Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not your usual venue

I've always been enamored with sporting events that take place in non-traditional venues, there's something that adds to the spectacle more than when the sports you love are brought to environments you never thought possible.

While Colin had told the internet about a downtown downhill bike race yesterday, I had been thinking about it for the last few months since the NHL Winter Classic.

So below are few examples of what I think are clever and innovative ways to bring sports to the public in ways unique and exciting.

First, the annual NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor hockey game held each year by two powers of the National Hockey League, my personal favorite edition was in 2010 between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Second in my mind also comes from the Hub, the 2002 US Open of Squash took place at Symphony Hall in Boston.

On the same note, Squash has been found in New York City's famous Grand Central Terminal on several occaisions, where a court was erected in the middle of the grand hall.

Third, the 2003 Red Bull Boston Bike Battle. I was there, it was cool. A head to head freestyle MTB competition, at Boston's City Hall Plaza.

Fourth, Biathlon auf Schalke, great sport, great idea. Take the tension of Biathlon, but instead of putting it at some small venue in the mountains, bring it to the masses. Each year this event takes a biathlon race to a football stadium in Germany, and tens of thousands of fans gaze as their favorite stars duke it out.

Fifth, any snowboard or ski event held in a downtown area. The concept is pretty simple, build a jump, put it downtown and people show up. The example below is the 2010 FIS World Cup, Freestyle Big Air in Seoul, South Korea.

Sixth, the Race of Champions, this is another event brought into a football stadium, but unlike biathlon, this is auto racing. Each year the worlds best drivers from Formula 1, the WRC, Nascar, Indy and other major series are invited to battle it out head to head.

Seventh, Fencing, it can pretty much happen anywhere. This is the 2010 World Championships, held in November, it took place inside a palace in Paris.

Eight, Tennis, nothing specific, but generally Tennis can be done in random places, like downtown Dubrovnik, in a Velodrome and on a helicopter pad, all shown below.

There are others, but frankly, I think I've given cool examples a plenty.


  1. Where's the controversy here? This gives us no reason to HATE on you.

    Interesting post, btw.

  2. yeah - a whole bunch of: Meh... so what?

  3. Valparaiso, Chile... a skinny jean werin', fixed gear ridin' Amigo posted the 2011 edition a couple weeks ago on FB. No dog but a much more graceful run. What else would you expect from a Red Bull helmet?