It's All About The Experience

How does one determine the best and worst places to see a game in the Pac-10 Conference? Contrary to popular belief, capacity and comfort are of little importance, while when, where, and what's at stake make all the difference.

In recent weeks I've heard various discussions regarding where and where not to see a game. While such discussions intrigue me from a pure interest standpoint, the criteria for such debate seems to be significantly skewed.

My interest level does not increase based on the proximity of my seat to the field, the amount of legroom I have, or due to the amount of time spent in line at either the concession or restroom facilities. While the aforementioned can make a bad experience more tolerable, they have little to no chance of making that same sub par experience good.

A phenomenal view of Lake Washington will not make a Husky game good. It only offers me an opportunity to distract myself from the abysmal product which I just paid forty-five dollars to see. Hence, tolerable.

A shiny new seat and a sightline which at times seems directly above the players on the field, will not change the fact that the opposite side of Reser Stadium takes me back to the days of leather helmets and an innovation called the "forward pass." Hence, tolerable.

While I'm a strong proponent of fan participation, sixty thousand screaming Baby Blue clad alumni does not change the fact that the stadium's half full. The Rose Bowl is a treasure and should be experienced by every football fan seeking a piece of history at least once, as long as that once is the first week of January and a National Title is on the line. Hence, tolerable.

Are you beginning to see my point?

A great stadium is subjective and can vary based on the occupant.

You may love Martin Stadium in Pullman, for you may have witnessed a monumental upset under sunny skies and a nearly undetectable wind. Yet, the rest of us know that the other ninety-nine percent of the games leave you with the option of either frostbite, wind burn or both.

A memorable venue offers an entertaining pre-game, a competitive game, and a post-game, which leaves you wanting more.

I understand that a state of the art arena offers a university an opportunity for increased revenue, which in turn funds the athletic department and the university as a whole, but I'll take a game at Mac Court over the Rose Garden every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I want tradition.

I want competition.

And I want atmosphere.

Without any or all of the above, you're left with a mediocre game, four hours less of a day, and a regrettable ATM receipt.

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