Monday, October 15, 2007

Ranking Ivy opponent venues

I was intrigued to see the responses to a recent poll here for favorite road venue in the Ivy League.

Here's one man's opinion.

1. Penn's Franklin Field: Call me old school, but I get chills each time I drive past Franklin Field and my heart races when I walk inside. I'm a brick guy so that's why Franklin Field gets the slight edge over Harvard.

I love the fact the train runs past and the way Weightman Hall is situated beyond the end zone.

Before I covered football, I'd get to Penn early on Ivy basketball weekends (there is no discussion for the best facility for road basketball games in the Ivy), just to sneak a peak inside Franklin Field.

The hike to the press box takes about 10 pounds off (that reminds me, I need to start training Monday), but the view of the Philadelphia skyline is worth the hike.

2. Harvard Stadium: It's like visiting the Roman Coliseum without leaving the states. You have to love the ivy growing on the walls and if you look close enough, it could have doubled as a fortress. There are so many entry points.

What impresses me most is how it is so well maintained.

From the press box you can see the Citgo sign.

3. Princeton Stadium: This is a gorgeous facility worth every penny of the $45 million. Love the press box. After six weeks of open air, tight-quartered press boxes, the enclosed monstrosity with cable TVs throughout is different.

I am a big fan of the Princeton campus and enjoy the fact the Stadium sits right there.

4. Dartmouth's Memorial Field: Hanover was founded for Autumn Saturday afternoons. It smells like football, sounds like football and looks like football. Driving over the bridge and up the hill, through the center of town. Moreso than any campus and any facility, you can imagine it's still 1917 here.

It will be interesting to see if the Floren Field House changes that feel.

5. Columbia's Wien Stadium: Now the field itself is nothing special, but the views .... the views are breathtaking. You can lose yourself gazing out at the Harlem and Hudson rivers.

The atmosphere outside the stadium is pretty good, too. Not certain if it's because there isn't a lot of space for people to spread out, but always seems there are a lot of good tailgates going on.

6. Brown Stadium: Growing up, I had a field adjacent to my yard where we played football and baseball from sunrise to sunset.

Whenever I walk through the neighborhood surrounding Brown Stadium down Hope Street, through the grass field, I can't help but think Brown Stadium could have sat right in the middle of our neighborhood.

I must admit when you first arrive at Brown Stadium, it is deceiving. You think the stadium must be completely enclosed or at least a horseshoe, but it is enclosed on the other side of the concrete entrance by trees and shrubs, which is a gorgeous site on an autumn afternoon.

Brown Stadium has a lot of potential to be even better.

7. Cornell's Schoellkopf Field: Maybe it's the drive, maybe it's the fact I need to look up the spelling of Schoellkopf every time I spell it, maybe it's my fear of heights and the thought of being at the top of the crescent.

Honestly, there isn't a bad venue in the league. It's what makes covering the Ivy League so much fun, and Schoellkopf is no exception.

Tremendous view from the pressbox.

Enjoy the different views at each end zone: trees on one side, building on the other.

Check out this New York Times article about the construction of Schoellkopf.

Found this site while doing research on different college stadiums.

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