Niner: Top nine NC sports venues
Posted July 9, 2009
9 - Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (ECU) - What makes this stadium special begins with the fans that fill the seats. When Jimmy Hendrix's "Purple Haze" comes blaring out the Pirate faithful rock this house! It's always been considered a "fast" turf. But the main reason players love playing at "The Fick" is because of the fan support.
8 - Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Bulls) - I love hearing from opposing players and managers that talk about how impressive the DBAP is. Sure you have the Bull sitting high about the Blue Monster in left field that reminds them of Bull Durham. But the reason for accolades have to come from the major league backdrop of the American Tobacco Campus that truly makes the park unique to any they will see in the minor leagues.
7 - Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke) - Yes seventh. It ranks number one for Duke players, coaches and Cameron Crazies. But for me and anyone over six foot tall, it is one of the hottest most uncomfortable places to watch a game.
6 - Dean Smith Center (UNC) - The Dean Dome gets respect on this because it houses a team that seems to have a hard time losing in it. Not to mention the close to 22,000 seats that makes it the 5th largest college basketball arena in the country. Regardless of the seating arrangement of the "older" Rams club members, if you get that many people in one building, it has no choice but to get loud.
5 - RBC Center (Raleigh) - "The Big ATM" gets a good billing because it houses two teams. One has won championships while tearing the roof of the place and the other has really nice place to play ACC games. Not to mention the NCAA tournament having high praise of the facility!
4 - Kenan Memorial Stadium (UNC) - A beautiful backdrop with probably the WORST parking in all of college football. The stadium has added enough seats to bring it to a respectable 60,000.
3 - Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers) - Great locker rooms and spacious tunnels for games. I have played their 3 times. They've got to have the worst turf in the NFL. And that's hard to do with Heinz Field up in Pittsburgh. But not a bad seat in the house and it can get loud. Even though it's 13 years old it still has the feel of a new stadium.
2 - Lowes Motor Speedway (Charlotte) - Pick any three venues on this list and they can't seat as many as the over 200,000 that show up for Nascar races in Concord. You can tell "Humpy" Wheeler knew what his people wanted as this has become one of best tracks for fans and participants in all of racing.
1 - Carter-Finley Stadium (NC State) - The passion of the fans, Vaughn Towers, and seating all the way around the stadium. But most importantly the turf is ALWAYS in great shape. Now that they've removed the crown in the middle of the field, this will be one of fastest fields in the ACC!!