I'd like to know your all time favorite track and field stadium. Please give at least one reason why you selected this venue. What makes this particular stadium so important to you? I'm not even sure I can answer my own question, but I'll start the ball rolling by saying the Los Angeles Coliseum (no more track now) simply because I saw a lot of my first track and field in this stadium. I saw Ron Clarke set a WR in the 5,000, Dallas Long a WR in the shot, and many others. I remember it as a beautiful place to watch great meets. What's yours?
My favorite is still Bakersfield's Memorial Stadium, probably for the exact same reasons you like the LA Coliseum - I saw lots of World records on that old crushed brick track, and they were the first big meets I ever saw. The viewing was great from the first twenty-five rows on either side, although I wouldn't have wanted to see any meet from the upper deck. I also enjoyed my two days at Echo Summit for 68 OT (shoulda allowed for more days, but I just had to get back to college). And you couldn't beat the atmospher at Hayward Field throughtout the 1970s.
I have to go with Roy on this one -- the L.A. Coliseum. For basically the same reasons, personal associations with great track and field experiences there. The first meet I ever went to was the 1958 Coliseum Relays -- Herb Elliot 3:57.8, Bob Gutowski, Charlie Dumas, Parry O'Brien, and so many others. I had just fallen in love with T&F and my Dad took me to that meet. I loved every second of it. Later I had some competitive success there as well.
Second choice -- Mt. Sac. Too many great experiences to ennumerate!
Only really elite meet I've been to was Prefontaine last year. Unbelievable atmosphere at Hayward especially during the Men's shot. The whole stadium was clapping and cheering for them. I believe it was the first time 3 men ever threw over 70 feet in the same meet on U.S. soil. Its amazing watching a 16lb. ball of iron fly that far.
1. Favorite domestic stadium would be the OLD version of Hayward Field, where the East Grandstand was some 30 feet closer than it is now. Made for a track with nasty tight turns, but the noise coefficient was a quantum leap above what it has become since. (Even removing the Pre factor)
2. Favorite overseas stadium would be one that hasn't hosted an international meet in a dozen years or more now, which would be Bern, Switzerland. You're not quite in the high Alps, but the mountains glimmer in the distance, and the old wood structure was very reminsicent of Hayward Field.
Out back there were guys grilling tons of bratwurst, and the smoke would drift through the seats. Grab a brat and a bottle of Feldschlossen (Swiss beer) and you were in heaven.
field Guy, I agree with you in many respects, but I was thinking mainly of the mystique of the place from a person in the stands viewpoint.... 1 million runners being herded on and off the track for a new race every 5 or 6 minutes ??!! Nothing like it anywhere else in the whole wide world.
Hey I'm a " field guy " too, but the HJ was right there on the Old Sod. But I Feel Your Pain, really.
I haven't done a lot of track traveling -- in fact, I think my trip to Oslo will be the first meet I've seen outside of Texas -- but I sure do like the University of Texas' Myers stadium, built about five years ago. It's great because you can see almost everything, no matter where you sit, the only exception being the hammer throws (and if you sit at the very top row on the finish-line side, you could just look behind you and see that, too).
Some people bemoaned the removal of the track from UT's Memorial Stadium, but not me -- I hated being in a stadium that was obviously designed for football, with track as an afterthought. The horizontal jumps were too far away to be seen and all the throws were held across the street. Myers stadium is also a soccer stadium, but track & field was obviously the first consideration. I think it is a highly deserving host of next year's NCAAs, and I think you out-of-towners will be impressed. (Although you will wish it had Hayward Field's shade. Drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen!)
Another vote for the old LA Coliseum. Probably because I saw my first track meet there - even though at age 7, I didn't understand the signifigance. I did have a lot of fun, even though it was hot as Hell. Ryun set his 1500 record in the meet. I remember the race, and I remember Ryun taking off during the last lap. Again, I didn't understand the signifigance, but I do remember thinking wow! when he put so much yardage on the guy chasing him (Keino). I enjoyed the Pepsi Meet at Drake Stadium at UCLA in the 80's - it had great performances, and a good view of the track, although the seats could have been a smidgen more comfortable.