Richard Gasquet vs. Radek Stepanek at the 2011 French Open
The 2011 French Open got underway on Sunday. As one of the most unique events in all of sports, we at Bleacher Report were wondering how the home of the French Open stacks up against 14 other famous sports venues, throughout the world.
This list will contain venues for specific sporting competitions, venues for multiple sports and venues where specific sports have their history on display.
Bonzai Pipeline, Hawaii
The Bonzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii is not a surfing spot for the faint at heart. It tests even the most experienced surfers.
This famous surfing haven is named for the area on the beach where the shallow water meets the coral shelf, creating a pipe-like shape, according to the North Shore website.
Michael Jordan being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2009.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was created in 1959, in honor of the game's creator, Dr. James Naismith.
The NMBHOF has 40,000 square feet of basketball history in the birthplace of the game, Springfield, Massachusetts. According to the NMBHOF website, there are nearly 300 inductees, today.
One of the most popular aspects of the NMBHOF is Center Court. Visitors can play like pros on the full-size, regulation court, underneath the Honors Ring. Created in September 2002, the Honors ring honors Coaches Larry Brown, Lute Olson, and Kay Yow and players Drazen Petrovic and Magic Johnson.
Hoops fans around the world flock to Massachusetts to learn about the game that's been around since 1891.
Whitey Herzog in 2010.
The sport of baseball was created in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. The inaugural Hall of Fame class of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner was named in 1936, three years before construction began for the home of the BHOF.
According to the BHOF website, there are many activities, for people of all ages. One of the most unique is the Extra Innings Overnights, where kids ages seven to 12 can sleep in the Hall of Fame Gallery, where plaques featuring inductees are kept.
The museum has over 38,000 three-dimensional artifacts, on three floors. It is recommended that museum visitors start on the second floor, that houses the Cooperstown Room, Baseball Experience, Taking the Field: the 19th Century, 20th Century Baseball Time line, Babe Ruth Room, Diamond Dreams: Women In Baseball, Viva Baseball and Today's Game.
2010 Enshrinee, Jerry Rice
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has called Canton, Ohio home since 1963, according to their website. The main reason for the location being that the National Football League
When visitors enter the museum, they see a seven-feet tall, bronze statue of Jim Thorpe. On the second floor is the exhibition rotunda, where visitors learn about the first century of pro football. Then comes the Teams of the NFL Exhibition Area, Hall of Fame Gallery, Pro Football Adventure Room, Pro Football Today Gallery, Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery and interactive area.
Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
I bet you were wondering when tennis was going to show up on this list.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum is located at the Newport Casino, in Newport, Rhode Island. It was created in 1954 by James Van Alen as "a shrine to the ideals of the game," according to the ITHOF website. However, the International Tennis Federation didn't recognize it until 1986.
In 2010, the ITHOF inducted seven people, including doubles specialists, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde and wheelchair tennis creator, Brad Parks.
Not only does this venue host the ITHOF and Museum, it hosts an ATP World Tour 250-level tournament, the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. It is one of the few tournaments played on grass.
Visitors can see artifacts from the 12th century through the present day. All enshrinees get a green sport coat and plaque and may donate memorabilia to be put into the museum.
Estadio Azteca in 2005.
The Estadio Azteca calls Mexico City home and took four years to build. According to the World Stadiums website, 12 architects, 34 engineers, 15 technicians and 800 workmen built the stadium, from 1962 to 1966.
The Estadio Azteca sits 31 feet below ground level and 3 rings of continuous, curving tiers. The seating is around the entire perimeter of the stadium.
It was renovated in 1986, to host its' second World Cup Final. It's the only stadium to host two World Cup Finals. The first one being in 1970.
Wembley Stadium has 90,000 seats, with no obstructed views, according to their website. Of those 90,000, 310 are wheelchair accessible and 400 are for the press. The seats go throughout three tiers: lower 34,303, middle 16,532 and upper 39,165.
The roof spans 315 meters, the longest single span roof structure in the world. The roof is over 11 acres long and four of those acres are retractable.
The stadium has a circumference of one kilometer and there are 107 steps in the trophy presentation route.
Currently on their website, you can vote for the greatest event at Wembley Stadium. Sixteen of the 25 choices are sports related, in a stadium that mainly hosts soccer matches.
Fans at the Lousiana Superdome
The Lousiana Superdome is currently undergoing renovations, to be completed in June 2011. According to their website, enhancements will be made to The Plaza, the sidelines and Premium Ground Level Lounges.
The Louisiana Superdome is the home to two football teams: The 2010 Super Bowl Champion, New Orleans Saints and the Tulane Green Wave. The Tulane Green Wave has been playing at the Louisiana Superdome since 1974 and the New Orleans Saints have been called it home since 1975.
According to answers.com, the Louisiana Superdome has hosted six Super Bowls, more than any other venue.
Scott Dixon, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2011.
The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 29. The race has been in existence since 1911 and is as popular as ever. It has been run at the Indianapolis Speedway every year except for 1917-1918 and 1942-1945. According to the website, it is the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not just the home of the Indianapolis 500. It also hosts the Brickyard 400 and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. It even houses the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.
Two of the most popular aspects of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are the Pagoda and Gasoline Alley. The Pagoda sits on the start-finish line and is the center that makes sure everything runs smoothly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It has a media center, race control, safety, timing and scoring. It has 9 tiers and stands 153 feet tall. Gasoline Alley is the world-famous garage area.
Phil Mickelson with 2011 Masters winner, Charl Schwartzel.
The Masters golf tournament is one of the most recognizable sporting events in the world, despite being so young. According to their website, the Masters was founded 75 years ago by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.
All 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club test a pro golfer's patience and skill. The 14th hole is thought to be the most difficult hole on the entire course. Bobby Jones himself said on the website that the second nine holes was designed to give spectators dramatic finishes. Jones' goal was realized this year, with the down-to-the-wire battle between winner, Charl Schwartzel and third-place finisher, Adam Scott.
Paula Deen doing the coin toss at the 2011 Rose Bowl.
As evidence by this photograph, the Rose Bowl attracts people from all walks of life.
Located in Pasadena, California, the Rose Bowl seats approximately 90,000 spectators, in 77 rows of seats. According to their website, the turf inside the ball is 79,156 square feet. in 2007, 40,000 square feet of locker room and media space was added. It has 100 different varieties of rose bushes, between the field and the fence.
It cost $272,198 to build the Rose Bowl Stadium. As a result, the first Personal Seat Licenses were sold to fund the project. The Rose Bowl Stadium doesn't just host college football games. It also is equipped to host soccer games.
Gael Monfils at the 2011 French Open
It's Day 3 of the 2011 French Open at legendary Roland Garros. What makes Roland Garros unique is not just it's red clay court surface. It's the combination of modernity and tradition, something that will be taken into consideration for its' renovations, to be completed in 2016. According to their website, it's the only Grand Slam tournament held in the heart of a major city (Paris).
The current venue holds 19 courts. With renovations, it will have a retractable roof on its' Center Court, Phillipe Chatrier, to allow play in all weather conditions. This will be something new, since Roland Garros was built in 1928, according to their website.
Casual tennis fans probably assume that Roland Garros was a tennis player. However, it was named after a French aviator who was the first person to fly over the Mediterranean,
The 2011 running of the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby, often referred to as "the most exciting two minutes in sports" calls Churchill Downs, in Louisville Kentucky, home.
Something that general sports fans may not know is that Churchill Downs has two race tracks: the Churchill Downs Main Track and the Matt Winn Turf Course. It also hosts the Kentucky Oaks race, according to their website.
The Main Track is a one-mile oval with a one-mile chute. It also has 80 feet on the front stretch and back stretch. The distance from the final turn to the finish line is 1,235 feet.
The Matt Winn Turf Course is a seven furlong oval and has 80 feet on the front stretch and back stretch. The distance from the final turn to the finish line is 1,222 feet.
Kids can have fun at Churchill Downs too, with the Junior Jockey Club and Churchill Charlie. During the races, kids ages 12 and under are welcome to do crafts and try on jockey helmets and silks.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club hosts the Championships: Wimbledon. It was founded in 1869, as "The All England Croquet Club." In 1899, it started using the current name, "The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club," according to their website.
The Club has 19 grass court, eight American Clay courts and five indoor courts, two Greenset Velvelux and three Greenset Trophy. In nearby Aorangi Park, there are 22 grass courts and two green acrylic courts. Before and during The Championships, players may use Aorangi Park to practice. The total area of both venues is over 42 acres.
Players often like to spend time in Wimbledon Village, dining and/or shopping. People are allowed to take tours of the grounds throughout the year and Club members are allowed to play on the courts, when the Championships aren't going on.
Carmelo Anthony, playing at Madison Square Garden in 2011.
Madison Square Garden is a great place for sports fans to go. Since MSG opened its' doors in 1979, it's hosted thousands of different sporting events. From NBA and WNBA, to hockey and tennis, MSG has something for everyone, according to their website.
Madison Square Garden is one of the world's most popular sports arenas and is one of the things that puts New York in the world's spotlight.
The New York Knicks, New York Liberty and New York Rangers call MSG home. Also, the BNP Paribas Showdown tennis tournament has recently taken up residence there.