October 7, 2007

Sports Venues to See (and not to see)

Alright, so I got taken by this spirit by a conversation at work last week. So below are the three venues I'd love to see a game in each major sport and the three venues I'd loathe seeing a game in each major sport. I have never been to a game played by any of the home teams at any of these venues, so some stadiums/arenas are not included where I've already visited. Your comments and your lists are welcome...

MLB Loves:
1) Wrigley Field - Take the El to an afternoon game in May with a few postgame brews at Murphy's Bleachers. Niiiiiice.

2) Fenway Park - Yeah, yeah, yeah... cliche. But man, just walking around the outside of the stadium in 2004 gave me goosebumps. Too bad the stadium was closed for a ballpark tour due to a John Kerry fundraiser (yeah... that worked out well).

3) Yankee Stadium - This narrowly beat out PacBell Park and plus I'd have to watch the game surrounded by Yankee fans. But this stadium has insane history and only one more season.

MLB Loathes:
1) Tropicana Field - Join the bandwagon

2) Dolphins Stadium - Named for the football team. Rain delays and rainforest humidity. Enough said.

3) McAfee Coliseum - Another football stadium that also happens to host A's games.
NFL Loves (VERY tough to pick only three):
1) Lambeau Field - History, rabid rans, great tailgates, a place where it still is all about the football.

2) Texas Stadium - I hate the fucking Cowboys. But a Monday night game against my Skins, I would die to have the chance to see. Plus, I've heard out of all the Skins NFC East opponents, their fanbase is the tamest on visiting NFC East fans.

3) Qwest Field - This place narrowly beat out the Cardinals' stadium, but I've had numerous friends who have been here and say that not only is the architecture really amazing, but it is disturbingly loud, even louder than RCA Dome.

NFL Loathes:
1) Giants Stadium - Hell off Exit 16W housing two mediocre teams.

2) Qualcomm Stadium - Great weather, but a concrete bowl of a stadium with way-too-mellow Chargers fans.

3) Jacksonville Stadium - Tame fans, constantly underachieving team, no great rivalries.
NBA Loves:
1) Staples Center (Lakers game) - It'd be fun to get a nosebleed seat, grab some binoculars, and play spot the celebrity.

2) Madison Square Garden - Mediocre team, sexual harrasser of a coach, but an arena that I've never made it to that I need to at some point before I die.

3) Conseco Fieldhouse - Pacers fans love their basketball and from what I've read, they tried to do the whole throwback thing with Conseco... integrating Hoosiers with modern-day-NBA... and they did it well.

NBA Loathes:
1) Charlotte Bobcats Arena - Nothing to see here. Really... nothing.

2) Philips Arena - An interesting arena architecturally, but not really a fun and spirited venue when I could probably sit in the upper deck and hear the Hawks players talking to each other on the court... 15000 empty seats tend to amplify sound.

3) The Pyramid - Repeat... NBA basketball doesn't belong in Memphis, Tennessee.
NHL Loves:
1) HSBC Arena - Sabres fans are insane and if it's the dead of winter and it's Buffalo, hockey feels right.

2) Rexall Place - In the middle of Edmonton, hockey belongs in this arena that seats a very large fraction of the total population of Edmonton, Alberta, and is filled every single game.

3) XCel Energy Center - Alright, so the Wild fail the mascot test of being a "singular" mascot, but if you've ever watched a Wild game on TV, you know that these fans follow every move of the puck and scream and yell every second of every game.

NHL Loathes:
1) Bank Atlantic Center - This is literally in the middle of the parking lot for Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida, and for every explanation for HSBC Arena, reverse it and you have Panthers fans and the Panthers' arena.

2) Nassau Coliseum - Another arena that just sits in a vast suburban wasteland off the Long Island Expressway and should be torn down for the same reason the Capital Centre was torn down.

3) RBC Center - Simply because the Hurricanes co-occupy the place with the fucking NC State Wolfpack. Also, do any Carolinians actually understand hockey?
NCAA Football Loves:
1) Ohio Stadium - Ben will be all over me for this one, but I've already seen a game in the Big House, and I think even he would admit that Ohio State fans are fun to watch a game with.

2) Memorial Stadium - Cornhusker fans paint this stadium red and crazy. Count me in.

3) Husky Stadium - You can take a boat to it, and on a bright sunny fall day with views out over the water, one of the most picturesque stadiums in college football.

I gotta add that a close 4 and 5 are Lane Stadium (Va Tech) and Camp Randall Stadium (Wisconsin)

NCAA Football Loathes:
1, 2, 3) Any NCAA football team that shares it's home field with an NFL team
NCAA Basketball Loves:
1) Cameron Indoor Stadium - I admit it. I feel dirty.

2) Assembly Hall - Hoosier mania.

3) Rupp Arena - Ashley Judd.

NCAA Basketball Loathes:
1) Verizon Center - You're playing in an NBA arena and therefore have zero school spirit, not to mention that half the people there rooting for Georgetown are bandwagon whores.

2) Continental Airlines Arena - Are you kidding me? You're in the Meadowlands watching Seton Hall. You're surrounded by people who got rejected by Rutgers. Enjoy.

3) Crisler Arena - Save your money and go to a Michigan hockey game at Yost.

6 Responses:

Dewey said...

MLB Loathes:
3) McAfee Coliseum - Another football stadium that also happens to host A's games.

It's actually a great place to tailgate. Going to A's games is pretty awesome, and I don't even really like baseball (thanks, Peter Angelos).

"ben" said...

Jeremy, come on. You think I'm going to be upset that you listed Ohio Stadium? Have I not said over and over again how great the Horseshoe is? The Big House is fine because it's big and historical and usually you can see a good team play. But the stadium is very plain. We'll see after their 200 million dollar renovations if it still is.

"ben" said...

As for the rest, first of all, get off your ass and go to those baseball stadiums! You've never been to Yankee stadium? You're not all that far away. Honestly, I didn't think it was even close to Fenway, Wrigley or Tiger because those were true historical parks. Yankee Stadium feels like it was redone in the '70s...which of course, it was.

I wish I could have gone to old Comiskey. Or is it now just Comiskey, since new Comiskey is US Cellular (which, by the way, needs to be on your MLB Loathes list).

Kevin Hayward said...

There are a lot of great baseball stadiums out there, and come to think of it, I think the Big Picture dedicated an entire post to that a while back.

My Top Three
1. PacBell/ATT
2. Fenway
3. Wrigley

Haven't been to Yankee Stadium (hoping to make it out there next season!), but Safeco, Camden Yards, and Dodger Stadium are all very nice as well.

"ben" said...

All of the "retro" parks I've been to are very nice (Pitt, Cincy, Philly, Baltimore, Cleveland). Of those, Camden Yards is obviously the best. It's the original and it's simply the greatest. Jacob's Field is really good, too. All the retro parks are starting to feel the same, though. It's kind of sad in a way, but it's a hell of a lot better than having the Vet, Busch, Municipal, Riverfront and Three Rivers.

Not sure if Comerica counts as a retro park. And Mr. Anonymous, please don't take this as a personal affront to you and your family, but it's not a very good stadium. It's okay for the actual game (which is the most important thing) but the concourse and outside is too much like a carnival. I haven't been there since they got good. Maybe the crowd makes the atmosphere much better.

Still, nothing can beat Tiger Stadium for me. That is my favorite all time. I'm just sorry I didn't get to go more often.

J-Red said...

SBC Global/Pac Bell is the only park I feel I really have to see still.

Also, I might be the only person in the world who really liked Shea.

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!