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Every few weeks, the contributors to The Writers, as well as some special guests, will submit a Top 5
list on a given topic.

Top 5 Sports Venues I Want to Visit

Special Guests: Clay Luraschi (Topps), Don Williams (Upper Deck).


Ed Barnes:
1. Wrigley Field - Despite my dislike for Cubs fans, there isn’t an atmosphere in baseball quite like
Wrigley Field. The fans are passionate and loyal which would be a contrast to the laid back fans of
San Diego that I see on a nightly basis. Wrigley is known for so many signature items from the ivy to
the rooftop seating and even the brick which helped spawn the design of so many new “retro”
ballparks. I’ll take the original and want to head to Wrigley.

2. Fenway Park - Another easy pick for me. As a baseball fan, Wrigley and Fenway are places any fan
wants to visit. From the Green Monster to the Pesky Pole, the quirky dimensions have attempted to be
duplicated in the new wave of stadiums. As someone who appreciates the history of the game,
thinking that this is the stadium where legends like Ted Williams played is enough of a draw.

3. Lambeau Field - Another stadium where the history is the appeal.  Going to a game at Lambeau
looks like an experience unlike any other in the NFL. From eating brats at a pre-game tailgate to
feeling the passion of the fans, there are plenty of reasons to head to Green Bay

4. Old Trafford - Dubbed the “Theater of Dreams,” Manchester United’s
stadium has seen plenty of history but the atmosphere is what makes it.
For anyone who thinks that fans in the United States are passionate,
head to Europe to see soccer fans. No I’m not referring to the fights, but
the way that they vocally support their team during a match. Manchester
United has a strong core of fans that constantly sing and chant during
play.

5. Michigan Stadium - Over 100,000 people pack themselves into “The Big House” on game days.
Passion and tradition blend into one of the more alluring packages college football has to offer. The
kind of support that Michigan gets on game day is something that a San Diego State graduate like me
could never understand until I see it.


Teri Berg:
1. Tour de France -- Three weeks in the French countryside!
2. NFL Pro Bowl -- Hawaii sounds perfect in February.
3. Kinshasa, Zaire circa 1974 -- Can we return to sports venues of the past? Who wouldn't want to
see Ali and Foreman training, then fighting here, in addition to all the cultural upheaval going on in
Zaire under Mobutu at the time?
4. Lambeau Field during the coldest game of the playoffs. Now that's football.
5. Courtside at the Dean Smith Center during alumni summer pickup games


Larry Fleisher:
1. Wrigley Field - I've seen all the old ballparks on the East Coast, Yankee, Fenway, Shea and the Vet
(if you want to call it a ballpark).  But my only visit to Chicago was a layover in O'Hare Airport some 20
years ago.  Since I love weekday afternoon baseball, this would be the place to go to.

2. US Cellular Field - Not because it's such a nice and modern facility but just for the fact I could see
both Chicago teams in the same day.

3. Dodger Stadium - Another oldie but goody that I've never been.  I'd go with my "Game Over" T-Shirt if
Eric Gagne still is on the team when I eventually go there and I'd have my walkman on hand just to
hear some innings from Vin Scully.

4. Safeco Field - I've heard many good things about the city of Seattle from various people but have yet
to get there.  But when I do a visit to Safeco will on the agenda.  It looks beautiful on TV and where
else do you get the constant train whistles in the background?

5. SBC Park - Figures the only time I ever went to San Francisco was during the offseason.  But the
next time I go there, I'll make it for a Giants home game.  The park looks really nice on TV with that
view of the water.


John Labombarda:
1. Wrigley Field - I will visit the “Friendly Confines” before I die.
2. Lambeau Field - I actually had a trip to see the “Frozen tundra” but I got the flue and never made it.
3. Cameron Indoor Arena
4. SBC Park - From what I’ve been told, this is the nicest place to watch a ballgame in the major
leagues.
5. Busch Stadium - It appears I will never get to see this place.  Only a miracle will get me there
before the end of this season.


Clay Luraschi:
1. Soccer World Cup Final
2. The 2008 Summer Olympics (Beijing, China)
3. Sidney Crosby's first NHL game
4. Barry Bonds' first game back
5. Any NASCAR event


Eric Mirlis:
1. St. Andrews – The birthplace of golf. And after watching this year’s British Open, a must visit
sometime in my life. Just give me one crack at the Road Hole…and pad the Old Course Hotel with
Nerf that day.

2. Augusta National – The most beautiful golf course in the United States. Period.

3. Churchill Downs – Home of one of the most awesome single sporting
events in the country, full of tradition and pageantry. While watching this
year, my family and I decided to go in the next couple years.

4. Fenway Park – In all my travels, I’ve never made it here, a fact which
befuddles all my friends and, to be honest, me, too. Soon. Very soon.

5. Pebble Beach – Augusta is the most beautiful, but Pebble Beach is the most scenic. And while
Augusta is a diifficult place to get to unless you are there for the Masters, I plan on playing this course
one of these years.


Barry Neuberger:
1. Churchill Downs on Derby Day, BUT I must have good seats and access to the windows.

2. Wherever the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game is this year, I need to see the hatred and
bitterness from a neutral perspective.

3. Neyland Stadium at U. of Tennessee for either the Florida game or the Alabama game. Rumor has
it that the stadium actually shakes when the Vols come through the tunnel.

4. Center Court at Wimbleton. I promise I’ll be on my best behavior.

5.  The 18th green at either the Masters, PGA, British Open or U.S. Open when Tiger passes Jack.


C.J. Papa:
1.  St.  Andrews for the British Open.  The birthplace of golf.
2.  Augusta National Golf Club the home of the Masters.  Need I say more.
3.  Wrigley Field
4.  The Big House - Michigan Football for a Saturday game against Ohio State
5.  Old Trafford - the home of Manchester United,  Premier League Soccer


Don Williams:
1. Lambeau Field
2. The Kentucky Derby
3. Yankee Stadium
4. Wrigley Field
5. Coors Field


Brian Wilmer:
1. Rosenblatt Stadium (Omaha, NE).  The yearly site of the College World Series is teeming with
memories, as each year sees landmark performances by future heroes and men from whom we will
never hear again alike.  The ballpark has expanded along with the popularity of the Series, and ticket
demand has continued to meet that growth.  The next major ballpark pilgrimage I take will have to
include Rosenblatt, as my goal for 20 years has been to see this hallowed ground of college athletics.

2. Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN).  Every Saturday Tennessee has a home game, Neyland Stadium
is the fourth-most populous area in the state of Tennessee.  Over 109,000 fans cram into this
riverfront structure to see the Vols play, and the atmosphere is virtually unrivalled, though some
people in Columbus and Ann Arbor may argue.

3. Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI).  The so-called "last of the
independents", Lambeau is a living, breathing history lesson, and isn't
dominated by corporate sponsorship or big dollars, but by the people
who frequent its corridors.  To see the same sidelines Lombardi walked,
and see the patch of land once roamed by Hornung, Taylor, Nitschke,
Favre, and so many others would be a tremendous thrill.

4. Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX).  This is one of the
prime patches of real estate in college football, and has been the site of
many historic gridiron duels.  The strains of one half of the stadium yelling "TEXAS!" while the other
half yells "FIGHT!" is enough to send chills through your body.

5. Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, TN).  I'm not even a NASCAR guy, really, but 200,000 fans at each
race can't really be wrong.  Bristol has become the track of champions, as, according to their website,
21 of the 40 years since the opening of the track have seen a driver who won a race on the track go on
to win the Cup title.  Every sport has its cathedrals, and this is certainly one of the showcase stretches
of blacktop in NASCAR.


Matt Zenitz:
1. Fenway Park - Boston, MA
2. Lambeau Field - Green Bay, WI
3. Network Associates Coliseum aka "The Black Hole" - Oakland, CA
4. Yankee Stadium - New York, NY
5. Doak Campbell Stadium - Tallahassee, FL (Florida State)