Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rate the Stadium....

Today's topic on the Pac-10 Today is The Best Pac-10 Stadium. There are a lot of different ways to look at this, but in my mind, you have to include all of the essentials:

1) Sight Lines/view of the action.
2) Atmosphere
3) Tailgating/Pre-functioning

With all of those things in mind, here is my list of the top Pac-10 Stadiums.

9) Arizona-it could be better, but this is the only Pac-10 Stadium I have not been to, so I have to put it here.
8) Stanford-may be improved with the renovations, but in the past, there was zero atmosphere inside the stadium. Outside, good tailgating areas, solid in that regard, although there is such a lack of a college football feel, it just feels like you are hanging out in the neighborhood before a high school game.
7) UCLA-For UCLA games, the Rose Bowl is a too big stadium in a nice setting, with nice weather. Obviously, this ranking changes for a certain bowl game.
6) Husky Stadium-Easily the most overrated of all the stadiums in the country. The people who rank it so high are media members who don't have to- 1) Park 2)sit in the West end zone wich is about 75 yards from the end of the actual end zone. 3) sit in the first 15 rows of seats anywhere in the stadium. Husky Stadium looks great on t.v., and back in the day, there really wasn't a louder open air, non-bowl shaped stadium in the country. But the crappy weather, poor sight lines, and horrific parking and traffic plus almost always a 12:30 kickoff time make this a great stadium on t.v., but not great for visiting fans.
5) Cal-While it has been 15 years since I was last there, the good thing about Berekley is that it never changes. Fantastic bars all around campus, and while parking sucks, the setting and atmosphere more than makes up for it.
4) OSU-Makes a huge leap now that at least half Reser looks like a real college stadium. The parking lots surrounding the stadium are filled with some of the best tailgating in the world, but what would you expect when your stadium was built with proceeds from salsa and potato salad? Underrated by many, outside of the fact my team has lost a heartbreaker and had it's ass kicked there the last two trips, I have had a great time as a fan there because most Beaver fans are cool-they know what college football is all about: sharing a beer, hating the Huskies, and having a good time.
3) Arizona State-weird place. I have been there for the worst atmosphere in the NFL while covering the Seahawks, and one of the best atmospheres in college football when it was full for an ASU game. It isn't always full-but the weather, coeds, pre-functioning, and the fact it is Tempe, Arizona put this place near the top of the list. Plus, the added bonus of knowing your team always has a chance to kick the crap out of yet another underachieving ASU team helps make the case for Sun Devil Stadium.
2) USC-Should have taken a huge step back with the new alcohol policy (which isn't a policy, just banning beer sales in the stadium) but it is hard to beat the atmosphere, tradition, and history of this place. The downside is your team is likely to get whacked, you may get killed if you wander too far away from the stadium and into Watts, and USC fan is an idito-largely because he/she is like Husky/Duck fan: they probably never actually attended the school but are fans of SC because they win. As they say, never trust a Trojan, but if you get a chance to go there, do it.
1) Oregon-Pains me to rank the quack quack's stadium number one, but it is the best in the conference. Always full, loud as hell, and weather permitting the best tailgating in the conference. When you have people arriving at the Masonic Temple at 6:00 AM to get it going, you know it is a good time. My last time there as a fan, I was handed a margarita at 9:00 AM despite wearing WSU gear head to toe! YOU WIN! Plus, "the mustache" will always blow one or two winnable games a year at home so your team has a chance to win there. Most Duck fans are cool, and although many didn't go there, those "fans" don't usually go to the home games (they are smoking, drinking and playing video poker in sports bars back in Portland).


At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great topic--I love taking in the college football atmosphere at various places. The SEC has some of the best atmospheres anywhere: Bryant-Denney (Alabama) is unbelievable, The Swamp (Florida) is equally tough, Death Valley (LSU) is nuts for Saturday night games, Tennessee is monstrous, Georgia is unique. Man I can't wait for college football!!

P.S. I notice that the large High School stadium in Pullman didn't even make your list.


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