Sports


Bucket List: Visiting All Sporting Venues

I was putting together a bucket list earlier which I will post once it is fully developed later on this summer and someone mentioned to me that going to all the sports arenas and stadiums should be one of the items on that list. That got me into thinking exactly how many of those places I have seen myself.

The list is a little bit longer than I would have originally thought it to be although it includes not only the places I have actually seen a game (indicated in bold) but also the stadiums/arenas that I have seen in person but didn’t necessarily watch a game there. The current list stands at 39 sporting venues, which includes repeats such as Air Canada Centre and Madison Square Garden as they play host to multiple professional teams, or 32 unique ones. Those venues span over 9 states, 1 province and two different countries.

A few rules to counting the sporting venues:

  1. It counts as long as you physically saw it in person whether for a few seconds or were actually inside the stadium.
  2. Repeats count but just have a separate unique list
  3. Old Stadiums still count as long as they were playing host to the professional team at the time of your visit.
  4. Venues of professional teams only, College and Minor League stadiums/arenas do NOT count.
  5. Venues must be located in North America.

I have attended events in 12 of those venues which comprise of 5 baseball stadiums, 3 hockey arenas, 2 basketball stadiums, 1 soccer field and boxing match.

I’m hoping to add a couple when I am in Dallas this summer with the Mavericks, Rangers, Cowboys and Stars but I’m not sure how much time I will actually have but that is definitely on the to-do list.

I’m sure there are plenty of you out there with a longer list than me, let me see them or if you have done more in a single sport, let me know!

Sport (Physically Seen – Attended Game)

Major League Baseball (13 – 5):

–         Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)
–         Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
–         New Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
–         Fenway Park (Red Sox)
–         Camden Yards (Orioles)
–         Wrigley Field (Cubs)
–         Comiskey Park (White Sox)
–         Citizens Bank Ballpark (Phillies)
–         Nationals Park (Nationals)
–         Citi Field (Mets)
–         Shea Stadium (Mets)
–         Three Rivers Stadium (Pirates)
–         Jacobs Field (Indians)

National Hockey League (9 – 3):

–         Air Canada Centre (Leafs)
–         Maple Leafs Garden (Leafs)
–         Madison Square Garden (Rangers)
–         Prudential Center (Devils)
–         Wells Fargo Center (Flyers)
–         TD Garden (Bruins)
–         Verizon Center (Capitals)
–         United Center (Blackhawks)
–         HSBC Arena (Sabers)

National Football League (7 – 0):

–         Giants Stadium (Jets / Giants)
–         Soldiers Field (Bears)
–         Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
–         M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens)
–         EverBank Field (Jaguars)
–         Ralph Wilson Stadium (Bills)
–         Three Rivers Stadium (Steelers)

National Basketball Association (6 – 2):

–         Air Canada Centre (Raptors)
–         Madison Square Garden (Knicks)
–         IZOD Center (Nets)
–         Wells Fargo Center (76ers)
–         TD Garden (Celtics)
–         United Center (Bulls)

Major League Soccer (2 – 1):

–         BMO Field (Toronto FC)
–         Red Bull Arena (Red Bull)

Boxing (1 – 1):

–         Prudential Center (Welterweight)

Horse Racing (1 – 0):

–         Belmont Park (Triple Crown, 3rd Leg)


Overdue Update + My Trip Home

I definitely need to get back to writing more often and I have a list that has been growing that I want to write about but finding the time these days is proving to be far more difficult than I had originally expected.

Work has been fantastic so far even with the disappointment of my vacation being cut short this month. The nice trade off was increased exposure with many people in the organization and things like that are hard to come by for someone as new as me. We already do monthly charity donations but in December we had a raffle of tons of prizes with all proceeds going to the Sick Kids Hospital. People here already donate as it is but an added incentive always increases the turnout. Prizes included a flat screen TV, other electronics, tickets to sporting events as well as gift cards. I won a Sony MP3 Player

I just ordered material for my first CFA exam in the middle of next year which will probably cause me to go dormant for quite a while since I’ll be studying most if not every night for this starting the moment I get back from my mini-vacation.

I’m hoping to come home just for a few days hoping to do as much as I can and I have to remember to update my new home address in my GPS – it’s my first trip back since we completely moved in.  I think it will be pretty much family-dedicated the first two days and then all friends-related business on the 27th, the day before I leave. That last day already includes lunch with a friend I’ve known for about a decade now and then up to Jersey City to see 222.  If you’re free during the day or even the night before (maybe), give me a shout and let’s do something. It’ll probably be another couple of months before I make my next trip down south.

I went ice skating for the first time in several years and even though it took a couple of laps of going ridiculously slow around the boards, it turned out pretty well as the night progressed. I only hit the ice once which was definitely less than the number of times my ‘experienced’ buddies hit the deck. Next item up on the agenda is to get snowboarding gear and hit up the slopes. Still contemplating whether I should purchase or rent – a decision that probably hinges on how my first attempt goes.

One though on the baseball offseason so far though: The Phillies have compiled arguably the most dangerous pitching staff in the history of the game but what I fail to understand is, where is the outrage? Can you imagine if the Yankees had bought all this talent? Why is there no cry to look out for the smaller market teams now? That has been the most disappoint part throughout this entire off season of ridiculous contracts being given out with Boston and Washington included. Very disappointed in the silent fans so far and if that’s the route they take, they should sit idly as well the next time the Yankees decide to spend well and above everyone else.


Sports Teams In Toronto

The one down side to summer is that there isn’t a lot of variety available in terms sporting events to go watch in person. The Raptors and the Leafs have finished up, leaving the Blue Jays who were the only team I saw in person when I first lived here, the Toronto FC and I suppose you have the Canadian Football League but I’m not really interested in seeing much of that in person although I am interested in trying to get tickets for the Bills in Toronto game this year against the Bears.

That being said about the Jays, I haven’t been to Rogers Centre since it was renovated, revamped and renamed – that place will always be SkyDome to me. I am thinking of going there towards the end of September when the Yankees roll into town for a 3-game set. Who knows, maybe the Jays continue this good stretch and cut the 10.5 game deficit into something manageable heading into the last few series. Especially with the stadium within walking distance from my work, it is no excuse not to make a couple of games down the stretch of the season.

Most importantly, I can’t wait for hockey season to start up again. I was in elementary and middle school when I lived here for 5 years so I would always every game and eagerly await Hockey Night in Canada but never really got a chance to see them play in person. Hopefully this is the year they will finally stop the drought and make the playoffs. I wonder how much a couple of decent seats will cost me since every single home is sold out irrespective of the fact that they haven’t won a title since 1967 but then again people still go out to see the Cubs too.

Even though Bosh has gotten up and left in hopes for a ring, I’m still hopeful that the Raptors can at least compete for a playoff spot in the East. A few years back when the Raptors played the Nets in the playoffs, I remember going to the games in Jersey where the fans in attendance were split 50-50. There was such a lack of interest by the local fans there coupled with the fact that the Raptors growing fan base was willing to make a trip since it was easier to get Raptors tickets in NJ than back home. They should have another decent shot to finish second in the division but whether that will be good enough to make the playoffs, we’ll see.

Back in 1994 when I was still in Pakistan, we all used to get up in the middle of the night to watch the FIFA World Cup games. Even though there was a slight translation difficulty when we moved with a tiny kid like me asking people if they wanted to play ‘football’ and getting weird looks in return, the passion for the sport did not fade. With my elementary school being within walking distance, I would come home during lunch breaks just to catch parts of the game and update the rest of the class upon my return. I will admit that I don’t think I have seen more than a handful of the Toronto FC games but with all these arenas and fields located centrally around my work place, it makes it very convenient on days I want to do stuff right after a tiring work day.

I’m still not sure how actively they show collegiate sports here north of the border, but I will have to keep track of RU football and eventually college basketball once that rolls around. Unfortunately, I can probably already assume that March Madness will not be the same here as it is there and that’s an unfortunate sacrifice I will have to make.