Michael T. Friedman, "Mallparks: Baseball Stadiums and the Culture of Consumption" (Cornell UP, 2023)


In Mallparks: Baseball Stadiums and the Culture of Consumption (Cornell UP, 2023), Michael T. Friedman observes that as cathedrals represented power relations in medieval towns and skyscrapers epitomized those within industrial cities, sports stadiums exemplify urban American consumption at the turn of the twenty-first century. Grounded in Henri Lefebvre and George Ritzer's spatial theories in their analyses of consumption spaces, Mallparks examines how the designers of this generation of baseball stadiums follow the principles of theme park and shopping mall design to create highly effective and efficient consumption sites.

In his exploration of these contemporary cathedrals of sport and consumption, Friedman discusses the history of stadium design, the amenities and aesthetics of stadium spaces, and the intentions and conceptions of architects, team officials, and civic leaders. He grounds his analysis in case studies of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore; Fenway Park in Boston; Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles; Nationals Park in Washington, DC; Target Field in Minneapolis; and Truist Park in Atlanta.

Emilio J. Weber is a master’s student in the Physical Cultural Studies research group at the University of Maryland at College Park. He can be reached at ejweber@umd.edu or on twitter.

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