Sports Stadiums

Reasoning behind this blog; My love of sports stadiums.

Some people like the smell of a second hand book they take out from their local library, others like to sample foods from all over the world. We all have our interests or hobbies. For me it is visiting sports stadiums throughout the world. It is something I have always had a keen interest in and no matter where I visit, spotting a stadium always seems to be one of my abiding memories of that particular city or country. Walking up those steps and seeing those coloured seats for the first time is always a highlight and I must admit when I attend a game in one of these stadiums, I never want it to end and that walk back down those steps can bring with it different emotions than the ones experienced only two hours previously.

The famous claret and blue seats at Villa Park – A stadium I frequent once a year.

There are various different reasons behind starting this blog, one is to share with you my experiences and to hopefully give you some in-depth information on these fine structures and I guess in some cases not so fine structures!! But my main reason if I am been honest is the booking of a soccer trip some weeks back that will see me take in four stadiums between Belguim and Holland over the course of five days. Unfortunately on Wednesday the 23rd of October,  I don’t arrive in Brussels in time to see Anderlecht take on PSG in the ‘Constant Vanden Stock’ Stadium but the trip will kick into life the following day when I take in my first Eurpoa League game between Racing Genk and Rapid Vienna at the ‘Cristal Arena’ in Genk. Friday the 25th will see me travel up to Holland where I will get my first taste of Eredivisie action when NEC Nijmegen host SC Heerenveen at the Goffertstadion. Saturday is still a little up in the air but I am sure I will find somewhere. I hope to finish off this trip back in Belguim at what promises to be a mouth watering tie in the Belgian Jupiler League between R.S.C Anderlecht and Standard Liege at that good old ‘Constant Vanden Stock. Here is hoping that this all goes to plan and I can bring you an insight from the heart of European football. More on that in the coming weeks…..

Stadiums Visited: Soccer
Anfield (Liverpool v Newcastle United)

Aviva Stadium (Rep.of Ireland v Poland)

Belfield Bowl (UCD v Shelbourne)

Croke Park (rule 42) (Rep.of Ireland v Poland)

Dalymount Park (Various Bohemians games)

Easter Road, Hibernian FC (Stadium tour)

Landsdowne Road (FAI cup final Dundalk v Shelbourne)

Nou Camp (Stadium tour)

Old Trafford (Man United v QPR, Middlesboro, Aston Villa and Leeds United)

Sports Direct Arena (St.James Park) (outside + club store)

Richmond Park (St.Pats v Cork City)

Stadium of Light, Sunderland (Sunderland v Arsenal)

Station Road (Various Kildare County)

Tallaght Stadium (Shamrock Rovers v Aston Villa)

Tolka Park (Various)

Villa Park (Aston Villa v Wolves, Fulham and Man United)

Tallaght Stadium – Shamrock Rovers v Aston Villa, pre-season friendly July 2013

Sports Stadiums Worldwide:
Whilst in Australia in 2007, I attended an AFL game in the famous MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) in the sport mad city of Melbourne. The game was contested between the Richmond Tigers and the Collingwood Magpies. On the other side of the city, I did a stadium tour of the Ethiad Stadium or as it was known then the Colonial Stadium. It has also been known in between as the Telstra Dome. It is the home stadium of soccer team Melbourne Victory and also plays host to Rugby Union, AFL and many concerts. I visited the Rod Laver Arena, (also in Melbourne) home to the Australian Open tennis every year. In addition to those fantastic venues, I walked the track at Albert Park, home to the Australian Grand Prix. It truly was a great experience to be walking up the home straight with not a car in sight. I cant begin to imagine what it is like on race day when some 22 Formula one cars are revving there engines at the same time. If you want sport on a weekly basis and love your stadiums, Melbourne really is the place to be.

MCG: (Melbourne Cricket Ground) Yarra Park, East Melbourne, Victoria
Opened: 1854
Attendance: 100,018
Owner: Government of Victoria
Record Attendance: 121,696 (1970 VFL Grand Final – Carlton v Collingwood)
Field Dimensions: 176x146m
Tenants: Australian national cricket team, Victorian Bushrangers, Melbourne Stars, AFL sides Collingwood, Hawthorn, Melbourne and Richmond. The 1956 summer Olympics was also held here.

Aeriel view of the MCG, Melbourne. Photo from Wikipedia

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