Stadiums USA Radio is a weekly program that features in-depth conversation focusing on the popular venues of all of sports from the pros to minor leagues to colleges. The program examines the latest news in stadium design, renovations, and stadium connections to their communities. Host Bill Hazen talks with athletes, coaches, authors and newsmakers who share their experiences and connections to the most storied structures and stadiums in all of sports. Join us for the conversation!
Posted March 27, 2017
Baseball will forever be linked to promotions- bat giveaways, Ladies' Day, bobble heads - all to entice fans to the ballpark. Most have been a success. Others, not so much. This Great Game's Eric Gouldsberry chronicles baseball's ten worst promotional ideas. Also- what major sports facility hosts the most games each year? We chat with Staples Center Operations Director Armen Dembekjian. Plus- the strange one-year saga of the Seattle Pilots.
Posted March 21, 2017
We have the latest on the Coyotes' search for a new home. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is challenging the Arizona Legislature to fund a new arena. Also- a look at MLB ballparks through the eyes of longtime Baseball Hall of Fame executive Brad Horn. Horn examine's television's influence on the way new ballparks are built. Plus- grab your tuba, and strike up the band. We march onto the field at Camp Randall Stadium with former Badger band member Darren Ellefson.
Posted March 13, 2017
The battle for the almighty entertainment dollar is heating up. Nathalie Davis just headed up a conference in Atlanta that examined the changing marketing landscape in sports. Plus- we take a special trip back to Camden Yards with broadcaster Mel Proctor. Mel waxes eloquence as he details the night Cal Ripken, Jr. broke baseball's consecutive games streak. Also- a look at a documentary that details the origins of Rupp Arena.
Posted March 6, 2017
Another renovation project is planned for Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, the home of the Bulldogs. Dawg Nation writer Bill King breaks it all down and says some fans want to see the project lead to shorter lines at concessions and restrooms. Also- we take a tour of the iconic arenas, past and present, in the Big Ten Conference. Former University of Illinois Sports Information Director Mike Pearson spins tales of Jud Heathcote, Steve Alford and Scott Skiles, among others. Plus- a trip back to the iconic Polo Grounds with author Stew Thornley.
Posted February 27, 2017
The city of Detroit continues to mourn the passing of Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. We examine the Motor City icon with Detroit News writer Kurt Mensching. Also- Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium lives on, in a patch of grass planted on property where the iconic ballpark was located. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Frank Fitzpatrick looks back on the final game at the stadium and how Philly faithful ravaged the park to grab souvenirs. Plus- we catch up with Memphis Redbirds groundskeeper Ben Young who discusses creating diamond art from the seat of a lawn mower.
Posted February 20, 2017
We celebrate the opening of spring training with ESPN Baseball Tonight's Tim Kurkjian. Tim reflects on his first ballpark experience and discusses some of the his favorite venues across the big leagues. Also- what's up with the poor ice conditions in the NHL? The Ultimate Hockey Show's Liam Maguire points to new arena surfaces not being able to handle multiple events. And a tour of newly-renovated Assembly Hall with Indiana Hoosiers beat reporter Terry Hutchens.
Posted February 13, 2017
From Market Square Arena to Conseco Fieldhouse and now Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Rick Fuson has seen it all. The Indiana Pacers Sports and Entertainment President discusses the day-to-day grind of event management and how the Pacers have developed a true home-court advantage in downtown Indy. Also- how much did the city of Houston pocket in hosting Super Bowl LI? Not as much as you think, according to Holy Cross sports economist Victor Matheson. Victor looks at the exorbitant demands the NFL places on host cities and how Commissioner Goodell is the one holding the cash at the end of the day.
Posted February 6, 2017
We trace the history of the Super Bowl with Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy. Austin examines the characteristics of the Super Bowl host cities and looks at the evolution of the halftime show. Also- the new home of the Sacramento Kings is drawing rave reviews across the NBA. Kings.com writer Kevin Fippin takes us on a tour through the Golden 1 Center. Plus- the NASCAR season is right around the corner. Beyond The Flag's Chris Olmstead looks at the characteristics of the typical race fan and what changes are in store for the 2017 season.
Posted January 30, 2017
We examine the stadium history of the Patriots and Falcons with NFL Network contributor and historian Scott Sillcox. Scott says, believe it or not, there was a time when New England almost lost the Pats. And the Falcons pay homage to Georgia and Georgia Tech in their original uniform design. Also, we head to the roof top of the Georgia Dome with NFL photographer Ric Tapia. Ric walked the catwalk at the dome to photograph the NFC Divisional tilt between the Falcons and Seahawks. Plus, a conversation with basketball Hall of Famer Arts Gilmore.
Posted January 23, 2017
Sunday's NFC Championship in Atlanta marked the final game at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta sports historian Jim Weathersby checks in to look at the significance of the venue and recalls some of the top games played at the stadium. Also, L.A. Times writer and San Diego native Lance Pugmire spent his youth watching the Chargers and Padres at Qualcomm Stadium. Pugmire reminisces about the venue and lowers the boom on Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
Posted January 16, 2017
We blanket the Chargers exit from San Diego- Bleacher Report NFL Insider Jason Cole looks at LA's ability to support two teams and recounts numerous failures in San Diego to assemble a workable stadium deal; Stadiums USA's Mark Madorin examines the intimate StubHub Center in Carson and what needs to be done to prepare the venue for pro football. Plus, the changing business model in college football. Bloomberg reporter Eben Novy-Williams looks at the widening gap between the have's and have not's.
Posted January 9, 2017
It's NFL Playoff time and weather could certainly play a factor in games in cold-weather cities. We look at the history of inclement weather in the NFL with Jerry Tapp of Stats on Tapp. Later, author and NFL historian Richard Crepeau joins us to talk about the Chargers and Raiders and which way the league may be leaning on new stadium deals. Plus,the changing landscape of sports' secondary ticket market with Connor Gregoire of SeatGeek.
Posted January 2, 2017
30 NHL games in 30 rinks in 30 days. Hockey lover Rob Suggitt accomplished this rare feat and joins us to compare and contrast fans in Canada and the states. Penn St. and USC go to battle in the 103rd Rose Bowl. We trace the storied history of the Pasadena stadium with Rose Bowl CEO Darryl Dunn. And, a look at ballparks and stadiums through the lens of sports photographer Brad Mangin. Brad talks about the perfect photo shoot in places like AT&T Park in San Francisco and The Coliseum in Oakland.
Posted December 26, 2016
Opinionated, compelling, controversial- Mike North has been sharing his thoughts on sports and more for 25 years. The sports-talk host discusses his first jobs working as a vendor at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park and talks about some of the iconic stadiums in sports. Also- President-elect Donald Trump was a major force in the United States Football League. Historian Paul Reeths looks at Trump's impact and how the league prioritized challenging the NFL by playing in top-tier stadiums.
Posted December 19, 2016
A trip to the College Football Hall of Fame is becoming the ultimate fan experience. The Hall's Mike Bilbow says visitors can experience a virtual reality exhibit that creates the imagery of walking into college football's iconic stadiums. Also- the outfield designs at Major and Minor League ballparks are becoming works of art. Grounds keeper Britt Barry of the Class A Dayton Dragons checks in to talk about how mowing patterns create unique images that distinguish diamonds across baseball. And Packers historian Cliff Christl takes us on a tour of Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Posted December 12, 2016
Prior to their move to Candlestick Park, the 49ers home was Kezar Stadium. Nestled into the Golden Gate Park neighborhood, the stadium is surrounded by residential homes. Niners historian Martin Jacobs grew up just a block from Kezar and recounts selling programs at the venue and watching the likes of Hugh McElhenny and Y.A. Tittle. Also- empty seats at the L.A. Coliseum as the Rams finish-up up their first season back in SoCal; Plus- the science behind sports' home field advantage.
Posted December 5, 2016
Are recent dips in NFL TV ratings a trend or just a blip on the radar? And how can the in-game stadium experience be improved? Former super agent Leigh Steinberg has ideas on ways to tweak pro football. Also- the Milwaukee Bucks are hoping a new downtown arena energizes the city and provides incentive for free agents to come to Brew Town. Longtime Bucks reporter Gery Woelfel looks at the long fight to get the arena built and how it will be the centerpiece of a new downtown entertainment district. Plus, the modernization of stadium food.
Posted November 28, 2016
We dive into attendance numbers from the 2016 baseball season. Jerry Tapp from Sports Stats on Tapp checks in and looks at winners and losers at the gate. Later, a conversation with the man in the catbird’s seat at Death Valley in Baton Rouge- Dan Borne is the public address announcer at LSU’s Tiger Stadium. He details game day at LSU and the tailgating experience. Plus, New York sportswriter Mike McCarthy talks about the ultimate stadium bucket list and the best seats in sports.
Posted November 25, 2016
The NHL's Arizona Coyotes are on the move. We'll break down this week's new arena announcement with SB Nation's Brendan Porter, who says the move to Tempe could boost the team's fan base. Plus,images of stadiums and ballparks evoke memories of times spent with families and friends. California artist Robert Redding has drafted some of the most unique stadium images at his Stadium Blueprint Company. And, they are taking 'fan-friendly" to a whole different level in Atlanta with renovations to Philips Arena.
Posted November 14, 2016
We break down stadium votes in San Diego and Arlington and look ahead to what's next for each city. SB Nation's Jeff Siniard says where the Chargers land depends on the Raiders pending stadium deal in Las Vegas. Plus, Pete Rose will soon be sliding head first into Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Reds Hall of Fame Executive Director Rick Walls talks about Rose's long road back into the Red's family and how it culminates with the unveiling of a new statue.
Posted November 7, 2016
The New York Yankees have announced major renovation plans for famed Yankee Stadium. NYC freelance writer Jason Clinkscales checks in to break it all down- how the changes will make for a more fan-friendly ballpark experience and what it means for Monument Park, located beyond the center field wall. Later, Neil deMause from the Field of Schemes previews votes next week in Arlington and San Diego and how the Pistons could be joining the Red Wings in downtown Detroit.
Posted October 31, 2016
Wrigley Field is front and center in the baseball world. The gentleman at the controls of the new outfield scoreboard system at the Friendly Confines is Qamar Zaman. He joins us to talk about the view from the Press Box and how the new boards are changing the fan experience. Plus- Four generations of family have experienced baseball through the gates at iconic Tiger Stadium in Detroit. We revisit the grand ole ballpark with author Tom Stanton, who details the intimacy of the park and and his time spent with Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell.
Posted October 24, 2016
Raiders owner Mark Davis says Oakland has had plenty of time to put a stadium deal together, and he is vowing to take his team to Las Vegas. Bay Area sports reporter Steve Berman checks in to discuss Davis' relationship with NFL owners and which way the league is leaning on the Raiders future. Plus, it was 27 years ago this week the earth shook in northern California, canceling the 1989 World Series. San Francisco filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis was at Candlestick Park and talks about seeing the stadium roof shake as the sporting world looked on. Compelling conversation!
Posted October 17, 2016
We've reached the Final Four in the Major League Baseball playoffs. This week, we feature the fans and ballparks in Toronto and Cleveland- SB Nation Blue Jays writer Tom Dakers talks about the changing attitude towards baseball north of the border. Plus, longtime Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton takes us inside Progressive Field and says great Indians teams of the 1990's rejuvenated baseball in Cleveland.
Posted October 10, 2016
The baseball spotlight shines on Wrigley Field as the Cubs seek to put 100 years of futility behind them. Former Cubs beat reporter Jeff Vorva checks in to talk about media accommodations at the Friendly Confines and set the scene in the ballpark press box. We also look at the evolution of the stadium experience with writer David Zweig, who discusses the new age of ballpark distractions and talks about his recent tour of Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. And we go back in time, 1962, to Hershey, Pennsylvania, and re-live Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point night at little-known HersheyPark Arena with CSN Philly writer John Finger.
Posted October 3, 2016
When we think of iconic Yankee Stadium, we remember jam-packed crowds cheering Hall of Fame players. But back in the 1960's, struggling Yankee teams played in a half-filled ballpark. We’ll look at the unique story of broadcaster Red Barber, and how his final game was in an empty Bronx stadium. And, NBA Training Camps are underway and the excitement is building in Sacramento where the Kings will tip-off in their new Golden 1 Center arena. SB Nation reporter Blake Ellington just toured the venue and has an update.
Posted September 26, 2016
What's in a name? Plenty, if we're talking about the origins of SEC football stadiums. Rich Cirminiello of Campus Insiders checks in to trace the naming history of college football's most iconic venues. Later, when we think of lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs or 1962 New York Mets come to mind. But in pro football, the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the futility leaders. Author Jason Vuic's new book looks at the teams' 26-game losing streak and how attendance actually increased at Tampa Stadium despite their losing ways.
Posted September 19, 2016
Down the stretch they come in Major League Baseball. In Baltimore, the Orioles are in the thick of the A.L. East race, but crowds at Camden Yards have been less than playoff-like. We get the pulse on fan support with Glenn Clark, a sports radio report from the greater Baltimore area. Later, a look at the evolution of stadium scoreboards- from hand-operated boards in Boston to exploding scoreboards in Chicago. We trace their history with writer Scott Allen.
Posted September 12, 2016
It was the home of Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Baseball writer and researcher Gregory Wolf is the editor of a new book examining some of the greatest games at the Milwaukee ballpark. Plus, a college football attendance record could be set this weekend as Tennessee and Virginia Tech square off at Bristol Motor Speedway. Beyond the Flag reporter Christopher Olmstead has a preview.
Posted September 6, 2016
Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, like the teams they house, will forever be linked. We look back on the unique history of these iconic ballparks with writer Harvey Frommer who examines how the stadiums nearly contributed to a trade involving Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. And Stadiums USA’s Mark Madorin looks at venues hosting neutral site college football games and how drawings of a new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas looks strangely familiar to previous plans in Carson.
Posted August 29, 2016
The renovation of newly-named Hard Rock Stadium is nearly complete. Dolphins Insider Matt Cannata checks in to discuss all the bells and whistles on the new-look venue. Later, we go down on the field at Denver's Mile High Stadium with longtime field manager Ross Kurcab. Ross talks about the thrill of watching John Elway and Peyton Manning compete on his finely manicured grass field. And we take a tour of NFL Stadiums with filmmaker Rhett Grametbauer, who documented his trip across the country searching for NFL heaven in a Volkswagon bus.
Posted August 22, 2016
The Rams made their Hollywood debut last week. We examine opening night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with SB Nation’s Joe McAtee, who looks at what the Rams can do to stay relevant in a crowded L.A. sports market. Later, a conversation with one of the original Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders. Parrel Caplan discusses roaming the sidelines at ice cold Metropolitan Stadium and why her original cheerleading squad is getting snubbed by the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium opening ceremonies.
Posted August 15, 2016
A new report shows more stadiums across the country are reinforcing their Wi-Fi systems, ensuring fans can surf the web at their favorite sporting event. Paul Kapustka of Mobile Sports Report says technological advances will help when ordering concessions or hailing a cab from your stadium seat. Plus, Paul just toured the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and says it is like no other! Later, former Giants Stadium Manager Bill Squires has a post-script on the cancellation of the NFL Hall of Fame Game.
Posted August 5, 2016
Mike Acosta goes to the ballpark everyday and pinches himself. As the historian and authentication manager for the Houston Astros, Mike gets to sift through stadium memorabilia dating back to the Astrodome. Mike reflects back on the night the dome experienced baseball's first ever "rain-in." Our Talking Shop segment looks at a new playing surface for the Baltimore Ravens and how the NFL is getting serious about field surfaces across the league.
Posted August 3, 2016
How do ticket prices compare across Major League Baseball? Chris Leyden of SeatGeek joins us to talk about a new interactive tool called the Baseball Cost Estimator that allows fans to shop for ballpark bargains. Later, Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report looks at economic factors changing the fan experience at NFL training camp sites.
Posted August 3, 2016
It remains a tradition for many at the ballpark- the ritual of score keeping. Baseball historian and author Paul Dickson looks at the origins of score keeping and its evolution into an art form in the digital age. Later, a view of the ballpark through the eyes of big league umpire Dave Pallone. Pallone talks about umpiring the first night game at Wrigley Field and and takes us behind the plate on historic nights for Pete Rose and Nolan Ryan.
Posted July 18, 2016
At the top of many ballpark lists is PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Baseball writer Joe Sheehan talks about his recent trip to the Steel City. Later, Los Angeles Dodgers official scorer Don Hartack talks about the pressures of deciding between a hit or error, and shares some great stories of famed broadcaster Vin Scully.
Posted July 11, 2016
Only 6,000 fans attended the final Brooklyn Dodgers game at Ebbets Field. Just more than 11,000 New York Giants fans said goodbye to the historic Polo Grounds. Neil deMause of Field of Schemes has chronicled the strange swan songs of ballparks of yesteryear. And we take a nostalgic ride in from the bullpen in the long forgotten bullpen car. Writer Paul Lukas looks back on the trend that saw relief pitchers hitching a ride to the mound and how some teams are looking to bring bullpen cars back.
Posted July 5, 2016
The "Star Spangled Banner" didn't become our national anthem until 1931. But two decades before that, we began to sing it before sporting events. Michael Gibbons of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum checks in with the fascinating story of how the Bambino is tied to the origins of the song at baseball games. And we break down the logistics of NHL expansion into Las Vegas with Bleacher Report National Columnist Adrian Dater.
Posted June 24, 2016
They are still celebrating in Cleveland, as LeBron James and the Cavaliers are champions of the basketball world. We welcome in the former longtime voice of the Cavaliers, Joe Tait. The Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Award winner reflects on the city’s first NBA Championship and talks about some of the iconic arenas he worked in during his 50-plus years in broadcasting. Later, Omaha, Nebraska is in the baseball spotlight as the College World Series takes center stage.
Posted June 20, 2016
The basketball world lost one of its own recently with the death of former University of Arizona standout and NBA veteran Sean Rooks. We'll listen back to a Stadiums USA conversation taped two years ago as Rooks reflects on the atmosphere of UA's McKale Center in Tuscon. Later, Stadiums USA President Mark Madorin exmaines NHL expansion in Las Vegas; how the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to change the entire ballpark experience; and a history lesson on Ladies Day promotions in Major League Baseball.
Posted June 13, 2016
Has there ever been a more fascinating time to follow the economics of sport? We dive into stadiums and $$$ with Drexel University Sports Management Professor Joel Maxcy....Our Talking Shop segment looks at NFL stadium stories in Buffalo and Oakland and a unique ballpark promotion at Minnesota's Target Field using virtual reality.
Posted June 6, 2016
There are those who travel the country in search of the ultimate ballpark experience, and then there is Graham Knight. Graham has seen more than 250 games in hundreds of ballparks across the country. And he has chronicled it all on his web site- baseball pilgrimages-dot-com.
Posted May 31, 2016
This weekend the sporting world turns it attention the Brickyard for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Author Lew Freedman's new book examines the history of the race and traces the many changes at the iconic race track....Voters in Arlington, Texas go to the polls this fall to vote on a new one billion dollar ballpark for the Rangers. Neil deMause of Field of Schemes checks in with his thoughts on the fast-track process and the decision to replace a stadium that is only 22 years old....Our talking shop segment looks at which stadiums will soon be hosting Super Bowls and reaction from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on a possible Raiders move to Las Vegas.
Posted May 23, 2016
He was the first ballplayer to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. He famously played stellar defense by crashing into the outfield wall at Boston’s Fenway Park. Former Red Sox standout Fred Lynn details roaming center field at ballparks across the Major Leagues. Hear about his influence in getting outfield padding installed at Fenway....We dive into the NBA’s Western Conference Finals with Oklahoma City Thunder beat reporter Bill Haisten. Haisten discusses playoff basketball inside raucous Chesapeake Energy Arena and how football-crazy Oklahoma has opened its arms to the NBA....Plus, Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones and his influence on the NFL moving to Las Vegas and old-school concession prices at the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.
Posted May 16, 2016
The game day experience at stadiums and arenas varies from city to city. But in Milwaukee, the passion for the Brewers, Bucks and Packers is unmatched. We examine the sports culture in Brew Town with writer Kyle Lobner....Two teams, one ballpark, a lot of home games. A look at the challenges of maintaining the playing surface on the baseball diamond with Field Manager Steve Ruckman. Ruckman talks about accommodating both the Richmond Minor League ball club and the Virginia Commonwealth University team....Plus- new turf placement in NFL stadiums and a big change at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena that you will hear loud and clear when the Wildcats tip off next season.
Posted May 9, 2016
Will Ellerbruch is at the forefront of developing the biggest, most technologically advanced scoreboards at Daktronics. Ellerbruch describes what it takes to operate these mammoth boards and how they are tailor-made to the request of different sports franchises....Heading to the ballpark this summer? Maybe you’ll be attending on Bobblehead night? We talk with Phil Sklar of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum about the popularity of the hottest souvenirs in sports....Our Talking Shop segment peeks behind the curtain at renovations at Churchill Downs; how a rent disagreement at Levi's Stadium is making the 49ers quite unhappy; and the unique story of the minor league Hartford Yard Goats who are playing the first month of the season on the road.
Posted May 2, 2016
For 80 years it was the home of Chicago’s American League ball club. It hosted four World Series and more than 6,000 major league games. We get the compelling story of Comiskey Park from author and historian Richard Lindberg who recounts how close the team came to moving to Florida before their new stadium was built....Raiders owner Mark Davis met this week with Las Vegas officials about a possible move to the desert. Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report looks at stadium options and whether or not the NFL is ready to loosen the reigns on a move to Sin City....Our Talking Shop segment looks at facilities expansion in the Southeast Conference and a profile of a minor league hockey fan in Milwaukee who has attended every Admirals game dating back to the mid-90's.
Posted April 25, 2016
It's venue that needs no introduction- Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. This week, we examine the iconic ballpark with New York writer Jason Clinkscales. The new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, but not all fans are happy with the new digs. Clinkscales talks about ticket prices and how management is pricing fans out of the ballpark experience....New revenue numbers released by the NCAA reveal which schools brought in the most money to their athletic department coffers. What does it mean for stadiums and facilities? We'll discuss with former Big 8 and Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas.... Our Talking Shop segment looks at boorish behavior by Philadelphia fans at this week's Flyers game and how the Citrus Bowl in Orlando is positioning itself for the NFL.
Posted April 18, 2016
Eddie Doucette's stadium stories are classic- from battling rats at Boston Garden to watching Harry Cary and Jack Buck broadcast in their underwear at old Busch Stadium. The Hall of Fame broadcaster reflects the many venues he worked during his 30-plus years as an announcer....Later- ways to cut costs when attending Major League Baseball games. Jake Cain is the creator of a web site featuring helpful hints on saving money on ticket purchases, parking and food....Our Talking Shop segment looks at what's in store for the site of old Tiger Stadium in Detroit and examines stadium options for the Chargers and Raiders.