Only one field to rule them all
Without a proper stadium to call home, Northwood has always utilized other schools’ stadiums to host our home games. In the past, games have always been at Irvine High School, but for the 2016 and 2017 football seasons, Northwood was hosted by Portola High School. Now, Northwood has returned to Irvine for this year’s football season, giving underclassmen a taste of what games were like before they were hosted at Portola, while returning seniors back to their old stomping grounds. Having experienced both locations, the only question left to ask is which stadium is the best.
For the spectators, the most vital aspect of a good stadium is the stands where they rally their teams to victory. Here, Portola shines with its fairly new stadium. Built just three years ago, this stadium features the cleanest benches and bathrooms, and the shortest distance to walk from the parking lot.
“After the games, we are all exhausted,” junior Yukako Fujimori. “The walk back to the parking lot always makes me feel worse.”
However, while not completely obvious, Irvine’s stadium has benefits as well. The stands at Irvine are much taller, giving a greater view of the game and shows below.
“The stands at Irvine are a lot more suited for our 300-plus Marching Band,” senior Sofia Howard said. “Everything just feels a lot more solid when we are in the stands playing.”
The fun does not stop after the game is over; instead, it extends further into the night with a bite to eat at a restaurant or a sip of midnight boba. With its central location in the city, Irvine’s stadium is closer to the various places to eat and drink over at Heritage Plaza. Gong Cha, Shaved N Boba and Buffalo Wild Wings are some of the many options available to eat after the game.
“My favorite parts of the football games are when all my friends go out to get boba after a win,” junior Shounok Ghosh said.
Ghosh may not be able to be get this experience at Portola, as it does not have nearby places to get a nighttime snack, but those willing to drive can take the 10 minute drive to the Irvine Spectrum. Also, the lack of post-game traffic will bring a sigh of relief to most drivers leaving the stadium.
Both fields have their clear benefits and drawbacks, but in the end it is not about the stadium, but the people who fill it.
“It doesn’t really matter where we play,” senior Nader Ibrahim said. “As long as we get a crowd, the atmosphere is really fun.”