Alamodome exhibition game

Eager to see pics of what a MLB game looks like in San Antonio’s Alamodome? No? Well, tough, here they are anyway.


Is it the Alamodome? Or the Metrodome? Or the Kingdome?


Yes, that’s 285 feet to the right field corner. It’s 354′ to the other corner, 410′ to center, and reportedly 387′ to the power alleys. I had guessed it’d be 280′ to right, so I was close.


Metrodome-style baggie wall


There’s no place for a press box behind the plate, so they used the football press box, placing the broadcast crews well down the LF line

The field was purchased for the games by Ryan Sanders, the baseball holding company partly owned by Nolan Ryan and his son Reid. It’s expected that additional exhibition games will be played there over the next couple of years. I hate to say it, but as silly and dome-y as it looks, the Alamodome could work as a temporary home. Maybe not for a full regular season. For a 22-game Expos-in-Puerto Rico barnstorming stint? I could see it. It could even work to the Rangers’ and Astros’ advantage if A’s “home” series against those two teams were held at the Alamodome. As long as the gate was divvied up to all parties’ satisfaction, it could work quite well as long as everyone understood that San Antonio’s role was truly temporary, instead of the threat of relocation experienced with the New Orleans Saints post-Katrina. Nolan Ryan’s future with the Rangers is a bit murky at the moment, so there’s no telling what will happen there. Still, Ryan Sanders will continue to have a big presence in terms of baseball in Texas, so if Bud Selig wanted to use a temp venue such as the Alamodome, he knows who to call.

The guy in the middle of the final picture above is a City Councilman whose name I didn’t pick up during the interview. He and the Rangers broadcast team talked about MLB in San Antonio. The discussion was framed in terms of San Antonio getting a future expansion team if MLB went to 32 teams. There was no discussion of San Antonio as a relocation candidate.

Attendance for the first game was 34,641. The Alamodome’s capacity is 65,000 (slightly less for baseball), so as you’d expect, the place looked half full. Or at least the upper deck looked empty. Perhaps they could’ve used some tarps.

Finally, take a look at this video showing the conversion of the Alamodome from empty floor to half-grass, half-arena football layout, then the installation of the infield. They even went to the trouble of laying down a dirt pattern for the entire infield, even though like most artificial turf indoor ballfields, they used dirt cutouts instead of a true dirt infield as in Tropicana Field.

16 thoughts on “Alamodome exhibition game

  1. I watched a bit. A right handed hitter rocked a bomb to right center. No way that’s 387.

  2. Why would they lay down dirt in the infield if they were just going to cover it up?

  3. Oakland folks who believe the A’s have no go might want to pay attention to this

  4. pjk, The Alamodome would never work long term. That’s kind of what these pictures and this article are about. It was just a publicity stunt and brand spreading maneuver by the Rangers and Padres who both have links to the San Antonio area (it’s designated Rangers territory and the Padres AA team plays in San Antonio). Still I’d forgotten those games were being played this weekend. I’ll have to record and watch the game tonight.

  5. So what if San Antonio offers to put up 50 percent of the costs of a new ballpark (unlike the 0 percent being offered by Oakland) and lets the A’s use the Alamodome until the new ballpark is built? Think this makes San Antonio viable as a relocation option? You bet it does.

  6. Except for territorial rights… The same thing that’s keeping the A’s out of San Jose could very well be used to keep the A’s out of San Antonio.

  7. At which point MLB will need to decide if it wants the A’s to remain a permanent welfare recipient in OAkland or making Big $ somewhere else.

  8. Dan, I don’t think the Rangers have T-Rights to SA. Whatever rights they have there are likely similar to the O’s & DC. They’d put up a fuss over it, but they won’t be able to pull the BS the Giants are able to. Hell, a couple of years ago Selig approved the Rays to talk to SA, not that it went anywhere.

  9. That short porch in right field instantly reminded me of LA Coliseum. A quick Google & Wikipedia search showed it’s only about a 34 feet difference between the two. If the Rangers are going to be playing more exhibition games here, you think they might consider adding screens like the Dodgers did?

  10. The dimensions are reminiscent of Baker Bowl. It had a 280 right field and a 300 right center. I wonder how tall the wall is? BB had a 60ft wall, so a plexiglass shield above could match it.

  11. If anyone has a problem with baseball in San Antonio, it’s the Astros who are only 200 miles away. They’d also need to build away from downtown to try and attract fans from Austin. Both SA and Austin(Round Rock) have only AA franchises, which is odd.

  12. Kinda odd that Austin and San Antonio only have AA teams while El Paso is soon to be host to a AAA team.

  13. Not to quibble, but I believe Austin/Round Rock is in the AAA Pacific Coast League, affiliated with the Rangers.

  14. I just rewatched the second game of the Padres series with the Rangers on my DVR. And we have nothing to fear from them using the Alamodome as a temp venue. It won’t work for more than the occasional ST or exhibition game. Not only does it have the too short baggie wall in right (kind of a Metrodome/LA Coliseum combo) but it also has no seating along the 3rd base/left field line. They don’t show the angle often during the games, but when they do the lower level seats on the left field line are approx 20 feet above the field level. Which means the entire line and left field foul territory aren’t visible from the 3rd base side of the field. I can’t imagine those kind of hamstrings would fly even for a 2-3 year temporary venue.

  15. I think any team moving to San Antonio is more analogous to the Expos becoming the Nats. The big fight would be over regional cable money, not territorial rights.
    Arguably, those cable rights are the bigger deal, but you have some really old conservative business guys running MLB. They aren’t all that forward thinking (outside of the MLBAM group, which I think Bob DuPuy championed and has since been run out of baseball).

  16. All pie in the sky, MLB and Cali politicians won’t let this happen.
    Expos in San Juan happened because nobody in Quebec cared enough to stop it.
    SJ pol’s who have a stake in the A’z move won’t let it happen without a fight.

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