Is home field truly advantageous?

Since the Super Bowl will be a home game for Tampa, let us take a look at how Wilsonville has fared in neutral site matchups.

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Bryan A. Rector

A look inside Hillsboro Stadium, the host of the state championships in football and soccer. Wilsonville sports are 2-5 in their last 7 appearances here.

Bryan A. Rector, Sports Editor

The biggest events in sports are connected to the venue they are held at forever. The location adds to the lore, to the pageantry, and makes the chance to play in the biggest games even more special. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the Final Four at various locations, and three of 4 major championships in the sport of golf rotate where they are annually held.

Too, playing at a neutral site erases the competitive edge with no raucous home crowd and forcing both teams or the competitors to break up their routine with travel and a new atmosphere.

The nature of home field advantage is fresh in the mind when we consider that the Kansas City Chiefs are flying to Tampa, Florida to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55 on February 7th. The venue? Raymond James Stadium, home to the NFC contestant Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This marks the first time that a Super Bowl is at a home field site in the history of the NFL. What better way to break this down than to evaluate how Wilsonville has fared in neutral site versus home games?

When visiting teams enter Randall Stadium, they do not typically fare well. In fact over the last 3 years Wilsonville football is 16-3 at home, but over the last 5 years is 2-3 in neutral site games. The same can be said about dominant soccer seasons by both the girls and boys sides, as both teams lost neutral site championship games last season.

There it is… Wilsonville has lost 4 straight championship games on neutral venues. And it is only fair to point to the justification laid out earlier in the article. If we have sports seasons which result in culminating weeks this year, it will be fascinating to see if these challenges can be surmounted.