Sports have been around since 2000 B.C. and were used by ancient civilizations like China to determine fitness for military service. Today, sports remain a global phenomenon and remain one of the world’s most watched spectacles making sporting venues some of the most used structures. Venues typically include arenas, baseball parks and stadiums and play an integral part in defining the spectating experience and how games areplayed. Certain venues do this better than others using modern technology and sharp design.
Best Arenas, Ballparks and Stadiums
Below we outlined the best sporting venues for each respective sport: football, soccer, basketball, hockey and baseball putting into consideration categories like the venue design, history and fan involvement… Put your seatbelts on and enjoy the tour!
CFL Football Stadiums
The CFL was established in 1958 and is the premiere Canadian football league. The current format has nine teams in nine cities. The oldest stadium is TD Place Stadium, which opened in 1908 and the newest is the Mosaic Stadium (opening in 2017). The league has had over 40 different stadiums mainly using artificial turf in its history including two neutral site stadiums in Moncton and Fort McMurray.
MLB Baseball Ballparks
Established in 1903, the MLB is the oldest major sports league in North America and is home to 30 teams, 29 in the US and one in Canada. With the exception of two ballparks, natural gras is used. 10 of the 30 stadiums have also not sold the naming rights to corporations preserving the authenticity of the park. Unlike arenas or stadiums, the design of the ballparks have a direct impact on the game.
NBA Basketball Arenas
The NBA formed in 1946 as the BAA but adopted its current name after merging with the NBL in 1949. The oldest arena is the Oracle Arena in Oakland, home to the Golden State Warriors while the newest is the Golden 1 Center for the Sacramento Kings. New arenas in Milwaukee and Oakland will open in 2018 and 2019 respectively. 10 arenas are shared with the NHL.
NFL Football Stadiums
The NFL formed in 1920 and currently features 32 teams playing in 31 stadiums. The sport is the most popular in America at the moment and plays a big part of its culture and community development. Most stadiums are partly publicly funded and fit anywhere between 60,000 to 100,000 people. Different stadium features include retractable roofs and custom playing surfaces giving each a unique quality.
NHL Hockey Arenas
Established in 1917, the NHL features 30 teams from both the US (23) and Canada (7). It is the favourite sports league among Canadians. 10 of the current arenas are shared with NBA teams and have about the same seating capacity but smaller due to the larger dimensions of the ring. The oldest arena is in the Madison Square Garden created in 1968 while Edmonton’s Roger Place just opened in 2016.
MLS Soccer Stadiums
The MLS was established in 1993 is one of the youngest major sports leagues. It hosts 20 teams from the US (17) and Canada (3) and is continuing to expand every season. Because of how new it is, not all teams play in soccer-specific stadiums with some sharing it with baseball teams or football teams. Columbus’s Mapfre Stadium built in 1999 stands as the first soccer-exclusive stadium built.
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