Stadiums in the U.S. serve as the home away from home for sports fans—primarily the folks who cheer for the home team—and there's no doubt that there's a lot of these types of venues as they're often viewed as sacred getaways for the general public. There's a good amount of fans out there who flock to their nearby stadiums to grab snacks, purchase beverages and watch their favorite teams in action. There's also visiting fans that make a certain stadium a priority on their sports bucket list. There's a lot of fun involved in attending live games, even in an era where we're so used to getting all the entertainment we need from our couch.
From the historic Astrodome in Houston, Texas to the Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, we're quite sure that you're going to recall some of the stadiums that we're about to give a much-needed shout out to at some point in this list. Whether the stadium was recently taken down or unfortunately abandoned, there is certainly some nostalgia attached to these venues, as they all had their share of memorable sports moments. Some stadiums though, just outlive their usefulness to sports teams and simply become outdated. Still, it doesn't make it any less sad when fans realize that a stadium is disappearing and all that will be left are memories. We should point out some of these are no longer standing at all, but will simply present a sad feeling of seeing a stadium that has been left behind and in all likelihood, won't be standing for very long.
Here are 20 photos of U.S. stadiums that were sadly left behind.
20 Astrodome (Houston, Texas)
Ah, the good old Astrodome in Houston, Texas. For those reading who didn't know, the Astrodome was the home of various Houston-based teams, particularly the Houston Astros, who played their home ballgames there from 1965-99. The Houston Oilers played there as well, before their move to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans.
The Astrodome had once been dubbed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" for its attractive historical and magical qualities that attracted a good amount of Astros fans and just baseball fans in general. Even if you didn't care for the Astros, you likely wanted to visit the Astrodome from time to time. Seeing it now as basically a temporary shelter in times of need, or basically a storage area is a little unsettling.
19 St. Louis Arena (St. Louis, Missouri)
If you were old enough to remember, the St. Louis Arena was previously known as the Checkerdome from 1977-83. Either way, it was the former home of the St. Louis Blues and many other St. Louis-based teams like the St. Louis Hawks, St. Louis Eagles and Saint Louis Billikens.
Enough of the history lesson. The St. Louis Arena was nicknamed the "Old Barn," but as soon as a local artist, Bob Cassilly, walked over the city's government with a $200,000 down payment to purchase the stadium, they immediately accepted and demolished it, despite the public's objection towards dismantiling. This controversial move led to a "thanks for the memories" type of reaction from the public.
18 Shea Stadium (Queens, New York)
If you're a New York Mets fan, then you should be well-aware that Shea Stadium was the team's home before Citi Field. The Mets played there from 1964-2008, along with the New York Jets, who played there from 1964-83.
The removal of Shea Stadium occurred in order to create additional parking spaces for the public for Citi Field, which was adjacent to this historic stadium that was named after William A. Shea. Shea of course, was the man who was responsible for bringing National League back following the Giants' and Dodgers' moves to the West Coast. While many commend Citi Field as a venue, many miss Shea Stadium.
17 Pontiac Silverdome (Pontiac, Michigan)
The Pontiac Silverdome (or the Silverdome for short) was a multipurpose domed stadium whose roof was made of fiberglass fabric that was held up by air pressure, which was the first architectural technique in a major facility that serves athletes. It was the largest stadium with a seating capacity of more than 82,000 until FedEx Field opened up in Landover, Maryland. The stadium hosted various events besides the Lions, including WrestleMania III and for a sermon from Pope John Paul II.
After Ford Field opened up in 2002, the Silverdome was left without a long-term tenant and it was eventually demolished via implosion following a series of closures and auctions without a permanent solution that'd work well with everyone.
16 Tiger Stadium (Detroit, Michigan)
Let's take a look at another then-stadium in the Detroit area. Tiger Stadium was the home of the Detroit Tigers from 1912-99 plus the Detroit Lions from 1938-74. It was declared a State of Michigan Historic Site in 1975 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places list since 1989.
The final Tigers game at Tiger Stadium was played in 1999. After that, the Tigers vacated the stadium and rejected redevelopment efforts, which led to its eventual demolition in 2009. The stadium's playing field still stands at the corner where it once stood, which might be a historic aspect that you'd want to check out.
15 Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
Giants Stadium was open to short-term and long-term tenants in East Rutherford, New Jersey, until its closure in 2009 in the midst of the then-construction of MetLife Stadium, where the New York Giants and New York Jets have been playing their respective home games since 2010.
The Jets and Cincinnati Bengals were the final two NFL teams who played at Giants Stadium on Sunday Night Football on January 3, 2010. Just a month later, demolition went underway and was completed on August 10, 2010. So yeah, the Giants and Jets fans flocked over to MetLife Stadium to make new memories to keep safe in their memory banks.
14 Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Georgia)
This is a very recent stadium, as the Georgia Dome didn't last for too long, as it opened in the '90s, only to be removed for something bigger and better. The successor was Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened on August 26, 2017. Once that opened, the Georgia Dome was demolished less than three months later on November 20, 2017.
Now, the Atlanta Falcons play at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Georgia Tech football team plays at the Georgia State Stadium. So the two Super Bowls XXVIII and XXXIV, 25 Peach Bowl Games from 1993-2016 and 23 SEC Championship Games the stadium hosted from 1994-2016 were fun while they lasted.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank financed the new stadium and the whole world will get to see it on display in Super Bowl LIII.
13 Miami Orange Bowl (Miami, Florida)
Did you know that Miami Orange Bowl was initially known as Burdine Stadium when it opened up in 1937? Either way, it was widely considered as a landmark in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Moreover, it was the home of the Miami Hurricanes and the Miami Dolphins for their first 21 seasons in the NFL.
Fast forward to 2008 when the Miami Orange Bowl was demolished to pave the way for the Miami Marlins' Marlins Park in 2012. The Marlins have been a perennial losing organization and many Miami sports fans were upset that the iconic home of their Hurricanes was removed to accommodate the Marlins, particularly former owner Jeffrey Luria, who got the stadium, then sold the team for a far greater value.
12 The Spectrum (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The Spectrum opened up in South Philadelphia as the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which was a simple enough name, in 1967. That would've been 42 years today.
But the Spectrum was a multi-purpose arena that served as a venue for basketball, hockey and concerts. It was best known as the former home of the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers, but its final event was actually a Pearl Jam concert that took place on October 31, 2009. It was eventually demolished in 2011. Aside from Philadelphia and South Jersey natives, I'm not sure if anyone else missed the Spectrum when it rested in pieces. The Flyers and Sixers promptly moved to the building now known as the Wells Fargo Center.
11 Texas Stadium (Irving, Texas)
The Dallas Cowboys were the most famed tenant in Texas Stadium, which stood in the western suburb of Irving from 1971-2008. It was finally taken down in 2010, thanks to a building implosion. It also served as the home of the NCAA's SMU Mustangs from 1979-86 and NASL's Dallas Tornado from 1972-75 and 1980-81.
Texas Stadium was a decent stadium and definitely served home for many iconic Cowboys moments. But the Cowboys left Irving for Arlington to play at AT&T Stadium, a state of the art building they moved to for the 2009 season. The Baltimore Ravens handed the Cowboys a 33-24 loss at their final game at Texas Stadium, which was a disappointing way to say goodbye to the stadium.
10 Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, North Carolina)
The Charlotte Coliseum, which was the home of the Charlotte Hornets from 1998-2002 and the Charlotte Bobcats (now in its second stint as the Hornets) from 2004-05. In case you need a refresher, the Charlotte Coliseum hosted 371 straight sell-out NBA games, including seven playoff games, from 1988-97. It hosted its final NBA game on October 26, 2005, against the Indiana Pacers in a preseason matchup that year.
After that, the City of Charlotte sold the Charlotte Coliseum and was later taken down by an implosion on June 3, 2007. The NBA had just returned to Charlotte, with the expansion Bobcats franchise, and they got a new home in the form of the Spectrum Center.
9 (Old) Yankee Stadium (The Bronx, New York)
What would our list without a mention of the good old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx? We're talking about the stadium that opened up in 1923, not the current stadium that you've come to know since its grand opening in 2009.
The original Yankee Stadium was nicknamed "The House that Ruth Built" and its main tenant was the one and only New York Yankees ballclub. Sure, there were other tenants such as the NFL's New York Giants, NCAA's New York University and AFL's New York team, but there was no better feeling than seeing the Yankees in person inside this historic stadium. Many feel the new Yankee Stadium lacks the same charm the old one did.
8 Uline Arena (Washington, D.C.)
The Uline Arena, also known as the Washington Coliseum, was an indoor arena that first opened up in 1941. Its original mission was to host hockey games as Uncle Mike Uline built the arena for his hockey team, the Washington Lions of the Eastern Hockey League. Uline Arena was a rather controversial arena as it was used not only for sports, concerts and speeches, but also a makeshift correctional facility. Uline Arena still stands today, but it has been vacant for the longest time. As the picture shows, there's not really much use for it anymore, other than parking some cars.
7 Memorial Stadium (Baltimore, Maryland)
There were a lot of stadiums with the name Memorial Stadium, but the stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, has been dubbed as a lovable dump for its mid-20th century horseshoe stadium type of style. Memorial Stadium was the home of the Baltimore Colts (now playing in Indianapolis) from 1953-83 and Baltimore Orioles from 1944-53 in the International League and 1954-91 in the MLB. It also hosted a wide range of University of Maryland football games.
It's just a shame the Memorial Stadium closed its doors in 1997 and got taken down in 2002. As we know, the Orioles now play at the beautiful Camden Yards, while the Ravens opened their own stadium, rather than take the former home of the Colts.
6 Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
There's just something about Philadelphia-based stadiums that make us wonder why they were built to begin with. Take, for example, Veterans Stadium, which was a multi-purpose stadium that was known as the former home of the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies. It sort of resembled the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, so perhaps that's the reason why the crossover didn't fared well for the long run.
A little over three decades after its grand opening in 1971, Veterans Stadium closed in 2003 and was removed in 2004. It was a fast process that took only 62 seconds, but it happened for a reason, despite how it was a historical monument. The Eagles of course, moved to Lincoln Financial Field, while the Phillies got their own home, Citizens Bank Ballpark.
5 Miami Marine Stadium (Miami, Florida)
Unlike most of the stadiums in our list, the Miami Marine Stadium is pretty darn old. It opened up in 1963 and closed its doors in 1992. It cost a boatload of money to generate—$2 million at the time—and it turned out to be a waste of money.
I mean, it's cool how the Miami Marine Stadium was built on the Virginia Key with an initial intention of hosting fans flocking over to powerboat races, but it ended up hosting concerts with high-profile folks like Richard Nixon and Sammy Davis Jr. in attendance. But it was a shame how Hurricane Andrew took over the State of Florida and affected this stadium in the process.
4 Candlestick Park (San Francisco, California)
If you're a Bay Area native like myself, Candlestick Park holds a special part in your heart even if you're one of the most casual sports fans in the country. Candlestick Park was best known as the home of the San Francisco 49ers from 1960-99, but it was also the go-to park of the San Francisco Giants from 1971-2013 and a temporary home of the Oakland Raiders from 1960-61. This was a stadium that survived the wear and tear, including the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 that measured 7.1 on the Richter Scale, and unfortunately got swept by their crosstown rival, the Oakland Athletics, in the World Series that year.
Candlestick Park was demolished in 2015 when the 49ers moved to their new grounds in Santa Clara.
3 Cow Palace (Daly City, California)
Unless you live in the Peninsula area, you've likely never heard of Daly City, California. But that's okay as Daly City is a quiet suburb of San Francisco.
Daly City is the city where the Cow Palace is located. The Cow Palace was once the home of the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL from 2012-14, but since then, tenants have been few and far between. Like pretty much the only tenants are the occasional musicians and bands who stop by to perform a show or two along with the commencement ceremonies of the Academy of Art University. That's not a good sign for the sporting life.
2 The Dome (St. Louis, Missouri)
It's got to feel ultra disappointing for residents of St. Louis in how the city lost not only their football team, but the potential of being home to a greatest show on turf part 2. With the Rams being so exciting to watch now, St. Louis has to be feeling bitter, knowing what they could've had, if Stan Kroenke hadn't had his sights set on Los Angeles. The Rams played in St. Louis for 20 years and gave the city some great memories. The stadium has mostly been standing unused since the Rams left town, but will serve a purpose once XFL football kicks off in 2020.
1 Kingdome (Seattle, Washington)
Admit it, you knew where this list was going to end, right? The Kingdome opened up in 1976 and turned out to be a part of Seattle's history. It was primarily the home of the Seattle Mariners from 1977-99 and Seattle Seahawks from 1976-99, but also welcomed the Seattle Sounders from 1976-83 and Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) from 1978-85, '89 and '93.
But, as we know, all the Seattle franchises moved to greener pastures. The Mariners moved to Safeco Field and the Seahawks moved to CenturyLink Field. The Kingdome was closed and taken down in 2000.