With four new venues opening in the Big 4 sports leagues during the upcoming fall and winter, I have quite a bit of work to do to remain a member of Club 122. To make matters worse, all four stadiums are far from New York, with the L.A. Rams and Sacramento Kings in California, the Edmonton Oilers in Alberta, and the Minnesota Vikings in, well, you get the point. I'd love to do them all in one trip, but as I am working over the winter, I am limited to short weekend jaunts plus one week of vacation. Fortunately, the Oilers play Toronto on a Tuesday during a week that the Vikings play on Thursday, so I am able to get those two in on a single journey. But I couldn't find a decent combo for the Rams and the Kings that did not conflict with some other commitment. Thus I'll be saving the trip to Sacramento until January 15 when the Thunder are in town. So for now, just two trips planned for the fall as follows:
Sat, Nov 5 Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans (NCAA Football, Pac 12) TBD Sat, Nov 5 Calgary Flames at LA Kings 7:00 Sun, Nov 6 Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams 1:05 Tue, Nov 29 Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers 7:00 Wed, Nov 30 Toronto Maple Leafs at Calgary Flames 6:30 Thu, Dec 1 Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings 7:25 Fri, Dec 2 Iowa Stars at Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) 7:00 Sat, Dec 3 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Michigan State Spartans (NCAA Basketball) 12:00 Sat, Dec 3 St. Cloud State Huskies at Western Michigan Broncos (NCAA Hockey) 7:00
These TBD times for college games drive me nuts. Obviously these games are still a month or two away but even games that are just two weeks away (just as the USC game as I update this) often don't have a time set, making it tough to plan an optimal trip. If the Michigan State basketball game is in the afternoon, I could get to Western Michigan hockey that night for example. Here's hoping that the schedule maker helps out. Update: the schedule maker did, as you can see above.
My only other trip this winter is an overnighter to Chicago to see the Leafs on October 22nd as part of my Toronto on the Road series. The Cubs are home for NLCS Game 6 that day at the same time, which should make tickets easy to acquire for the Blackhawks game. As well, that could be ALCS Game 7 (update: nope, no chance with the Jays offense having disappeared), which adds even more intrigue. As always, check back to see what happened.