Are you ready for some football stadium photos?
Yes, sports fans, we are fast approaching the end of the NFL regular season, this coming Sunday, and the BCS Championship Game, to be held in [Houston -- NOT Las Vegas] next Monday. [The University of Washington Huskies will face the Michigan Wolverines. It so happens that I paid a visit to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor in 2015, a day after seeing a Tigers game in Detroit, and I came to within a few miles of Husky Stadium last June.]
The Football stadiums photo gallery page has been updated with new stadiums that I saw for the first time last June. That page includes photos of fourteen current NFL stadiums, one of which (Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills) will be replaced in two or three years. It also includes photos of six former NFL stadiums. In the back of one stadium in the latter group, the Astrodome, you can see part of NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans since 2002, so let's call it 14 1/2 current NFL stadium photos.
For those who keep up with such things, the Washington "Commanders," as the team formerly known as the "Redskins" are now called, will finish in last place in the NFC East Division. [This Sunday they will play the Dallas Cowboys, who are motivated by the prospect of taking the NFC East title from the Philadelphia Eagles. Right now the winningest teams in the NFL are the Baltimore Ravens (13-3, AFC) and the San Francisco 49ers (12-4, NFC). This year's Super Bowl (LVIII) will be played in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.]
New pro football stadium names
I was taken aback a few months ago when I was watching televised NFL games at stadiums whose names I had never heard of: Paycor Stadium? Acrisure Stadium? Empower Field?? It seems that every year there are multiple changes of pro football stadium names, perhaps even more than has been the case with MLB stadiums. And so, as a public service, here is a brief listing to clarify matters:
|Previous stadium name(s)
|Current stadium name
|Home stadium since
|Rich Stadium / Ralph Wilson Stad. / New Era Field
|Joe Robbie Stadium / Dolphin Stad. / Landshark Stad. / Sun Life Stad.
|Hard Rock Stadium
|New England Patriots
|New York Jets
|New Meadowlands Stadium
|Indianapolis * Colts
|Lucas Oil Stadium
|Jacksonville Municipal Stadium /
AllTel Stad. / Ever Bank Field
|TIAA Bank Field
|Tennessee * Titans
|Adelphi Coliseum / The Coliseum / LP Field
|Baltimore * Ravens
|Ravens Stad. at Camden Yards / PSI Net Stad. / Ravens Stad.
|M&T Bank Stadium
|Paul Brown Stadium
|Cleveland Browns Stadium
|First Energy Stadium
|Invesco Field / Sports Authority Field / Broncos Stad. at Mile High
|Empower Field at Mile High
|Kansas City Chiefs
|GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
|Las Vegas *** Raiders
|Los Angeles * Chargers
|New York Giants
|New Meadowlands Stadium
|Lincoln Financial Field
|Washington Commanders *
|Jack Kent Cooke Stadium
|Mercedes Benz Stadium
|Bank of America Stadium
|New Orleans Saints
|Louisiana Superdome / Mercedes Benz Superdome
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Raymond James Stadium
|Green Bay Packers
|U.S. Bank Stadium
|Arizona ** Cardinals
|University of Phoenix Stadium
|State Farm Stadium
|Los Angeles ** Rams
|San Francisco 49ers
|Seahawks Stadium / Qwest Field / CenturyLink Field
* = Past change or changes of team name, home city, etc.
(Parentheses) indicate that the stadium (or at least part of it) was built many years before the NFL team moved into it.
[Brackets] indicate subsequent correction; Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, not 1973 as previously shown. Thanks to Chris Knight for bringing this to my attention.
As you can see, only eight of the  NFL franchises have occupied a stadium with the same name for at least ten years. Six NFL stadiums were built less than ten years ago, and in all cases, they have the original names. The Football use page (which lists MLB stadiums that have been used for football, either pro or collegiate) has been updated with new stadium names, etc. I may have to make some further corrections and updates to it, however.
College football: realignment chaos
At the college level, 2023 will be remembered for the destruction of the Pacific 10 athletic conference. Prior to the 2023 season, all but four of its member institutions announced that they were joining other conferences. Next year the Pac 10 will cease to exist. Most notably, and stupidly, the Atlantic Coast Conference will absorb Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley next year, along with Southern Methodist University. This situation is getting totally out of hand, leading to confusion and angst. There's a lot of people getting rich by exploiting public sentiment subsidized by taxpayer money. Meanwhile, they are talking about paying college football athletes, doing away once and for all with the pretense that college sports are "amateurs." If that is the case, college athletic programs should not receive public funding, period.
It so happens that I paid a visit to the campus of one of those new ACC teams last June, before the announcement was made: the University of California at Berkeley. It is a beautiful campus, situated on a slope adjacent to a mountain range full of canyons.
As mentioned above, the Football stadiums photo gallery page has been updated with new stadiums that I saw for the first time last June, including the one you see here. That page now includes a total of ten college football stadiums.
NHL Winter Classic
Thanks to the Washington Post, I learned that the National Hockey League Winter Classic was held at T-Mobile Park on New Year's Day, so I updated the Other sports use page with that information, along with some other updates and corrections. I will need to recheck some of the stadium names, etc. on that page. Somehow I had previously overlooked the fact that the 2022 Winter Classic was held in Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. In due course I will update those respective stadium pages with hockey diagram versions.
Nats sign another pitcher
In my December 31 blog post, I neglected to mention one other player signed by the Washington Nationals: veteran relief pitcher Dylan Floro. He has played for eight years for the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins, with very respectable numbers, but 2023 was an off year for him, so his one-year contract (worth $2.25 million) with the Nats will include some performance incentives. The Nationals' bullpen was one of their relatively strong roster areas last year, and they really need to acquire another solid starting pitcher and somebody who can slug the ball with consistency.
One faint sign of hope for the Nats' pitching rotation this year is the fact that Trevor Williams, who as of September 2 had the MLB lead for number of home runs allowed (34), did not give up any more for the rest of the month. He finished the season tied for fourth place, behind Lance Lynn (then a Dodger now a Cardinal), Lucas Giolito (then a White Sock now a Red Sock), and Jordan Lyles (with the Royals). Right behind Williams was Patrick Corbin with 33 home runs allowed. Corbin had some severe ups and downs during the 2023 season, and his place the Nats' 2024 rotation is uncertain.