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4/18/2008 02:46:00 PM
Unconventional settings for sporting events
More than 100,000 fans watched the Red Sox and Dodgers play an exhibition game just a few weeks ago.
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in New York City Friday morning, and as part of his papal visit to the Big Apple, he will lead a mass at Yankee Stadium. (No word on whether or not he will pray for more starting pitching.) Sports stadiums are usually rather inadaptable to hosting events other than what they're made for. But that's why it's fun when they stretch their boundaries. Here's my top five favorite sports events held in unconventional settings...
1. Baseball at The Coliseum: The Dodgers and Red Sox recently squared off in this bizarre setting out in L.A., selling a truckload of tickets in the process. In their infinite wisdom, Major League Baseball did not offer this interesting curiosity to be viewed on national television.
2. The NHL Winter Classic: The NHL had Pittsburgh and Buffalo square off outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. The general public smiled and nodded, then a day later went back to not watching hockey.
3. Basketball at Radio City Music Hall: A few years ago, the WNBA held their All-Star Game on stage at Radio City Music Hall. Didn't really bump the meter, though.
4. The Westminster Dog Show: Is watching dogs run around really so popular that we need to host it in a 16,000 seat arena? Apparently so.
5. Outdoor Basketball: Back in 1972, the Suns and Bucks played a preseason game on a baseball field in Puerto Rico, and the WNBA will host a regular season game outdoors this summer. Aside from the concept of rain, seems pretty cool.
What sports would you like to see in an unconventional setting, and where? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
Much like the Dodgers at the LA Coliseum, it'd be great to see some teams or events return to their ancestral homes that still exist, i.e. the Chicago Bears playing at Wrigley Field, the NE Patriots at Fenway Park, or the Daytona 500 as a road course on and along Highway A1A.
An obvious unconventional setting for a sporting event is the Dubai Open. How much water do you have to truck in to get a golf course in the middle of the most barren wasteland in the world? A close second goes to Las Vegas, with Phoenix and Tuscon not far behind.