Nostalgia sport tourism, one of Gibson’s (1998) three forms of sport tourism, appears to have received little scholarly attention in contrast to active sport tourism and event sport tourism (Fairley, 2003; Gibson, 2002, 2003; Ritchie & Adair, 2004). Despite this apparent lack of research relative to the other two domains, insightful and thought-provoking scholarship has emerged within nostalgia sport tourism. Sociology, which is one of sport tourism’s parent disciplines, has influenced much of this scholarship (Gibson, 2004; Harris, 2006). Among other things, this epistemological orientation has yielded the importance of emotion and memory to nostalgically oriented experiences. This paper considers the emergence of emotion and memory within nostalgia sport tourism and, in so doing, continues this sociological emphasis. In particular, it argues that interaction ritual (IR) theory (Collins, 2004), a micro-sociological perspective, can be used to provide scholars with a deep understanding of tourists’ and excursionists’ motivations for engaging in nostalgically oriented experiences. Three additional constructs from the field of sport geography – place, placelessness (Relph, 1976), and topophilia (Tuan, 1974) – are posited as useful supplements to IR theory that can enable sport tourism scholars to develop a more nuanced conceptualization of those elements inherent within nostalgically oriented sport sites. These theoretical positions are synthesized and used as a framework to examine sport tourists’ and excursionists’ attraction to the recent ‘throwback’ aesthetic of contemporary Major League Baseball park design.



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Journal of Sport & Tourism



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