Best Venues: College Football, MLB, and Minor League Hockey

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Best Venues: College Football, MLB, and Minor League Hockey

http://blog.nola.com/sportswrapup/2007/10/large_07brandon__JPG__3586262.jpgTim Yu published an article yesterday about the top 10 toughest places to play a sporting event in the world, and you know where Tiger Stadium was? #3.

Most of the venues were soccer stadiums, including the Rangers' Ibrox Stadium at #8.

(Inexplicably, Celtic Park was left out of the list. Oh well, the guy must be a f***ing Rangers fan.)

After reading Tim's article, I started thinking about the sports venues I have seen.

I've been to three bowl games—Independence, Cotton and Peach. Out of these three, my favorite venue was probably the Cotton Bowl, even though it was the only bowl where I saw LSU lose. The Cotton Bowl's seats were small and jammed together, and felt closer to the field than either Independence Stadium or the Georgia Dome.

Speaking of the Georgia Dome—after the Peach Bowl in '05, I came to the realization that football should always be played outside, period.

I've gone to games at three college football stadiums—LSU's Tiger Stadium, Ole Miss' Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium and Louisiana Tech's Joe Alliet (pronounced eye-eh) Stadium.

Of course, my favorite is Tiger Stadium—even sitting in the upper deck it feels like you're right on top of the field. The atmosphere around Vaught-Hemmingway was, as an LSU fan, very odd. It was very civilized and very festive at the same time, nothing at all like Baton Rouge—or even Ruston, for that matter.

TIconhere are three Major League Baseball stadiums that I have seen—in Dallas, Anaheim, and San Diego. Petco Park in San Diego is definitely my favorite, but that's not a knock on the other two.

I have never been to an NHL game (hoping to go to my first in a few months), but I have watched minor league games in—you guessed it—three different arenas: the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, the Desoto County Civic Center in Southaven, MS, and the Nytex Sports Center in North Richland Hills.

Certainly my opinion here is biased, but I can say the most unique arena out of the three would be Nytex. Its really more a practice facility than an arena—2,300 is the max attendance—and all of the seats are very close to the glass. The first time I was there, I sat on the first row of the upper "end zone" terrace, and my feet were level with the glass, which was only about six in front of me. Needless to say, I had a pretty cool vantage point to watch the game from.

I hope I can add to this list within the next year.

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