Seeing America, One Stadium At A Time

August 11, 2010

Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers

With the transition from summer to fall sports quickly approaching, I find myself anxious to continue my quest (which has only just begun) of attending a game at as many professional sports stadiums/arenas throughout the country as I can. I love sports (some more than others), but the most interesting thing about these visits are the fans and the culture. The different reactions toward the hometown teams makes each experience a unique one.

To highlight a few:

MSG: Those New York fans are brutal!

I have never seen a team get booed so badly by their own fans for poor performance as the New York Rangers did at Madison Square Garden. They got a few goals behind and that was all that was needed for the cheers to quickly turn into profanity and anger as many fans stormed out early.

Alexander "The Great" Ovechkin

The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., for a Capitals game was loud, but not angry loud. Of all the professional sporting events I have been to (including playoff games), none were as loud as this game was. It was just a regular season game and the fans were chanting cheers literally nonstop the entire game. I’m sure having Alexander Ovechkin (clearly among the top players in the NHL) on the team contributes to the excitement at least a little bit!

The Twins' spring training home

I’ll leave you with a hometown team, the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., for spring training. This has been by far the most relaxed environment at any game I’ve been to. Granted everyone is on vacation and it’s not the regular season, so there’s no pressure involved, but it still counts for something, right? 

The one thing all the fans have in common is love for their hometown team. Whether angry, drunk, happy, sad or screaming, they have all come out to support their team and make sports the fun, people-watching and unique cultural experience that it is.

What are some of the unique experiences you have had outside of Minnesota sports while attending a professional sporting event?