Top 20 Sports Venues to Visit Before You Die

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Top 20 Sports Venues To Visit Before You Die

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Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Part of the allure of sports are rooted in the atmosphere they provide. Many times, that atmosphere is largely dependent on the venue that the event is held. Where an event is can make all of the difference in terms of where an event stands in historical terms. A college basketball game is going to be different if it's being played at Duke or North Carolina than it would if it were played at a mid-major's home court.

Basically, the point is that the venue a sporting event is at can make all the difference. Once a particular venue becomes historical enough, the profile of a game is elevated just by being held there. Many things can make a venue worth going to. The primary factor that determines this would have to be history. What other players and teams have done in the exact same spot make other moments seem more special in a way. Another way a venue can be special is if it provides an extraordinary atmosphere.

We go to sporting events to transport us to a world away from our daily problems and a lively or unique atmosphere can make a venue extremely memorable. Sometimes, history and atmosphere go hand in hand. The atmosphere can be directly affected by the fact that a particular venue is so historical. So then what makes an ideal sports venue? Well, that's open to interpretation, but there are a handful of venues that are generally agreed upon as must-see spots.

The best venues in sports span several sports and even continents. It won't be easy or cheap to see each of the venues outlined here, but it sure is worth adding all 20 of these places to your bucket list.

Jacob Kornhauser is a writer for RantSports.com. "Like" him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or add him to your Google+ network.

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20. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

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Rob Foldy - Getty Images

Home of the Florida Gators' football team, Ben Hill Griffin stadium provides one of the more surreal college football experiences in the country. Normally fighting for national championships, the Gators draw huge crowds and the entire spectacle mixed with the college football experience make it a sight to be seen.

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19. Citizens Bank Ballpark

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Drew Hallowell - Getty Images

Philadelphia is a classic baseball town with history extending over 100 years back. While the ballpark the Phillies currently play in isn't that old, it's one of the nicer contemporary baseball stadiums in the league.

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18. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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Robert Laberge - Getty Images

Whether you consider Indy Car racing a sport or not, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is somewhere you need to go. The Brickroad at the end of the track has a certain allure connected with its history. It really is the most classic auto racing site to see.

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17. CenturyLink Field

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Otto Greule Jr. - Getty Images

The reigning Super Bowl champions had an unfair advantage this season: they played with 12 players on every down. Well, not really, but their fans who have dubbed themselves "the 12th Man" do give that much of an advantage. This crowd has produced volume levels equal to that of a fighter jet. For the experience of that kind of crowd, this stadium is one that you have to hit.

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16. Camden Yards

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Greg Fiume - Getty Images

Really one of the more underrated baseball stadiums, Camden Yards is absolutely gorgeous. It experienced the greatness of Cal Ripken Jr. and has seen a resurgence as the Orioles have been competitive the past few seasons. It's a very unique ballpark with very passionate fans. Now that's a good combination.

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15. Staples Center

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Noah Graham - Getty Images

While the Lakers aren't as competitive this season, the Staples Center is a draw because it's a great multi-sport complex. Both hockey and basketball are played there and they're played in front of raucous crowds on most nights.

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14. Wembley Stadium

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Richard Heathcote - Getty Images

England's most popular soccer arena, Wembley Stadium has also hosted numerous NFL games that were played in London. It is the country's most famous arena and in a country so passionate about soccer, it's their favorite place to play it. The atmosphere and spectacle must be almost unmatched.

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13. Busch Stadium

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Ron Vesely - Getty Images

This is probably baseball's nicest modern stadium and it doesn't hurt that they house one of the most competitive teams in baseball year in and year out. St. Louis is passionate in everything they do and baseball is no exception. In fact, St. Louis is even more passionate about their baseball. The beauty of the stadium and the atmosphere provided by the passionate fans make this a must-visit.

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12. Notre Dame Stadium

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Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

"Touchdown Jesus" is reason enough to make the trip to South Bend to take in a Fighting Irish game. That spectacle has a special aura about it. The Irish happen to have a pretty extensive history themselves so that's just more reason to visit this college football stadium.

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11. AT&T Park

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Brian Bahr - Getty Images

Situated right on the bay, AT&T Park is both unique and beautiful. There's nothing like a long ball that lands in the bay and there are kayakers that can be seen paddling after it. No other stadium is like it and the uniqueness alone makes it a must-see attraction.

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10. Soldier Field

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Noah Graham - Getty Images

One of football's most historic stadiums, Soldier Field provides a true football experience. A little bit of the history was taken away when the stadium renovation was done to add seats about a decade ago, but stationed right off of Lake Michigan, Soldier Field provides a special atmosphere to take in a football game.

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9. PNC Park

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Joe Sargent - Getty Images

So much of baseball history in the 1960's through 1980's has to do with the Pirates. While they didn't play at PNC Park during those years, their stadium transitions are interesting. At every point in time, the Pirates have had one of the best venues in all of baseball. That hasn't changed since they moved to PNC Park as it's just gorgeous as the likes of Three Rivers Stadium.

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8. Cameron Indoor Stadium

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Grant Halverson - Getty Images

The premier experience in college basketball, Cameron Indoor Stadium let's you experience college basketball at its finest. In honor of their beloved Duke Blue Devils, the "Cameron Crazies" grow raucous and make for an intense atmosphere. If you're inside Cameron Indoor, it's likely you won't be able to help standing up and cheering.

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7. The Rose Bowl

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Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images

Not used as often as some of the other venues mentioned here, the Rose Bowl has always had a special draw. Many national championships have been decided on its turf and obviously every single Rose Bowl game has. Add that history to the fact that it's located in beautiful Pasadena, California and it's the recipe for a great time.

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6. AT&T Stadium

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Ronald Martinez - Getty Images

Purely because of the grandeur, taking in a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium is worth the trip. Owner Jerry Jones made sure that they provided the ultimate football viewing experience and with over 100,000 seats, they've accomplished that. A marvel of modern architecture, this stadium is worth seeing even if the team it houses isn't.

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5. Madison Square Garden

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Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

Perhaps the most versatile and famous venue in the country, MSG houses basketball and hockey as well as other various events throughout the year. MSG just seems like it's larger than life, just the way New Yorkers like it. The spectacle of watching some of the premier players in two separate sports in the same arena is quite the draw.

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4. Yankee Stadium

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Brian Babineau - NHL

Even though old Yankee Stadium would've been more noteworthy, the new one is just as worthy of a visit because it's a virtual replica of the old one. A club as historic as the Yankees is one that has to be seen in person at one point or another and what a better time than at their home ballpark.

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3. Lambeau Field

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Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

The most historic field in the NFL, Lambeau provides a very unique atmosphere. It dates back to the historic days of the Packers coached by Vince Lombardi, which makes it cool enough. It's also situated in a town not much larger than average, which adds to the small town feel of an NFL team. Going to a game there will surely give you a new perspective on football.

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2. Wrigley Field

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Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Celebrating its 100th birthday this season, Wrigley Field remains one of the top destinations in terms of sports venues in the entire world. So much history of success and utter failure has been housed in this baseball cathedral and the history is evident in everything about the stadium. More than anything else, this park has been a constant during times of change, which provides comfort to a lot of people. Situated in the middle of Wrigleyville outside Chicago, Wrigley Field truly is the "Friendly Confines".

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1. Fenway Park

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Gail Oskin - Getty Images

Just as historic as Wrigley and two years older, Fenway Park gets the top spot because it houses a winning team. The "Green Monster" is iconic and the passionate Boston crowds that cram their way into the gates make this venue the ultimate draw in all of sports. It is the perfect mix of history, passion and atmosphere; everyone needs to visit at least once.


Around the Web

  • Dave

    Probably should have an actual panoramic shot of all of Fenway Park, like you did for most of the other venues. Kind of a silly photo to end with, considering it’s #1.

  • Craig

    Interesting that Old Trafford didn’t make this cut. One of the most desired venues to visit if you’re a footy/soccer fan, even if you aren’t a red devil.

  • Brad

    I agree with the inclusion of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but at lease show a picture of IMS, not some other track.