For those of you who have read my posts in the past, you may recall that I am on a mission to see all of the FBS stadiums, specifically home games if possible. The number of FBS teams currently hovers around 128, including the addition of Coastal Carolina, the rebirth of UAB, the loss of Idaho, and the likely loss of New Mexico State - so far I have been to 115 of those stadiums (or 114 or 113 or 112 of them, depending on whether you let me count UAB yet, or whether you make me take off Idaho and/or New Mexico State).
But an even more impressive number is the number of different football stadiums I have visited, which is well over 150 - that's a lot of games!
- First off is the 115 FBS stadiums, mentioned above
- Add 26 pro stadiums - technically I have been to all of them, including Giants stadium twice (once for the Jets and once for the Giants), as well as two of the Cowboys stadiums. But a couple of them also host FBS teams, so they are already included above, namely the Falcons (Georgia State), the Buccaneers (South Florida), the Chargers (San Diego State), the Steelers (Pittsburgh), the Vikings (Minnesota shared at the time), and the Saints (Tulane shared at the time) - I plan to visit both the Gophers' new stadium and Tulane's new stadium this fall, though.
- Add 1 new stadium for an FBS team previously seen - in this case that would be Baylor, who recently built a brand-new venue on campus. My visits to Tulane and the Gophers' new stadiums will fall into this category come October/November.
- Add 7 stadiums used for special events (think Bowl games, or the Red River Rivalry) - these include the Cotton Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, the Cramton Bowl, the Bahamas Bowl, and even Marlins Park and Tropicana Field, which I can count as football stadiums now thanks to their bowls; thank God for crappy post-season action! Also Tom Benson Field, site of the NFL Hall of Fame game.
- Even though I have seen FBS games at them, I am not counting the Georgia Dome, Bank of America Field, LP Field, or Fedex Field, b/c they are already counted above. But in December, in this category I will add the Independence Bowl, Chase Field, and Yankee Stadium during my after Christmas three-bowls- in-three-days super trip, flying from Jacksonville to Shreveport to Phoenix to New York City to Raleigh in the three days right after Christmas.
- And if you want to get cute, add 5 D2 stadiums + 3 high school stadiums - Elon, East Tennessee State, North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T, and Rochester Tech, plus three high school field in Rochester, MN.
- And what the hell, if you want to get even cuter, add 3 arena football stadiums (the Greensboro Revolution, now defunct, as well as the Richmond Raiders and Cape Fear Heroes, not yet defunct but could be soon if they don't start pulling more fans).
So all told, as of today's writing I can claim 160 football stadiums lifetime, and I plan to add at least a dozen more this season - including Bristol Motor Speedway, site of college football's biggest ever on September 10th, plus at least 10 FBS stadiums, and even the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium - I may have to buy a new notepad to keep track.
Shameless plus time - I have written fan reviews of many of the football stadiums I have visited, as well as several basketball, soccer, baseball, and hockey venues along the way. You can check them out at http://www.scout.com/stadium-journey.