Last week, with the beginning of college football season breathing down our neck, I decided to post a picture of the Battle of Bristol on Twitter. As someone who loves sports mashups, football on Bristol Motor Speedway provided a mind-blowing visual. With this in mind, I also decided to question which other mismatching sports venues and events, like the Battle of Bristol, deserved a mention.
The Battle of Bristol was the inspiration for the list and deserves some shine but plenty of other incredible sporting events have taken place in unique environments. Let’s take a look at some of the other suggestions from the internet.
We’re bending the rules here a little as a Naval Aircraft Carrier doesn’t exactly serve as a sports venue but the visuals of such a unique experience absolutely earn the Carrier Classic a place on this list. The inaugural version of the event saw NCAA Basketball powerhouses Michigan State and North Carolina meet on the USS Carl Vinson at port in San Diego, California.
After a ten-year break between appearances, college basketball returned to San Diego to play aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. I can’t imagine the ship makes for an easy playing surface but it’s wild to see the game happening on the deck of a ship.
The Winter Classic
The NHL’s annual visit to outdoor venues to showcase ice hockey on grand stages provides some incredible moments. When the Maple Leafs played the Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor back in 2014, a record for attendance was set at 105,491. No matter where the contest ends up taking place, hockey fans always end up packing the event.
I got lucky enough to attend the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. To see some of the best hockey players in the world take the ice at massive venues dedicated to other sports like football represented an incredible opportunity. The atmosphere matched the hype for what gave me one of the best sports experiences of my life. I highly recommend attending a Winter Classic if you get a chance.
By the way, someone suggested a game between the Pens and Flyers at Beaver Stadium. I can’t imagine a better matchup/environment combo. Someone needs to make that example of mismatching sports venues happen.
Clash at The Coliseum
Football has taken place at a NASCAR track, but the reverse is also true! For the past two years, NASCAR has run races at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the homefield of the USC Trojans. The cars rumbling around the historic venue just feels surreal to see.
Racing may present a unique opportunity given the ability for races to take place just about anywhere. The racing at the Coliseum may not be particularly great in the current cars but the spectacle is absolutely undeniable. For an exhibition race, the Clash truly puts on a memorable event.
What sporting events would you like to see at alternative venues? What sporting events at mismatched venues did we miss? Let us know on Twitter.