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Surprise At Sporting Venues

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FredPuli43 | 10:08 Tue 05th Mar 2013 | Sport
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Which sporting venues have you been to which astonished you on first sight? They didn't look how you imagined from the telly.

As a kid, I was amazed that the tennis courts at Wimbledon were the same size as the ones at school; how could anybody land a 90 mph serve in that tiny oblong? And seeing an Open Golf course close up was a shock; not a yard of it was level, but it looks flat enough on TV.

But the two most surprising were the Grand National and the Derby.About two thirds of the Grand National race and course are not visible from the stands unless a) you are on the County grandstand roof b) you have very high-powered binoculars. Only the start and about the last three furlongs are readily viewed. The rest is way out in the country and/or the view is obstructed by parked buses and by trees. And the Derby? Only a madman would design a course modelled on a fairground roller- coaster! It is, of course, an excellent test of a colt, but seeing is the only way of believing quite how odd it is.

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Brands Hatch. I don't really know what I expected but I was ruddy knackered after walking around it twice.
I'd have also said Wimbledon.

It looks huge on the telly but, as you say, it's a normal sized court, in a very deep arena. It's like being in a deep bowl. The atmosphere is so intense because everything is so close.
Lords was smaller then imagined, the Oval bigger. The golf courses were not a surprise as I grew up on links, golf-wise. For Grand Prix, Monaco and just how tight it is...no way would I go thrashing through there touching 180mph.....

The Millenium and the old Parc des Princes for steepness of the stadium.....the Welsh anthem at the former is a special sound, it must be admitted, one of those spine-chilling moments.
Goodwood was glorious, the Olympic Park was a triumph but the St Andrews in Scotland astonished me most for its openess. It was as beautiful as I had imagined it and steeped in all that history, yet as a public golf course we were allowed to roam anyway we liked.
The Indianapois Motor Speedway - it just blows you away. As a Brit, I resist to say "it's awesome" because it's much better than that. I know some will say it's just concrete and metal but you have to be there to "feel the place". The Hall of Fame Museum is a petrol heads delight and the best $5 you'll ever spend. Having lived in Epsom for many years, I agree about the Derby - seeing is believing.
Haven't done the Indianopolis track, been around the Texas Speedway at College Station at 180 on the banks in a Ferrari driven by Jean van der Velde.....actually the two chicanes were the worst part with their G forces......
We went to visit Wembley Stadium a long time ago and I was amazed how small it looked compared to how it looked on TV.
Most beautiful golf course I have played, Bandon Dunes in Oregon, in Britain Royal County Down, closely followed by Dornoch......in England I have to think about it but possible Birkdale or St Georges - sorry got it now Hoylake (R. Liverpool).
Camp Nou - every bit as big as I imagined, but nothing special at all; it has certainly seen better days, although the tour was good.

In pales into insignificance when compared to the palace in Madrid.
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I was surprised how small Wimbledon's Centre court was. It looks much bigger on TV. Plus where ever you sit , you are not far away from the action.
The atmosphere at the world speeedway final at Wembley in 1981 was simply awesome. With 100,000 I thought it was the most exciteing event of any sport I have been to. It was made even greater that I had £75 on the winner Bruce Pennell @ 4/1
Walking the Grand National course as a kid in the 60's - they have modified all the jumps now (though they still manage to kill plenty of horses) but back then some of the jumps were horrifying in height and width.

And of course at least one of them has the landing at a different height to the take off
DTC mentioned the steepness of the Millennium Stadium (I'm hope fully going to be there again in October, fingers crossed).

I never got the chance to go to the old Wembley Stadium, but I've been to the new Wembley, and it's the complete opposite to the Millennium. Because the seating isn't as steeply stacked, it feels vast on the inside.
The thing about Wimbledon (etc) show courts is that although they LOOK bigger on TV you know they can't possibly be ...
thats probably because all the competition tennis courts in the world are the same size
Lords looks a lot smaller in reality than it does on the telly.

But the first time I ran a line at Hillsborough football ground, I thought that the pitch was going on forever! (It's a lot longer than most football pitches!)
Aren't they all the same size, Chris?
A football pitch can be between 90m and 120m in length. The width can vary by even more, with a minimum of 45m and a maximum of 90m.

So the shapes can vary considerably. At the extremes, a pitch can be square (90m x 90m) or very long and thin (120m x 45m).
Chris - It's unusual to catch you out but a football pitch cannot be square. The Laws - http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/laws/football-11-11/law-1---the-field-of-play - state
The field of play must be rectangular ...
and
The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line
To be pedantic, a square IS a rectangle. (It's just a special type of rectangle, or it was when I taught maths, anyway!).

However I accept that the Laws refer to 'longer' and 'shorter' lines but it doesn't say by how much!

90m x 90.01m (which would still look 'square' to any observer) would comply with the Laws ;-)

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