While you can’t overlook the sheer electricity that only a mega stadium can provide, it’s difficult not to fall in love with a small venue that is always going to give you the intimacy you crave.
The proximity to the action, the closeness of the crowds, the easy hobnobbing with the stars and friends is what makes venues like the Jebel Ali Racecourse, so enjoyable.
Many rock stars love to play before a crowd of over 30,000 screaming fans, but they will also tell you that the vibe they get when doing an unplugged set before 100 people gives them just as much a kick.
You could not come closer to the sport than you can at Jebel Ali Racecourse where you cannot only see the action up close and personal, you can also catch all the emotions, the elation of winning or the disappointment of losing, something you might miss elsewhere.
I just love to see fans hug the railing and cheering on their favourite horse at Jebel Ali, it’s a unique feeling and makes for exhilarating viewing. At times I find myself evening watching these animated horse enthusiasts as much as I am basking in the action on the track.
Goodwood in England is touted by many to be one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world, and I totally agree with that sentiment. It’s venues like these that standout and give horse racing another dimension.
And so with sports like tennis, boxing and billiards and snooker. They proximity they offer fans allows you to get into the mind of the player you are watching and also experience the rollercoaster ride that he or she goes on during competition.
You’ve got to look into someone’s eyes to really feel the emotion and intimate venues allow you that rare luxury.
I have nothing against big venues as they have a charm of their own. Old Trafford, Lord’s, the Rose Bowl, Epsom Racecourse or Churchill Downs, are all iconic in their own way as they provide a spectacle like no other.
But if you want to experience sport in a different way then it’s the small venues that allow you to go down that road.
I’ve been a music fan all my life and have been fortunate to have attended shows at many legendary concert venues like the O2, Kings Place, Earls Court in the UK, or Glasgow’s SSC Hydro and Aberdeen Music Hall and the Philharmonie de Paris to name a few. They all give me lifelong memories that I relive ever so often when I’m feeling nostalgic. But then again, I’ve had some unforgettable experiences as well at tiny little venues, some so tiny, like the awesome 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street in England.
I can go on forever but the point I’m trying to make is that being close to the action, to the actors, the sportsmen, the musicians is my cup of tea …