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