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Monday, November 10, 2008

Memorial Day Plans? In November?

Interesting note: When I first began this blog, I had no idea it would become largely lacrosse based.



My sources tell me (and by "sources," I mean "insidelacrosse.com") that four stadiums have submitted bids to host the 2010-2012 (I don't know if they get all three years or a portion thereof) NCAA Lacrosse Championships: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, The Meadowlands outside New York, Gillette Stadium, and Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Put another way, you've got two stadiums in close proximity to lacrosse hotbeds, a third that hosted this past year and will again in 2009, and a city that seems to be the Western answer to all things lacrosse, putting up record numbers in the pro franchises and all in all making a helluva showing. Let's look at the choices:



Baltimore is the easy answer. Arguably the capital of lacrosse, M&T Bank Stadium's location also provides easy access and plenty to do. But with all the quality lacrosse taking place there already, not the least of which is the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic and the Day of Rivals, might Baltimore get a little... stale?



The Meadowlands seems a promising choice. The new Giants/Jets Stadium will be ready in time for the 2011 and 2012 installments of the NCAA Championships, and it's a prime location geographically. In fact, it's actually surprising that Final Four weekend has not been held there before.



Gillette will have just had the previous two years before this stretch begins, and from what I've heard, the first year of that wasn't all that great.



Denver is an interesting proposition. As I mentioned, the area has recently been lacrosse-mad, showing the MLL's Outlaws much love specifically. As far as being deserving, the city and the stadium most certainly are. Logistics are the only pitfall--all but two Division I lacrosse teams are east of the Mississippi (though the two to the west--Air Force and Denver--are both in Colorado), as are a critical mass of lacrosse fans. Still, it could make an excellent step for expansion of the sport overall, and I'd be willing to give out west a try.



Personally, I would have loved to have seen a slightly more gradual shift--a team outside of the traditional hotbed zones but not clear across the country. Charlotte comes to mind (for purely selfish reasons, I admit) as do Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, or Nashville.



In other news, Eagles fan, Delawarean and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden was at the Linc for last night's Giants-Eagles game. When he was shown in his luxury box on the jumbotron, he was booed mightily by the Philadelphia crowd. Since his opponent Sarah Palin got the same treatment weeks ago by the Flyers fans, I think it's safe to say it's not political... Philly fans just like to boo.



I wrote not long ago about how basketball is the sport that I follow that I'm least likely to keep up with in the off-season. While that may be true, the season is here! I've been doing work in basketball related programming here at UNCG, but I'm certianly keeping a watchful eye on my America East Champion UMBC Retrievers, and I remain hopeful for USF in Heath's 2nd year. More than anything, the good ol' state of North Carolina is aglow with the buzz that only comes with college hoops around here.
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