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Carlosologist
Oct 13, 2013

Revelry in the Dark



Welcome to the traveling thread for sports goons! Since a lot of goons travel and have the means to go see their favorite sports teams, I thought it would be appropriate to have a thread where people can share their stories and offer a short primer on things to do and places to see around trips to the ballpark/arena. These guides can contain anything, like great places to drink or eat, or even the best value for seats. Feel free to offer up your stories and your photos! Maybe you’ll inspire a fellow goon to go out into the world and see their favorite team.

This is also a place for people to ask questions as to what to do or where to stay. Travel websites might try and fool you, but goons won't! (Maybe)

People are also encouraged to share their recent or favorite trips with pictures! This might also be a space to organize meet-ups for sports, away from each N/V thread.

I'll post my stuff for New York later, but have a go at putting out your best stories! I'll link to the best effort posts here so people can easily find good guides to the ballpark.

City Effort Posts:

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scuz
Aug 29, 2003

You can't be angry ALL the time!





Fun Shoe

This is a great idea and a good thread.

scuz's Guide to Minneapolis, Home of the Twins, Timberwolves, Lynx, Roller Derby, and the Vikings.



Gettin' Here and Gettin' Around

If you're flying in for a game, you're in luck! Our light rail connects downtown (where all the sports are) to the MSP international airport (where the planes are), so you can get from your plane to your hotel for $5, round trip. Public transit is known as MetroTransit and it's p darn great, even has an app now so you don't need to bother trying to find ticket stations. Downtown is insanely walk-able, like most downtowns, and we have things called Nice Ride bike rental stations almost every darn place. Lyft and Uber are prevalent here, as are normal-rear end cabbies, just stick out your thumb. Rent a car at your own peril; there are many one-ways in downtown and parking is Super Not Cheap with the exception of the FAIR school campus ramp which is open to the public and is the cheapest parking downtown I've been able to find.

If you're here during the winter months, we have our fabled SkyWay™ System



Described as "gerbil tubes" by noted travel documentarian Stephen Fry, the SkyWay keeps you from freezing your bits and pieces off when it's 40-below zero by having literal sidewalks in the sky connecting buildings. Learn more by perusing their website.

Bars and Restaurants

Minneapolis has bars, but we also have an insane number of breweries and food trucks. In fact within 5 blocks of Target Field, we have Inbound BrewCo, Modist Brewing, Fulton Brewing, and Clockwerks Brewing. That's in the north loop! Click this to see em on a map. The best part is that none of these breweries are bad. There are many, and they are all Good. Lemme know if you want specifics on any particular brewery and I'll be happy to provide specific field research

The bars here are plentiful. I highly recommend Grumpy's Downtown, MacKenzie Pub, O'Donovan's, The Local, Kieran's, and Brit's. All of the mentioned places have above-average bar food, can't really go wrong with any of them.

If you want steak and you want it bad, The Capital Grille and Manny's Steakhouse are the best in the city. That Ruth's poo poo can gently caress right off, park your rear end at Manny's and have an 85-day aged bone-in Ribeye.

If you want a kick-rear end burger with a shot of Jim Beam Black and a local beer for $13, hit up The Butcher and the Boar.




the view from row V of section 214 in the Target Center


I'll add more stuff to this here post later, but this is stuff that's around the stadiums and arenas. Minneapolis is a fantastic city and I do love it very much. Ask about any specifics ("where's the best thai food?") and I'll do my best since I live here and enjoy helping goons learn more about the city.

scuz fucked around with this message at Apr 24, 2018 around 16:04

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.



This is a really good write up and I'll reiterate that the sports venues are insanely well placed in the city and once you are downtown you can walk from public transit/bars/restaurants/music venues to stadiums really, really easily. Vikings stadium is probably the furthest out and it's like less than a mile from the Twins/TWolves stadiums. I've suggested to people from out of town who want to catch a baseball/football/basketball to just make a whole day of downtown and they are always happy with the result.

St. Paul Addendum

If you're coming to watch the Wild, there are a bunch of places right nearby to the Excel Center in the heart of Downtown St Paul. Liffey (GREAT rooftop), Tom Reid's, Burger Moes, and McGovern's all have decent food and drinks and within a block or so of the stadium. 7th St Truck Park is really weird and kitschy but it has good options and drinks. I usually tell people to take the short hike and go down to Bad Weather Brewery for pre/post game beers, they almost always have a food truck onsite but it is a mile walk.

Do be advised the nightlife in Saint Paul outside of a few bars dies down considerably, especially during the week.

CBJSprague24
Dec 5, 2010

Again, Torts took him to a very high mountain and showed him Nationwide and all its splendor.

"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will lay down and block for me." -Jackets 15:16



I'm going to borrow the template from the previous post.

Columbus, OH: Home of the two-time, defending Stanley Cup Champion Playoff Participant Columbus Blue Jackets





Hi, and welcome to Columbus, the capital of the Buckeye State and home of the Blue Jackets, Crew (for now), Clippers, Ohio Machine, and some collegiate football team everyone in town masturbates to who tried to kill the hockey team before they were born because we're not allowed to have other Gods than Brutus. Please don't hold them against us.

Columbus is a rapidly-growing city with an insane amount of new apartments going up all around the city, a noticeably large young population, an up-and-coming vibe, and a surprising number of ex-pats from Pittsburgh, which makes things interesting come hockey season. "Cbus" has been described as the biggest small town in America, which is an interesting descriptor for the 14th largest city in America. It's a fair assessment- the downtown area is large and has skyscrapers, but isn't cramped like other cities can be.

Gettin' Here and Gettin' Around
Air- Columbus actually has two airports with commercial airline service. John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) is the primary airport and has service from Air Canada, American, Delta, Frontier, OneJet, Southwest, United, as well as a ton of brand-new service from Spirit. CMH has long been rumored for a nonstop to Europe (Amsterdam, London, Paris), but it hasn't happened. Yet. Hopefully someday. Every other midsize city in the region has one except Columbus now and it's pissing me off.

As for getting downtown, COTA just launched the new AirConnect bus service (https://www.cota.com/how-to-ride/airconnect/), but there's also Uber/Lyft/taxis, etc.

Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) is Columbus' secondary airport and is served only by Allegiant to 10 destinations. It's a little more remote, so you'll fork over a bit more to get there and also doesn't have any on-site car rentals.

Ground- Greyhound has a hub in Columbus. If you're driving, Interstates 70 (Baltimore->Utah) and 71 (Cleveland->Louisville) and US 23 and 33 run right through town. I-270 (outerbelt/ring road), I-670 (runs basically from the airport through downtown past Nationwide Arena to the west side), and OH 315 (runs right past OSU) are the other major highways.

Rail- Amtrak doesn't love us.

Sports Parking- I can't speak for OSU, though they do have park-and-ride to football games. There are plenty of garages and lots in the Arena District, though I tend to prefer the lots on the Huntington Park side of Neil Ave.

Bars and Restaurants
For a general list of Columbus neighborhoods, have a look here. The Arena District, German Village, Short North, and Grandview Heights are all areas with fun things to do (though gently caress parking in Grandview): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colum...o#Neighborhoods

The Arena District (CBJ, Clippers) doesn't have anything terribly exciting when it comes to food, but the RBar is the city's dedicated hockey bar and has a fun atmosphere with lots of memorabilia, both CBJ and general hockey related. If you like concerts, Lifestyle Communities Pavilion/EXPRESS Live is next door to both the ballpark and arena.

The area around Ohio Stadium (all OSU sports) is a college campus and thus, largely, has fast food and chain restaurant options. The campus has a handful of bars and clubs ranging from "a dive which would make Patric Hornqvist smile" to "pretty nice, actually". The most memorable to me off the top of my head is O-Patio, an indoor/outdoor bar which makes for a nice hangout on a summer night.

MAPFRE Stadium (Crew) is in a largely industrial/residential area next door to the Ohio Historical Society, so there's not much in that area other than, again, fast food.

Other non-sports areas- 16-Bit Bar is a barcade off Fourth(?) Street downtown- there's no food, but Mikey's Late Night Slice is a local favorite pizza place right next door, with Dirty Frank's hot dogs next door to that. There's another barcade called Brewcadia across from the North Market, within walking distance of the Arena.

The Short North is another area with bars and restaurants and is the hub for a very LGBT-friendly city overall, if that's of interest.

Yats is a Cajun/Creole-styled restaurant in Grandview worth a visit but, again, gently caress parking in Grandview.

The 94th Aero Squadron restaurant is a WWI/WWII-themed sit-down restaurant at the airport which is pretty cool. If you're willing to travel to Dayton, the Wright Brothers Heritage Area is there, with the centerpiece being the USAF Museum. It's cool as hell. Go. It's like an hour away.

Venues
Nationwide Arena


Home of the CBJ, as well as a number of concerts and the occasional NCAA Tournament round and/or WWE event, the Arena opened in 2000 and still looks and feels brand new. There's not really a bad seat anywhere.

Huntington Park


Look, I'm not a big baseball fan, but Huntington Park is a nice-rear end ballpark and I like to go to Clippers games when I can. It's the newest of the venues in town and is sparkling. Get tickets to the lounge behind home plate- it's SRO/first come first served for benches and the bar, but is a great hangout. Across from Nationwide Arena.

MAPFRE Stadium


I've only been once, but there's nothing wrong with MAPFRE Stadium. It works as a soccer stadium. Unfortunately, soccer is a fad now and so everyone wants purpose-built soccer stadiums to capitalize on the trend and pretend MLS is Premier League. Combine that with Anthony Precourt having a pants tent for Austin, TX (as so many people seem to all of a sudden) and you realize that this sufficient stadium (ironically, the first purpose-built soccer stadium in America) is insufficient and the tenants, Columbus Crew SC, may be playing their final season in Columbus.

So...yeah, get there in a hurry if you want to go. Go Google this saga if you want to die a little inside.

Ohio Stadium


The Shoe. It's big, it's storied, and people sell body parts to get a ticket to watch OSU beat the mess out of rent-a-win teams and Big Ten powerhouses* alike here.

Value City Arena/Schottenstein Center


The Schott is home to Ohio State's basketball and hockey teams. Wikipedia neglects to mention that this venue was fast-tracked to construction out of greed, arrogance, the Buckeye lust, slight political corruption, and backdoor workings to circumvent a local arena-building committee (on which OSU sat), all to prevent the NHL from having a suitable venue in which to play because "Columbus doesn't need two arenas", thus eliminating a primary competitor to Ohio State Athletics before it could happen.

Fortunately, OSU's efforts to kneecap its own city's growth backfired. Fans don't like it. Local sports radio people hate it. It's not St. John's Arena and, thus, lacks an intimate experience. It's a professional sports venue (with luxury boxes it's allegedly not supposed to have) for college sports. Nationwide was built anyway and Columbus got a big-four sports team. I've been to a couple events here and, looking at things completely objectively, Nationwide > Value City.

CBJSprague24 fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2018 around 14:59

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.


I could probably do a Chicago one eventually, but a question for California goons. Do you have something against stadium vendors? The guys who walk around and sell stuff. I just sent to see the Dodgers and the Angels and both stadiums had barely any vendors and no beer vendors. Every Chicago stadium has a constant stream of people to sell you stuff, and lots of people selling beer. It was really annoying having to get up to get stuff, especially when the concession lines were long.

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DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



DJExile's guide to Toledo, Ohio!



Home of the ECHL's Toledo Walleye and AAA Detroit Tigers affiliate Toledo Mud Hens!. Love minor leagues? Buddy, we got 'em! Also home to the University of Toledo Rockets, and just north of the Bowling Green Falcons.

GETTING HERE, GETTING AROUND
Toledo sits at the massive intersection of I-75 and I-80/90. Getting here by road is pretty easy. We're about 4 hours from Chicago, 1 hour from Detroit, 90 minutes from Cleveland, 2 1/2 hours from Columbus, and 3 hours from Cincinnati. If you're coming by air, Toledo Express Airport is a small regional airport that basically only flies to Chicago and Charlotte. We're also about a 45 minute drive south of Detroit Metro Airport, which is a massive international hub.

Getting around is best done via car. There's a bus system but it's fairly limited in its scope. That said, TARTA does have several big pickup locations around the city to bring Walleye and Hens fans downtown, so there is that. There are also a ton of drivers on Lyft and Uber. Toledo isn't that large and the expressways are nice. You can very easily get anywhere from anywhere in 20 minutes or less.

FIFTH THIRD FIELD



The beauty of being a minor league town is it means you get sporting events where there's basically never a bad seat, nor an expensive one. 5/3 Field seats just under 9,000 people. Parking is pretty readily available all around downtown and will range in price from $5-10. Tickets run around $12-13 each. Solid food offerings inside and while there's definitely a markup for being in a stadium, you don't have to take out a second mortgage to get a hot dog and a beer. You and 2-3 friends could easily do the whole day without anyone dropping more than $40. The Hens are largely a solid team although it depends to a degree on how the Tigers are doing and welp...

That being said, the same ownership owns both the Hens and Walleye, and they recognize that minor league franchises live and die almost entirely on fan experience (compared to team success, that is), and they push hard to make sure folks enjoy themselves. Tons of games and playground stuff around the field for kids to enjoy, picnic pavilions, and tons of theme nights all help. A couple of years ago, Justin Verlander was sent down on a rehab assignment, and not only did he get to toy with hilariously overmatched batters for 6 innings, it was Jurassic Park night and he had the game ball brought to him by a drat dinosaur.


https://twitter.com/MudHens/status/786730759491059712

The minor leagues loving own, is what I'm saying.

HUNTINGTON CENTER




Fan-loving-tastic arena. A place that's just big enough to get a good crowd (8,000 seated, another 300 standing room) but keep every seat close to the action. The Toledo Walleye are one of the few ECHL teams that run on a high budget so the game experience is really nice. The odds you see anyone that's going to make the NHL are pretty much non-zero, but it's usually a good mix of talent and goonery. Toledo's had a lot of success in the ECHL although never a Kelly Cup, at least in their current form. The previous league championship, called the Riley Cup, was won back-to-back by the Toledo Storm in 94 and 93.

Oh, you want theme nights? We got those.








You want tiny goalies? We have those too!


(come back, Jeff Lerg, we miss you )

Parking, like for the Hens, is all within a couple blocks, and one garage is attached to the arena. Pricing ranges from $5-10, and tickets are about $12-15 apiece. Sellouts are common and I think they've had far and away the best attendance in the ECHL for years, which really helps things. They have a great rivalry with the Fort Wayne Komets. Lots of food options and if you're a beer fan they have done several nights where they have beer tastings before games.

There's a ton of good food options all over town. For a small midwestern city, Toledo is surprisingly diverse and you can find just about any sort of restaurant you want. I'll do a write-up on them if anyone wants.

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