Dear Stadium Doctor:Building a new baseball stadium is...

Stadium Doctor

April 07, 1991

Dear Stadium Doctor:

Building a new baseball stadium is just fine and ought to be accepted by the avid fans. But why build a football stadium when heaven knows when we'll get a team? Spending another $200 million at the present time doesn't look good. Joseph Thaddeus Kasprzak


I like your letter. I like your thinking. I like your typing, although notice you've got a sticky "m" key on your hands. I'd try a drop of 3-in-1 oil. But what does that have to do with your question? Nothing.

I hear you, Joseph. And, so has the Maryland General Assembly. They're the people we've elected to handle the state's business. They're all over this football thing.

As you point out, they have authorized the Maryland Stadium Authority to build a football stadium at Camden Yards but only if nTC Baltimore gets a team in the National Football League. Nobody can lay a brick until then.

Good luck with your typewriter.

Dear Stadium Doctor:

While the stadium is progressing nicely with many traditional features, I am concerned about the entrance and exiting facilities to the upper stadium levels.

In left and right field there are long ramps that seem to provide easy access to the grandstands for both wheelchair and foot traffic. However, the remaining access facilities are, in fact, stair towers situated around the closed end of the stadium, with several flights of steps.

This is astonishing to me considering the objective of the new stadium design is to provide better facilities, including ease of access.

Please explain why access to the upper levels is not all ramps. In my opinion, stair tower-access is a step backward.

Ron Webb


Good news! Bruce Hoffman told me everything is OK.

I think I was extracting a wisdom tooth that morning. Anyway, I recall breaking away from some complex medical procedure to take the call from Hoffman, who is the stadium authority's executive director.

I said, this Ron guy makes some points.

He said: "As Ron says, there are stairs. But they're more for emergency access, if we were to lose power. We don't expect a lot of people to go up stairs."

Hoffman then went into a lot of detail about how people will get around, some of which I listened to. In addition to the stair towers, he said the ballpark will have four escalators, five elevators and the two major ramps.

Then, as I was about to return to the operating room -- as I recall, to complete a delicate hair transplant -- Hoffman added that things are even rosier than that because half of the people in the ballpark won't even be using ramps, stair towers or the rest. Because the lower stands are dug into the ground, people with tickets in those sections will walk into the ballpark and go down.

Have a question for the Stadium Doctor? Write c/o The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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