I am sure my choice of 1st Mariner Arena as the ninth most historic site in US soccer history is surprising to many of you out there. After all, it is a venue for indoor soccer, which has never really inspired much awareness here in America. But I think it belongs on this list, and I’ll tell you why.
1st Mariner Arena is the home of the Baltimore Blast, the winningest team in the history of the now defunct Major Indoor Soccer League. In the seven years the MISL was in existence, the Blast won four league championship titles. They still play in the Arena too as members of the new NISL.
1st Mariner Arena was initially known as the Baltimore Civic Center and then renamed the Baltimore Arena prior to 1st Mariner buying up the naming rights in 2003. It seats 14,000 fans and there are rumors it is about to be redeveloped to seat quite a few more.
In addition to being probably the most historic indoor soccer site in the US, 1st Mariner Arena has also hosted several noteworthy events, like a historic speech given by Martin Luther King. But, I think it should be remembered primarily as an important soccer site, and that’s why it’s on this list at #9.