Teams staying at hotels before games

Couple of questions:

Apparently, many home teams will stay at a hotel before the home game - why don’t the players just stay at home and sleep in their own beds?

Also some teams will pack up immediately after a road game late at night and fly home - why not just spend an extra night in the away hotel and fly home the next day? The fatigue from flying home and arriving at 3 AM is worse than just sleeping in and flying the following noon/afternoon.

Sometimes they do. Logistically it’s easier to keep the team together to avoid outside distractions and make sure everyone is at the stadium on time for all the pre-game preparation and even before then be in ready contact if needed.

Some players don’t live anywhere near the home city.

With baseball, at least, they play nearly every day during the season, so they might not have the time to wait for a flight the next day.

Exactly, why chance weather or equipment problems the next day?

There is, or was, a theory that you don’t waste your energy by screwing the day before a game.

Baseball players don’t do this. It’s pretty much a football thing. Baseball players wouldn’t see their wives or kids for six months at a time if they did that. They’re responsible for getting themselves to the park on time.

Teams staying in hotels for home games
There are lots of reasons this is done. Now note, not all teams do this and some only do it for some games; very important ones, cup games etc, or games with an early kickoff, say mid afternoon. Reasons
a) Makes it easier to keep an eye on players, to ensure they get adequet rest and nutrition…you don’t want your star player underperforming because he was out having a later dinner with his wife and had a few too many. Also permits the coaches to hold pre-game discussions withe specific players.

b) These days ite reletivley rare for a team to actually have its practice fascility at the stadium… most of these are seperate from the stadium an in some cases far from it. In workplace parlance, the players “office” is their training ground and the stadium is just a place off site they have to visit a few times a month. So their homes will be in relation to the training ground NOT the stadium and it may well be easier to stay overight in a hotel nearby.

Flying home right after a game
The schedule is released months before the season starts, so by the time a team is expected to play at xyx venue, the movement plan is all ready. And the time of a teams departure depends on that plan. Remember its not just the players and coached who travel, but the support staff and a lot of equipment. Moving that at night is easier than doing the same in the morning…in fact typically by the time the game starts most of the stuff is already packed and ready to go, most of it is already moving to the aiport during the game, except the players kits of course, which will be packed up and moved right after.

The players travel first or business class which is less tiring than economy class and in most clubs the day right after a game is either off or has only light training.

Lots of Youtube behind the scene videos available.

And staying in a hotel prevents that?

In theory, it cuts down on it, because the teams frequently rent a block of rooms together, and have coaches or team security actually do “bed checks,” to make sure that the right people are in the right rooms (and don’t have guests). Also, at least in the past, players were assigned roommates for hotel stays.

I have no doubt that it doesn’t cut it to zero, however.

Seems to me the OP is referring to the NFL where there’s only 8 regular season home games most of which start in the early afternoon so its little inconvenience for the players to stay at a hotel and be ready and well rested for a team breakfast, last minute warm ups and brain sessions before heading to the stadium This would never work in the NBA and NHL with 40+ home games, and certainly not in baseball with 81 home games, and in all three of those leagues most of the games are at night so there’s no point in a hotel stay.

One of the big issues athletes in the other three leagues have to deal with BTW is fatigue and is a reason why many great college athletes fail in the big leagues. For instance, if you are a 6’4" star guard at lets say Duke, not only are you entering the NBA where suddenly your the little guy on the court, everyone is as talented as you, and your going from 30 games a year most of which are a bus ride away to 80 games criss crossing the country on jets sometimes with little time for sleep between games. And by the way, you have to stay in tip top shape at the same time.

I know, I know “WAAAAH! look at the money they are making” but its a brutal lifestyle.

And it’s only the top stars making the big money – not everyone is going to be an instant millionaire. If you start throwing your money around like water and then don’t make it in the pros, you’re screwed.

Wasn’t it a coach who said something like, “It’s not the act; it’s the chase”?

Great point. The living conditions for minor league baseball players is worse than 90% of the posters here, I would argue.

I live in a city with a minor league team. When they travel, they stay in host homes, and have admitted that it’s basically a minimum-wage job, if that.

Casey Stengel- “The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It’s that they stay out all night looking for it.”

I played college ball. Several of my teammates signed pro contracts. God, the stories they told. I wouldn’t wish that lifestyle on my worst enemy. And they have to live it in Butte, Montana or Bluefield, WVA.

Right, I meant the NFL. I had been surprised, while reading an excerpt from Steve Young’s autobiography, that the Niners were staying in a hotel before one of the NFC title games in which they were the home team but then recalled that others did it too.

One problem with staying at a hotel together, I imagine, is that you make yourself vulnerable to shenanigans such as how Patriots fans were deliberately pulling fire alarms in the wee hours of the morning to disrupt the road team’s sleep (and conceivably a hostile fan could do it to the home team too.)

“If it’s midnight and you haven’t found any by then, you ain’t gonna!”
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Well your wife/girlfriend isn’t staying with you.