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[Opinion] The Citizens’ Stadium

Posted October. 31, 2004 23:15,   


According to a brochure of Coors Field in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a ball that flies 400 feet high in Yankee Stadium flies 440 feet high in Denver. The thin air of the high mountains minimizes the movement of the curve balls, and makes fastballs go six inches higher.

The entire twentieth row of the stand is painted purple to indicate that it is one mile above the sea level. Because of light air and low humidity of the high mountain region, Coors Field is famous as being offense-friendly. Almost 300 home runs, twice as many as in other stadiums, are hit each year, and the average score is eight to seven.

In 1967, Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to expand the number of teams in the National League (NL) from 10 to 12. The people in Denver participated in a bid to host an expansion team, passing out leaflets and banners s that said, “Let’s give hope to our children.” However, the owners of the NL teams preferred cities where a large-scale stadium was already built to secure a high profit from the sales of tickets. The mayor of Denver proposed that six counties in Denver area raise one percent of the sales tax to fund the building of a stadium for a year, but 60 percent of the voters were against the proposal, and the two expansion teams were awarded to San Diego and Montreal.

In 1990, the MLB announced that two more teams be added to the National League. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for Denver. The voters in the Denver area approved a 0.1 percent sales tax to fund a stadium, whose total cost was $215 million. Very quickly, the team began to attract an enormous number of fans to the stadium. Some 50,000 people crowded into the stadium to watch the team and the stadium that they will build in the next three years. While other teams had hard time luring two million spectators a year, 4.5 million people frequent the Coors Field annually.

Last month, the Boston Red Sox won four games in a row after losing the first three games, advancing them to the World Series. They went on to win four consecutive games and became the World Series champions. Red Sox fans went into a frenzy of celebration. Meanwhile, in the Korean Series, an unprecedented three games ended in a draw, and we are now waiting for Game Nine. Without the fans’ support, no sport can survive. And, it is not only sports that cannot succeed without support from the public.

Kim Young-bong, guest editorial writer, is professor of economics at Chung-Ang University. He can be reached at