand photograph above.

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Above you view the very first pitch that the very very first baseball game in the Alamodome. Ranger fireballer Alexi Ogando delivers the pitch to Everth Cabrera that the Padres.

How would certainly the ball bring in the enclosed atmosphere of the Alamodome? the took only two batters to answer that, as mountain Diego’s will Venable, who has hit only 45 home runs in his 1,582 big-league in ~ bats, rocketed the ball onto the batter’s eye in deep center field for a home run. 3 innings later, Venable’s teammate Jedd Gyorko dropped a high paris ball into the right-field seats for a two-run homer (the waver is shown over right). The rookie indigenous West Virginia would’ve checked out the ball land in the right-fielder’s gloves in any type of MLB park right now in use.

The rangers came ago to victory the first of the 2 exhibitions 5-4. Texas complied with that up with a 5-2 victory the next day to move the two-game set.

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Perhaps the best complaint from fans dealt with the nets (above left) the hung from supports attached to the rafters (above center). I do not have anything was this worse 보다 behind the Padres “dugout” ~ above the the third-base side, whereby fans were compelled to watch through one of two nets — or worse, to try to look through spots where 2 nets overlapped (right-hand picture above). Believe it or not, this is whereby my seats for the video game on the 29th to be located. Many of united state in that section gained up and also moved to an additional place in the stadium, also if it was in the outfield spring in from much away. That’s whereby I visited watch lot of the game.

“It all boils under to the reality that the glass in ~ the prior of the press box wasn’t bullet-proof,” Reid said me. “When the fire marshal examined the building, he asked around that glass, and we had actually to recognize that that wasn’t bullet-proof. Us were then compelled to download those nets that hang along the third-base foul line.” The notorious non-bullet-proof glass in front of the writers have the right to be watched in the left-hand shoot below.

Ryan went on to allude out that “The seat on the third-base side (of the stadium) don’t have as great of a vantage point, with the nets and also the way the seats begin so high above the field. The other three political parties of the stadium actually work-related pretty well. We had to sacrifice few of the check out of the third-base next so the various other three sides could see well.”

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Another difficulty with the nets was follow me the first-base line, beyond the dugout (above right). In ~ one point, I had a ticket ~ above the prior row, close to the right-field corner. When I checked out the view, I immediately turned around and also left to discover somewhere rather to sit. The problem? trying to see the batter with the huge expanse of netting at an angle was practically impossible.

Granted, the locations where the visibility to be the worst were reasonably limited. Honestly, Ryan Sanders Baseball did wonderful job do the problems as good as they could possibly be. And also if you had the poor luck to have a seat whereby the netting was making it tough to see, the wasn’t difficult to move to an additional section. Even with 35,000 or 40,000 in ~ the games, there were still 10s of countless unoccupied seat you could move to.

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On a lighter note, the contests and also races in between innings were rather enjoyable. Above, the “Ryan Express” mascot is beating various other Texas “legends” Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and also Jim Bowie. These personalities typically gyeongju at Rangers’ home games in Arlington.

In a weekend that firsts at the Alamodome, rather a couple of signs choose the one on the right-hand side over had to be posted for the very first time roughly the stadium, because there had actually never been baseball below before.

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Was it worth all of the expense and also trouble for Ryan Sanders Baseball to carry the very first baseball games to the Alamodome? come me, the noticeable answer is YES, as 75,000 pan bought ticket to see exhibition baseball play here. Selfishly, I’ll go anywhere to watch big-time baseball played whereby it typically isn’t, and also I know a variety of ballpark enthusiasm traveled long distances to view the only baseball games ever played here.

But the goes past that. It to be a clever strategic move for the Rangers, that are contending with the Astros because that the very huge San Antonio market. Houston is closer, yet the Rangers have actually the far superior team right currently — plus many much more Ranger games are walking to be televised in san Antonio this season 보다 in the past, and also it renders sense to acquire the locals excited about the boys from Arlington.

It made sense for the Padres, too. I’m sure they received a decent payday for play these 2 exhibitions. In addition, the regional Minor organization team, the goals of the Texas League, have the Padres together their significant League parent. Yes, large League Weekend made sense on a most levels. And now that baseball has actually been played here, there’s one much more reason to Remember The Alamodome.

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If girlfriend attended one of these games, or you have thoughts on large League Weekend, post your comment below. And if you desire to learn an ext on this weekend, check out Frank Jackson’s great write-up ~ above the Hardball time site. It offers a variety of wonderful historical perspectives.