The Spartan Stadion is fast and intense. The same distance as a Sprint (5K, 20 obstacles), it's a true test of speed, strength, and willpower. Perfect for beginners, yet still revered by many veterans and Elites, what separates Stadions from the other Spartan races is the fact that it's held in professional ballparks and stadiums all across America. It's your chance to race where history has been made, where All-Stars and Hall of Famers created memories that will be immortalized for the rest of time.
Every Spartan Stadion venue is epic in its own right, though each one is unique in its history. One set an NFL record for attendance. Another was the setting for one of the most memorable records in sports history. Another has been in existence since before World War 1.
Which Spartan Stadion venues are the most iconic? Here's the countdown.
Counting Down the Most Iconic Stadion Venues
Nationals Park, in Washington, D.C., opened up relatively recently, in 2008. As it's only been in existence for 14 years, it doesn't have the historical pedigree that other stadiums on this list have. There's no shortage of American history in the surrounding environs, however. The Washington Monument and United States Capitol are visible from the upper deck, and in recent years the home of MLB's Washington Nationals has been front and center in the sports world. Nationals Park hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 2018, and in 2019 it was the site of Games 3, 4, and 5 of the World Series. The Nats won that Series, their first in franchise history, but the clinching Game 7 was at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, the home of MLB's Philadelphia Phillies, opened its doors in 2004. Situated conveniently for the rabid sports fan, its rubs shoulders with Lincoln Financial Field (home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles) and the Wells Fargo Center (home of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's Philadelphia Flyers) in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
Like in D.C., Citizens Bank Park has a strong tie to American history. The Philly skyline sparkles in the distance, and fans can't miss the spectacular 52-foot Liberty Bell replica standing tall above right-center field.
Citizen Bank Park's shining moment came in 2008, when the Phillies won their first World Series in 28 years in front of 45,940 screaming fans. Four years later, an ice rink was built on the field for the NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor hockey game between the Flyers and New York Rangers.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim is the fourth-oldest major league ballpark in America. (The only three that are older are Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field, and Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium.) First opened in 1966, and then renovated in 1998, the ballpark hosted Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, when the Angels defeated the Giants for their only World Series title.
A halo famously sits atop the 230-foot Big A Sign, which is located in the parking lot, and the breathtaking California Spectacular — a rock pile with erupting geysers and a stream — sits in left-center.
Angel Stadium isn't just home to baseball history: The NFL's Los Angeles Rams played here from 1980-1994. The ballpark was also home to many "crusades" by notable evangelists Billy Graham and Greg Laurie.
5. Citi Field
Citi Field might be young — it opened its doors in 2009, replacing Shea Stadium — but the home of MLB's New York Mets has quickly earned a reputation as one of the crown jewels of Major League Baseball stadiums. With a look and feel reminiscent of iconic Ebbets Field, the former beloved home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Citi Field evokes memories of baseball and America as they once were, while at the same time maintaining a modern feel with state-of-the-art features and architecture.
Highlights include the pedestrian Shea Bridge, which resembles the Hell Gate Bridge, and a new Home Run Apple that's four times the size of the original. As Spartans complete the Rolling Epic obstacle outside of the 160-foot-diameter Jackie Robinson Rotunda, Shea Stadium's original Home Run Apple can be seen on Mets Plaza.
Citi Field hosted the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, the 2015 World Series, and the 2018 NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres.
4. Oracle Park
Oracle Park in gorgeous San Francisco first opened in 2000, and it's been wowing fans and racers alike ever since. Why, you ask? Let's start with the palm trees and the Willie Mays Statue that greet you when you enter the stadium. And then there's the 80-foot-long Coca-Cola bottle, which has become legendary, as well as the mammoth old-fashioned baseball glove right next to it. If that's not enough, you can often find kayakers paddling in McCovey Cove, a gorgeous section of the San Francisco Bay that sits beyond right field.
The home of MLB's San Francisco Giants, Oracle Park was the site of one of the most memorable, albeit controversial, moments in sports history. On the evening of August 7, 2006, alleged steroid user Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run, passing Hank Aaron on the all-time list and capturing the most cherished record in all of sports.
3. AT&T Stadium
Everything about AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is, fittingly, big. The Dallas Cowboys' home can fit as many as 105,121 fans, which it did in 2009 during a game between the Cowboys and the Giants, setting an NFL record. The jumbotron is unspeakably massive, spanning 60 yards and reportedly consisting of 30 million lightbulbs. It previously held the Guinness World Record for world's largest HDTV screen, though it's since been surpassed in size by the one at Texas Motor Speedway. (Texas again, of course...)
On the field, Jerry World has been home to America's Team since 2009, and has hosted a myriad of other iconic sporting events, including the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015, Big 12 Championship Games, the Cotton Bowl Classic, the 2021 Rose Bowl — which was moved to Texas due to COVID-19 restrictions — and two Wrestlemanias.
The only first-time Spartan Stadion venue on this list, Notre Dame Stadium is arguably the most iconic college football stadium of all time. In existence since 1930, it's the home field of the most legendary football program in the history of the sport, but it's so much more than just a field. The World of Life mural — aka Touchdown Jesus — the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Golden Dome are all visible from inside the stadium, and their beauty and significance as Notre Dame landmarks leave you in awe.
This stadium has hosted too many classic games to name here, so we won't even try. It's also, of course, where Rudy Ruettiger was carried off the field after making his improbable sack in 1975. Before you take the field for the Stadion race, you're mandated to watch this clip at least three times.
1. Fenway Park
Babe Ruth. Ted Williams. Lou Gehrig. Joe Dimaggio. Mickey Mantle. They all played on the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park, the most iconic baseball stadium in the world. First opened in 1912, Fenway still retains the charm and old-school feel of pre-World War I America, when fans wore suits, ties, and top hats to ballgames and hot dogs cost a nickel. Though it's been renovated numerous times, the aura and mystique of the cozy park transports you back in time. Among the many highlights of Fenway is the Green Monster, the 37-foot green wall that stands imposingly in left field.
Fenway has hosted 11 World Series, and it was also the home of multiple New England-based NFL teams in the 1930s and 1940s. In 2012, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is currently a pending Boston Landmark.
Fenway also holds a special place in Spartan history, as well. The first-ever Stadion race was held at Fenway back in 2012, and to this day it's one of the most hyped and anticipated races on the schedule.