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SPECIAL SECTION / BASEBALL 2001

New Stadiums

April 01, 2001|Staff and Wire Reports

Five new baseball parks have opened since 2000, including Miller Park in Milwaukee and PNC Park in Pittsburgh this season:

MILLER PARK

* Location: Downtown Milwaukee on Miller Park Way (formerly U.S. 41).

* Dimensions: Left field 342; center field 400; right field 345.

* Capacity: 43,000. * Cost: $399 million.

* First game: April 6 vs. Cincinnati.

* The lowdown: Miller Park is a convertible-roof stadium that replaces County Stadium, which opened in 1953. The fan-shaped roof weighs 12,000 tons and is made up of seven panels. It rises 200 feet above the grass field. The roof will open and close in 10 minutes, and the temperature inside can be raised or lowered by 30 degrees. Miller Park was supposed to open in 2000, but the opening was delayed because of a crane accident in July 1999. The fences in the left- and right-field corners are fairly deep, but Brewers who took batting practice there recently said it will be a hitter's park. "Balls that normally don't go out, that didn't go out in County Stadium, will go out here," Manager Davey Lopes said.

PNC PARK

* Location: Along north shore of Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.

* Dimensions: Left field 325 feet; center field 399; right field 320.

* Capacity: 38,127. Cost: $262 million.

* First game: April 9 vs. Cincinnati.

* The lowdown: PNC Park, which replaces Three Rivers Stadium, is an intimate grass field park with asymmetrical fences that is meant to evoke memories of old-time parks such as Forbes Field. The city skyline, especially the Roberto Clemente Bridge, will serve as an outfield backdrop. The power alleys are 389 feet in left-center and 375 in right. Straightaway center is 399 feet but it's 410 feet to a nook in left-center. The fence will vary from six feet in left and 10 feet by the left-center bullpens to a 21-foot wall in right honoring Clemente, who wore No. 21. It's the smallest park in the majors besides Fenway Park.

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