9 Most Unique Stadiums in Sports
In many stadiums around the United States, there’s much more to each game than what happens on the field. From ferris wheels to pools and aquariums, here are some of the most unique–and downright odd–stadium features in sports.
Marlins Park: Behind-Home-Plate Fish Tank
Home to the Miami Marlins, Marlins Park has a unique feature you won’t see at any other ballpark. Stretching 34 feet to the right of home plate and 24 feet to the left, two colorful fish tankss create a one-of-a-kind backstop for home plate. Earlier this season, Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto hit a foul ball that broke the fish tank, creating a small crack and causing water to spill out. No fish were harmed, but this incident might serve as a warning to other stadiums that want to have pets at the park.
Fenway Park: The Green Monster
Found a monster in Boston! #greenmonster #redsoxfanforaday pic.twitter.com/MQs0EmfF43
— Don Bowser (@KingKoopa_curl) August 5, 2017
What sports fans have come to know as the Green Monster, the 37.2 feet tall green wall stretching 231 feet across left field, was once just a wooden fence at Fenway Park. Built in 1912, the wall was initially built to create privacy between the ballpark and the Fenway neighborhood. After a fire in 1933, the wall was rebuilt with tin and concrete. It wasn’t until 1947 that the wall went from being covered in advertising to being painted green to match the rest of the park, then covered with hard plastic in 1975. It’s the highest wall in any MLB stadium
Miller Park: Bernie Brewer’s Slide
Bernie Brewer has been the Milwaukee Brewers‘ official mascot since 1973. In the 1980s, after each home run and Brewer victory Bernie would slide down a beer-barreled chalet and into a giant beer mug. When the bleachers were rebuilt in 1984 the chalet was replaced, much to the chagrin of Bernie’s biggest fans. Bernie made his return in 1993 and now cascades down a plastic yellow slide after each home run, landing on a large home plate-shaped platform. The original chalet is on display at the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.
EverBank Field: Pool
In 2014, EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, underwent renovations that included a big change to seating arrangements. Thousands of stadium seats were removed to make room for new party decks in both end zones, equipped with a pool, bar, and cabanas. These pool-side cabana seats cost $250 per person including all you can eat and drink. These luxury cabanas offer fans a cool way to watch their team play.
SunTrust Park: Zip Line
SunTrust Park, the recently opened home to the Atlanta Braves, is offering fans activities outside of watching the game. To provide plenty of family-friendly activities a zip line was added, the first of its kind in any stadium. The zip line runs behind the video board and will take riders from one end of the concourse to the other. In addition to the zip line, SunTrust Park also has a climbing wall and arcade games for families to enjoy.
Comerica Park: Ferris Wheel and Carousel
Another view of the Comerica Ferris Wheel. @ChadLivengood pic.twitter.com/d4zXsZUeUj
— Cobredonkey (@cobredonkey) July 14, 2017
Home of the Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park has two features that separate it from other ballparks. First, there is the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel located near third base. It’s a 50-foot Ferris wheel with baseball shaped cars that seat up to five passengers each. In addition to the Ferris wheel, there is also the Comerica Carousel. The Comerica Carousel is located behind first base and has 30 hand-painted tigers and two chariots.
U.S. Bank Stadium: Legacy Ship
With it’s inaugural season approaching, the U.S. Bank Stadium will feature a 55-foot tall Viking ship with a massive video-board sail. Sitting right outside the stadium, the Legacy Ship’s deck is made of 14,400 custom-engraved bricks that fans purchased to honor their connection to the team.
Wrigley Field: Ivy Wall
Across the MLB there is a rule that all fields have a padded outfield wall, but rule makers didn’t have the heart to change the iconic ivy wall at Wrigley Field and grandfathered the Cubs stadium into the new era. Some rules had to be made around the ivy walls, since occasionally baseballs will get stuck in the ivy making the ball unplayable. As the ivy changes throughout the baseball season, growing thick through the spring and turning red in the fall, it continues to distinguish this stadium from the rest.
Minute Maid Park: Ornamental Train
HE HIT THE TRAIN!
Last night, Jose Altuve hit a MONSTER home run for the #Astros. 🚂🚂🚂🚂 pic.twitter.com/mhtJFfr86C
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 18, 2017
Minute Maid Park is home to the Houston Astros, and also home to the Ornamental Train. The train goes along an 800 foot long track that’s on top of the left-field wall and carries a heap of oranges. It is used to celebrate when Houston gets a home run or wins. The train represents the Union Station that used to be where the ball park is today.
(Image courtesy of Eric Kilby via Flickr.)