You may have noticed some website tinkering over the last few weeks and that is because the only design theme I have ever used is no longer being supported. After a frustrating period of learning about that through some content-producing glitchiness, it took some work to find a theme that supported the subpages I have, so here we are. I like how it turned out and if you have any strong feelings, let me know. My options are quite limited as I’m not looking for a overhaul. Most review write-ups are an image taken from my Word documents as the time and energy to re-work all that in a neat and tidy format through a wiziwig template would be too much. Thankfully, this new theme should keep those images very readable and they all remain easily expanded by a click or tap.
This new look coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Stadiumandarenavisits.com, which began in May 2009. My passion for visiting different stadiums began well before I even had the ability to go to a sporting event on my own. During the mid-1990s, I started creating a List of professional stadiums using my Dad’s shoddy internet connection (yeah Prodigy!). After a couple years of production, I had a 40-page binder with various sports teams and their home venue. It was a dream at that time and a roadmap for where I wanted to go. A driver’s licence came a few years later and the first venture outside of Western NY sports facilities was a day trip to a Toronto Blue Jays game with high school friends. That began the review process: a humble write-up in a composite notebook that I wish I kept to this day. Just a few pages in, those reviews moved to computer form (not sure why I didn’t start there) and the ranking/write-up process has been fine-tuned many times since. My first solo trip came in March of 2002, a short journey from Oswego to Ithaca that I remember vividly. It was hard to contain my excitement on the way to that Cornell Basketball game as I blasted “Listener Supported” by the Dave Matthews Band in my Toyota Tercel. Newman Arena played host to John Thompson III’s Princeton basketball team and seeing the college squad I often admired growing up was a treat. I’ll also never forget the nerves I had as a 17-year old driving back from that game in a snow squall on back roads with no GPS.
53 stadiums later, I decided to put all my visits online while adding a blog to it. The first post was about a trip to Maine and New Hampshire as my affection for sports travel began to morph into an equal desire of being a tourist all over the U.S. (and Canada). I’m not exactly sure what the impetus was for creating this website, but I know that I still want to keep it going. I remember as a kid coming across Charlie’s Big Baseball Parks Page with such a level of excitement because someone wrote about the same passion that I had. Seeing a game in a different stadium allows me to tour an unfamiliar location, admire the many architectural ways to reach the same result and be a part of a unique team culture for one day. Doing that for 23 years through 137 cities and 210 stadiums, I still get that same exciting energy when getting in the car to start the trip. Chronicling all aspects of a stadium visit on this website is therapeutic for my organized disposition. I also hope it has entertained those with a sports/travel interest, educated those with questions when going to see a game at an unfamiliar venue and most importantly, inspired those with passion to go and make it happen!