Sunday, February 27, 2011

Padres AAA Team's New Home

The historic Portland Beavers had a fall out up in Portland. PGE park being renovated for soccer full time, and a new stadium deal not cut, they had to move. Tucson had a AAA void when the Sidewinders moved up to Reno and became the Aces. The Beavers moved down to Tucson since Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium was already built. Former spring training home of the D-Backs and ChiSox, the stadium can't seem to find a team of it's own.

The Padres original plan was to skip town and go down to a suburb of San Deigo called Escondido, which has a deal pending, and could move the team in a few years. The Diamondbacks and Rockies now split a new Cactus League home, which I might post about.

Read about PGE Park here

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 Heritage Classic

Up in Calgary, the Flames and Habs had a little version of the Winter Classic themselves. In the first Heritage Classic since 2003, the two teams played at McMahon Stadium.

The arena was set up football style, which is no surprise. The game sold out, which is also no surprise. The CFL capacity is 35,650, with possible expansions. The hockey game had 41,022 people in attendance. Also, the Flames looked sweet. They had fireworks, concerts, and air hockey outside.

Seems like a party. No way one is held down here, but what ever, if I wanted to go I'd go on a vacation!

The flames won 4-0 in the first NHL outdoor game to end with a shut out.

Email me for any scoops on local stadiums or something!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stadium Report Cards: Xcel Energy Center

I got a chance to attend a Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center a year ago after crossing paths with a bar owner from Brainerd, Minnesota. The seats were amazing, but the arena was even better. Here is my report.

Team: Minnesota Wild
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
League: National Hockey League (Western Conference)
Built: 2000
Capacity: 18,064
My event: Regular season game, vs Ottawa Senators

1. Outdoor Design

It has a typical arena/event center look outside. The large window section in the front is pretty cool, though. The building fits in nicely with the beautiful city of St. Paul.

2. Indoor Design

I don’t think it gets much better than this. Everything is perfect. The view from inside is incredible, both from the seats and the concourses. There are so many cool things around the arena, it is a very unique experience.

3. Prices
The prices were fine for an NHL game. Not as cheap as St. Louis, for example, but respectable.

4. Food
The food around the arena was great. I ate in the restaurant at the main entrance and it was excellent. It was above average for stadium food.

5. Staff
The people at the Xcel were great. Everyone was very helpful and friendly.

6. Cleanliness
It was very clean and well kept.

7. Parking
There were numerous parking garages around the arena, but there was a good deal of walking to be done from our spot. That isn’t the greatest in freezing Minnesota cold.

8. Atmosphere
The atmosphere was incredible. The fans proved why Minnesota is the state of hockey, even though the Wild lost. Everyone was into the game the entire time, every detail end everything.

9. Playing Surface
The ice looked great and the logo at center ice was nicely done.

10. Scoreboard

The hanging scoreboard at the Xcel Energy Center is great. Multiple high quality screens with great graphics. Plus the cool trees around the bottom. It is easy to see all around the arena. I’d say it was an excellent scoreboard for a hockey arena.

According to my calculations, that is an 82.

The Finnish Winter Classic

The Finnish SM-liiga hopped on the bandwagon with the outdoor hockey games. In February two Helsinki-based teams, Jokerit and HIFK, are going to play a league game at the Helsinki Olympic stadium.

I think the promotional poster is quite nice

They even have the seating chart in the same style.

The game was played yesterday with HIFK winning 4-3. Here are a couple of pictures...

And here is video!

It seemed like a good game. Go NHL for something pretty much every hockey league could do. The KHL did it, I know. But its neat seeing rowdie fans, like a soccer game, at an outdoor hockey game in Finland.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl!

So this is the 45th Super Bowl, and the first in Dallas. A billion dollar stadium goes up and its hosting a Super Bowl in it's second year. Known for it's ridiculous capacity, and trillion inch big screen. The stadium had about a thousand new seats installed. The fire Marshall deemed it unsafe, so many people were not allowed in. Some were given standing room only seats, and some were given a refund 3 times the face value of the ticket. the official attendance was marked at 103,219. A lot of debate is always on the field during the big game. Some have the NFL shield at the 50, some have the game's logo. Then in the endzone, some have the helmets, some just have logos. Here is the Super Bowl's field looked like last night, for everyone to see.