The Ugly Betty of Arenas
Baltimore Civic Center
Kevin Cowherd's "Baltimore Hockey Classic" piece in today's Sun had some wonderful verbiage about the 1st Marina Arena, which will always be the Baltimore Civic Center in my retro-fitted mind's eye. His comments about what it would take to get a minor league hockey team (and by extension, any "big time" indoor sports team) are not just funny, but spot on.
So let's say the city gets serious about attracting a minor league team. First thing you need: a new arena. 1st Arena Arena won't cut it anymore. It's the "Ugly Betty" of arenas. And this Ugly Betty is now in her late 40s, wearing support hose and troweling on the mascara to keep people from noticing how she's aged.
After all, the place was built in 1966, opening as the Baltimore Civic Center. The Beatles played there in 1964. In fact, that should be one of the criteria when assessing the state of any arena. If the Beatles played there, it's time to tear the joint down and put up a new one. If Elvis played there, the wrecking ball should be crashing through the doors right now.
"It's just an obsolete arena," Lewis [Howie Lewis, president of Baltimore Bandits Booster Club] said of 1st Mariner. "I don't want to use the word 'dump'..."
"But any building that has a stage at one end," Terri Lewis said.
Yep, that's the kind of charm it exudes now. Sometimes it smells like the circus just left. Or worse, like the circus is still there.
Labels: baltimore civic center