It's currently 1:45 am Central Daylight Time. I've been laying in bed for the last hour and a half unable to sleep. One of the thoughts that has been running through my head for the last hour is: Exactly how many sports venues have I been to, and how many sporting events have I attended? This is going to end up being quite the challenge for me, but out of sheer curiosity I have to figure it out. The rule that I've decided is that if I went to the venue for the express purpose of watching an event that took place, it counts.
So both semifinal games of the Frozen Fours I've attended count. Both the IROC and Craftsman Truck races (which occurred on the same day) at Daytona count. The Indy Lights race that preceeded the IndyCar race at MIS does not. Nor does the Celebrity Dodge Neon race on Belle Isle. In some cases, I've had to make a best guess...if anything, I'd say my numbers on these are low.
Let's have at it!
Tiger Stadium-Right off the bat it's evident how challenging this project will be at times. For a complete guess, I'd say 15 games. Seems reasonable since I used to really like baseball.
Comerica Park-3 games, two in one weekend (which was far too much baseball) and another game which included 3 hours of rain delays and overlapped with a Pistons/Spurs NBA Finals game. I was thrilled.
Wrigley Field-2 games, one which we were basically sitting in Ferris Bueller's seats, another in mid-April when it was like 25 degrees.
Comiskey Park (Now US Cellular Field)-1 game, horrifically hot. Bo Jackson homered though, which was cool.
Joker Merchant Stadium-4 games in one week. Ate a lot of strawberry shortcake.
Skeldon Stadium (Toledo Mudhens)-At least 2. My best guess is 3 games.
Ray Fisher Stadium (Michigan Baseball)-2 games.
Alumni Field (Michigan Softball)-I ran the music for a year, and worked an absurd number of tournament games, most of which were in looooong rain delays (a game between Illinois-Chicago and Tennessee ended at 2:15 am). My best guess is about 30 games.
Warner Park (Madison Mallards)-3 games.
Michigan Stadium-6 years of season tickets x average of 6 games per year, plus 3 in 2006, 1 in 2007, 2 in 1999 and one when we lost to Northwestern with Griese at QB. Includes the 100th Michigan/OSU game, and that wonderful, wonderful comeback vs. Michigan State. 43 games.
Lambeau Field-5 games. 4 of them at night. 4 in precipitation. 4 with Milwaukee fans. 2 wins. I saw Brett Favre break the all-time completions record though. And LeRoy Butler's last game.
Ford Field-1 game. Favre's 400th touchdown pass.
The Silverdome-6 games is my best guess. Saw Desmond Howard break the single-season return yardage record and Sterling Sharpe break the single-season completions record (at the time).
Rose Bowl-2 games: The snoozer against USC in 2004 and the epic battle with Texas.
Camp Randall Stadium-2 games: The Brett Bell game and the disaster in 2007.
Welsh Ryan Stadium (Northwestern)-1 game, though there were so many Michigan fans there, I might as well count it under the Michigan Stadium tally.
Ohio Stadium-1 game. And the only enjoyment I got out of it was watching that dude on his buddy's shoulders get pepper-sprayed and face-plant into the ground.
Notre Dame Stadium-1 game. 1 glorious, glorious game.
The Palace of Auburn Hills (Detroit Fury)-1 game. R Kal is Our Pal.
Joe Louis Arena-Best guess of 20 Wings games, 3 Jr. Red Wings games, roughly 22 college hockey games, including the 2007 GLI Championship. 45 games total.
The Palace of Auburn Hills-I went to a lot of Vipers games during that Turner Cup run. Best guess of about 15.
Yost Ice Arena-7 years of season tickets x 20 games or so a year (for my first 6 years, I had missed a total of 2 games that were included in our student ticket package), plus 2 Regionals, NTDP/NHL All-Stars game, 2007's victory over the Evil Empire in the Showcase, 2009 vs UNO = 150 games.
Munn Ice Arena (Michigan State)-4 games.
Ann Arbor Ice Cube-10 NTDP games.
Bowling Green State University Ice Arena-2 games.
Ewigleben Ice Arena (Ferris State)-1 game. Long-ass drive for one game.
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (Ft. Wayne, IN)-1 Michigan/Notre Dame game. I think it was like 8-2 and TJ Hensick had the dirtiest goal I've ever seen in person.
Joyce Center (Notre Dame)-2 games. And they were both stellar. Because that wasn't the worst weekend EVER or anything....and at least I didn't throw a bottle of Powerade against the wall only to have it break all over Scotty's bag.
HSBC Arena (Buffalo...NCAA Frozen Four)-2 games. And let's never speak of the second one again. Didn't stay for the Championship. Fuck you, Scott Hansen.
XCel Energy Center (St. Paul, MN....NCAA Frozen Four, 2007 Icebreaker)-4 games. Didn't stay for the Championship in 2002. Michigan/BC & Michigan/Minnesota in 2007.
Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids, NCAA Regionals)-7 games.
Lawson Ice Arena (Western Michigan)-1 game.
Value City Arena (OSU)-2 games.
United Center-1 game.
Compuware Sports Arena (Plymouth Whalers)-2 games.
Windsor Arena (Windsor Spitfires)-Best guess 3 games.
Spartan Stadium-1 game, biggest crowd ever to watch a hockey game!
Broadbent Arena (Louisville, KY)-1 Louisville Icehawks game (ECHL).
Fraser Ice Arena-1 Motor City Mechanics game. Chelios and Hatcher vs. David Wyzgowski. Go figure.
Pepsi Center (Denver, CO...NCAA Frozen Four)-2008 Frozen Four. 3 events, including the NCAA Championship.
Kohl Center (Madison, WI)-2008 College Hockey Showcase Michigan vs. Wisconsin
The Palace of Auburn Hills-15 or so Pistons games and I have a very vague recollection of seeing the Fab Five against some foreigners there, but I could've made that up. 16 games.
Cobo Hall-This had to be a UDM game. 1 game.
The Silverdome-1 game. A really really hot Pistons/Celtics playoff game. All I remember is that it was hot and we lost 99-98. I was like 5.
Crisler Arena-2 years of season tickets, 1 year of working every home game, 2 games or so in the Ellerbe era, 1 loss to Boston University, and Cheryl Burnett's first home game where we were supposed to throw mini-basketballs into the crowd when we scored our first basket. At the first media timeout, I was still holding the friggin little basketball. I never went to another women's game. 49 games.
Conseco Fieldhouse-1 game. Pistons/Pacers game 5 the year we won the title. The arena almost got hit by a tornado, it was the same day as the Indy 500, and the upper bowl was all Pistons fans. And we won.
Daytona International Speedway-4 days, 8 trips in bumper-to-bumper traffic from Orlando to Daytona and back, 1 Craftsman Truck through the fence causing a 2 1/2 hour delay, 6 races.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway-The first two Brickyard 400s. 2 races.
Michigan International Speedway-2 IndyCar races, 3 NASCAR races. 5 total.
The Raceway on Belle Isle-I went to the "Free Prix Day" pretty much every year. We'll go with 7 of those, 4 races themselves, plus the 2007 American Le Mans race. 12 events total.
Molson Indy Toronto-"Free Prix Day" while we happened to be in Toronto. They were filming "Driven". 1 event.
Lowe's Motor Speedway-2008 Coca-Cola 600. 1 event.
Churchill Downs-Never for the Derby, but I've been there probably 6 times. Met Paul Hornung there one time.
Other Michigan Sports:
Cliff Keen Arena (Michigan Volleyball)-Roughly 20 events.
Ocker Field (Michigan Field Hockey)-4 years of working games....probably seen about 30 games.
Michigan Soccer Field-3 years of working men's and women's games. We'll go with 40 games. That's far too much soccer.
Crisler Arena-1 wrestling match. Met Big Poppa Pump.
There may be more I haven't thought of off the top of my head. I'm sure there will be more in the future. I'm going to post this on the sidebar, mainly so I'll keep it updated, because it's pretty cool to have around for my own benefit. As of right now, that works out my best estimate of 577 sporting events at 54 different venues.