Stadium and Arena Visits

Reviews and Photos of Arenas, Ballparks and Stadiums in the United States and Canada during Sporting Events

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Holiday Weekend BBall

Posted by Sean Rowland on November 26, 2015


So why is that above logo the old one for the Buffalo Bulls and not the newer one? Because I hate it! That wordmark/primary logo is probably my most hated in college athletics because of the shameful marketing and attempt at branding. Why the “New York” is so heavily emphasized boggles my mind because if they were trying to draw potential applicants to the school because they see “New York” and think New York City….well that’s a poor, misleading attempt since NYC is the same distance away as Cincinnati (6 hours and 30 minutes). Way to show pride in your city. Blah, anyway, rant over…Happy Thanksgiving! While up in the Rochester area for the holiday period, this Saturday afternoon, I’ll be heading over to UB’s campus in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst for a Big 4 matchup against fellow local school, Canisius. I’ve been to Alumni Arena before, but my pictures from that visit in 2004 came out horribly, plus I didn’t get any good exterior shots as it was dark out. Interesting note, this will be the third (out of four) team that I see Jim Baron lead. He enters his fourth season leading the Golden Griffins after stops at Saint Bonaventure and Rhode Island.


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Bouncing around Philly for Temple and Penn

Posted by Sean Rowland on November 16, 2015

McGonigle Hall Interior.
A lot had to be timed right for this final Philadelphia stadium venture and thankfully, it all came together perfectly. First, the weather had to be good for work purposes and it was as the region basked under beautiful sunshine with temps in the 50s. Once that was settled out, it all came down to the speed of the games and reliance on mass transit schedules (gasp!). That worked out too. A month after boarding a PATCO train in Woodcrest, NJ with Eagles fans, I did the same thing again. Though I loathe SEPTA, using the trains and subways would save me about $20 in multiple parking and the hassle of driving in the city. After arriving in Center City, I split off from those in green jerseys and went to the other side of the Broad Street Line, heading northbound to the Cecil B. Moore Station, which exits right at Temple University. There is a student center nearby with food options open to the public and while planning the trip, I saw this included Tony Luke’s. Despite the 11:30 AM hour, I had cheesesteak on my mind (When In Philly), but they were closed and apparently only open for “Special Events” (boo to that). A quick Google Maps search for food led me across the street to Pita Chip, which turned out to be awesome. This place is essentially a Mediterranean Chipotle and I had a really good customized wrap with beef shawarma.

The first game was a Temple Volleyball contest at McGonigle Hall. This is the old basketball home for the Owls before they moved next door to the Liacouras Center (visited in 2013). I still had some time to kill before the 1 PM start, so I ventured a little deeper into Temple and saw their famous Bell Tower. When it was game time, I encountered a high-tech, fancy building as Pearson Hall (which contains McGonigle) has been remade into an impressive facility with an outdoor glass facade. The small gym seats a shade less than 4,000 and the seating is quite simple…mainly bleachers and all on the sideline, rising from the floor to the ceiling. What I liked about the arena is the amount of maroon (or Wild Cherry as Temple calls it). There is so much color and character with logos everywhere and a cool set of Owl Eyes looking down onto the court. Temple is having a great volleyball season, but their move to The American from the Atlantic 10 means no conference tournament and unfortunately, the Lady Owls likely will miss the NCAA Tournament as SMU wins the league. This match was against South Florida and Temple took all three sets, winning 25-14, 25-20 and then rallying in the third, 25-23. As much as I was enjoying the match, I was rooting hard for that third set comeback as that meant a 2:30 PM finish, allowing for good time to make a return visit to The Palestra for the Penn-CCSU bball game.

Palestra Interior.
I took the subway to City Hall and from there, connected to the Market-Frankford Line (MFL) to reach Penn’s campus, which is two stops away on 34th Street. Not gonna lie, it was certainly shady waiting in that area underground for the subway, despite it being a Sunday afternoon. Twice I was panhandled and then an idiot next to me lit up a cigarette in that enclosed area. I exited for fresh air into University City and it took a bit for me to get my bearings as the area has the unique distinction of two separate colleges bumping up to each other (Drexel and Penn). The lack of signage to the Palestra meant another peek at Google Maps and I successfully navigated over to the unassuming brick building that from the outside, you would never know the basketball history contained inside those walls. I wrote about this place in 2011 and it gave me goosebumps again, walking those hallowed halls and then stepping foot inside the gym. What struck me this time is the reverberation of noise. It is remarkable how loud The Palestra, even with few fans. When the band was playing, it produced such a loud echo that it was hard to hear myself talk. I’m so thankful I went to that Big 5 game to experience what a game is like full throat. Maybe a thousand fans turned out for this, Penn’s second game of the young season. November is typically a tough draw and it didn’t help the Eagles were playing as well. Central Connecticut kept the game close through the first half, but in the second, the Quakers pulled away and I was particularly impressed with Sam Jones, a 6’7″ sophomore with a Mike Dunleavey type game. Penn went on to win 77-61 to open their season with a pair of wins against NEC opponents. 

The game ended at 5:50 PM and while planning this journey out, I saw it would take as much time to walk to the PATCO station then to use the subway and walk back to 34th Street. So I walked to Walnut Street and turned right, heading into the city and it turned out to be a terrific stroll (and not in the least nervy despite it being night-time). On a pleasant, mild evening, I went over the Schuylkill River, past Locust Point, stopped by Rittenhouse Square and then thru a bustling section where people were enjoying a Sunday Dinner before reaching 15th/Locust for the PATCO station. Timing was perfect as I got there at 6:24 PM and the train left at 6:26. Not long after, I got back to Woodcrest and hopped in the car home. I mentioned last post how this completed all of the stadiums on The List in the city of Philadelphia….Home teams went 6-3 for those games. I’ll have a McGonigle Hall review up on the right later this week and a pair of Stadium Journey reviews forthcoming as well. 



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One More Run Through Philly

Posted by Sean Rowland on November 10, 2015


A month after checking out the Eagles, I’ll be returning to Philadelphia one more time to complete all of the city’s stadiums on The List. The 9th and final facility within city limits comes at an understated place that many have forgotten about. For nearly 30 years (including the heart of the John Chaney era), the Temple Owls played at McGonigle Hall, a small arena that provided a decent home court advantage. While the Men’s basketball team moved next door in 1999 to the Liacouras Center, the women’s team remained. This is a trend that I love as it keeps old, beloved facilities alive. Also playing in McGonigle is the women’s volleyball team and this is a sport I’ve enjoyed in the past, having seen Penn State and Wisconsin. With 25 other volleyball teams on The List and playing in vacated facilities, I will be checking out this particular Owls team on Sunday as they have a 1 PM match against South Florida. While planning this arena visit, I also realized that it is the opening weekend for College Basketball. Sitting only 4 miles from Temple is the University of Pennsylvania and their treasure of an arena, The Palestra. Penn is playing Central Connecticut State at 4 PM and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to return to that sacred place, so I’ll be trying to get there, assuming volleyball goes quickly. To avoid driving thru the city and getting hit with double-digit parking prices at both places, I will nervously be utilizing PATCO and SEPTA, the latter of which is a transportation system that I do not like. But, I’ll take another shot at it as it seems like the best move to get to both places and save some money. Ironically, the Eagles are also home at 1 PM, so I’m sure I’ll see plenty of green on my travels through the city.  


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The Mass Transit Systems

Posted by Sean Rowland on November 1, 2015

DC Metro (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Having now been to many stadiums located in large city centers, I have often opted for mass transit. As long as I can find a convenient Park & Ride, going the route of train/subway/bus typically is cheaper and less stressful. Well, most times the stress is reduced as that is not always the case if the system is confusing. I am by no means an experienced rider, so my thoughts may differ from those that ride on a daily basis. However, I represent the typical visitor to a city and have found some systems to be great, while others…not so much. Below are some thoughts in order from favorite to least favorite:

1. DC Metro

My first experience with the DC Metro was around 15 years ago, when as a senior, my High School Government Class took a trip to see the inauguration of George W. Bush as President. Varsity Metro Riders was the running joke I think. Anyway, a visit back to DC this summer with a heavy use of the Metro made me realize how excellent the system is. Navigation is easy and the stations are generally clean. Little touches really help out visitors, like having vertical signs showing each stop on the line and direction you are heading in. The florescent lights on the floor that illuminate when trains are coming is excellent too.

2. NYC Subway

This one may be a little bit more challenging to navigate with all the different letter and number lines, however the sheer expanse and ability to go almost anywhere in the City makes the network great. Add in the other train authorities like NJ Transit, Metro-North and the LIRR that all funnel into either Penn Station or Grand Central (which has subway connections) and you can see why a car is not needed at all in NYC. The whole Metrocard is a little antiquated, but it works. There is almost a bit of a grimy charm to the underground stations and that is seen when they get replicated in other spots (SNL’s music stage, the Brooklyn Nets floor).

3. Chicago’s “L”

The “L” is short for “Elevated”, which unlike many of the East Coast subway options, Chicago’s is mostly above ground. To be honest, I don’t actually remember much about using this system a few times back in 2011. I guess that’s a good thing. The process seemed simple and I never got confused figuring out how to board and buy a pass. I also really enjoyed seeing parts of the city through the window instead of being underground.

4. Boston’s “T”

It has been more than a decade since I have ridden the “T”, Boston’s “T”ransportation Authority. Undoubtedly, I’ll be back up to the area at some point for various stadium visits. I need to re-visit to add any more thoughts on this one.

5. SEPTA in Philadelphia

Blah…what a crap experience I had here for the Eagles game a few weeks ago. I believe I am at least somewhat intelligent and I could not figure out how to use the transfer ticket from NJ’s PATCO. The ticket counter person was incredibly rude and unhelpful. The other time I took the subway from Center City to South Philly for a Flyers game several years ago, I remember thinking how rundown it felt. Add in a confusing fare structure and the uncertainty of an express train and you’ve got a really poor, unfriendly service.


Other Notes
While out west, I had the option to use TriMet in Portland, OR and the Light Rail in Denver, but choose to drive instead as it wasn’t too difficult or expensive to do so in those cities. From what I read before each trip, both systems are excellent and well worth using as a visitor.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore were two other places that had a light rail option. Though each system is small, I may try it on one of my next visits. In particular, plans are being made for a Pittsburgh Penguins game and I’ll probably use their “T”, which is free downtown!


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Hockey Updates for 2015-2016

Posted by Sean Rowland on October 22, 2015


       The AHL’s radical changes mean that Worcester’s DCU Center does not see hockey this winter

Wawaweewa, where do we begin? Lots to discuss, but we’ll start at the top where the only NHL change is with the New York Islanders. They sadly leave the raucous
Coliseum for the non-hockey fitting Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I’ve written about this before and have nothing more to add. OK, now on to the real craziness. The AHL has resorted to extreme measures to appease their big affiliate brothers by creating a West Coast Division this season. The geographical anomaly means that the California teams only play 68 games, while the rest of the league plays 76. Out of those 68, almost all of them are within the division (Bakersfield for example has just four games against teams not based in California, Texas or Manitoba). There’s a couple reasons I hate this and it starts with the continued push in the stressing of “Development”. Unfortunately the days of putting the minor-league city, sweater and fans first are becoming a distant memory. That small-time charm and passion is getting further buried. Secondly (remember I am all about the smaller cities/arenas), there is a disturbing trend of NHL teams putting their farm team in their own building. This is going to happen in both San Jose and Winnipeg this year. Ugh. I’m sure playing in front of hundreds in an empty pro arena will do wonders come playoff time to gain atmosphere experience. 

Here are the changes (not necessarily the direct relations)…Adirondack, Manchester and Norfolk all drop to the ECHL while Stockton, Ontario and San Diego come up to the AHL. The Oklahoma City franchise folds, while Bakersfield gets promoted up to the American League. OKC’s arena, the Cox Convention Center, remains on The List as it is home for the Blue of the NBDL. As mentioned earlier, San Jose takes their affiliate team in house, while Worcester is left with nothing and there will be no hockey this winter at the DCU Center. The Manitoba Moose are back in the league, while longtime mainstay, Hamilton, oddly drops down to the OHL. The only good piece of arena news this year in the AHL is the return of the Charlotte Checkers to Bojangles’ Coliseum. The team leaves the city’s new pro arena for a return to this 1956 arena that is finishing a big renovation. Yea for that. In the ECHL, Gwinnett changed their name to Atlanta as I guess the branding bigwigs think that is better. Their arena in Duluth has also been renamed “Infinite Energy Center”. With all the big changes at AAA and AA, the A-level SPHL only sees one change and it is the addition of the Macon Mayhem. The city’s Coliseum has been off again/on again for minor-league teams and it will be back on again this winter. Finally, in the very low-level Federal League…Berkshire and Watertown are out, while Berlin, Brewster and Port Huron are in. Both Berlin and Brewster will be playing at community rec-style rinks, while McMorran Place, site of plenty former Port Huron teams, returns.


  Hamilton moves from seeing the AHL to the OHL, where FirstOntario Centre makes for a large home to the juniors 

In the OHL, I mentioned Hamilton joining the league and they replace Belleville. This is a sad move as we lose an old-school OHL town/rink, while gaining a franchise that is much more suited for high-level professional hockey with their games being played in 17,500-seat FirstOntario Centre. The other change is somewhat odd as the Plymouth franchise moves only an hour North up to Flint. Low attendance led to the selling of the franchise, who oh by the way was done by Peter Karmanos, the old jerkoff who moved Hartford to Carolina. Anyway, the move was at least justified here by low attendance, but the weird thing is that the new owners are taking up residence in a city with profound struggles and in an arena that is older. Though Flint’s renamed facility is completing some upgrades to the guts of the building, it’s still questionable to see how successful the move is. By the name, the new arena name is Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center. As for the arena in Plymouth, it was sold to US Hockey, who actually will be placing their U-18 team in USHL there.

Out in the Q, we have Quebec City’s Videotron Centre opening to much fanfare and interest. While the Remparts welcomed a sellout for their home opener, this is the building that Les Quebecois are hoping brings the NHL back to the city. Populous built this arena for a cool $370 million and it is designed with very steeply for better sightlines. The design philosophy calls for minimal distractions and complete focus on the game, which I’m liking the concept. The new arena does mean we say goodbye to the Pepsi Coliseum, the old home for the Nordiques and Remparts that was built in 1949. It will lie dormant and the future is bleak for this terrific old place. Another new arena just opened in the WHL as well as Medicine Hat said goodbye to their plain 1970 arena and hello to the Canalta Centre, a building 10 years in the making. The capacity for Tigers’ games is 6,016 and it is a surprisingly large place for a small town that only has a population of 60,000. 

Lastly, let’s talk College Hockey. If you were to take a guess as to which Division I program would add hockey to their sports profile, I’m thinking that Arizona State would not be one of your first 50 (or 100) that you guess. As crazy as it sounds, the Sun Devils will be an independent this year. While their club team has been very successful and the sport is growing at all levels in Arizona, there certainly are skeptics on the rapid move from rumor to reality. ASU will play home games in the 750-seat Oceanside Ice Arena while waiting for plans to play in a better facility. They will also have some games at Gila River Arena in Glendale. The final new arena this season comes from Omaha, where UNO completes the snazzy Baxter Arena. The facility will not only be home to hockey, but it will also host Maverick Basketball and Volleyball as the school quickly climbs the ladder into Division I for all sports.

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Fly Eagles Fly

Posted by Sean Rowland on October 12, 2015

Lincoln Financial Field Interior

I’ve driven by numerous times, seen the stadium from the parking lot on occasion and have been to seven other Philadelphia sporting events. This was finally the time to experience Lincoln Financial Field and Eagles football. On a picture-perfect October Sunday that began chilly and became comfortable, my brother from Rochester joined me for the trip. While planning the game, after I rubbed my eyes to see that the $40 parking charge was indeed correct, we opted for a different route that would save money and traffic headaches. We used PATCO, South Jersey’s train connection into Philly. The Woodcrest station is right off of I-295 and the train ride to Center City takes only 20 minutes. You can also buy a transfer ticket in Woodcrest for SEPTA and after I got into an argument with the mean lady at the ticket office we boarded the Broad Street Line down to South Philly and the Sports Complex. Side note on the two SEPTA employees I encountered…they were jerks. As a first-timer on the system, I showed the lady at the ticket counter near the turnstile my PATCO ticket which said “SEPTA” transfer on it. She just shook her head and repeatedly stated they don’t accept that. Instead of just asking for the receipt paper that had the actual transfer, I had to continually inquire why the other station would sell me a transfer ticket if it doesn’t work. All she had to do was ask for the slip instead of just shaking her head. Arrrgh. On the way back after the game, I encountered a woman who couldn’t even justify talking to me and would resorted to just pointing when I asked for directions to the ticket counter. This makes me want to write a post about mass transit system’s, since I’ve been on a handful now. For a later time.

Anyway…Lincoln Financial Field sits in a sea of parking lot, along with the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park nearby. There is at least the newly built Xfinity Live, which despite the crappy sponsor name, does have a handful of decent pre/post game establishments for fans. The tailgates were in full gear upon our arrival with a mixture of smells throughout our walk as footballs were flying and fans were having a good time, despite the nervousness of what lies ahead for the 1-3 Eagles. We walked around the stadium as I checked out all aspects and one thing quite apparent was the usage of solar panels and wind turbines. It’s a visible notice of the great things the Eagles have done to use renewable energy. The Linc’s varied exterior design culminates at the North End Zone, where the mostly glass enclosure acts as a gathering before the inner gates open. I enjoyed checking out the displays and team store inside, while the outside plaza had a nice mix of food trucks, music and entertainment. Inside the stadium, I thoroughly liked the design and it reminded me a bit of the great ballpark across the street as the use of angles to the seating bowl made for great sightlines. Various quirks gave the layout a non-uniform appearance, while the little touches like leaving an opening to see the city skyline and blending the Eagles logo into the upper seats all act to enhance the home.

We settled into our Section 107 seats and got goosebumps as a Rocky-themed montage brought the Eagles out. There was hardly an empty seat to be found for this game and anyone who watches NFL RedZone knows that there are only a few places in the league where true sellouts actually occur. The fans were jacked up and I was more than impressed by them, especially given the Eagles offensive ineptitude coming in. They were very loud, frequently rose to their feet and of course had the capability to boo. This was much louder than the Giants game I saw five years ago and (I hate to say it) the Linc created more noise than the Ralph. We had plenty of opportunities to hear “Fly Eagles Fly” in full throat as Philadelphia dominated the game and put up 28 points in the second half against a putrid Saints defense. Initially, it looked like this game would follow the earlier ones that Chip Kelly has drawn so much flak for. Sam Bradford threw a pair of red zone INTs and it was only 10-7 at the half. But 519 yards of offense was too much and the Eagles won 39-17.

Lincoln Financial Field Interor

After a great day at Lincoln Financial Field, we crammed into the subway like sardines and after anxiously waiting for departure, quickly made it to Center City (downtown). Each time I’m in Philly, I always become awestruck at the wonderful architecture at City Hall. I wanted to have my brother try his first Philly cheesesteak, so we went to Steve’s Prince of Steaks for dinner. So of course, he orders a chicken steak…Argh. I on the other hand, quite enjoyed mine. But, I do have to say the one I had at Larry’s after the Saint Joseph’s game was a little better. We then hopped back on PATCO and drove back home after an enjoyable day. I’ll have a full stadium review up later in the week and one for Stadium Journey will come out too. One other note…There are 9 stadiums on The List that are located in Philadelphia and this was visit #8. The last one is Temple’s McGonigle Hall (volleyball), which I may visit next month.


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Eagles Coming Up

Posted by Sean Rowland on October 2, 2015


The general expense and relative short season of the NFL has kept me from visiting many of their stadiums, but that will indeed change as I visit Philadelphia next Sunday (Oct 11) to see the Eagles and Lincoln Financial Field. While NFL stadiums have more of a corporate feel than the pageantry involved with the more enjoyable live college counterpart, I am really looking forward to this game as for one day (and one day only) I can feel what it’s like to be part of the Eagles fan fraternity. They are crazy about their team and while the stereotypes have been written ad nauseam, I’m eagerly awaiting to see the game-day atmosphere and experiencing one of the most passionate fan bases. Let’s just say they are not in a good mood right now. This will be my third visit to an active NFL stadium and my brother will join me for this one. I’ll be back with a write-up the day after the game. 


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September Stadiums Update

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 22, 2015

For the 2015 season, we have no new college football stadiums as the overlying theme this season is a growing reversal from the last few decades. Instead of increasing capacity, Universities are now removing seats in favor of adding club sections and higher-priced perks. It always boils down to making money and schools are seeing more bang for their buck by adding the specialty areas instead of just selling more seats. Of course, this is happening everywhere. The most significant stadium renovations debuted this season are at Kentucky, Mississippi, Duke and Cincinnati. The Bearcats, in fact, didn’t even play in Nippert Stadium as the overhaul meant a season shared with the Bengals at Paul Brown. But they are back on-campus this year. Other notes include the bizarre fiasco at UAB, where they
dropped football, then a few weeks later reinstated the sport and now will wait to come back for a few years while this all gets sorted out, maybe. At the FBS level, we have the opposite as East Tennessee State is revived after the program was cut in 2003. Their introductory period begins at a high school stadium (Kermit Tipton) in Johnson City before their new stadium is completed in 2017. Also, Kennesaw State begins their inaugural football season in the Big South. They will play out of Fifth Third Bank Stadium, a place originally built a few years ago solely for soccer.

In the NFL, Miami is in the middle of a two-year renovation to Sun Life Stadium. This is the second nine-figure remodel to the facility in the last eight years, which is mind-blowing (at least the owner funded this version). The most interesting aspect of the renovation will be the creation of living room “pods” in the prime lower bowl seats. The four-person box will be created with a home feel as it includes TVs. Sun Life Stadium will be a completely different facility, one that will personify professional sports in the 2000s. Also of note, the Titans’ home has seen a name change to Nissan Stadium.


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LaValle Stadium and the Seawolves

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 14, 2015

LaValle Stadium Interior

With my SiriusXM on Auburn-Jacksonville State to provide FCS inspiration, I was primed for football, but first, before heading to campus, I went to check out Stony Brook for a little bit. This tiny hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island does not have a heart of town, but does have at least a street called “Main” worth exploring. I stopped first at the Grist Mill, which except for seeing the historic building, was a waste thanks to bumbling, unfriendly “Tour Guides” that made me change my mind. So I left there for the Village Center just down the road. Ward Melville’s idea of a bucolic shopping center back in 1941 still lives today and the white-colored buildings look much newer than their real age. I walked around for a bit, grabbed lunch at Fratelli’s and saw the historic Post Office before walking down to the marshy inlet that empties into the Long Island Sound. This area is rich in marine life and is futile ground for the university, which is a major research center. I marveled at the Fiddler Crabs all coming out at low tide before heading out for the game.

I thought going in football parking was $10 and was pleasantly surprised to not see any attendants as it was free (must have been looking at last year’s stuff). For those tailgating, the lot next to the gym is attractive, while for others like myself, I found it easier to park in the lot near the LIRR station. New this year is Seawolves Town, a fan fest section with games, food trucks and other activities. It’s just a small part of the initiative to attract more fans (and eventually money) as Stony Brook embarks on this grand plan to grow athletics. It’s already been a remarkable 20 years as the school made the move to Division I, built fine facilities and even made it to the College World Series. But they want more. “Together We Transform” is a part of AD Shawn Heilbron’s mission to become bigger and football is a significant part of that. He envisions expanding to a 25,000-seat LaValle Stadium and I’m guessing a move up to FBS. My thoughts…they certainly have the student body, the endowment and donor pool, the TV market and the population. But unless they get into the Power 5 conference, just moving up to be a part of The American or something like that is pointless and your chances of a national championship is zilch. If they can do it on their own dime, I’m fine with this transformation. But I will instantly root against them if taxpayer money is involved as it was only 15 years ago that $22 million was used to build this current stadium. In fact, they’ve already tried a sneak attack which was vetoed by Andrew Cuomo. Maybe they tried this after having to play basketball in a high school gym for 6 years while waiting for state funds to renovate their basketball arena. Still of course, no excuse for that crap and this sneaky business will turn locals against the school, becoming counter-intuitive to obtaining their ultimate goal. 

As for LaValle Stadium, it’s a fine facility with an intimate design featuring a lower section of seats surrounding three sides of the stadium and an upper deck on the south sideline that makes for great game viewing. Concessions and amenities are lacking as are any Stony Brook displays, but the place is clean and there is a decent amount of red that tries to add some school color. It’s a shame that the rain began no more than 30 seconds into the game as the fans were ready to go. Pre-game fireworks filled the sky as there was a great turnout by the students, who filled most of the north stands and the rest of the fans were loud and proud. The Marching Band was huge and had terrific sound, enhancing one of the better atmospheres I’ve seen so far at the FCS level. Then the rains came and gradually, fans retreated for cover in the concourse with some trickling out as the game wore on. Keep in mind, it’s been a rough start for Stony Brook as they had their game against Toledo cancelled due to lightning last week. This one would play on and it didn’t begin well with Central Connecticut getting a fluky 51-yard touchdown reception for the early lead. Foreshadowing it was not, as Stony Brook dominated the rest of the game. Their D held the Blue Devils to just 120 yards and Stony Brook’s running game could not be stopped as it was led by Stacey Bedell (22 rushes for 133 yards and 3 TDs). The Seawolves won 38-9 and I spent much of the game at the top row of the stadium, protected somewhat by the rain. It was there that I met Brent Ziegler, who’s son Kyle is a freshman on the Seawolves. Brent himself was a running back for Syracuse in the 1980s and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to stories from his playing days. It was great talking with him about many things as he made a dull blowout in the rain quite enjoyable. I should have a LaValle Stadium review up on the site by the end of the week, then look for a Stadium Journey review a few weeks later.


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Seeing the Stony Brook Seawolves Saturday

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 8, 2015


No offense baseball…but you’ve run its course this season and I am ready to move on to a new genre of sports stadium seeing. I’ve been waiting for the right time to get to a Stony Brook football game and the Rosh Hashanah holiday is it. I’ll be heading to the in-laws on Long Island for the New Year beginning early next week and we’ll arrive on the weekend, where I will keep going down the LIE to Exit 62 for the 6 PM game between the Seawolves and Central Connecticut State at LaValle Stadium. It has been an interesting start for Stony Brook as their first game against Toledo was cancelled last week due to multiple storms in the area. I’ve sat through a few delays in my day and given that there has not been measurable rain on the Island since August 21st, persistence would be welcomed thru this Saturday. This venture kicks off the football season for me as I’ll be at the Philadelphia Eagles game in October, maybe something in November and then (weather-pending), the PIAA State Championship in Hershey in December.



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