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Indoor MLB Stadiums: A Complete History

indoor MLB stadiums

Indoor MLB stadiums had a strong run from the opening of the Astrodome in 1965 until the era of modern, cozy ballparks changed the landscape for good beginning in the 1990s.

Big domes and Astroturf may be passé today, but that doesn’t mean indoor MLB stadiums are completely extinct.

And it also doesn’t mean the indoor parks of yesteryear don’t still loom large in the game’s history. Let’s celebrate those weather-resistant green cathedrals with a run through all the indoor MLB stadiums we’ve ever known … past and present.

Astrodome (Houston Astros, 1965-1999)

This is the one that started it all, the so-called “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The Astrodome was home to superstars like Nolan Ryan, Cesar Cedeno, and Jeff Bagwell, and it saw some amazing postseason baseball in 1980 and 1986.

Kingdome (Seattle Mariners, 1977-1999)

Much derided during its entire run, the Kingdome suffered through the worst years of the expansion Mariners and was a constant point of contention when the team started making noises about moving elsewhere in the 1990s.

Olympic Stadium (Montreal Expos, 1977-2004)

Built for the 1976 Olympics and designed with a whiz-bang retractable roof, Olympic Stadium wasn’t completed until the late 1980s. Even then, the roof was a constant source of malfunction and frustration.

The Expos left Jerry Park Stadium for Olympic Stadium and stayed there until 2004. That offseason, they left town and became the Washington Nationals.

Metrodome (Minnesota Twins, 1982-2009)

Technically the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, this place became known as the “Baggie Dome” thanks to its plastic right-field wall. The Metrodome was electric during the postseason and played a large role in Minnesota’s World Series victories in 1987 and 1991.

Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays, 1989-present)

The first of the still-active stadiums on our list (Olympic Stadium still hosts CFL games), Rogers Centre in Toronto is also the first of the indoor MLB stadiums with a viable retractable roof. This was the home of the world champion Blue Jays in both 1992 and 1993.

Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks, 1998-present)

Another retractable-roof stadium, Chase Field has been the home of the expansion Diamondbacks since they winked into existence in 1998. It’s seen some memorable performances, from the likes of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, for example, and was also home the 2001 World Series champs … who just so happened to defeat the mighty New York Yankees.

Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays, 1998-present)

A throwback to an earlier era, Tropicana Field is the only active, permanent indoor stadium … and it’s a dome, to boot! Originally built in 1990, the existence of Tropicana helped Tampa win a bid for a 1998 expansion team.

Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners, 1999-present)

“The House that Griffey” built, Safeco Field was an outcropping of the Mariners’ unlikely 1995 postseason berth and a symbol of how close the team actually got to leaving town before municipal bonds saved the day.

Safeco has a retractable roof.

Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros, 2000-present)

Another retractable-rook stadium, Minute Maid Park began life as Enron Field and has seen the play of Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, as well as countless other superstars.

Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers, 2001-present)

Miller Park replaced County Stadium, which had also been home the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950s (and the Chicago White Sox in 1968 and 1969), as well as occasionally hosting the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. Another retractable-roof field, Miller Park is famous for it’s sausage races between innings.

Marlins Park (Miami Marlins, 2012-present)

Marlins Park is a retractable-roof stadium that opened in 2012, allowing the Marlins to vacate Joe Robbie stadium after 29 seasons in Joe Robbie Stadium. Marlins Park is renowned for its marine colors and fun features.

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