Stadium and Arena Visits

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

  • Archives

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Musings

Posted by Sean Rowland on December 13, 2017

.

.
Time for another round of Musings channeling my inner Frank Costanza…”I’ve got a lot of problems with you people and now you’re gonna hear about it!”
.

– If I see one more close up of Matt Patricia (New England Patriots Defensive Coordinator), I’m going to throw my remote at the TV! Why do producers love him so much? Is it the beard? or the red sweatshirt? or that he is portly? I would love someone to keep count of air time for an OC or DC and see how far out he would be in the lead. Only Rob Ryan got more unjustified TV shots.
.

– College Basketball. You’ve done a lot to irk me in the last few years, with replay reviews being at the top of my list. I’ve got three more things to add. 1) The fake camaraderie of going to help a teammate up is pathetic. Every time someone goes down, you see three teammates sprint over to help them up. Is this being taught in practice? It’s quite over the top. 2) Speaking of over the top: Guards who get touched and blatantly throw their body around like it was the biggest hack ever. I thought refs were supposed to call fouls on them for overacting. 3) Speaking of refs: Why do you have to insist that benches sit down? What is the harm in bench players standing when the game gets tight or celebrating while the play is going on as long as they are off the court.
.

– Listen for this because it happens a lot: Commentators at the end of the game saying: “Let’s take one more look” at a replay, when it is the very first look.
.

– At the end of last-second victory, why does the camera have to go right to the coach? What is the obsession with coaches? Players play, they won the game, I want to see them celebrate on the field/court. I love emotion and it drives me insane (especially in college basketball) when there is a buzzer beater and you get 2 seconds of players piling on, followed immediately by 10 seconds of a coach going to shake the other coaches hand

.

– The newest trend in soccer the last few years: For the player who commits a foul to scream at the player that was fouled to try and show that they were faking (of course there are times this is the case). It now happens all the time and it does nothing to persuade opinion now. Just makes them look like a fool

.

– Taylor Twellman: Just Shut Up

.

– In minor-league sports, we’ve seen a trend in recent years where baseball has gone local. Teams across the country have ditched generic or affiliation names for something more local. Last season, the Binghamton Mets became the Rumble Ponies and a few days ago, the Single-A Tampa Yankees are changing to the Tarpons. Zany yes, but it’s for the better. Why can’t hockey do this? Instead, we’ve seen an opposite trend. This past offseason in the AHL, we’ve seen three teams all become closer to their affiliate in location/colors/nickname: Belleville Senators, Binghamton Devils and Laval Rocket (though that was already the case with the first two). That’s why it was with such a relief to recently see the Maine Mariners unveil their great name and logo. Let’s hope what is happening in minor-league baseball starts to infiltrate minor-league hockey.  


.

Posted in Other, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

2016 College Stadiums Update

Posted by Sean Rowland on October 6, 2016

nd5

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

.
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.

.

Posted in Football, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Pittsfield and Troy…Fighting the Rain

Posted by Sean Rowland on August 1, 2016

4307

.
Anyone driving around the Northeast this summer can’t help but notice the browned-out neighborhood lawns as this region has struggled to see any prolonged rains for months. I welcome rain for these folks, but just not this past weekend as a I had a baseball trip planned for Pittsfield and Troy. Saturday worked in my favor as I left downpours in Jersey to a light spritz while working my way up the Hudson Valley. By the time I reached Pittsfield around 5:00 PM, it was dry. I started downtown, where the city had some historical points and an older architecture worth driving thru, though there was a sense that the place has seen better times as it was not exactly hopping on a Saturday Night. Dinner was at the District Kitchen for a fine burger at the small bar.

Wahconah Park was built in 1919 and is one of the last remaining ballparks with a wooden grandstand. This is a stadium that oozes likability from purists. It was an auspicious start though as the parking situation in the dirt parking lot is cramped and poor, then I had to wait 15 minutes in a slow-moving line to get my ticket. The generic siding on the exterior, then gave way to the excellent experience I was expecting as I walked up the wonderful ramp behind home plate and into a charming ballpark that has stood the test of time. The wooden grandstand is what you would anticipate from that era as it is covered and held by support beams. Complementing the ballpark is a game experience reduced in theatrics. Just one between-inning contest and lots of organ music greeted a pleasant game that steps back in time. The contest was a FCBL one between the Suns and North Shore Navigators, who had uniforms like a junior high team. North Shore belted three solo home runs to bring a 3-0 lead into the 9th, but Pittsfield staged a rally in their last at-bat. Shaky closing pitching and defense gave up 2 runs with 2 outs and Pittsfield had the tying run at 3rd and the winning run at 2nd. However, Quinn DiPasquale struck out Al Zachary as North Shore hung on to win. That finish was played in a light rain and I would make a wet drive to the hotel. Not something I wanted to do on winding, two-lane Route 20 as insane hotel prices in the Pittsfield area led me to save a hundred bucks or so by driving 40 min to a place in East Greenbush, NY. I knew that the Berkshires were a popular summer spot for New Englanders, but is it that much where a Hampton Inn costs $330 on a weekend. Outrageous!

Sunday Morning, I woke up to a continuing rain and I decided to change my original plans of seeing the Hancock Shaker Village as much of the place is outdoors and the weather did not making that appealing (nor was a 1:10 round trip drive). So as I did some forecasting and contemplated the chances of the Tri-City ValleyCats to get their 5 PM game in, I altered my daytime plans by staying in the Capital District. First, after checkout, was lunch at Panera, mainly to use there Wifi and get some early review work in. With any noteworthy things to check out in Troy closed Sundays, I decided to head 10 minutes west to downtown Albany and check out the free NY State Museum for the afternoon while monitoring the ValleyCats Twitter account for game status as rain continued. This is the largest state museum in the country and I’m glad I made the detour as it was worthwhile. Lots of large displays complimented the informative pieces and there was a terrific section on the history of New York City that I found fascinating (especially the pieces on skyscrapers and Harlem). The poignant 9/11 gallery was tough to get through, but well done. The only criticism I have as a person born and raised in New York is the lack of attention to the many other areas of the Empire State. NYC of course had their section and so did the Adirondacks, but very little attention was given to regions in the western half. Nothing new in terms of being overlooked, but a synopsis of all the state’s regions would have been nice. Hopefully that gets taken care of during their massive, future renovation.

I got so caught up in this museum that I forgot to check the game status until 3 PM and unfortunately, the game was cancelled. My long-lasting luck of never having a rained-out baseball game that I made journey for came to end. Despite my disappointment, I had to focus on that positive and long lasting good fortune. Before the next downpour, I took a walk in the massive Empire State Plaza, a monolithic, 1984-like plaza that displaced thousands of people when built nearly 50 years ago. Mixed emotions resulted from this area that is somehow at the same time beautiful and ugly, intimidating and inviting. The ride home crawled south along I-87 and on the way, I thought about making my next trip (the CT Open in New Haven), a doubleheader by also visiting Dodd Stadium in Norwalk. Until then, the review of Wahconah Park will be up later this week, along with an updated review at Stadium Journey.
.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Sandy

Posted by Sean Rowland on November 2, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I was up in Rochester, NY throwing my brother a bachelor party a few weeks before his wedding. Definitely a great time and capped off with a solid round of golf before heading back to Jersey. When I’m off from work, I try to avoid looking at weather unless something is approaching in the short-term. So, I was not expecting to return to the office on Tuesday and have to consider making a plan in case the newly formed tropical system Sandy would affect our main forecast region. In a few days, that plan became a reality and in my years of weather enthusiasm, I’ve never actually been scared for storm, which was the feeling in the entire meteorological community and it was certainly illustrated by any TV meteorologist about the severe impacts this storm was about to have. We made it through at work operationally functional throughout thanks to a generator, a spotty backup internet source and an extremely dedicated staff. Personally, there was no damage to our immediate area and though going three days without power sucked (however much of that time I spent at work), you won’t hear me complain as it pales in comparison to those who will be out weeks, whom I truly feel awful for. Given the mess the region is in with the amount of trees/wires damaged, a week to two weeks for power restoration on average is understandable. The other big problem is the gas shortage as getting fuel is becoming an extreme challenge in our area. The storm had an impact on our town, but nothing like other communities, especially those devastated along the shore. All the best to those in recovery efforts and I strongly encourage everyone to volunteer or donate. These weren’t just summer homes destroyed, but there are many great people who call the shore home year round. Same with all the areas away from the ocean that were devastated by this storm. Now that I have started seeing some things on TV, I see the media running away with the “tempers are flaring” theme amongst people here. Yes, there are those jerks around, but the majority of Jersey is much more full of great, caring, generous and kind people than what gets  portrayed.

So, with that wrap-up of the last few weeks, I’ll be skipping on going to Newark, DE for a visit to Delaware Stadium this weekend to see the Delaware-Towson game. The gas issue is the main reason and a lot of that is guilt on my end not wanting to use gas for some entertainment. Also, lots of things I need to take care of  this weekend. I was looking to get down there in December for a bball game, but not sure yet what the plan is. Getting into my busy snow season at work, plans are tentative, but I’m going to try and think one up soon, so check back with the website  on upcoming plans.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »