Just asking everyone what they think the stadium, arena, field or whatever is that gives the home team the most advantage is, and why.
There are plenty of places that are home to loud crowds, interesting geometries, bad weather and other advantages - I’m asking where you would dread your team going if the TotallyNeutral Dome was booked the night of the game, and you lost the coin flip for the home field.
I’m not entirely sure what my answer is, but I would lean towards one of the soccer stadiums in South America. La Paz Olympic jams 45,000 fans in around you and you’re almost 12,000 feet above sea level.
What are the thoughts of the rest of the game room?
Personally I’d expect the largest effect to be seen at an international cricket ground, on the basis that conditions vary so drastically from continent to continent in cricket, and they affect the nature of the game far more than in other sports. Take India’s record in Tests:
Home: W66 D102 L48
Away: W31 D89 L88
That’s a fairly whopping difference; where there’s a result, India are more than twice as likely to win at home as they are away. Far bigger than the 6% or so home advantage seen in other sports (or domestic cricket for that matter).
I could work out which is their best individual ground, if I weren’t so lazy. But unfortunately, I am very very la
I can’t find statistics right now, but Mexico’s soccer team has a crazy record at the stadium in Mexico City. It’s got a really high altitude, the air quality is horrible, and the fans will throw bags of urine at you.
I’m not sure that I’d say the NBA’s 60/40 is a small advantage, and I might even say it’s huge. Basically that says that one of every five games is determined by home-court advantage. Or, half of a team’s away losses would have been wins at home.
Another way to put it is that the NBA home-court advantage is twice as big as the MLB & NHL home field/ice advantage.
Interesting that the NBA is the highest, and MLB the lowest. I think it shows that familiarity with the actual field doesn’t matter nearly as much as other factors. Given that the rankings seem to correlate with the importance of subjective calls by officials (considering ball/strike calls as fairly objective), I tend to think that’s the key factor.
What about the other half of their games where they’re taking the long flight?[/QUOTe
That would not appear on their home field advantage. Besides ,it is not difficult for them to get teams to fly there to play.
Basketball’s also an “energy” sport; it’s obvious just to watch it that a team can fall into a funk or move into a zone and dominate one way or another. Baseball is not; if you throw a pitch the right way, the batter will miss, and if you throw it wrong he’ll hit it into the bleachers, and there isn’t much else to it. Basketball puts its fans in very close proximity to the game and that may have something to do with it.
How referees affect this I can’t even start to guess. One might assume the refs will favour the home team, but NBA refs also are known to favour the team their bookies suggested, or the bigger stars.
Bill Simmons on ESPN.com recently did a story about the demise of home field advantage in the NFL. His theory is that the new stadiums are all about luxury boxes and the high-end crowd, and less about having the die-hards near the action and making a lot of noise.
As for Mexico’s soccer stadium, a few years ago the US team had home and away exhibitions scheduled with Team Mexico. We tried to convince them to hold the game in another location in Mexico (Monterrey, I believe), and in exchange we offered to hold our home game in Los Angeles. Mexico wouldn’t budge, so we held our game in Columbus, OH during the winter. Bet Mexico wished they had brought along some warm bags of urine from home.
EDIT: actually, I think the games were World Cup qualifying matches.
I think I’ve heard, no cite at this time, that they try to schedule a few games in a row on the continent if at all possible. Saves on airfare, and classes are telecommuted to in some form or other from wherever the team sets up their home base.
However, looking at this season, they only had 2 back to back road games, so maybe I’m crazy.
EDIT- And gonzomax wouldn’t a worse road record as a result of umpteen hour flights make the HFA look better. If your record would be .500 in the NeutralDome, but it’s .400 on the road and .600 at home, that would be a pretty big apparent difference.