Thursday, September 05, 2013

Boyle Stadium's New Look

Scott Ericson, now of the Stamford Advocate and formerly of the Greenwich Time, tweeted this:

(PS, congrats to Scott on the new gig.  Nice guy, and I'm happy for him.)

Paul Silverfarb and I had just talked about this a few days ago.  We ranked the FCIAC football facilities from 1-18.  There are 19 teams, but Bassick and Bridgeport Central share Kennedy Stadium (bad turf, big facility, bad concessions, love the view from the press box, which is a long walk to reach).

I hesitate to list all 18 as, nice guy that I try to be, I don't necessarily want to rip any particular facilities.  Some are rough - bad press box, field, parking, etc.  Some are wonderful.  It's fair to keep in mind that education is priority number one, so their athletic facilities aren't high on the list.

Boyle Stadium in Stamford is, to me, the cradle of FCIAC football.  It's where the Championship should always be.  It should be returned there, at once.

But...I'm worried about this new press box.  I know the old one was falling down, but I loved calling games from there.  Whether I was sitting in the general area, or tucked into the side booth that I got to use a few times, there was nothing like Boyle.  The view was great.  While everything is this era can often be sterile, Boyle was big, concrete, and rough around the edges.

They've made smart updates to it, such as the field, and that was much-needed.  The turf had turned to concrete.

This new press box, Scott reports, is only accessible from outside the stadium.  Unique, certainly, but not entirely uncommon.  I've been to a few of those.  It's also on the opposite side of the old press box.

Sadly, Boyle is not on the calendar for me in 2013.  Yet.

But I hope it will be.

So, how did I rank the fields of the FCIAC?  I will say, obviously, that Boyle is #1, followed by Dunning Field in New Canaan, with Casagrande Field in Norwalk, Crotty Stadium in Danbury, and McDougall Stadium in Trumbull rounding out my top 5.  I took everything into account: game experience, press box, concessions, parking, cell phone service, staff, and more.

It's not very scientific, of course.  I've called at least one game in every current FCIAC footbal facility, with one exception: Tetreau-Davis Field in Fairfield (Fairfield Warde*).  That will be rectified in 2014, when the Cardinals play there.

* I originally wrote "Ludlowe" instead of "Warde" for Tetreau-Davis Field.  My bad.  Thanks to Tim Parry for politely correcting me.  I knew what I was writing at the time, and yet my fingers STILL typed the wrong word.  It happens.

As for Cardinal Stadium, well, it's home, but it's flawed.  The press box is small (try fitting two broadcasting outlets in there - we do it, but it's a chore) but it does have heat and air conditioning.  The view is unique in that I have to adjust if the action is near the east end zone.  I've been known to lean out the window to my right - even sit there.  The lights...well...the lights (looong story) and the turf is looking long in the tooth.

Of course, given the fights that were waged for the lights and the Cardinals Nest (where the concession stand is), we won't even get into the lack of restrooms.

I guess what I'm saying is that I love Cardinal Stadium.  Like I said, it's home.  But it could be so much more and, I'm willing to bet, those who call it their field would love that as well.

Oh I'm not complaining about any of this.  I'm happy to have these things to talk about, and love that we're just a week away from kicking off the 2013 season.

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