Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Road Trip plans!

So the 2011 one wasn't official, apparently. My dad and I were going to go to just those three, but we made some changes. We WERE going to see the Nashville Sounds between Chattanooga and Bowling Green.

WELL, the Tennessee Titans POSSIBLY would be hosting the Minnesota Vikings that weekend. My sister is also playing softball in South Carolina the next weekend, so that opens up several days for more games. My dad talked about the Tennessee Smokies, and Asheville Tourists.

That would be 6 games for sure. I want to maybe see some in South Carolina depending on where they play. I'm thinking Augusta Green Jackets.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

MLB Summer Tour: Turner Field

Name: Demetrius
Team: Atlanta Braves
Stadium:Turner Field

How many times a year do you make it to a game?:At least 10, and it's mostly the Sunday games. Nothing like day baseball, no matter where you are.

What is your favorite part of the ballpark?:
Probably the Hank Aaron statue that is just inside of the park. Having a statue of the Home Run King not only in the ballpark but prominently featured is a shining beacon for the club & just knowing that it's there & I can go look at it for every visit gives me a sense of pride as a Braves fan.

What makes the games special?:
Two words: Tomahawk Chop. Some may think it's racist, some may think it's monotonous, some may think it's lame and a direct rip-off of the FSU warchant...but when 50,000 people are standing in unison & doing it (without a PA system prompting them to do so), it's an unbeatable experience for a baseball fan in this town.

Favorite memory at the stadium?:
Definitely when I got to go to Bobby Cox's final regular season series against the Phillies. Every game I had standing room only tickets, which basically meant that I had to hang from any rafter you could think of just to get a good view of the game. I almost ended up in the Phillies' bullpen for one of the games. But all of the craziness of trying to find some sort of suitable viewing place was well worth it. The Braves won the Sunday game to clinch their first playoff spot in 5 years, and Bobby Cox received one of the loudest ovations I've ever heard. Crazy times.

Picture of you:
(Got none that's relatively current, nor of me at the stadium. I'm lame.)

Instead, here is a picture of Me at Turner Field!

Off to St. Louis!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Soccer Specific stadiums

A Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States, Canada and Australia, coined by Lamar Hunt, to refer to a sports stadium either purpose built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to an all purpose stadium which is primarily used for soccer. These mostly refer to soccer stadiums in the USA. In the early history of the MLS, a lot of teams used NFL stadiums. Eventually, they got chased out. Some went to smaller stadiums, other football stadiums, or baseball stadiums. Some had the money and built their own park. With the opening of Livestrong Sporting Park, there's 11 soccer specific stadiums(for 12 teams). The first was in Columbus, then in 8 years 10 new stadiums were built. Here's a gallery.

Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus Crew
Columbus, OH
22,685 seats

The Home Depot Center
Los Angeles Galaxy, C.D. Chivas USA
Carson, CA
27,000 Seats

Pizza Hut Park
FC Dallas
Frisco, TX
21,193 Seats

Toyota Park
Chicago Fire
Bridgeview, IL
20,000 Seats

Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Colorado Rapids
Commerce City, CO
19,680 Seats

BMO Field
Toronto FC
Toronto, ON
23,000 Seats

Rio Tinto Stadium
Real Salt Lake
Sandy, UT
20,008 Seats

Red Bull Arena
New York Red Bulls
Harrison, NJ
25,189 Seats

PPL Park
Philadelphia Union
Chester, PA
18,500 Seats

Jeld-Wen Field
Portland Timbers
Portland, OR
18,627 Seats

Livestrong Sporting Park
Sporting Kansas City
Kansas City, KS

Those are the current ones above, but there are two still coming. Houston spent their history in the Houston Cougars' football stadium. The Earthquakes spent their recent return in the San Jose State Spartans' football stadium.

Dynamo Stadium
Houston Dynamo
Houston, TX
~21,600 Seats

New Earthquakes Stadium
San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose, CA
~15,000 Seats

The teams sharing stadiums are(not counting the Dynamo, and Earthquakes)
New England Revolution(Gillette Stadium, New England Patriots)
DC United(RFK Stadium, built for baseball)
Seattle Sounders(Qwest Field, Seattle Seahawks)
Vancouver Whitecaps(Empire Fields/BC Place, BC Lions)

In 2012, the Montreal Impact will be playing in a Soccer Specific Stadium of their own. They aren't in the league yet, and they built it in 2008, so it goes down here!

MLB Summer Tour: Tropicana Field

Name: Kaity Lathbury
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Stadium: Tropicana Field

How many times a year do you make it to a game?:
Once a month!

What is your favorite part of the ballpark?:
Besides the field itself, it would definitely have to be the Ted Williams museum. I get this nostalgic feeling where I get goosebumps when I go up the stairs and see all the jerseys and memorabilia of players from the past. While I wasn't there to watch all of them play, it's all preserved and put on display, but still tucked away so not many people are up there. It's not a secret so much as an under-appreciated part of the ballpark.

What makes the games special?:
The noise level, by far. The roof, combined with the cowbells and vuvuzelas, make games crazy loud. It really gets you pumped up when the guys are winning, and I haven't left a game yet without a raspy voice from cheering at the top of my lungs with a bunch of die-hard Rays fans.

Favorite memory at the stadium?:
My first game on April 9, 2000. I was 6, it was my first pro baseball game, and they got slaughtered by the Indians. While the outcome was horrible, and I cried because I fully expected them to win, I had the time of my life. I was able to attend my first game with my family, and it's a tradition that we've been carrying on for the last 11 years. I actually still have the thunder sticks they were handing out that night and they're proudly on display in my room!

Picture of you:

2 down, and now up to Atlanta for the Braves.

Livestrong Sporting Park

Tonight, against the Chicago Fire, Sporting Kansas City(Formerly Kansas City Wizards) opened their new stadium. The 18,500 seat stadium is the first soccer specific one in team's history. KC played in the Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium from 1996-2007, then played at the KC T-Bones' CommunityAmerica Ballpark for 3 seasons. Originally going to be built on the Southeast side of KC, Missouri, but ultimately decided to build it in Kansas. They pretty much gave the stadium name to Livestrong, and donated 7 million to the foundation

The new 160 million dollar stadium opens to a lot of games. Still working on it, Sporting KC played 12 strait road games. Following this one, 13 of 15 will be at home.

Oh, and Chad Ochocinco didn't make the team, so in case you were wondering what he's up to. The team actually renamed their team "Sporting" to, yes, be more European. But they wanted to do something more. Over there, they have whole clubs. FC Barcelona is under a club that has a basketball team, here's David Villa, and Ricky Rubio for examples. The MLS announcer said "looking for a possible Rugby, or Lacrosse team"