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2017 Football Stadium Updates

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 3, 2017

Colorado State’s new on-campus stadium (photo from Andy Cross at The Denver Post)

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This was a busy offseason for the NFL as we will see two teams debut at a new facility this season. The first is a move into an existing stadium as the Chargers head to the Stubhub Center, a soccer-specific stadium in Carson, CA that is home to the LA Galaxy. There are a number of things that make this unusual, the most glaring being the size. Stubhub is a terrific soccer complex, but it only holds 27,000, which is way below NFL standards. A move to smaller college stadiums is not unusual when a new stadium or renovation is done (see Minnesota, Chicago and Tennessee), it’s just that we haven’t seen the capacity that small before. This is also going to be their temporary home for at least three seasons. Finally, what kind of fan base will we see, especially considering that LA gets their second team in as many seasons and that the market solidly grew on the college side with resurgent USC and to a lesser extent, UCLA. On the other end of the country, we have a stadium opening that is less messy as the Falcons move into Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This replaces the 25-year old (that’s right) Georgia Dome and the new $1.6 billion stadium has made quite an impression thus far. The video screens add a Jerry Jones level of showy uniqueness and though this stadium adds to those where home-field advantage and noise are all but gone, it certainly is an intriguing stadium for fans and aficionados alike.

In College Football, there are two new stadium openings. First, in Fort Collins, we have CSU Stadium, oh wait I’m sorry, “On-Campus Stadium”. I know that they haven’t found a naming rights deal, but you think they could at least come up with a temporary name instead of their literature that just labels it “On-Campus Stadium”. Anyway, this stadium is indeed within CSU as opposed to far-flung Hughes Stadium and the Rams made their highly anticipated debut on August 26th.  The other new one is from FCS. We saw East Tennessee State return to football last year, now, they have a stadium to go along with it as William B. Greene Jr. Stadium is completed. It holds 7,694 and that means it falls just shy of making it onto The List. Another program that has made a comeback is UAB and while their hiatus was brief, many in Birmingham are celebrating their return to Legion Field. Other notes include the expansion of Brooks Stadium as Coastal Carolina makes the transition to the FBS level and the interesting venue switch by Georgia State as they take over former Turner Field. What a versatile place that has turned out to be as it hosted the Olympics, baseball and now football. The layout still looks baseball-y, but improvements over the coming years will turn it into more of a Panthers home.

 

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Opening Football Weekend Road Trip Ideas

Posted by Sean Rowland on July 30, 2017

Beaver Stadium is just one of the stadium options on an Opening Weekend with plenty of road trip possibilities

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It’s getting close to that time again! This country is made up of football crazies and that is especially true of the college game, where many fanbases follow a spring scrimmage like it was a real game. We’re less than a month away from the start of the FBS season and it all begins in Fort Collins, CO as the Colorado State Rams open a brand new stadium against Oregon State. The best time of year to travel and catch multiple games is Week 1 because there are many Thursday and Friday contests that set-up a nice three day trip. Here are a few that I put together worth going for:

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1) West Coast Swing
Thu, Aug 31 at 8:30 PM……New Mexico State at Arizona State
Sat, Sept 2 at 2:15 PM……Western Michigan at USC
Sun, Sept 3 at 4:30 PM……Texas A&M at UCLA
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Start off in the Desert where hopefully the temperature has dropped below 100 degrees by the time the ball is kicked at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Friday is a travel day, but with the drive only 5 hours to LA there are plenty of options to spend the rest of the time (Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs, Disneyland). Then enjoy a pretty solid doubleheader weekend as USC plays Saturday and the Bruins host a big one against Texas A&M on Sunday.
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2) All Michigan
Thu, Aug 31 at 7:00 PM……Rhode Island at Central Michigan
Fri, Sept 1 at 6:30 PM……Charlotte at Eastern Michigan
Sat, Sept 2 at 12:00 PM……Bowling Green at Michigan State
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The shortest trip is this one as total driving time between games is just three hours. Lots of MACation here as each contest features a member of that conference. For multi-sport lovers, I recommend sticking around in Lansing on Saturday as the Lugnuts play a baseball game in the evening.
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3) Underrated Stadium Experiences
Thu, Aug 31 at 7:30 PM……Holy Cross at Connecticut
Fri, Sept 1 at 8:00 PM……Washington at Rutgers
Sat, Sept 2 at 12:00 PM……Akron at Penn State
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Having been to all three stadiums, this trip is much better than it looks on paper. Rentschler Field is a great facility that scores well in most categories. Rutgers has a remarkably dedicated fan base considering how many horrible years they have had on average in the last 30. They should at least have the place rocking in the beginning of that Friday Night game. Finally, Happy Valley is all that it is cracked to be.
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The Alouettes and their Spectacular Home

Posted by Sean Rowland on June 24, 2017


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My third visit to the beautiful city of Montreal was the first one that came with pleasant weather, quite welcomed for such a walking city. We were in town for the SIMA Symposium, where we exhibited at the Trade Show and participated in a few other events. Each evening we were able to enjoy Old Montreal and Crescent Street, while Thursday afforded us a bit more free time late in the day. After checking out the historic campus at McGill University and the nearby McCord Museum, I got ready to hop on a shuttle bus to Percival Molson Memorial Stadium as the CFL scheduling powers were on my side with the Alouettes playing their home opener at night. The bus had some issues both to (it was late) and fro (it didn’t make two scheduled stops), but otherwise this was a fantastic experience at a historic stadium that aesthetically became one of my favorites.

Molson Stadium sits on the eastern slope of Mount Royal, thus setting up a spectacular setting. From one sideline, fans have a backdrop that includes downtown Montreal and the “Plateau” neighborhood. From the other side, the mountain looms over the stadium, along with the historic campus buildings. A steep set of sideline seats provides terrific sightlines and the end zones have their own unique seating, especially on the south end where it is occupied by the Neurological Hospital. In front is a row of beer tents that make for a good spot to socialize and watch the game. Renovations added historical displays to the western end of the building and there is indeed plenty of history here…over 100 years worth! Frequent readers of this site know how much I love old stadiums and the incorporation of old and new in combination with the beautiful setting make Molson Stadium a must visit.

The crowd was lively and it was festive atmosphere throughout as there was a lot of singing and dancing with the music on the PA. The wave made an appearance as well. I am new to the CFL and for those not familiar, the primary differences from the American game are: Three Downs (instead of 4), goal posts at the front of a larger endzone, 1 point if a kicked ball is not returned from the endzone and orange penalty flags. I had a hard time getting used to the 3 downs and it really slowed the game down. It took awhile for a score as it was not until late in the 2nd when Montreal got on the board thanks to a 65 yard pass from Darian Durant, the former QB of their opponent Saskatchewan. The game got good at the end and the Al’s took the lead with an 18-yard field goal with just under 3 minutes remaining. The Riders drove back down and did what drives me nuts in all levels of football…settle for a mid-long range field goal. They easily could have ran 2-3 more plays, but instead, let the clock run down to attempt a 45 yard field goal. I was glad to see them punished as it missed and Montreal was victorious, ending a great stadium visit. Look for a detailed stadium review next week.

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2016 College Stadiums Update

Posted by Sean Rowland on October 6, 2016

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Notre Dame Stadium’s simplistic look is in the process of changing

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Before we get to the Big Boys, let’s talk about FCS, which is the only level of DI football to see a new stadium. Many don’t think of New Hampshire when it comes to football, but this is a program that has been consistently good. They’ve made the playoffs ten straight years, narrowly missing out on the championship game in 2014. They finally have a facility to match the program as Wildcat Stadium replaces Cowell Stadium, which was basically on the same site. Even though there is still an annoying track on the outside of the field, the new stadium is a vast improvement over the basic, dull facility that the Wildcats played in for decades. Another school to open a stadium this season on or near the same site as the prior one, is South Dakota State University. The Jackrabbits say hello to the 19,340-seat Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium and this one (unlike UNH) does not have a track. Thus, beautiful sightlines accompany new amenities and it is indeed a great stadium. The final new opening is a surprise in that this is the second SWAC football stadium to open in the last five years as Panther Stadium is the new home for Prairie View A&M football. I’m typically nostalgic and sad to see older facilities leave, but when it comes to football stadiums at the FCS Level, they are often basic and lack character, so there’s not many tears shed when older ones depart.

For the Power 5 schools, we have several renovations. Most notably is Notre Dame, which had the most pure stadium experience in the sport. Now, we will see large buildings or towers on three of the sides to accommodate premium seating, plus there will eventually be a giant video scoreboard. I guess we were all prepped for the change when the plain natural grass field was replaced with turf and an ND logo a couple years ago. A sad goodbye to the last remaining big time stadium that still resembled a place of older times. Other schools making changes include Kansas State, Oklahoma and Arizona State. The new trend that will really be noticeable in the upcoming years: The end of the numbers game. Teams used to try and have the highest seating capacity to boast their stadium is “biggest”. Look for that to end as schools sacrifice seats for club and luxury space, all in the name of the dollar bill.

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2016 NFL Stadiums Update

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 8, 2016

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Image from Vikings.com

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The National Football League is not only the most powerful league in the country, but also the most powerful voice in the stadium world. As we begin a new season, there is a fair amount of change on the facility front and it starts in the NFC. Up in Minneapolis, we have the grand opening of U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Vikings finally have a home after a few years on a college campus. Though I had an affection for the Metrodome as my favorite domed stadium because of the noise (and I love their horn), U.S. Bank Stadium reviews have been excellent. And, I’m happy to hear that it is quite loud, which is rare for new places as they tend to lose their noise and atmosphere (see Indianapolis). The other big story is the move of the Rams from St Louis to Los Angeles. Edward Jones Dome, now called The Dome at America’s Center, wasn’t the greatest, but of course it was suitable for football. It just wasn’t suitable to make the bajillions of dollars that the NFL and Team Owners want. St. Louis’ Dome isn’t even paid off (built in 1995) and it will sit empty, without a sports tenant. This should be a lesson to local/state governments willing to throw millions into new facilities for the lure of a team and to be smart with financing and lease agreements. But we know it won’t. As for the Rams, they will play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until their palace is complete in 2019.

Elsewhere, Miami wraps up a major renovation to what is now called Hard Rock Stadium. It is a pretty impressive transformation and the canopy roof is a huge plus for fans attending games in the heat. This stadium is sooo Miami. Check out the Living Room Suites. Elsewhere, in a place completely opposite of Miami, Buffalo will see a stadium name change as New Era Field replaces the team owner’s name on the front of the building. Many people forget that Buffalo was one of the first places with a corporate sponsorship when Rich Stadium opened in 1973 (Rich is the name of a food products company). Denver has had some naming issues as The Sports Authority is no more, having gone bankrupt. However, Denver for now will still have that name on their stadium in what has become quite complicated. C’mon guys, just go back to the name “Mile High Stadium”. Finally, Overstock is no longer associated with the Raiders’ stadium and the endangered place is called the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. I can just hear Chris Berman now.

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2016 Indoor Football Changes

Posted by Sean Rowland on March 19, 2016

The Richmond Coliseum hosted the indoor football "Richmond Raiders" for nearly 6 years, an unusually long run for this sport

The Richmond Coliseum hosted the indoor football “Richmond Raiders” for over five years, an unusually long run for this sport

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The world of Indoor Football certainly had a dicey offseason as we’re down to just four leagues. At the top of the pyramid, it has not been a good winter for the Arena Football League as the commissioner stepped down and the league lost four teams. One of them dropped to the IFL, while the other three ceased operations. The defending champion San Jose Sabercats were a surprising one as that Silicon Valley franchise was in place for 20 years. In 2016, the AFL will operate as an eight-team league and all of the positive energy from their relaunch six years ago has disappeared.

Consolidation is occurring in the lower levels with unstable leagues and teams diminishing as both the PIFL and X-League folded. I’m sure we’ll never get to a solid AFL1 and AFL2 as some overzealous rich person will continue to think that their league will be the one that makes it. Anyway, many of the franchises within the PIFL and X-League found different places to go, but there were some casualties of this mess. In the former, Alabama, Nashville, Trenton and Richmond folded. The last three had arenas on The List, but basketball tournaments keep each alive. While Trenton hosts the NJ High School Tournament of Champions, both Nashville and Richmond are home to college basketball conference tournaments. The folding of the Richmond Raiders particularly saddens me as this was the team that I saw at the Richmond Coliseum back in 2010. They did better than most indoor football franchises by surviving for over five years.

In the X-League, we have four teams out of commission. The loss of the Alabama Outlawz means that Birmingham’s Bill Harris Arena is off The List. Other franchises either folded or moved to a different league. As for the rest of indoor football, other changes include the addition of two franchises in the CIF. The Chicago Eagles will play out of UIC’s Pavilion, while we welcome a new arena to The List as Mesquite Arena is the home for the Mesquite Marshalls. This facility is geared towards Rodeo events, similar to other Texas arenas that host indoor football (San Angelo comes to mind, they also play in the same league).

American Indoor Football (AIF) had plenty of changes with several franchises gone, but many more joining. This league features expo centers, convention centers and fairgrounds…oh my! The addition of the Atlanta Vultures is interesting in that they will be playing in the Georgia International Convention Center, a place built in 2009 with absolutely no thought to hosting sporting events. I can’t even find what the capacity will be, but I’m guessing by looking at the meeting spaces map, it won’t be much. Speaking of Convention Center’s, Myrtle Beach will play in one, while up in Chicagoland, we’ll see the return of the Odeum Expo Center as the Chicago Blitz begin play in Villa Park. Dorton Arena on the site of the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh welcome the Triangle Torch, while the Annex on Winston-Salem’s Fairgrounds does the same. In Georgia, we’ll see the return of sporting events to a pair of small city Civic Centers in both Albany and Savannah, always welcomed news.
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Seeing the Stony Brook Seawolves Saturday

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 8, 2015

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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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Potential FBS Road Trips for 2015 Opening Weekend

Posted by Sean Rowland on August 26, 2015

2015 FBS Opening Weekend Road Trips

Four potential college football road trips for the 2015 opening weekend (map from Google Maps)

 

Guess who’s back. Back Again. Football’s back. With Labor Day being as late as possible on September 7th, that means we have a later start to the 2015 season, so those that salivate months in advance at the first slate of games will have to wait a little longer. At the college football level, numerous home openers are played on a Thursday or Friday. This means good news for us road trippers! This year, the schedule makers have given us a slew of possibilities as all of the below trips are doable. Not only can we see 3 or 4 stadiums in a weekend, but the match-ups are decent too. There’s still time for somebody to make one of these happen, let’s take a look at the options (all times are local)…

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1) Thu, Sep 3 at 7:00 PM  –  Oklahoma State at Central Michigan  –  Kelly-Shorts Stadium
….Fri, Sep 4 at 8:00 PM  –  Kent State at Illinois  –  Memorial Stadium
….Sat, Sep 5 at 11:00 AM  –  Stanford at Northwestern  –  Ryan Field
….Sat, Sep 5 at 6:30 PM  –  UNLV at Northern Illinois  –  Huskie Stadium
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This is an extremely rare opportunity to check out four stadiums in three days as the MAC and Big Ten is showcased. Start out in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where Kelly-Shorts Stadium should be packed as the Chippewas get a rare visit from a big time school as Oklahoma State visits. The ride to Champaign the next day is only 6 hours and that is plenty of time for a night game for the Illini. It’s then an early weekend wake-up call to get to Chicago for a TV friendly 11 AM kickoff in Evanston. The day finishes in the outer fringes of Chicagoland with UNLV and Northern Illinois. 

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2)  Sat, Sep 5 at 7:30 PM  –  Georgia Southern at West Virginia  –  Milan Puskar Stadium
…..Sun, Sep 6 at 3:30 PM  –  Purdue at Marshall  –  Joan C. Edwards Stadium
…..Mon, Sep 7 at 8:00 PM  –  Ohio State at Virginia Tech  –  Lane Stadium
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The Number 1 team in the nation visiting one of the loudest places in all of college football is reason enough to pick this trip. But building up to the Monday main event, there are a couple of appetizers worthwhile. Gameday at Mountaineer Field is quite an event, while goosebumps are likely during the inspiring “We Are Marshall” chant. Plus, much of this trip involves driving around and thru the state of West Virginia. This is beautiful country and the gorgeous terrain will make you say “ahhh” as the scenery is quite peaceful.  

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3)  Thu, Sep 3 at 6:30 PM  –  Michigan at Utah  –  Rice-Eccles Stadium
…..Fri, Sep 4 at 8:15 PM  –  Washington at Boise State  –  Albertson Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 5 at 5:00 PM  –  Eastern Michigan at Oregon  –  Autzen Stadium
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It’s not easy driving around the spaced out Mountain and Pacific Time Zone, but this trip involves doable separate rides of 5 and 8 hours. Three unique cities should entice visitors along with the actual event as the trip begins in Salt Lake, where the mountains tower over the stadium. Plus it’s a great game to attend too as Miiichigan and Harbaugh come to visit the Utes. The Smurf Turf at Boise is next, where the place should be pumped for a visit from a Pac-10 opponent. Then, travel across the varying terrain in Oregon for a visit to funky Eugene and the remarkable Autzen Stadium. 

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4) Thu, Sep 3 at 8:30 PM  –  Duke at Tulane  –  Yulman Stadium
…..Fri, Sep 4 at 6:00 PM  –  Baylor at SMU  –  Gerald J. Ford Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 5 at 6:00 PM –  Arizona State at Texas A&M  –  Kyle Field
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The theme with this trip is new, as it begins in New Orleans, where the Green Wave host the newly good Duke Blue Devils. Tulane plays in a new stadium that opened to rave reviews a few years ago. Friday’s game is in Dallas, where things are relatively new as SMU plays in the 15-year old Gerald Ford Stadium. The matchup is enticing too with Baylor coming to town. Finally, it’s on to the home of the 12th Man in College Station. Though Kyle Field was built in 1927, a new renovation completed for this season will push capacity to 102,512. Hard to imagine something louder than this

 

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2014 Football Stadiums Update

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 24, 2014

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The Green Wave return back to campus at Tulane’s brand new Yulman Stadium (Photo Credit – Stadium Journey)

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As the NFL tries to play God and almost forcibly attempt to get every team into a modern, sparking and expensive new stadium, there are several updates in the league this season. The biggest of course is out on the West Coast, where Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara replaces Candlestick in San Francisco. The Stick was a cold, windy, ugly dump and this certainly is a needed update as few will miss the old stadium. The commercialization cracks me up…check out the official “R” trademark on the Levi’s name at the stadium’s website. With a price tag over $1 billion there are some crazy technological features at The Field of Jeans. In Minneapolis, I am saddened to see the Metrodome deflated (I really loved that bubble) and the Vikings will spend two seasons at the University of Minnesota while their stadium is built. Several renovations took place that altered the seating capacity involving five teams. Jacksonville built the biggest scoreboard in the world, Cleveland finished Phase 1 of their plan, Philly teched up the Linc, Carolina made some pricey tweaks and additions, while Buffalo made a lot of changes in trying to keep the Ralph up-to-date (and yet at the same time continued ridiculous discussion on a media-fueled new stadium in the middle of a $100+ million renovation to the existing stadium!). Lastly, in Houston, Reliant is no longer the naming-rights sponsor as the Texans’ home is now called NRG Stadium.

On to the college game, where a lot has happened. Three new stadiums have been built, all in the deep south and the most notable likely is in Waco. McLane Stadium, new home to the Baylor Bears, has opened to rave reviews and this terrific facility sits right on campus along the Brazos River. In fact, “Sailgating” has become popular as many are taking boats up to the stadium. The new place is a departure from their neighborhood stadium located in the Beverley Hills section of Waco and it is undecided on what the fate of Floyd Casey Stadium will be. Also in the Lone Star State, is the new digs for the Houston Cougars as TDECU Stadium replaces old Robertson Stadium. In New Orleans, Tulane football has come back home! No longer will the Green Wave be playing in a cavernous, empty SuperDome, they instead will play in the intimate Yulman Stadium, which has been very well received thus far. Check out the Stadium Journey write-up on it as Lloyd Brown has already made it to a game with a full review.

There is a helluva a lot more than just new stadiums as renovations are plenty this year and I’ll go threw them with a one sentence blurb about each one…The Cincinnati Bearcats will spend a season in the city’s NFL stadium (Paul Brown) as Nippert Stadium is re-done…At UMass, the team finally returns to campus for games at a renovated McGuirk Stadium, but its only for 3 games (the other 3 are stupidly a couple hours away in Foxboro, where the school thinks the rest of the state actually cares about them)…Ohio Stadium is now the third-largest in the US as the Buckeys can play in front of an official 104,851 each Saturday….At Purdue, they are setting up future renovations at Ross-Ade Stadium by knocking out seating and replacing it with a temporary party deck (the scene will surely look different than Jacksonville’s)…A couple of Sun Belt teams saw expansion: Georgia Southern’s was made because of their move up to FBS, while Louisiana-Lafayette is going through a huge facilities upgrade campus-wide…Finally, the SEC, where holy crap do they have some money (not a ground-breaking statement). Four of their 14 teams had more seats added, particularly in the premium seating/club/suite department. Most notable is both LSU and Texas A&M as they will exceed the 100,000 mark with their latest renovations.

Stepping down a level to the FCS, things are much more tame. The only new stadium is at Houston Baptist University, where they also are just beginning their football program. The 5,000 seat Husky Stadium is too small to get on The List, but all the best to HBU as they begin life in the Southland. Elsewhere, a couple renovations changed the seating capacities on a pair of stadiums. Missouri State did a nice job improving their facility by bringing seats closer to the field, adding a party platform and enhancing the atmosphere with things like a bear statue. At Austin Peay, Governors Stadium actually lowered their capacity to just 7,000 as a renovation for luxury seating on the west grandstand led to the removal of many seats.   

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Football is Back!

Posted by Sean Rowland on September 1, 2014

Start a month of football travel with a trip to billion dollar JerryWorld

Finish up a month of football travel with a trip to billion dollar JerryWorld (picture from Stadium Journey)

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Ah yes, American-Style Football is back! This country’s most popular sport always brings excitement this time of year as fans gear up by setting up tailgates, having fantasy football drafts, buying new TVs or actually going to games. This is a stadium site, so of course I advocate heading out to the game, though the dragging out and over-commercialization of the 4 hour FBS events make it a little challenging. While exposure has placed different games on non-traditional days, that also means good news for road-trippers with trips that allow for multiple games and stadium. Here some tempting, great football trips to ponder making this month.

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1) Thu, Sep 4 at 8:00 PM  –  Arizona at UTSA  –  AlamoDome
….Fri, Sep 5 at 7:30 PM  –  Lee at Jefferson  –  Alamo Stadium
….Sat, Sep 6 at 7:30 PM  –  BYU at Texas  –  Royal Memorial Stadium
….Sun, Sep 7 at 4:25 PM  –  Washington at Houston  –  NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant)
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Texas is an easy state to find a great four-day stadium trip and this one is pretty good. It starts in one of my favorite cities, San Antonio and includes a High School Football game, which is a must when in the Lone Star State. Plus, 74-year old Alamo Stadium just completed renovations to upgrade, yet preserve the historical facility. Afterwards, check out 100,000 wearing burnt orange at a Longhorns game. For Sunday, Houston and Dallas are the same distance from Austin, so you can go to either NFL city. I only went with Houston here because I saved Dallas for a late September trip. 

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2) Thu, Sep 11 at 8:25 PM  –  Pittsburgh at Baltimore  –  M&T Bank Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 13 at 12:00 PM  –  West Virginia at Maryland  –  Byrd Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 13 at 6:00 PM  –  Colgate at Delaware  –  Delaware Stadium
…..Sun, Sep 14 at 1:00 PM  –  Jacksonville at Washington  –  FedEx Field
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I love this one…Enjoy one of the best NFL rivalry’s on Thursday Night, then take the open day Friday to either tour Charm City or the Nation’s Capital. Traffic is always a tricky thing to gauge in Maryland, but without it, the drive from College Park to Newark is very doable (1:30). That should be enough time to see one of the most well-supported FBS teams in the country. Then its back down to the DC area to check out a second NFL game. 

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3) Fri, Sep 19 at 7:00 PM  –  Holy Cross at Harvard  –  Harvard Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 20 at TBA  –  Maine at Boston College  –  Alumni Stadium
…..Sun, Sep 21 at 1:00 PM  –  Oakland at New England  –  Gillette Stadium
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While New England is more of a baseball-town, there is also good football and historical stadiums. A visit to an Ivy League game is a must-do at least once and Harvard is a great place to get a taste of the Ivies. Meanwhile, in Chestnut Hill, Alumni Stadium is an intimate and cool facility. Then the tour of Boston suburbs ends in Foxborough with the Pats.

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4) Thu, Sep 11 at 10:00 PM  –  UCLA at Arizona State  –  Sun Devil Stadium
…..Fri, Sep 26 at 8:00 PM  –  Fresno State at New Mexico  –  University Stadium
…..Sat, Sep 27 at TBA  –  TCU at SMU  –  Gerald J. Ford Stadium
…..Sun, Sep 28 at 8:30 PM  –  New Orleans at Dallas   –  AT&T Stadium
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Lots of driving on this one with a total of 15 hours in the car, luckily Albuquerque is in the middle of the trip and it splits up the days nicely. Hopefully, that TBA is not an early start or else it may be a little tough getting to the Metroplex. Otherwise, this trip is a great mix of college venues and cool places to hang out (spend some time in Tempe or Scottsdale after the game). The weekend is topped off in Billion-Dollar JerryWorld.

 

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