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 is the only other venue I count four times (Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, and Kings).
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 716 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 32 0 6 Falcons, Chargers, Raiders all in 2017 MLB 30 30 0 18 This all started with the 2001 MLB Roadtrip NHL 30 30 0 17 Vegas baby! NBA 30 30 0 9 Detroit in 2017 Total 122 122 0 50
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 172 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 4 Finished with Gwinnett in 2016 PCL 16 16 0 5 Started with Vancouver in 1991 AA EL 12 11 1 2 Hartford, if they ever get their park ready TL 8 8 0 1 Completed in 2016 SL 10 9 1 1 Mississippi rained out in 2016 Advanced A FSL 12 11 1 1 Florida Fire Frogs now in Kissimmee Car 10 8 2 0 Two clubs moved from California Cal 8 8 0 3 My first complete minor league Low A MWL 16 8 8 2 To be done in 2017 SAL 14 14 0 1 Sallied around the Sally Short-Season A NWL 8 2 6 2 Only Everett and Vancouver (AAA) have been visited here, hope to finish in 2017 in combination with Pioneer League NYPL 14 14 0 1 Fourth league complete! Rookie Pio 8 0 8 0 Gotta do this one all at once in 2017 Appy 10 10 0 0 Almost all old-time ballparks Total 160 133 27 23
I am 85% of the way through. I plan to finish this list in 2017.
Total minor league ballparks: 156
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 in 2017-18 (and Belleville)
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 370 in all these leagues.
In other leagues and sports, I've seen 346 venues with the breakdown by country as follows:
USA 189 - College venues, independent baseball, tennis, low level hockey Japan 64 - all 12 NPB Stadiums included here along with sumo, J.League and others Canada 35 - 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 716 venues visited.
Finally, the breakdown by sport:
Baseball 272 Hockey 133 Basketball 131 Football 66 Soccer 54 Rugby 9 Tennis 8 Lacrosse 7 Racing 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.