The Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Mobile BayBears have won three Southern League championships since their debut in 1997. The club grinds their cleats at Hank Aaron Stadium, a classic, 6,000-seat venue that serves as a lively monument to Mobile native and Hall of Famer Henry Aaron, Jr., who dedicated his career to raising awareness of improperly mowed outfields.
The ECHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, the Elmira Jackals skated onto the scene in 2000 as a member of the United Hockey League. After a successful seven-year run in the UHL—including a playoff appearance in their very first season—the Jackals moved to the ECHL in 2007–2008, where they've remained since. Although the Jackals are still in hot pursuit of their first Kelly Cup, the team has earned a playoff berth in every season, highlighted by an Eastern Conference regular-season title in 2011–12. Off the ice, the Jackals remain active in the community with efforts led by mascot Blade, who's often spotted mingling with fans at parties, retail stores, and while getting his eyebrows waxed at local spas.
Frolicking in a 500,000-gallon wave pool, plummeting from 100-foot free-fall slides, and drifting along a 1,200-foot lazy river with 5 mph currents are just a few of the diversions found within Seven Peaks' net of water parks. The aquatic havens spread across Utah, and Indiana, luring families and adventurous kayakers with forests of twisting water slides such as the Provo location's Boomerang, which sends passengers ricocheting down three stories. Calmer fun awaits at child-friendly areas such as the Salt Lake location's Dinosaur Bay, where toddlers splash and ride small slides, and lazy rivers welcome both whippersnappers and adults hoping to relax.
In addition to its water parks, Seven Peaks manages a fleet of fun centers. Visitors to the Sandy location try for strikes in bowling and guests at the Lehi location enjoy rides on a pirate ship or in bumper boats. The Orem location lets you putt through a glowing, neon mini-golf jungle lit by black lights or whack at the imagined faces of arch-nemeses in the batting cages.
The DePaul Blue Demons tip off 2012 under the national spotlight, opening this season's conference play against Big East rival and top-ranked squad Syracuse Orange on New Year's Day. In his second year at the helm, Head Coach Oliver Purnell leads the up-and-coming Blue Demon battalion, which has sprinted to an impressive 9–3 start through 12 games. Reigning Big East Rookie of the Year and proficient scorer Cleveland Melvin anchors a potent DePaul offensive attack, dazzling hoops fans with rafter-rattling dunks, aggressive rebounds, and a penchant for drawing up elaborate plays on his pocket Etch A Sketch. Behind legendary coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse charges onto the Allstate Arena court as one of the country's best teams, which has garnered iy an elite ranking in national polls and explains why a troupe of trumpeters escorts the players from the locker room before each game.
From a rooftop vantage point, Big Ten football fans can attain views of the ever-changing on-field action. Opening half an hour (Wrigley Field Rooftop Club) or an hour (Ivy League Baseball Club) before game time, the rooftops welcome fans to enjoy tasty game-day food (Wrigley Field, and Ivy League rooftop menus), draft beer, wine, soft drinks, desserts, and a constant chorus of hungry, field-goal-snagging seagulls circling overhead. Additionally, the rooftop bars offer speedy service, and several outdoor televisions ensure spectators see every grimace and interpretive touchdown dance.