With Major League Baseball announcing Thursday that the Chicago White Sox will host the New York Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa, next year at the site where “Field of Dreams” was filmed, it affirmed the idea that, with the assistance of modern technology, sports can be played pretty much anywhere.
Basketball has been played on aircraft carriers, and hockey rinks are constructed in baseball stadiums every year.
But constructing a baseball field in honor of Ray Kinsella got us thinking. What if sporting events were played at sites made famous on the big screen? The brainstorming results from the USA TODAY Sports staff are below.
Boxing at the Colosseum
Commodus may not appear in the emperor’s chair to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down like he did in “Gladiator,” but this would still be an iconic place for two fighters to face each other in the ring.
It would prove tough to strengthen the infrastructure to seat thousands of people and construct a sturdy ring, all while preserving thousands of years of history. But the spectacle (imagine Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor-level hype) would be worth it.
Boxing has a history of fights taking place in exotic locations, such as The Rumble in the Jungle and Thrilla in Manila.
Competition on White House lawn
Only every other movie takes place in the White House. President Donald Trump loves to golf, and while his Mar-a-Lago club is his usual go-to, a putting showdown on the White House lawn between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would be a top draw. Plus, the golfers could enjoy a fast-food feast afterward.
NBA game at Rucker Park
The “NBA Street” video game series for EA Sports was a hit in 2001 because it allowed users to feature their favorite NBA players on one of the country’s most beloved outdoor venues. Located in Harlem and known as one of the most tradition-rich courts in the sport’s history, Rucker Park hosting an official NBA game would showcase the ideal mix of history and spectacle.
College hoops in ‘Hoosiers’ home gym
Only around 800 fans could cram into the gym for a matchup between a pair of top-level programs. The Indiana Hoosiers would almost certainly have to play in the game at what was formerly known as the Knightstown Community Gym, which has kept the same look since the movie’s filming in 1985.
Hockey game at ‘Slapshot’ arena
The irreverent 1970s flick filmed its hockey scenes at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and also filmed inside the Starr Arena in Hamilton, New York, and the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York, and Onondaga County War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York. A game at any of those locations, all with capacities of less than 10,000, would provide an intimate atmosphere for an NHL contest.
Baseball game at the ‘Sandlot’
If you thought there were too many homers during MLB’s recent London series, wait until the ball starts jumping out of the “Sandlot” field. Plus, “The Beast” would prohibit any idea of pushing the fences back.
Contributing: Scott Gleeson
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