On my way home from work, I usually listen to The Afternoon Underdogs, a local sports talk radio show that's actually pretty cool. Todays topic was what sporting venues would constitute the 7 Wonders of the Sports World. I never did get to hear what they settled on but the topic intrigued me and so I thought I would try and come up with my own list of 7 venues that are recognized by most sports fans. In no particular oreder, I give you my list:
1. Churchill Downs- The local spot has to be near the top as there are few people in America, Europe and Asia who don't know about the Kentucky Derby and the famed Twin Spires will be what people see.
2. Indianapolis Motor Speedway- The brickyard is home to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. I'll be there this Sunday when 33 of the fastest cars in the world race 500 miles in front of 300,000 fans or so. The place is simply amazing and until you've been there, you just can't begin to compremend how big the place is.
3. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club- Tennis has four majors but only Wimbledon has royalty in the stands. The legends who have played and won there reads like a who's who of sports. The fortnight is an early summer classic.
4. Wrigley Field- What makes this place so special? There are newer and nicer stadiums in nearly every city but Wrigley Field has the outfield ivy, the bleacher bums, the goat, the curse of the cubs, a great neighborhood, the 7th inning stretch, day games and Harry Cary once called the games.
5. Lambeau Field- The Frozen Tundra of Green Bay is what you think of when you picture football being played the way it is supposed to be played. Green Bay is the smallest NFL city, the town owns the team, the wait list for season tickets is longer than an average lifetime and it gets damn cold up there during the winter. While the wusses in Minnesota are playing football in a dome, the Packers play outdoors in all it's glory.
6. The Streets of Monaco- While not as popular in America as the rest of the world, Formula One (F1) rivals soccer as the most popular sport in the world. Only the World Cup and Olympics draw more television viewers than an F1 race. It's estimated that over a billion people tune in to each and every race on the F1 calendar. The streets of Monte Carlo are home to the Monaco Grand Prix, F1's showcase event.
7. Augusta National- This fabled course in Georgia is home to the Masters, the most prestigous tournament in golf. With the dogwoods in bloom and famed Amen Corner, the Masters gives the winner the famed Green Jacket and a lifetime exemption. Men of steel have withered under the pressure that only comes each spring when golf's best come together.
Yankee Stadium- Home of the Yankees
Fenway Park- Home of the Boston Red Sox
Madison Square Gardens- Home of the NY Knicks, championship boxing and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Rupp Arena- Home of the University of Kentucky
Cameron Indoor Stadium- Home of Duke University
St. Andrews Golf Course- Home of golf, Scotland
Old Trafford- Home of Manchester United
Williamsport- Home of the Little League World Series
Melbourne Cricket Grounds- Australia
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps - Home of the Begian Grand Prix and Spa 24 Hours