Home of the University of Utah's football team, Rice-Eccles Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2002 winter games. It is also one of the most photogenic stadiums I've ever seen, thanks to the nearby Wasatch Mountains.
Also known as the Big House, Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States with an official capacity of 107,601.
Although there are 400 students in the Michigan Marching Band—which has been around for 120 years—only 235 perform in the traditional football pregame. The rest will hope to have better luck in the following week's auditions.
Military Opening Day is a longstanding Padres tradition. I spent the day with a group of Naval Aviators, who were supporting the pregame flyover. You will be unsurprised to learn that their favorite movie is Top Gun.
The Padres often invite Marine recruits to Sunday home games, just before their graduation ceremonies. It is the first time the recruits wear their uniforms in public. Here, they are retrieving meal tickets from their socks.
From medical and fire concerns to security issues and clogged toilets, staffers inside Petco's Event Management Center keep a finger on the pulse of the ballpark. Here, they spy on a fan in the stands. Or perhaps they are birding.
After a Cavs game, Maurice Reedus, Jr., who is a local legend known as Sax Man, prepares to play for passing fans. On this night, I also meet a pimp named Star, who was Sax Man's college roommate. True story.
This is a look inside one of Citi Field's walk-in beer fridges. The Mets go through so much beer—often 800 kegs a game—that there is a crew whose only job is to go around changing out old kegs for fresh ones. No word on how one gets such a gig.
At Wrigley, it is a tradition in the bleachers to toss back homeruns hit by any player on the opposing team. Savvy fans bring decoy balls to throw back instead.
I saw this guy cruising around outside Wrigley Field, hawking sunglasses and umbrella hats. Beyond that, I don't know what his deal is. But I love him.
This is the view from the field box of former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino. Honestly, it's almost too close to the field. When my friend sneezed during the game, the A's manager said, "Bless you."
Urban gardens are an emerging trend inside pro sports stadiums. This one, on a rooftop at Fenway Park, is used to grow greens, some of which are served at the ballpark.
In the summertime heat, infield clay can turn into concrete. Here, Braves grounds crewmembers water the dirt before a July home game. They are careful to not let the hose lie on the turf.
Professional stadiums do not grow their own grass. They buy it from sod farms. And when they're done with the old grass, it has to be placed somewhere, like this dumpster.
Mascot races are always crowdpleasers, even among the Royals' stuffy upper management. I was actually supposed to run in the hotdog race in Kansas City, but got bumped. So I ran behind them. Mustard tripped and fell. Relish won.
Every game, folks of all ages line up to meet Sluggerrr. The Royals mascot is beloved by fans. Or at least by most fans. In 2009, Sluggerrr detached a man's retina when he hurled a foil-wrapped hotdog into the stands.
This is my favorite photo. Sluggerrr and his handler (aka the "Lion Tamer") walk the back-of-house corridors to avoid being mauled by admiring fans. Anytime the fans see him, they descend like zombies.
Part of the Truman Sports Complex, Arrowhead Stadium is one of the noisiest fan environments in all of sports. In 2014, Chiefs fans set a Guinness World Record for loudest crowd roar, clocking in at 142.2 decibels.
It is not uncommon for tailgaters to invest in old emergency vehicles. Why? Because they are usually cheap and well maintained. This stretch of the Lambeau lot is known as "ambulance row."
There are many works of art in and around AT&T Stadium. Here, you see Sky Mirror, a sculpture by Anish Kapoor. You also see a group of Cowboys fans, who, like a litter of newborn puppies, seem mesmerized by their own reflection.
The Cowboys control room is used for more than just football. "We've done everything from weddings to bar mitzvahs," says Dwin Towell, director of broadcast engineering. "We haven’t done a bris yet, but if we do, I am not putting it on the big screen."
Before Saints games, tailgaters set up in the most peculiar places, like under highway overpasses. As you might expect, the Disney chair at the center is a place of great honor.
It is a powder keg of pregame adrenaline inside the inflatable tunnel during player intros. I'm really not sure how I wound up in here.
A Raiders super fan, Gorilla Rilla is a front-row fixture in the fan section known as the Black Hole. Here, Rilla doesn't let his mask get in the way of a cold one.
Many Raiders fans dress up for home games. But not this guy. This guy wears his normal clothes.
To support the fabric roof of the Silverdome, air was pumped into the facility 24/7. In January of 2013, after suffering a large tear during an ice storm, the roof was deflated. I took a tour of the stadium in late 2015. It felt like walking into a post-apocalyptic wonderland.
Here's a photo of some mold growing between the seats. It's amazing how much the stadium has deteriorated in just a few years, but I also find it to be strangely beautiful.
This is the showcase venue at the BB&T Atlanta Open, built into an empty lot at Atlantic Station. It may look permanent, but the stadium is temporary, constructed from completely modular parts. It will be gone in weeks.
Here, I am assisting arena superstar the Amazing Sladek with his "Tower of Chairs" halftime act. During the performance, I am pretty sure that I am going to kill him. Which would be bad for both of us.