There has been a lot talk recently of the best sporting events of this past year. The 2008 Super Bowl? Wimbledon? There have been a lot of great competitions over the years, some taking place in the most historic and awe-inspiring venues ever.
Here are what I believe to be the top-10 sporting venues in the United States.
10. Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Despite the fact that the Knicks, who play home games in the Garden, are struggling right now, the history and legacy of the stadium cannot be denied.
Originally built in 1879, the Garden has gone through major reconstructions. It now can hold 19,763 people for basketball games, but less for the other events at the stadium.
MSG is currently considered home to the NHL Rangers, NBA Knicks, and WNBA Liberty. There have also been innumerable other events in the Garden.
9. Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
This is as big as college football gets. One of the largest sporting stadiums in the world, "The Big House" once housed 112,118 for a game against the much-hated Ohio State Buckeyes.
Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 for the price of $950,000. After being thrown up in just seven weeks, the original capacity was 72,000. Now it is one of the best places in the world to watch a football game.
8. Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
Churchill Downs is the mother of horse racing. It hosts the annual Kentucky Derby, which draws the eye of every casual sporting fan.
With a history tracing back to Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. (grandson of explorer William Clark) this track was officially designated as a "National Historic Landmark" in 1986.
7. Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
If Churchill Downs is the king of horse racing, Daytona is the king of NASCAR. Founded in 1947 by William France Sr., the track immediately became the "Super Bowl" of racing.
Daytona is now home to many different divisions of racing, including ARCA and AMA, but NASCAR is its main event. It hosts seven NASCAR races annually, the most notable of them the Daytona 500.
6. Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is home to some of the most passionate baseball fans in the world. Owners planned to build a replica park to replace Fenway in the early 2000s, but were stopped by numerous support groups.
The historic "Green Monster" that is the left field wall has been seen and played on by many historic figures in baseball history. Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Satchel Paige have all played in Fenway Park.
5. Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
The Duke Blue Devils are either loved or hated. Whatever the case may be with you, the history of this stadium cannot be ignored. The arena was built in 1940 for the cost of $400,000. Although there were no air conditioning units prior to 2002, the stadium still has an outstanding legacy.
The fans packed inside the stadium are legendary in and of themselves. USA Today refers to Cameron as, "the toughest road game in the nation." Duke has only lost 23 of the last 300 games played in Cameron.
4. Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
Although the Cubs have been historically bad for 100 years, this stadium still packs a punch in the debate for the greatest sporting venue of all time.
Weeghman Park was constructed in 1914 and would later be Wrigley Field. The recent debate on whether or not to sell the rights to the name, "Wrigley Field," has brought out the best in Cub fans. Many pro-Wrigley groups have been formed.
3. Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia
Augusta, home of the PGA major "The Masters" since 1934, is one of the most historic and celebrated golf courses of all time. Considered the course that is the most respected and revered by fans and players alike, Augusta also has a storied history.
Great names such as Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have played on the fast putting surfaces of Augusta National.
2. Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Every sport has its best stadium or field, and pro football has Lambeau Field. Named after the legendary Curly Lambeau in 1965, the Field is one of the most recognized and revered football stadiums of all-time.
Phrases such as the "Lambeau Leap" were coined in this great stadium. During the 2007 NFL season, an online SI poll named Lambeau Field as the stadium with "the best game-day experience and fan atmosphere."
1. Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
"The House that Ruth Built" is not only the greatest sporting venue in the United States, but is also coming to a tragic end. Starting in 2009 the old, historic Yankee Stadium will be no more.
Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and other superstar baseball players from years gone by have played in this stadium. However, baseball in Yankee Stadium is only the top of the iceberg. Yankee Stadium has hosted football games with Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown and other great sporting events.
Loads of sporting royalty have played here and made this stadium their home. The tradition and legacy of this baseball field are a must-see.
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