Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome to Sports Road Trips


Introduction

Welcome to my blog on sports travel. This is the first of what I hope will be many posts detailing my sports road trips and other international sports stories.

Before I get started, some background might be useful. In 2001, I completed a 7-month journey to every major league baseball stadium, as well as several minor league ballparks, chronicling my adventures at www.mlbroadtrip.com. The site contained plenty of information on each city I visited, including attractions, restaurants, and trivia, as well as recaps of the games I saw and stadiums I visited. It was a lot of work updating it daily, and once the trip ended, I stopped adding to it on a regular basis, as my normal life is far too dull to share.

In the intervening 8 years, I've visited all the new major league stadiums and several other sports venues around the world. I usually put the game results on my site with a couple of pictures, but no otherwise useful information or advice for a fellow traveler. It was just a travel diary listing every sporting event I attended, but without the back story that makes travel so interesting. In other words, not a site you would visit a second time.

There were two main reasons for my lack of effort. Firstly, I didn't have a lot of spare time on my trips, partially because I had a job that took time even on vacations, and partially because I wanted to do as much as possible when I was on the road. Secondly, updating the site directly was difficult, primarily due to my poor design back in 2001. So I just updated the front page, and didn't write extensively about my experiences.

Well, both of those issues have been solved. I quit my job in mid-2008 (I consider myself semi-retired and hope eventually to make a living at this), and can now use this blog format to quickly post updates. So Sports Road Trips starts today!

What you can expect to find here

Trip reports - I have lots of trips coming up this year, and this will be the primary outlet for my experiences and advice. I'll be in Denver and Phoenix in early April for baseball opening day and some end of season hockey. July will send me to the two new stadiums in New York and a small road trip in New England. There's a short trip to Australia for some rugby in May, and then the International Junior Rugby Tournament in Japan in June. I also hope to visit Europe for some World Cup qualifying games in October. I'll be updating regularly during these trips, hoping to help fellow travelers plan their own adventures.

Trip ideas - The international sports schedule is filled with interesting events that most sports fans don't even know about. These events can serve as a starting point for a trip and I will post some less famous leagues or tournaments to perhaps start you thinking about a trip yourself.

Sports opinion - I'll also try to post some opinion pieces here - staying away from the ordinary and overhyped US sports scene, instead concentrating on some aspects of international sports. Living in Tokyo has opened my eyes to the incredible array of sports that is available around the world and I would like to make others aware that there is more to sports than just baseball and basketball!

Schedule

The upcoming schedule is posted on this blog. It changes regularly, but if you are in the area and want to join me for a game, please let me know. I hope to make many new friends and reconnect with old ones as Sports Road Trips develops!

Thanks,

Sean

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