Sports venues are palaces where fans live and later relive historic moments and exciting finishes.
Throughout the history of sports in the U.S and Canada there have been plenty of arenas or stadiums that could be considered dumps by outsiders yet these venues like Ebbets Field or the Boston Gardens had a charm and unique nature that made them special.
The following are a list of 10 stadiums who were either poorly conceived, poorly constructed, or just plain poor and have little if no charm or historical significance.
In short, the following are just plain awful.
In the 1970s, the trend in arena planning and development was to move sports teams from the inner cities to the suburbs.
The reasoning behind this was solid because many of the old venues were in high crime areas with limited parking and few amenities.
Stadium's like Landover's Capital Centre and the Richfield Coliseum were examples of making a good idea bad.
There is no problem with building a stadium in Landover, if you were a Bullets, Hoyas or Capital's fan living in Maryland; however if you lived in D.C or Northern Virginia that was a different story.
The stadium was constructed off the never ending Capital Beltway making it a hour to two hour drive for much of the fanbase of the Washington D.C teams.
Adding to the location was the fact that the Cap Centre had few aminities, bad sightlines, and was always for some unknown reason one of the darkest arenas in the NBA, Big East and NHL.
Moment of Glory: 1978 NBA Finals game six.
If domes are you thing (and if baseball in a dome is your thing then you should see a qualified mental health professional), then there is nothing wrong with Tropicana Field per se and actually there are much worse domes (The Kingdome and The Metrodome) that have hosted Major League teams.
However, there is a huge difference between having a dome in a city with rain 250 days or the year, or where the temperature at April home games is lucky to break 40 degress, and FREAKING SOUTH FLORIDA.
Why the ownership of a team based in one of the most tropical cities in North America felt the need to put their team in an ugly and anti-septic domed stadium simply boggles the mind.
After all, why watch baseball in a venue overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on a beautiful 75 degree evening, when you can watch the game in an airplane hanger?
Moment of Glory: Game Seven of the 2008 ALCS.
When The Omni was constructed in the mid-'70s it was a cutting edge arena and one of the jewels in Ted Turner's sports empire.
Certainly one of the most distinctive venues in professional sports The Omni hosted the Hawks, the (pre-Calgary) Flames, the NCAA Final Four, major boxing and wrestling events, concerts from almost every major act in the world, and the 1988 Democratic National Convention.
So what was the problem with such an innovative and popular venue?
The building was literally rusting itself out of existence. The Omni was the first large building ever constructing using a material called COR-TEN, which is a type of steel that is supposed to rust for a short time which in theory strengthens the building and eliminates the need for painting.
However, the COR-TEN used to build The Omni never stopped rusting and soon large holes in the walls of the arena formed as well as holes in the roof making the Omni the only indoor arena in America susceptible to a rain-out.
Moment of Glory: Hosting the 1977 NCAA Final Four and the 1988 Democratic National Convention.
When Horace Stoneham was considering moving the baseball Giants to the west coast city, officials took him to Candlestick Point one afternoon where he saw a beautiful view and a nice 70-degree temperature.
Of course, Horace Stoneham was also known as gullible drunk as well.
Candlestick Park might be the worst conceived venue in both NFL and MLB history simply because of location, location, location.
During a mild day, the venue is one of the nicest and player friendly in all of sports, but at night, it turns into a stadium sized Frankenstein's monster.
For baseball, the problem was regular winds that would gust up to 45 miles an hour, making even late summer games almost frigid, and fly balls nearly impossible for outfielders to catch. Willie Mays still claims to this day that the wind at Candlestick Park cost him 150 home runs.
As for football, the problem with Candlestick Park is that it's really a baseball park, not to mention the fact that it should have a beautiful view that is obstructed by it's "cutting edge" construction (see No. 3 on this list).
Moment of Glory: Montana to Clark...the catch.
Unless you are a Bruce Springsteen fan, there is zero in terms of redeeming value when it comes to Izod Center.
When looking for a picture of the arena I ran across a thread from a New Jersey Devil's message board discussing the arena, and they all hated the place.
The arena regularly rates at the bottom of NBA venues as voted by both players and fans, and before the Devil's moved to Newark it was widely considered to have the worst ice in the NHL.
Also, it's not the most fan friendly place in the world with a cavernous atmosphere and it funnels all the fans into one concourse when entering and leaving the arena.
Of all the '70s and '80s constructed, multi-purpose anti-septic arenas with no character or distinctiveness the Izod Center ranks near the top of the list and that isn't a good thing.
Moment of Glory: 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, Game Four.
I know that I bashed domes when talking about Tropicana Field; however, there are times when even a dome is an improvement over what you have.
Exhibition Stadium was constructed for CFL football and the Canadian National Exposition, and had a modified horseshoe design concept that was converted to a baseball stadium using a portable right field wall.
This configuration led to the center field stands being over 800 FEET from home plate; however, ironically, these were also some of the best seats because they were the only part of the stadium covered from the elements.
Did I mention the elements? You see not only is Toronto still pretty cold in the early spring, but the stadium was near Lake Ontario so you also had bitterly cold lake effect temperatures as well as snow and wind.
Also the stadium was a regular feeding ground and toilet for seagulls visiting from the nearby lake that regularly flew overhead during games freely eating garbage from fans and leaving bird poop throughout the stadium.
Moment of Glory: 1985 ALCS Game Six.
If Colt Stadium were ever meant to be anything more than a temporary home for Houston's baseball team, it would surely rank at the top of this list.
When Judge Roy Hofheinz brought pro baseball to Houston, he had grand plans of getting the county to build a domed stadium for his team but until that time a glorified minor league park built with an erecter set would do.
In fact, to call Colts Stadium a "glorified minor league park" is an insult to 90 percent of the ballparks in minor league baseball.
To get an idea of just how bad Colt Stadium was, imagine a daytime double hitter in a fully open-air stadium with no roof, almost zero concessions, on a 95 degree day with 98 percent humidity.
Oh and did I mention the millions of mosquitoes that swarmed fans or the rattlesnakes that took up residence in the outfield?
Needless to say Judge Hofheinz got his bond issue and the Colt-45's found themselves in a domed stadium as the Astros in three years.
Moment of Glory: none.
If anybody can think of one good thing to say about the L.A Sports Arena, please let me know.
Granted, the place is 50 years old, but its reputation precedes itself from the days when it housed the Clippers.
The Sports Arena had almost no modern amenities, the seats were torn, the paint peeling, and more than a few fans actually report that the whole arena literally stunk (or maybe that was just the Clippers).
When the arena was built, it was supposed to be in a centralized location for the entire city to enjoy, however that location became South Central Los Angeles, one of the most crime ridden areas in the city.
Former Clipper Matt Bullard actually reports he saw a drive-by shooting take place in the parking lot while walking to his car after a game.
L.A County has finally put some money into this dump and renovated it to meet 21st century standards, ironically they did this AFTER their two main tenets the Clippers and USC moved out.
Moment of Glory: 1968 and 1972 NCAA Final Four.
The Vet gets recognized as a stand-in for being the worst of the worst.
For all of the bland, cookie-cutter, multi-purpose, concrete monstrosities called stadiums built in the 1970s, the Vet was far and away the worst.
First off, unless you have a direct tie to any team that has fond memories of a championship or winning play in that venue, you should hate the very idea that these stadiums lacking any personality ever existed (also including Riverfront, Three Rivers, Oakland Coliseum, RFK Stadium, Fulton County Stadium, etc...)
However, of all these stadiums the Vet was the worst of the worst for at least four separate reasons:
1. It wasn't bad enough that the Vet has Astroturf, but rather it had Astroturf that literally ended careers with a passion. So bad was the Vet's turf that it was annually voted the worst playing surface in the NFL by the players.
2. Unless scrapple is your thing, the Vet was widely considered to have the worst (and most overpriced) concessions in professional sports.
3. The city of Philadelphia did zero maintenance to the place. The playing surface was disgraceful, the escalators broken, scoreboard bulbs were always burned out, paint peeled, bathrooms were always closed, and one year at an Army-Navy football game a number of students were injured when a guard rail repaired with DUCT TAPE collapsed.
4. The Vet is the only stadium that I know of that has an actual jail in the basement; however, that may be more of an indictment of the Philly sports fans than the Vet itself.
Moment of Glory: 1980 World Series, Game Six.
I remember as a kid going to a Mammoth Cave, which is the largest cave in the world.
There was always an odd feeling of being in the cave with a tour group of about 50 people and just feeling how huge and empty the cave was, and how few people were there in comparison to the enormity of the structure.
That same feeling was true for fans attending an Expos home game during the 1990s.
It's not really Olympic Stadium's fault the stadium sucked but rather an example of what happens when best laid intentions go wrong.
When Montreal was awarded a major league team, they had no stadium, so the city found a sprawling public park, put up a fence, a scoreboard, some lights, and a grandstand and called it Jarry Park.
The promise was that with the Olympic Games coming in 1976 that the city be so flush with cash it could take the Olympic Stadium, make a number of baseball friendly renovations, and give the Expos the best stadium in baseball.
That never happened.
To begin with, the stadium was never fully completed, even for the Olympics because of a workers strike, the major project left unfinished was the retractable roof which was needed considering that Montreal is even colder than Toronto in April and early May.
It took 11 years to even attempt to repair the roof because the city nearly went bankrupt from hosting the Olympics, which meant the Expos frequently played in the snow and cold for another decade.
When it became clear that the retractable dome was a lost cause, the city decided to give the Expos a nice BRIGHT ORANGE roof, which was a major eye sore, before finally settling on the current blue roof after the orange roof collapsed under a snow storm.
Add to the roof saga the fact that Olympic Stadium was just a damn ugly venue with too many seats, seats too far away from the action, not to mention the park was dark, dingy, and dirty.
Fans never liked watching baseball at Olympic Stadium because the teams were often substandard and the park was the least fan friendly in Major League Baseball.
From the irony of ironies file, the city of Montreal finally completed paying the $1.2 billion price tag for Olympic Stadium in 2006, two years after the Expos moved to Washington DC.
Moment of Glory: The 1976 Summer Olympic Games.