Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Favorite Stadium/Arena Experience- Chris M.

Stadiums/Arenas visited:
MLB Spring Training
High Corbett Field (Colorado Rockies)
McKechnie Field (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Tucson Electric Park (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Al Lang Stadium (FC Tampa Bay)
American Airlines Arena (Miami Heat)
Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
AT&T Park (S.F. Giants)
Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Florida Citrus Bowl (Orlando City Soccer)
Home Depot Center (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Honda Center (Anaheim Ducks)
Jobing.com Arena (Phoenix Coyotes)
Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)
New Orleans Arena (New Orleans Hornets)
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Staples Center (Los Angeles Lakers)
Superdome (New Orleans Saints)
Target Center (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Target Field (Minnesota Twins)
Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)
US Airways Center (Phoenix Suns)

Croke Park (Dublin, Ireland Gaelic Football & Rugby)

Venues I'd Like to Visit:
All major professional sporting venues (my bucket list)

Favorite Venue:
Lambeau Field, with due respects to Angels Stadium

Favorite Experience:
Being from Orange County, California, Angels Stadium feels like home for me. Growing up, tickets were $7 for kids and $13 for adults for the Family Fun Zone. I owe where I am today as it pertains to this field to reading an article about the CFO of the Angeles. I thought to myself, I love numbers and I love sports! If I could combine the two into a career I would enjoy every day at work. Since then, I have been very fortunate to work for teams such as the Colorado Rockies and the Orlando Magic.

But to the question of my favorite venue, Lambeau Field wins hands down. I have been a Packers fan all my life and I finally got to go to a game the year they won the Super Bowl! It was at Lambeau Field that I got to experience a true tailgate. My friend and I started at Brett Favre’s Steakhouse 3 hours before the game then met up with my buddy’s friends outside the stadium. I have never been colder in my life so I quickly befriended a man with a propane heater. He offered us food and even heat packs for the game! I even got to meet the Packers’ number one fan, NFL Owner (pictured below). When we got into the stadium, I walked around to absorb the experience. Hot chili was being served, people were making posters, and cheese heads were seen everywhere! One of the best moments was actually at halftime where I went to the restroom and it was heated! Outside it was 22 degrees and in the bathroom was 85! When I finally got back, I squeezed into my place and continued to cheer. I am proud to say I never sat down! For one, the seats were bleachers and would have been freezing. Secondly, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to miss a second. When the game was over and we beat the Bears, everyone was cheering, slapping hands, and having a good time in the parking lot.

In sports business management we are taught to be professionals, not fans. But for me, this was a pure fan experience. I hope it can inspire you to see the world out there as I have a goal of seeing all major professional sports venues before I die!

Thank you for reading and good luck on your adventures,

Chris Moran

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Favorite Stadium/Arena Experience- Matt V.

Stadiums/Arenas visited:
Amway Arena (Orlando Magic)
Amway Center (Orlando Magic)
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Brighthouse Networks Stadium (University of Central Florida)
Daytona Speedway
Florida Citrus Bowl

Venues I'd Like to Visit:
The new Marlins Stadium (opening next year)
Soldier Field (Chicago Cubs)
Fenway Park (Boston Redsox)
The New Yankees Stadium (New York Yankees)
Old Trafford (Machester United F.C.)
AT&T Park (S.F. Giants)
Just about any NFL stadium

Favorite Venue:
Toss up between Amway Center, Wrigley Field, and Raymond James

Favorite Experience:
I just started actually visiting professional (and collegiate) sports in person when I started college and could somewhat afford it. Growing up in Niceville Florida did not exactly offer any real live event opportunities. The first professional sporting event I ever went to was an Orlando Magic playoff game in April of 2009. The ticket was a birthday present to see the Magic take on the 76ers, on their way to the NBA Finals. Although that experience was great, it is not my favorite. It is hard to argue against the technological awe that the new Amway Center creates yet working there never really gave me the true "experience" of the arena. Raymond James Stadium's pirate ship is also hard to contend with. If you have never heard the cannons fire as Tampa scores, you're missing out on a great NFL tradition. My favorite experience however would have to be visiting the classic Wrigley Field for a daytime Cubs game versus the Braves. This was the second live professional sporting event I ever attended and first I paid for. There is nothing more relaxing than having an Old Style while sitting in the Chicago sun watching the manual scoreboard change for a Cubs home run. Although I grew up a Marlins fan (and still somehow I remain a Marlins fan) a little bit of me took in the Cubs as a sort of step child. To me that is a day I will always remember and cherish. Attending live events is something I have always wanted to make apart of my regular basis and something I am only recently being able to accomplish. With limited experiences in a growing hobby as well as the opportunities the DeVos program is creating for me with a career in sports, I hope to add to these experiences in the near future.

Matthew Vinson

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Is Your Price?

A few weeks ago, our class had a passionate debate that forced us to look at college athletes and professional leagues through different lenses. Every league has its own policies concerning who is and who is not eligible to get drafted. The NFL requires a player to be at least 3 years out of high school before he is eligible to enter the draft and the NBA mandates one year out of high school. Meanwhile, the MLB allows teams to draft a player right out of high school, but if the player chooses not to go pro, he will not be draft-eligible until he is 21 years of age. I can’t speak for the entire class, but it seems to me like the MLB got it right. For the select few who are good enough to play professionally and excel, I think they should have the option. I think the MLB’s current policy would be great for the NBA, and consequently, put an end to the “one and done” phenomenon currently plaguing college basketball. I have no problem with the NFL’s rule because of the amount of contact and physical development required for the sport. As a class, we agreed that deciding whether or not athletes are ready to turn pro should be done on a case-by-case/league-by-league basis.

This healthy debate spawned into a more personal debate that hit a lot of us much closer to home. It is so easy for many of us to judge athletes who leave school early to pursue a professional career because many of us do not get that option. In actuality, very few college athletes really get that option. For most of us, it takes four years or more to earn a college degree so we can pursue our professional goals. Many of my classmates have realized that it often takes more than a bachelor’s degree to pursue our professional goals. We have also realized that the industry we are trying to break into or reenter is very competitive. We have to be willing to go the extra mile, work harder, work longer, and get a bit lucky to get to where we are trying to go. This begs the question of what our price is. What are we willing to do? How far are we willing to go? What are we willing to sacrifice? Mr. Keith Lee from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports joined our discussion and made us realize that we all come at a price.

For athletes fortunate enough to play professionally, six and seven figure contracts appear to be the driving force. At the same time, the rest of us have our own price. This point was driven home when Dr. Harrison asked how many of us would leave the DeVos program early if we had the opportunity to get our dream job. There were a few brave souls (myself included) who raised their hands. Mr. Lee furthered this point when he said that he could make us do almost anything if the price was right. That could be leaving school early, moving to a less than ideal city, or doing something unethical. The entire discussion just brought a lot of things into perspective for us. Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to be happy and live the American Dream. Everyone is trying to figure out where they fit in this puzzle we call life. Everyone comes at a price.

Andrew Lilly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meet the Class - Tony

One of the unique attributes of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program is the network of students who make up our program. Our class will take every course together during our tenure here at UCF and we will work on countless group projects and collaborative efforts. As a result of our shared interests in the business of sport, a natural team camaraderie is formed. However, our team is composed of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and ambitions. We offer profiles of class members to give you an idea as to the type of people who make up our program, individuals who collectively will be leaders in sport and society and will be teammates for life.

Name: Tony J Scott

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Undergraduate School & Major:
University of Central Florida, BSBA in Finance

Reasons for Choosing the DeVos Program:
Richard Lapchick

Future Career Ambitions (1 to 2 sentences):
I would like to work in college or professional sports.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose and why?
The ability to have a photographic memory because I think it would be amazing to be able to recall everything you see or read.

If you had the opportunity to interview anyone dead or alive, who would you choose and what would you most want to know?
Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King Jr. because I would like to get first hand insight into the mind of someone who gave their life trying to make other people’s life and society better.