Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stadium Report Card: Progress Energy Park

Team: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
League: North American Soccer League
Built: 1947 (rebuilt 1976)
Capacity: 7,227
My event: Regular Season Game vs FC Edmonton

1. Outdoor Design
The stadium has a lot of cement on the inside and outside. It seems like it was rebuilt in the 70s. I think the vertical beams that keeps the roof up look cool, but there isn't much to it.  5/10

2. Indoor Design

It looked a little better inside. The overhang is huge, and covered almost all the stands. The top 15 rows were bleacher seats with a back rest. There is a small berm down the right field line. But looking out, it's absolutely beautiful. The stadium is right on the water, and in the middle of downtown which has a lot of cool views. 6/10

3. Prices
I payed for myself, my sister, and a friend. I wanted to get berm tickets for 12 dollars, but they don't sell them at the door. I was stuck with getting 3 16 dollar general admission tickets. I feel as if that was pretty high. Especially since it came out to 48 dollars. The Rays games are cheaper, and they're a pro team. Food prices weren't bad, but still. 4/10

4. Food
I saw just typical ballpark food, which you had to pay with cash only. 5/10

5. Staff
Didn't get to see that much of them. One guy who was managing the close seats asked to help us find our seats, which was general admission so we could sit anywhere.  7/10

6. Cleanliness
I thought it was pretty clean for an old stadium like this. There were a few peanut shells, but overall I was impressed.  7/10

7. Parking
There is a big lot infront of the stadium, then a long the side streets you could park and pay the meter. We went out in a marina across the street and parked for free in public parking. Next game I go to, that's where I'll park  8/10

8. Atmosphere
This was the best part. The Rowdies' supporters group is named Ralph's Mob(for the nickname of the original's Rowdie mascot) and they were fantastic. They had a chant for every situation, had drums, and people in penguin costumes. 9/10

9. Playing Surface
They are the only team to use the stadium, so the entire field is grass. It was in really good condition. Along the walls was a dirt warning track, but the grass was nicely manicured I thought. 8/10

10. Scoreboard

You can see it in this picture, it hasn't been updated since the rebuilding. I wish they had a video board up because after a really good play, you wouldn't get to see it again. The first half score was kept in the first inning box, and the second half was in the second inning. The timer was underneath the board. 5/10

So overall that is a 64. It's a really nice stadium for a thing like this. I would love it if they renovated it a little with nicer seats and a video board. They still do baseball there sometimes, but it makes a solid soccer stadium I thought.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Permanent Outdoor Hockey!

It was bound to happen eventually. Here is the article from Yahoo

If you're in the crowd of people who believe the idea of playing outdoor hockey games is overdone, you're not going to like what the Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League have planned for the 2012-13 season. 

Having just relocated from New Jersey to Williamsport, the Outlaws are currently without a rink and needed somewhere to play their home schedule. While local officials are working out those details, the Outlaws announced on Tuesday that they plan to play their entire 30-game home schedule outside at Historic Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport CrossCutters, a New York-Penn minor league baseball team. 

From WNEP16: 
Williamsport's city council still has to approve the lease with the new hockey team that won the league championship last year in New Jersey. The Outlaws' coach says the team hopes to get about 2,000 fans per game. If you are wondering if there is a chance warm weather or rain and snow could postpone outdoor hockey games. The answer from officials is yes but they said they are prepared to deal with whatever comes late Fall, early Winter. 

From when their season kicks off on Oct. 24 until their final home game on Jan. 21 (Williamsport ends their season with a 15-game road trip), the Outlaws will rent the rink at Bowman Field, which is owned by the city. No word on what happens should the team qualify for the FHL playoffs to defend their title. Public skating will take place when the rink isn't in use by the team, according to WNEP. 

The rink will reportedly cost the Outlaws between $200,000-$225,000 to build and operate, $15,000 to rent the field from the city and between $12,000-$15,000 to fix the infield once the season is over. The team will need to average around 2,000 fans per game in order to make the venture economically feasible. The possibility also exists of renting the rink out to local high school and college teams to help off-set costs. 

Meanwhile, the Crosscutters aren't too happy having to share their facility with another team and have filed a Right to Know request to get all the details of the agreement between the Outlaws and the city.

I feel like it was going to happen eventually, but the fact that they relocated there without an arena is pretty stupid. I really hope it's cold enough, because this summer has been so hot.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


So I got back from my Tallahassee-Indiana-New York road trip!

I saw all the stadiums on the FSU campus, so this year expect a bunch of stadium report cards. We drove on through to Indiana to visit family. I wanted to go to a Indianapolis Indians game, but they weren't home when I was there. We flew to New York, where I saw the Mets play at Citi. That ballpark is GREAT. My favorite ballpark so far. We have a report card, so I haven't posted yet! On the 4th of July we went to Coney Island, and were outside the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium where I got a shirt, but didn't see inside.

It's right on the board walk, so it was cool watching the fireworks there.

I also saw MSG up close, and Yankee Stadium from the air! We didn't go by the new Brooklyn arena, and the Islanders play really far away. Also, no New Jersey even though the Giants/Jets/Red Bull play RIGHT there.

So sorry for the lack of posting, I just havent thought of what to do! I want to go to a Rowdies game before I leave for college, so I might. Also the Olympics are this weekend, so I'll post the stadiums soon. My dad and I also are trying to work out going to Raleigh when Florida State plays his NC State in October. I could hook you guys up

Inside the Park Soccer

This weekend was a huge weekend in exhibition soccer! European teams gearing up for the 2012-13 season stormed North America with players trying to earn a spot on the teams they play for. But the thing is, 3 of the games were in some unique places

Toronto FC 1-1 Liverpool FC 
Rogers Centre, Toronto
 The English team came over to play Toronto in the Rogers Centre. Normally, TFC plays at BMO Field. But the team opened up the roof(for most of the game) at the Blue Jays' home park. Over 45,000 people showed up to the game! The Jays went on a New York/Boston Road trip, and will be back Tuesday

AC Roma 4-0 Zagłębie Lubin
Wrigley Field, Chicago
Chicago has large Italian and Polish population, which is why they faced two teams from both countries in the "Friendly at the Confines". AC Roma had American Bobby Bradley in his first game for the Italian club, which whooped the Polish team. They scored in the first minute, too. The broadcast said the attendance was around 22,000. The Cubs are in St. Louis, and will go to Pittsburgh before they come home.

Chelsea FC 1-1 Paris St. Germain
Yankee Stadium, New York

The last match was in the Bronx. 38,000 people saw the European Champions Chelsea play Paris St. Germain that has bought a bunch of players in the offseason. Chelsea scored with less than 10 minutes left. The Yankees are in Oakland and Seattle before they go back.

I watched each of these games, and it was really cool to see in these stadiums. The last two were part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge. Chelsea plays the MLS All-Stars in Philly Wednesday on ESPN 2, right after THIS game at 6:30. Liverpool and Roma will play at Fenway! I'll post pictures after