Venue Count


As a sports road tripper, my goal has always been to see new venues. Many of us sports travellers are about seeing as many games as possible, but I get bored going to the same stadium all the time; for me, it is traveling to new places that excites.

I use this page to keep track of how many stadiums and arenas I have visited. The rules are simple - I must attend a regular season or playoff game at the venue for it to count. Pre-season games count only if played in a stadium that doesn't host regular season games, such as those in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Arriving significantly late or leaving early (before the contest is decided) invalidates the visit, with some exceptions, most notably, terrible baseball games.

A venue is any stadium or arena that a sports team (professional, college, or junior - but not high school) calls its regular home.The same building can be counted multiple times if it hosts multiple teams as the primary home venue, such as the Rangers, Knicks, and Liberty at MSG.

For colleges, the stadium on campus is their regular home; if they have a secondary home (such as St. John's playing at MSG) then it is considered a neutral site. You can count a venue only once as a neutral site for each sport, regardless of level. So if you see St. John's at MSG, then an NCAA tournament game there, and then a USA basketball exhibition game, you can only count it once as a neutral basketball venue. Otherwise, you are just padding your numbers. I've seen at least four different neutral baseball events at the Tokyo Dome (MLB season openers, MLB vs NPB, Japanese college, Japanese industrial) but I only count it once for neutral baseball (plus once each for the Tokyo Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters, and once as a neutral football venue). Staples Center (Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, and Kings) and Red Bull Arena (Red Bulls, Red Bulls 2, London Irish Rugby, International Champions Cup) are the only other venues that are counted 4 times.

Outside of the top pro leagues, franchises that play in the same building as one from a different level (pro, minor, junior, college, independent) of sport count (thus Brampton's Powerade Centre counts twice, once for OHL and once for ECHL). However, if teams from the same level use the same venue, this does not count. A good example is Nat Bailey Stadium - it hosted AAA ball but that team moved. Now a short-season club plays there. Both are minor league baseball, so the Nat can only count once. The same is true for the AHL and ECHL franchises that switched during the 2015 off-season or EPL teams that are promoted or relegated.

With these rules in mind, my total is now 747 venues. The breakdown:

Club 122  - The 122 active venues in all four big sports (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA). This is the most important number for serious sports travellers and a term I'd like to see enter the vernacular.

League  Total   Seen   Left    Inactive   Notes
NFL       32     30      2         8      Falcons and Chargers in 2017
MLB       30     30      0        19      This all started with the 2001 MLB Roadtrip     
NHL       31     29      2        18      Vegas baby! Oh, and Detroit.        
NBA       30     29      1        10      Detroit in 2017
Total    123    118      4        55

The inactive count includes 7 neutral venues (MLB games at the Tokyo Dome and Hiram Bithorn Stadium, NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium, Wembley for NFL London, and the three arenas used by the NHL and NBA when they played regular season games in Japan). Thus I have seen 173 venues for those teams that constitute Club 122. Confused?

Minor League Baseball - There are 160 teams in 14 affiliated leagues, divided into AAA, AA. High A, Low A, Short Season A, and Rookie. There are franchise shifts every offseason, so getting all 160 active ballparks is a never-ending task, but a fun one.

League  Total   Seen   Left    Inactive    Notes
AAA
IL        14     14      0         3       Finished with Gwinnett in 2016
PCL       16     16      0         5       Started with Vancouver in 1991

AA
EL        12     12      0         2       Yard Goats ballyard finally done
TL         8      8      0         1       Completed in 2016
SL        10     10      0         1       Completed in 2017

Advanced A
FSL       12     12      0         1       Florida Fire Frogs now in Kissimmee
Car       10     10      0         0       Two clubs moved from California
Cal        8      8      0         3       My first complete minor league

Low A
MWL       16     11      5         2       Dayton, Lake County, Great Lakes, Lansing, West Michigan 
SAL       14     14      0         1       Sallied around the Sally

Short-Season A
NWL        8      8      0         2       Combined with Pioneer League in 2017
NYPL      14     14      0         1       Fourth league complete!

Rookie
Pio        8      8      0         0       Did this all at once in 2017
Appy      10     10      0         0       Almost all old-time ballparks
Total    160    154      6        22    

I am over 95% of the way through. I plan to finish this list in August, 2017.

Total minor league ballparks: 177

Other Leagues - Only the AHL and CFL remain on my quest leagues. I call these my quest leagues because I want to see all remaining venues in these leagues. I've dropped the D-League because it is expanding too quickly, while the NLL, ECHL, and MLS are not worth traveling to.

League  Total   Seen   Left    Inactive    Notes
AHL       30     27      3        7        Iowa, Winnipeg, Tucson, Belleville, and Laval in 2017-18
CFL        9      6      3        2        Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Calgary. Have seen Winnipeg's stadium but not the Blue Bombers, will combine with AHL in 2017
Total     39     33      6        9

That makes 42 for a total of 392 in all these leagues.

In other leagues and sports, I've seen 355 venues with the breakdown by country as follows:


USA       196 - College venues, independent baseball, tennis, low level hockey
Japan      64 - all 12 NPB Stadiums included here along with sumo, J.League and others
Canada     37 - mostly junior hockey
England    13 - 6 EPL stadiums, 2 lower level soccer, 2 cricket, 2 rugby, and ATP finals
Singapore  12
Australia   9
Philippines 3
France      2
Germany     2
Iceland     2
Thailand    2
Barbados    1
China       1
Denmark     1
Ecuador     1
Indonesia   1
Italy       1
Malaysia    1
Netherlands 1
Spain       1
Sri Lanka   1
Sweden      1
Taiwan      1
Vietnam     1

for a grand total of 747 venues visited.

Finally, the breakdown by sport:

Baseball     295
Hockey       133
Basketball   132
Football      66
Soccer        60
Rugby          9
Racing         8
Tennis         8
Lacrosse       7
Sumo           7
Cricket        6
Fighting       5
Volleyball     4
Golf           3
Rodeo          2
Swimming       1
Table Tennis   1

Updates are made here after every stadium visit so follow along if you have nothing else to do.

Best,

Sean