TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden is one of the most unique arenas in the country. (Photo courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics)
As part of SportzEdge.com, our News 8 sports team will be bringing you their picks for the “Top 8″ everything Connecticut sports. In this edition, we tackle the age-old question, “Where is the best place in CT to catch a game?”
SportzEdge editor Kels Dayton gives his list below:
8. The gym at Hillhouse. This has got to be the best high school facility in the state. With the track surrounding the basketball court and college-level stands on the sides, it is a terrific atmosphere for the state tournament.
7. Quinnipiac Baseball Field. The baseball games are played in the middle of the campus, which is absolutely gorgeous in the spring. Sleeping Giant Mountain hangs majestically in the background, set in left field, and there’s no better backdrop for baseball. It is one of the most intimate and uniquely beautiful settings in all of college baseball.
6. XL Center. It’s as close to a big-league arena as we have here in Connecticut, and it can get crazy in there when the Huskies are playing a big-time opponent. It doesn’t quite have the feel of Gampel, but it’s got much more leg room.
5. New Britain Stadium. I spent many summer nights there with my father, watching the Rock Cats. There’s not a bad seat in the house, and the smell of the hot dogs cooking on the grill from the third base concourse fills the stadium. It’s a perfect place for baseball.
4.Yale Bowl. It may not have all of the amenities of modern stadiums, but the Yale Bowl is filled with tradition. The New York Giants played there for two seasons when Yankee Stadium was being renovated in 1973-74.
3. TD Bank Sports Center. I may be a little biased as a Quinnipiac grad, but I think that the two-in-one TD Bank Sports Center is an amazing feat of modern technology. There is a hockey rink and basketball arena side-by-side, and both are about 3,500-seat arenas. It’s one of the most unique venues in college sports.
2. Ingalls Rink. This is a real treasure. It’s small and intimate enough for the crowd to be intensely loud, especially during the Harvard or Quinnipiac games. Yale hockey fans are also among the most passionate in the state, so . Ingalls is like the Cameron Indoor Stadium of college hockey. There’s just something special about it.
1. Gampel Pavillion. I have to go with Gampel at No. 1. When it’s rocking, there is no place in Connecticut like it. Whether you’re there for the UConn men or women, the passion that Huskies fans have is incredible. That’s what makes it such a fun atmosphere.