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5 Best Sports Venues Around Albany

People are always insisting that there is nothing to do up here as far as pro sports go.   I say there are to many to pick from, but if I had to choose here are my top five

 

Union College Hockey at Messa Rink

Union College Athletics

This is a great atmosphere. Between the hits against the glass and hits you hear from brass of the pep band, this is a great time. I go to 90 percent of Unions home games and it’s electrifying.  With Union coming off of the best season in program history it’s only going to make it that much better in the 2011-2012 season.

Siena College Basketball at the Times Union Center

Doug Benc, Getty Images

The Saints have the best arena in the MAAC. When the saints are pumping out winning seasons this place can have the energy of Richard Simmons after a case of Red Bull during big games. The problem is when they aren’t playing MAAC Championship caliber basketball or playing a big opponent it can get empty and lack the electricity you need to be the best arena.

RPI College Hockey at the Houston Field House

RPI Athletics

This unique setup with Bleacher seating on  both sides allows fans to  pile 40 feet high on each side of the rink. RPI also utilizes a lively pep band to enhance the atmosphere of the game getting played out on the ice. The reason this one trumps my personal favorite rink Messa is its more fan friendly. It’s easier to get around rink with walkways away from the playing surface you can navigate the Field House easier. Also the Parking and restrooms are more ample around the rink. These slight edges make the Houston Field House the best hockey venue in the Albany area.

Valley Cats Baseball at Joe Bruno Stadium

Tri-City Valley Cats

When you look at the up on an off day the magic may be lost on you, but come here on a game day and get ready to have a big league good time for a minor league price.  I’m talking about you and a buddy, in the game, and a couple of dogs for less then 20 bucks. Watching baseball in the place that launched the careers of big leaguers like Ben Zobrist and Hunter Pence is something of legend.  You can Ask anyone and they will tell you this is the best way to spend a summers night in Upstate New York, that’s why they set new attendance records every season.

Horse Racing at Saratoga Race course

Mario Tama, Getty Images

From the Whitney to the Travers, this place is THE summer destination around Albany. The sights the sounds and the smells all trigger the summer loving person inside of me.  I could be winning big on a long shot or dumping my life savings in a drain I’m always having a good time.  The hats the sun dresses the drinks the money the smokes and cigars it is all secondary to watching those elegant animals barrel down the home stretch. So grab a cooler a camping chair and go win big baby.

If I missed anything I’m sorry but these are in my expert opinion the best of the best. Feel free to email me any other suggestions at alanfish@1045theteam.com

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