I'm going to preface this with the fact that this post is
in fact going somewhere. You can skip past the pictures if you're in a big hurry.
I spent my Saturday afternoon inside a bunker known as John F. Savage Hall. The University of Toledo calls it a basketball arena, but these are people who have chosen to spend their college years in Toledo, so their judgement is natually (and somewhat automatically) called into question.
The reason for this seemingly strange choice was that my wife's alma mater (Ohio University) was in town, and since I've dragged her to Columbus, Evanston, and Tempe in the last couple years in the name of Buckeye football, I probably owed it to her.
We had fun, the Bobcats won
, and the entire game (tickets and parking) cost a whopping 25 bucks.
The arena wasn't much to look at... very dark, not much in the way of character. It opened sometime in the mid-70s, while the nation was in the midst of the Veterans' Stadium/Three Rivers Stadium-type stadium design craze, so functionality really was the watchword of the time.
They also had multi-colored seats in the upper levels (like the New Orleans Superdome) so that if you see them out of the corner of your eye it looks like there are people in them.
The point in all this was that part of the draw for me was adding another name to the list of places I've seen a game. I haven't gone to many college basketball arenas, but when you take college and pro sports together, I've seen games in a whole lot of different buildings, many of which were memorable for one reason or another.
My challenge to you, dear reader, is that I'm interested in the places you've seen games. If you're up to it, put one together and either post it on your blog (and put a link in the comments) or just write out the list in the comments section.
I'll write my list out and then add a list of a few stadiums or arenas that were "you have to do this", places that I really want to see a game, and some places that I'm sorry I never got a chance to see a game.
If you're still reading this, you probably care enough about this stuff to be able to put together a decent list as well, so you should do it.
A note of explanation: I'm only listing stadiums under the category of places I actually saw a game. For example, Ford Field is under college football but not NFL because I've seen a Motor City Bowl, but never a Lions game.College football
Giants Stadium (2 Kickoff Classics, 1 Army/Navy)
Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)
Rose Bowl (1997 Rose Bowl)
Michigan Stadium (Michigan)
Kinnick Stadium (Iowa)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial (Navy)
Veterans Stadium (Army/Navy)
Ford Field (Motor City Bowl)
Camp Randall (Wisconsin)
Memorial Stadium (Indiana)
Beaver Stadium (Penn State)
Ryan Field (Northwestern)
Spartan Stadium (Michigan State)
Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue)
Sun Devil Stadium (2006 Fiesta Bowl)College Basketball
Christl Arena (Army)
St. John Arena (Ohio State)
Schottenstein Center (Ohio State)
Crisler Arena (Michigan)
United Center (2001, 2005 Big Ten Tournament)
Continental Airlines Arena (Seton Hall)
Savage Hall (Toledo)College Hockey
Columbus Fairgrounds Arena (Ohio State)
OSU Ice Rink (Ohio State)
Schottenstein Center (Ohio State)
BGSU Ice Arena (Bowling Green)
Joe Louis Arena (CCHA Super Six)
Yost Ice Arena (Michigan)College Baseball
Bill Davis Stadium (Ohio State)
Siebert Field (Minnesota)
Ray Fisher Stadium (Michigan)Major League Baseball
Shea Stadium (Mets)
Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
Fenway Park (Red Sox)
Cinergy Field (Reds)
Three Rivers Stadium (Pirates)
Jacobs Field (Indians)
Comerica Park (Tigers)
Wrigley Field (Cubs)
New Comiskey Park (White Sox)
PNC Park (Pirates)
Petco Park (Padres)National Hockey League
Madison Square Garden (Rangers)
Hartford Civic Center (Whalers)
Continental Airlines Arena (Devils)
Nationwide Arena (Blue Jackets)
Molson Centre (Canadiens)
United Center (Blackhawks)
Joe Louis Arena (Red Wings)National Basketball Association
American Airlines Arena (Heat)
Palace of Auburn Hills (Pistons)National Football League
NoneA few places you need to go
In college: Ohio Stadium, Michigan Stadium, Penn State, Rose Bowl. Yost is not anywhere close to that level, but if you want to see a good college hockey atmosphere, that's the place.
In the pros: Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Madison Square Garden (built in the late 60s, but the last of the long-standing Original Six buildings in the NHL). If you're ever in Pittsburgh, PNC Park is worth your time-- a very nice view of downtown. Places on my to-do list
In college, no particular order: Neyland Stadium (Tennessee), Bryant-Denney Stadium (Alabama), Memorial Stadium (Nebraska), Darrell K. Royal Stadium (Texas-- anyone have an extra ticket for the OSU game?), Kyle Field (Texas A&M), Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame), Florida Field (Florida), Doak Campbell Stadium (FSU), Orange Bowl (Miami-- a shithole, but it'll be gone someday and I don't want it on the next list), Gaylord Stadium (Oklahoma), Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn), Tiger Stadium (LSU), Sanford Stadium (Georgia), Michie Stadium (Army-- around mid-October when the leaves change), Husky Stadium (Washington-- supposed to be beautiful), Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke basketball), Smith Center (North Carolina basketball), Breslin Center (Michigan State-- an hour and change up the road so there's really no excuse for not having this crossed off my list), Assembly Hall (Indiana basketball-- I walked through, but haven't seen a game), Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas), Pauley Pavilion (UCLA basketball), Ralph Engelstad Arena (North Dakota hockey--I would have preferred the old arena), Lynah Rink (Cornell hockey-- my plan is to steal all their cheers, bring them back to my campus and pretend we're OMG Clever! I think it could work.)
In the pros: Pac Bell Park (Giants-- supposed to be the best around), Dodger Stadium (Dodgers--the last of the old classics on my list), Coors Field (Rockies-- for the sunset over the mountains), Lambeau Field (Packers), Soldier Field (Bears-- post-renovation, unfortunately), Texas Stadium (Cowboys), Fleet Center (Bruins) and Air Canada Centre (Maple Leafs-- to complete my Original Six tour), Old Trafford (Manchester United), Highbury (Arsenal), Wembley Stadium (any English national team match).Places I wish I'd seen a game
I haven't really come up with any college classics that were destroyed recently. I'm not losing much sleep over missing out on Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis.
Pro: Tiger Stadium (Tigers-- Why the hell can't they play one series there every year?), The Forum (Canadiens), Boston Garden (Bruins & Celtics), Chicago Stadium (Blackhawks-- friends rave about "screaming the anthem" there), Maple Leaf Gardens (Maple Leafs), Municipal Stadium (Browns-- preferably in the snow), The Forum (Lakers).
From longer ago, Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers) and the Polo Grounds (New York Giants baseball).