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Sports Then and Now

5 Surprising Facts about the Most Famous Sports Stadiums

Posted on October 08, 2016 by Dixie Somers
Fenway Park is the oldest stadium used for Major League Baseball today.

Fenway Park is the oldest stadium used for Major League Baseball today.

Sports stadiums are the modern gladiator arenas. Rabid fans descend upon the booming bowl of seats to watch their favorite athletes perform out on the field. And modern stadiums have great influence over the way we experience the spectacle. Through innovative design, fan interaction concourses and a curated ballpark menu, stadiums have come to be a spectacle unto themselves. And you could learn all about these unique fan experiences with an online athletic administration master’s degree. Get a head start. Here are 5 facts about the most famous stadiums in the world.

1. Fenway Park

Fenway Park is the oldest stadium used in the major leagues. Built in 1912, the park is older than many West Coast states. But many people don’t know the Green Monster wasn’t designed that way. Leftfield used to have a large hill that tapered up to a smaller wall during the dead ball era. It was called Duffy’s cliff, named after the Red Sox leftfielder that roamed the area. When it was removed in 1933, the Green Monster emerged.

2. Roman Colosseum

There are many spectacular facts about planet Earth’s original massive stadium. The side of the Colosseum collapsed during an earthquake in 847, the West exit is known as the Gate of Death for the dead gladiators dragged through it, and the word Colosseum is always capitalized for the famous structure despite the fact that the word translates into “large arena for entertainment.” But the most amazing fact is that the wooden floor of the Colosseum would be removed and the open channels below would be filled with water for mock naval battles.

3. Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field is known in the NFL as the “frozen tundra.” It is a massive 81,000-person stadium that fills with a rabid fan base and features weather that freezes players to the core. There are over 170,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets and only 9,000 of them have come off that list since 2003. It’s a popular place to watch a game, but its nickname belies the truth. There is an intricate heating system below the field to stop the mix of bluegrass and synthetic turf from freezing.

4. Old Trafford

Manchester United calls Old Trafford home. United has been playing soccer games there since 1910. Nicknamed the “Theater of Dreams” by United star Bobby Charlton, Old Trafford remains soccer’s most prestigious stadium. But if you do the math, you know the soccer stadium survived World War II, literally. Nazi bombs hit the 75,000 person arena in 1941, which closed the stadium until 1949.

5. Madison Square Garden

The original Madison Square Garden opened in 1890. PT Barnum used the 10,000-person arena for his circus before the new version was built just down the street. The Garden innovated the idea to put ice underneath the basketball court in order to allow both the Knicks and the Rangers to play on the same day. But take a look above you. Madison Square Garden is the only arena in the world with a roof that is concave rather than convex. The acoustics make for one heck of a concert.

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