Best of the rest
I was there in the early 1990s and the same recalcitrant bull kept getting rounded back into the center, then jumping into the crowd again and again. How thrilled we all were, how genuinely surprised. In the end the men gave up. The bull won. We were delighted and the Arles arena -- I can still smell the stony dust underfoot and the trace of sweat on the leathery old man beside me -- had won a place in my pantheon.
No, the reason I loved the old Chicago Stadium was because it had a history and feel like no other arena. Built in 1929 for the then princely sum of $9.5 million, it was at the time the largest indoor arena in the world. It would go on to host Democratic and Republican conventions, the NBA Finals, The Stanley Cup, NBA and NHL All-Star Games, even Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam.
But what really set the stadium apart was its atmosphere; the boxy design, with three tiers that went straight up to a wooden roof, and put fans right over the action. There were the blood red seats with black railings that matched the colors of the Bulls and Blackhawks.
And there was "Remember the Roar." That was the fitting motto the Bulls and Blackhawks used in '94, the final year of the Stadium. No sports arena ever rocked like the Madhouse on Madison. Former Blazers star
Nowhere are college fans as dedicated or enthused about their team, and considering Duke's .831 win percentage at home since 1940, few arenas are as influential.
Camden Yards was the first modern park with a traditional feel and its style has been emulated more than a dozen times. It's the place where
My earliest memory of Ohio Stadium is sitting on upper deck bench seats so small and uncomfortable that I felt like a sardine in a can. But the grass below was so green, and the scarlet block O at midfield represented a beacon of everything that was good and great in the world, at least as far as my grade-school eyes were concerned. The 'Shoe is my favorite venue, not because it's a great place to watch a game (though it is), but because it stands as a symbol of who I am and where I come from.
I've experienced the gym on every level. As a student, I was usually in the front row, with the playing surface at my waist. As a reporter, I covered games from both the press box high above the court and the newer press area next to the student section. I've sat in the balconies, on the floor and on the wooden bleacher benches behind the students. The place has charm, history, character and a one-of-a-kind set up. What more could you ask for? --
The first one reads: Parking, $20, Yankee Games.
The second one reads: Parking, $20, Rucker Tournaments.
That the lot charges equal fare for spaces near a baseball cathedral and a public park would not surprise native New Yorkers. If heaven is a playground, as author
Glowing in the distance are the bright blue letters of Yankee Stadium, but while the boys of summer are in their dog days, the hoop heads bark loudest. Sweat soaked, laying down slippery crossovers, Rucker's participants drive past defenders and end plays with emphatic dunks. From their point of view, the real deal is on their side of the river.