Posts Tagged ‘nfl labor’

Next NFL Labor Twist takes us to St. Louis

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011



Members of the NFL media horde, as well as league and union employees and lawyers are getting quite a U.S. tour as the NFL labor dispute drags on. They’ve made stops in courthouses and headquarter offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, New York City, and Washington, D.C. thus far. We can add an upcoming trip to St. Louis, Missouri to the list as well, as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the NFL’s appeal of a district court ruling on Friday June 3 at Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse.

As we did for the proceedings in St. Paul, Sports Power Weekends will break down some of the great activities, restaurants, and of course sporting events in the area as a service to those traveling to cover the appeal hearing. First and foremost is a rundown of sporting events being held in the area when NFL media members will be in town! The St. Louis Cardinals will be home at Busch Stadium over the course of that weekend, closing their series with the World Series champion Giants on Thursday before their bitter rivals the Chicago Cubs visit for a weekend set.

St. Louis Cardinals
Thursday, June 2 San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (7:15 PM)
Friday, June 3 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (7:15 PM)
Saturday, June 4 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (3:10 PM)
Sunday, June Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (1:15 PM)

Photo courtesy of MLB.com

The St. Louis Blues missed out on the NHL playoffs this season, meaning the Scottrade Center will be vacant on this early June weekend. In addition to featuring Blues hockey during the NHL season and a bevy of other events and concerts throughout the year, the Scottrade Center also features the new St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The display features artifacts and memorabilia from the city’s current and former professional teams, including the Rams’ Super Bowl XXXIV trophy, Lou Brock’s stolen base number 898, and many game-used jerseys from the Cardinals and Blues.

Additionally, the home of the St. Louis Rams, Edward Jones Dome, is just a short walk northeast from both Busch Stadium and the Scottrade Center. They are all in the shadow of the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River.

The Gateway City is home to some of the country’s most well known attractions, none more visible than the aforementioned Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This memorial signifies the westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River of U.S. settlers.

There is no shortage of things to do and see in St. Louis, and here is just a small sampling:

  • Go to the top of the Gateway Arch.
  • Take a riverboat tour on the Mississippi.
  • Tour the Anheuser Busch Brewery and see the famous Clydesdales in their stables.
  • Go to Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It opened in 1876 and is 500 acres larger than Central Park. Additionally, it is home to the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri History Museum, which all feature free admission.
  • Visit Grant’s Farm, the ancestral home of the Busch Family. The farm is named after President Ulysses S. Grant, who founded and farmed a portion of the area. More than 24 million visitors have taken a trip to the farm, which features more than 900 animals.
  • Stroll through the campuses of Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis University.
  • Press your luck at one of the number of casinos in the city, including Lumiére Place, Harrah’s, and Casino Queen.
  • Walk along Laclede’s Landing, an entertainment district featuring restaurants, nightclubs and casinos along the cobblestone streets.

St. Louis is also known for its fantastic barbeque. There is a reason St. Louis style ribs are so famous, and here are some of the best restaurants in town to try them, and other great local food:

  • Roper’s Ribs – They have been serving BBQ in St. Louis since 1976, and in that time have won awards for best ribs in the city, and even the country by Steve Harvey’s Hoodie Awards.
  • Pappy’s Smokehouse – Pappy’s has been featured on the Travel Channel and has been voted best BBQ in St. Louis three years running by the Riverfront Times.
  • Iron Barley – Their fantastic food has been featured on both the Travel Channel and Food Network for its freshness, quality and eclectic menu.
  • Sweetie Pies at the Mangrove – This soul food spot has also been featured on Food Network, which was particularly fond of their Mac and Cheese.
  • Crown Candy Kitchen – Since 1913 they have been satiating the cravings of the locals, making their own chocolate candy, and not to mention some of the best malts and shakes you will ever try.
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custard – A St. Louis tradition for more than 80 years.

As always, for those interesting in booking a Sports Power Weekends experience anywhere in the country, please email me at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.

As NFL Labor Dispute Heads to Court, Focus Turns to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Monday, April 11th, 2011


Photo courtesy of MPR

As the NFL labor dispute shifts from negotiation to litigation, the “playing field” will move from Washington, D.C. to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Though the weather is warming up, the temperature can still drop in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which makes their system of glass” tunnels, or walkways, so convenient. Downtown Minneapolis has an eight-mile system of walkways and St. Paul has a five-mile system, making the city easy to navigate if it gets cold. If it is warm, feel free to walk outside without looking over your shoulder. Minneapolis was named the safest city in the country by Forbes in 2009.

For those hard working ladies and gentlemen of the NFL media horde, we provide a rundown of Minneapolis-St. Paul including some top restaurants, points of interest, and upcoming sporting events through the month of April.

Upcoming Sporting Events (home dates in April):

Minnesota Twins
Friday, April 22 Cleveland Indians 7:10 PM
Saturday, April 23 Cleveland Indians 12:10 PM
Sunday, April 24 Cleveland Indians 1:10 PM
Tuesday, April 26 Tampa Bay Rays 7:10 PM
Wednesday, April 27 Tampa Bay Rays 7:10 PM
Thursday, April 28 Tampa Bay Rays 12:10 PM

Local Restaurants:

  • The Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy is a style of cheeseburger invented in south Minneapolis. Both Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club claim to have invented the sandwich, which melts the cheese inside the burger patty resulting in a molten cheese core than gushes out upon the first bite.
  • Brasa Premium Rotisserie: Head Chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard Award winner, so it is no surprise that the “Pork and Spinach” at Brasa is so good that The Today Show featured it on a segment of the five American meals not to be missed (here).
  • Al’s Breakfast: Located near the University of Minnesota, this breakfast institution won a James Beard Foundation award in the “America’s Classics Restaurants” category.
  • Victor’s 1959 Café: Serves Cuban food that is “off the hook” according to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri.
  • Wienery: Voted best hot dog in the Twin Cities for three years running by CityPages, Wienery also serves breakfast all day in the west bank neighborhood of Minneapolis.
  • Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge: Believe it or not, they actually serve good food in addition to their exotic drinks and party atmosphere at their new location with a riverfront patio.
  • 112 Eatery: Voted best late-night restaurant by CityPages, 112 Eatery’s foie gras meatballs were written up by the New York Times and their chef Isaac Becker was a best Midwest chef nominee from the James Beard Foundation.
  • French Meadow Café: Local and organic ingredients make their breakfast the freshest and perhaps best in the city.

Things To Do/Points of Interest:

  • TCF Bank Stadium Tour: TCF Bank Stadium is home to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and for two games in 2010 (and maybe more in 2011) the Minnesota Vikings. The state-of-the-art stadium opened prior to the 2009 season, and is worth checking out. Spring 2011 tour dates have not yet been released.
  • Mall of America: The MOA is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, mostly due to its sheer enormity. Two hundred and thirty eight Statues of Liberty could lie inside the mall.
  • Bryant-Lake Bowl: They may be known more for their locally sourced and tasty food than their bowling, but either one is a good reason to come.
  • Stone Arch Bridge: The only stone arch bridge ever constructed over the Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge continues to offer spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls, the historic milling district and the Minneapolis skyline and is an important link in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail.
  • Mill City Museum: According to their official website, the Mill City Museum is “Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.”
  • Nicollet Mall: The Nicollet Mall is a portion of Nicollet Avenue that runs through downtown Minneapolis featuring upscale shopping and dining. The pedestrian mall features a statue of Mary Tyler Moore’s iconic hat toss, which was filmed along the Mall.
  • Loring Park: Active in the summer with festivals and fairs, Loring Park is a good place to relax or go for a run.
  • Lake Minnetonka: Take a boat out on the lake or run or relax in the parks alongside.
  • Warehouse District: In addition to the Target Center and Target Field, which are located in the Warehouse District, there are a number of restaurants, bars and theatres here. It is a good place to check out before or after the game for dinner and drinks.
  • University of Minnesota: Take a walk through the campus and check out the historic buildings. You may be energized by the young people walking around.