Tag Archives: Maryland

Three-And-A-Half New College Basketball Arenas

Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln NebraskaCollege football season is nearing its end, so that means it’s time for college sports fans to start thinking about the 2013-2014 basketball season.  There are three major new arenas this year, plus one that’s received a major renovation that makes it essentially new.

Pinnacle Bank Arena is the new home of the University of Nebraska basketball teams, as well as a major new entertainment venue for Lincoln, Nebraska.  The arena seats 15,000 for basketball and adds another 1,000 for concerts.  It cost $179 million to build the glitzy new building just west of the University of Nebraska campus.  The hotels closest to Pinnacle Bank Arena are a short distance southeast of the arena at the southern edge of the campus.  There’s another large cluster of places to stay about 2 miles northwest on West Cornhusker Highway.

The University of Maine basketball teams will play most of their games this year at the new Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.  It’s located about 10 miles south of the university’s campus in Orono.  You can find plenty of places to stay near Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and along I-95 between Bangor and Orono.  The arena can hold 5,800 for sports events.

SECU Arena is the name of the newest sports and entertainment venue in the Baltimore metropolitan area.  The arena is located on the campus of Towson University and becomes the new home for the university’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams.  It seats 5,200 and is sure to host lots of non-university events (concerts and sports).  Towson is on the north side of the city of Baltimore and there are plenty of nearby places to stay in downtown Baltimore and around the Baltimore Beltway.

SMU's Moody ColiseumSouthern Methodist University’s Moody Coliseum has been around since 1956, but it won’t look anything like a 57-year-old arena when it reopens later this month.  $40 million has been spent on renovating the on-campus facility, giving it an external facelift and plenty of 21st century amenities inside.  SMU is in the University Park neighborhood a short distance north of downtown Dallas.  You’ll find places to stay near Moody Coliseum within a 3 mile radius, both north and south of the university, many of them congregated on or near the North Central Expressway.

“New” Office Building in Bethesda, Maryland

7550-wisconsin-in-bethesda-mdIf you’re familiar with the Washington, DC metropolitan area, then you’re at least aware of the concentration of offices, apartments, retail and restaurants in downtown Bethesda, MD.  For the first time in over ten years a major office building has opened in the area, at 7550 Wisconsin Avenue.  It’s “new”, but not entirely new.

Originally built in 1964, 7550 Wisconsin was operated by the US General Services Administration and used to house offices associated with the National Institutes of Health.  The building sat empty for 8 years until it was purchased at auction from the GSA in 2010.  Over the next couple of years it was given a major makeover both inside and out, most notably getting an exterior glass “curtain wall” to reinvigorate the formerly drab government building-style exterior.

In addition to the exterior appearance 7550 Wisconsin got lots of technical upgrades to make it more “green”, including a green roof with space for client use, fixtures that should result in 35% water savings, facilities for those wishing to bike to work and lots more window space to improve sunlight.

7550 Wisconsin Avenue is located one block north of the Bethesda Metro station, making it easy to access the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (one Metro stop to the north) and downtown DC (a few minutes ride to the south).  The building is about two miles south of the Wisconsin Avenue exit off of I-495, the Beltway.  Downtown Bethesda is a short drive from some very desirable neighborhoods such as Chevy Chase, Woodmont, and Pooks Hill.

2011 U.S. Open Golf Tournament

Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland will be the site of the U.S. Open men’s golf tournament in 2011 – the third time the club has hosted the event.  The 2011 US Open will be the third time it has been held at Congressional.  Ken Venturi won the event here in 1964 and Ernie Els was the champion in 1997.

The courses of Congressional are located in a residential neighborhood and most visitors to the tournament will have to park at satellite parking areas and use bus transportation to get to and from the golf course.  The location also means that hotels closest to the 2011 US Open aren’t actually very close.  The headquarters of the Marriott corporation are also in Bethesda, so it’s not surprising that there are several Marriott hotels near Congressional Country Club.

The “Blue Course” at Congressional has also been used for the 1976 PGA Championship (won by Dave Stockton) and the 1995 U.S. Senior Open (won by Tom Weiskopf).  Regular PGA season tournaments held at the course have included the Kemper Open, the Booz Allen Classic and the AT&T National.

The course has changed a bit since the last Open held there in 1997.  The original course design had a par 3 18th hole and that’s the way it was played in 1997.  The United States Golf Association (USGA, the organization responsible for U.S. national golf championships) wasn’t fond of the idea of finishing a major tourney with a par 3 and the order of the holes was changed for the 1995 Senior Open so that the former 18th was played as the 10th hole.   Since then a more permanent change has been made:  The old 18th was reversed in direction and made the 10th hole.  The old 17th hole is now a much more appropriate – and difficult – final hole.

The USGA schedules their events many years in advance, so those who like to plan ahead should know that the 2012 US Open will return to The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.  The 2013 Open will be at the classic Merion Golf Club just outside of Philadelphia in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  The famous #2 course at Pinehurst Resort will be the site of the 2014 U.S. men’s championship – and the women’s championship the following week.  Relative new course Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington will host the Open for the first time in 2015.  Oakmont Country Club, just outside of Pittsburgh, has been selected for the 2016 and another first-timer, Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin – will be the site of the 2017 U.S. Open for men.

Guide To Hotels For ACC Football Fans

While most sports fans probably associate the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with basketball, it also has a significant place in the world of major college football.   Things aren’t going especially well for the ACC in the first few weeks of the season, but the conference’s diehard football fans will still show up to support their school as conference play begins.  If you’re heading to a game at any ACC school, TheRealPlaces now has guides to the closest hotels for all ACC football teams.

Despite an early season out-of-conference stumble against Kansas, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets still have high hopes for the ACC season.  This year’s visitors to Bobby Dodd Stadium will include NC State, Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Miami and Duke.  Georgia Tech’s location in Atlanta makes it easy to find convenient hotels for Georgia Tech football games.

The Boston College Eagles have already played a couple of home games, resulting in easy victories over Weber State and Kent State.  Still scheduled to come to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts this year are Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Maryland, Clemson and Virginia.  BC’s Alumni Stadium is located in a relatively residential area just west of Boston, but there are still quite a few hotels within 5 miles for anyone planning to attend Boston College football games.

In recent years the Clemson Tigers football program has been hanging around the middle of the pack in the ACC standings.  But you won’t find a more rabid group of sports fans than Clemson football fans, attending home games and following their team on the road in large groups.  The closest places to stay for Clemson football games are located a mile or two north of Memorial Stadium.

At Duke University football is definitely the “other” sport.  But there aren’t many football programs that could compete with the success of the Duke basketball team.  Still, the Blue Devils football team will head out to Wallace Wade Stadium six more times this year to take on their ACC opponents, Army and this week  #1 ranked Alabama comes to town – might want to close your eyes for that one.

For the first time in many, many years Florida State Seminoles football is coached by someone other than Bobby Bowden and FSU fans are hoping new coach Jimbo Fisher can lead the team back to national prominence.  Early season results are mixed (easy win over Samford, difficult loss to Oklahoma) and BYU, Wake Forest, Boston College, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida are still coming to Tallahassee during the 2010 season.  TheRealPlaces.com has a comprehensive guide to the hotels closest to FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium.

The University of Maryland Terrapins football team had some success during the early years of coach Ralph Friedgen’s tenure and they’re working hard to re-establish that level of accomplishment.  This year’s visitors to Byrd Stadium will include Florida International, Duke, Wake Forest, Florida State and North Carolina State.

The University of Miami Hurricanes are the newest addition to the Atlantic Coast Conference, playing their home games at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.  The Canes have been to the top of major NCAA football and seem to be headed in the right direction again after a few disappointing seasons.  TheRealPlaces has everything fans looking for hotels near Miami Hurricanes football games need to plan their trips.

Surprisingly, the Virginia Tech Hokies have started the 2010 season 0-2 with losses to Boise State and, ahem, James Madison University.  We’ve got all the hotels closest to Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium for those still planning to attend any of the six remaining home games.

The UVA football team started the 2010 season with a new coach, Mike London.  So far they’ve beaten London’s former team, Richmond, while losing a close one to perennial powerhouse USC.  Fans have some reason to be hopeful for the future as they go to Scott Stadium for the remainder of the 2010 schedule against VMI, Florida State, North Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Miami and Maryland.

Football at the University of North Carolina is usually considered something to watch when the basketball team isn’t playing, but coach Butch Davis has tried to change things a bit.  The UNC Tar Heels came into the 2010 season ranked in the top 25 nationally.  After losing a large number of players to various scandals, they still played well in a loss to LSU in their first game.  Remaining 2010 home games at Kenan Stadium are against Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Clemson, William & Mary, Virginia Tech and NC State.

Despite representing the ACC’s smallest school, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team has finished the season in major bowl games in recent seasons.  There are still four more home games at BB&T Field this year (Georgia Tech, Navy, Boston College, Clemson), but scoring 50+ points in each of the first two games of the season makes it look like things could be interesting once again for Wake Forest fans.

Finally, the North Carolina State Wolfpack football team is off to a 2-0 start after wins against Western Carolina and UCF.  If you’re interested in seeing any of the 2010 home games against Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Florida State and Wake Forest, TheRealPlaces has the details on all of the hotels closest to NC State’s Carter Finley football stadium.