The National Football League is the highest drawing sport in the United States, tallying up income that is well within the billions. That’s enough money to make NFL stadiums some of the most impressive sporting arenas in the world. That said, when you consider capacity, sleekness, and location, which of these football venues rank worst to best?
25. Dignity Health Sports Park
Opened: June 1, 2003
When it comes to NFL stadiums, Dignity Health Sports Park, the temporary home of the Los Angeles Chargers, is perhaps the least impressive. Located in Carson, California, the stadium isn’t ideal for the NFL. It only has the capacity to hold 27,000 football fans, a rather low number for any football stadium.
That being said, the complex itself isn’t horrible by any means. It was opened in 2003 to host the Los Angeles Galaxy and thrives as a soccer stadium. It’s only hosting the Chargers while the SoFi Stadium is being constructed in Inglewood, California. The stadium is scheduled to open in 2020 and will be able to hold up to 100,240.
24. Raymond James Stadium
Opened: September 20, 1998
If you’re thinking about catching a Buccaneers game at the Raymond James Stadium, you’d better bring some suntan lotion and a big hat. The stadium is located right on the Gulf Coast in Tampa, Florida, and it’s known for being mighty hot all year round. Not only do football fans have to battle the heat, but they’ll also have to deal with that yucky humidity.
Raymond James isn’t an indoor stadium either, which means you can be watching an entire game with the blistering sun in your eyes. That huge downside doesn’t mean that the stadium isn’t without its merits. After all, where else can you find two giant pirate ships in the end zones? Every time the Buccaneers score or win a game, the ships fire their legit cannons.
23. Levi’s Stadium
Opened: July 17, 2014
Construction on Santa Clara, California’s Levi Stadium began in April of 2012. Two years and $1.3 billion later and the world was introduced to one fine NFL stadium, with all the modern features it ought to have. The stadium serves as a great example for what state-of-the-art sporting arenas should be.
According to TieBreaker, the stadium is the first of its kind to ever go green. Its roof is aligned with solar panels. However, one of the major downsides to Levi’s Stadium is its location. For years, the 49ers were playing in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, which was actually located in the big city itself. Today, they are 45 minutes outside of the city they claim, and are beginning to accept Santa Clara as their new home.
22. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Opened: May 1, 1923
Seeing as the Coliseum in Los Angeles is almost a century old, it has played host to its fair share of football games. The USC Trojans have been playing there since it opened, and it’s currently sharing the stadium with the Rams. The structure was also famously the home field of the Oakland Raiders from 1982 to 1994.
While the LA Coliseum has had a rich history, it doesn’t come without some major faults. If you’re looking for the comforts of a modern stadium, you won’t find them in this classic. The structure is viably dated when it comes to stairways and seats.
21. M&T Bank Stadium
Opened: September 6, 1998
When the M&T Bank Stadium first opened its doors back in 1998, it was seen as a sensation amid the modern arenas of the time. Today, there is nothing really remarkable about this stadium, but nothing too horrible about it either. Its most notable feature are the bright purple seats, though of course they can’t be seen when the stadium is full up.
Another upside about this arena is the location. You’ll find it in one of Baltimore’s best areas, right between Camden Yards and Chesapeake Bay. They folks managing the stadium have also made sure the foods are top-notch, as they recently brought in a Shake Shack.
20. Gillette Stadium
Opened: May 11, 2002
Amid the many NFL teams, the New England Patriots are perhaps the most dominant in the league. Much of their legacy is associated with with their move from the Foxboro Stadium to brand-new Gillette Stadium in 2002. However, their domination on the field actually began in 2001. Despite the success the team has had in Gillette Stadium, the stadium itself isn’t much to talk about.
While apparently based in Boston, the stadium is actually located far from the city in a suburb called Foxboro. That’s only the first sign of inconvenience. If you go to a Patriots home game, make sure to bring a jacket. The iconic bridge and tower that rest behind the end zone create one heck of a wind tunnel, which makes for a very cold environment.
NEXT: These NFL stadiums keep on getting better and better.
19. Paul Brown Stadium
Opened: August 19, 2000
On paper, the Paul Brown Stadium has done nothing but good for its surroundings since opening in 2000. When it comes to location, the Paul Brown Stadium hits things right on the mark. The massive structure is sandwiched between Cincinnati’s Central Business District and the Ohio River. When the stadium was finished, it added another touch of real beauty to the Cincinnati skyline.
The Paul Brown Stadium is the only NFL stadium to win an American Institute of Architects Honor award. Despite how beautiful it is, it has still done very little for the Cincinnati Bengals’ track record. The team has been around since 1968 and still remains one of the few teams to have never won a Super Bowl.
18. Bank of America Stadium
Opened: September 1, 1996
Charlotte, North Carolina is home to a stadium that is truly the first of its kind. First opening in 1996, the Bank of America Stadium changed the game when it allowed Panthers fans the ability to get personal seat licenses. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal now, but it was unheard of back in the day.
This new feature allowed fans to buy a specific seat for an entire season. Carolina Panthers fans conquered the stadium in droves. When this NFL stadium first opened in 1996, it had enough seats for 72,685 people. Those tickets sales eventually helped them pay off the stadium’s construction, which was a whopping $248 million.
17. Nissan Stadium
Opened: August 27, 1999
With a legacy and a title like Music City, it’s no shock that Nashville, Tennessee has one heck of a football stadium. Its first big strong point is its ideal location. The stadium can be found a hop, skip, and a jump away from downtown Nashville on the Cumberland River.
The popularity of football peaks in Nashville and other states in the region. That said, the stadium was constructed to hold 69,143 fans, which can definitely be considered a generous amount. Despite coming out at the end of the last century, the stadium has changed very little since it opened, coming with the old school charm of its era’s NFL stadiums.
16. Soldier Field
Opened: October 9, 1924
First opening its doors in 1924, Chicago’s Soldier Field is one of the oldest stadiums in the league and one of the most iconic. For many years, it was considered a historic landmark. Sadly, in 2002, a building project resulted in the title being lifted.
One of the biggest downsides of the renovations is that an existing view of the Chicago skyline has been built over. It also chopped the structure’s capacity down from 66,944 fans to 61,500. Another downside of Soldier Field is the location. While it’s amazing that it’s right outside of the downtown area, it leans too far to the south, which is statistically one of the more dangerous urban centers in the country.
15. Ford Field
Opened: August 24, 2002
With football season coming in right about the holidays, scores of players and fans alike have to battle the elements. This can totally hinder a football fan’s experience. That said, Detroit’s Ford Field had the elements covered as they decided to make it an indoor arena. Seeing as it’s right by the chilly Great Lakes, this is an amazing idea.
The design is outstandingly beautiful. If the Motor City is known for one thing, it’s that old school industrial feel. This stadium was designed in a way that captures the atmosphere of the warehouses that used to be in the area. Chicago, Cleveland, and Buffalo could stand to take some notes.
NEXT: It turns out an upgrade was all these teams needed in order to land them some of the best NFL stadiums out there.
14. MetLife Stadium
Opened: April 10, 2010
For decades, the New York Giants and Jets played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. As time progressed, the Jersey-based stadium eventually became very outdated. MetLife Stadium was their answer to the 21st century. The stadium broke new ground when it opened its doors in 2010.
At the time, it was the most expensive stadium ever built. The stadium really brings luxury to football, with five premium lounges, on-field patios, a martini lounge, and a fireplace. Unfortunately, one of its key issues remains its location. Despite being New York-based teams, the football dynamos are still bound to crossing into New Jersey to play, as are their fans.
13. Lincoln Financial Field
Opened: August 3, 2003
Since 1971, the Philadelphia Eagles had been sharing Veterans Stadium with the Phillies. A baseball team and football team sharing the same stadium just doesn’t seem right. That all changed for the Eagles in 2003, when they were at last presented with Lincoln Financial Field.
The stadium set a new bar for excellence, with its sleek appearance and its size. It has amazing features like 117 luxury suites and a fan-oriented plaza. Philadelphia didn’t even give the stadium a chance to become dated, as it underwent renovations in 2013. Today, this marvel of modern architecture is easily accessible to the masses, and comes with WiFi and HD video boards.
12. Broncos Stadium at Mile High
Opened: September 10, 2001
There aren’t a whole lot of negatives to the Broncos Stadium at Mile High. However, one thing that football fans coming to this NFL stadium don’t look too highly upon is its 2011 name change. When it opened, it was called Invesco Field. It was a simple name that easily rolled off the tongue.
Football games totally turn into parties in Colorado, with the help of the huge selection of craft beers Broncos Stadium is known to have. This stadium also sports full catering while you watch the game, as well as party suites. If you want to get wild at a football game, this is definitely the place for that kind of experience.
11. NRG Stadium
Opened: August 24, 2002
The Houston Texans and the NRG Stadium have gone hand in hand since 2002. It was built alongside the Houston Astrodome in the heart of Houston. What makes this beautiful stadium so groundbreaking is its retractable rooftop, making it the first NFL stadium to ever have such a feature. That ultimately means that even with Texas’ unpredictable weather, a game can never be rained on.
Another notable amazing feature of this stadium is its sheer size. It has enough seats for up to 71,995 football fans, and with how popular the sport is in Texas, you better believe that those seats are being filled. The only thing that can make the stadium better would be a championship for the Texans.
10. Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Opened: August 3, 1975
One of the most famous landmarks in New Orleans, Louisiana is the impressive Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Despite first having opened its doors in 1975, this stadium offers one incredible sporting experience. One must first take note of its unusual appearance, which makes it look more like a UFO than an actual football arena.
Not only is the Superdome beautiful from an aesthetic standpoint, but it’s sturdy, and it saved a lot of lives during Hurricane Katrina. The stadium has the title of being the largest fixed-dome structure in the world. Inside are 153 luxury suites, two club lounges, and four club rooms.
NEXT: Which NFL stadiums consistently rank among the best in the nation?
9. Luca Oil Stadium
Opened: August 16, 2008
If each stadium was ranked by beauty alone, the Luca Oil Stadium would definitely be number one. For over two decades, the Indianapolis Colts were playing in the RCA Dome. While it was a great arena, it was beyond dated and held a smaller amount of football fans.
When the team was presented with Luca Oil Stadium, it was something that had never before been witnessed by another football team. With a retractable roof and giant window by the end zone, this stadium is an experience to behold. The lighting adds for quite the environment. The only thing that the old RCA Dome ever had on it was its amazing downtown location.
8. Heinz Field
Opened: August 18, 2001
One of the best NFL stadiums in the Eastern United States is Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. The stadium first opened its gates back in 2001 and immediately felt like home for the Steelers and their fans alike. It was built uniquely in the shape of a horseshoe.
One of the stadium’s most notable features is the number of eateries inside. You can get everything from crab fries at Chickie’s & Pete’s to top of the line Mexican food at Los Rios Bochas and Tacos. However, if you’re seeking something more old-fashioned, fear not: you can also get more of the traditional football game food like hot dogs and hamburgers.
7. State Farm Stadium
Opened: August 1, 2006
While the Arizona Cardinals aren’t bringing home any championships or Super Bowl rings, they do have what is hands down one of the most amazing stadiums in the NFL. State Farm Stadium first opened its doors back in August of 2006, and it took the concept of what a football stadium ought to be to a whole new level.
The turf is made completely of natural grass and is the first retractable field in North America. This means it can be completely rolled out of the arena during other sporting events. One simply can’t overlook the sheer beauty and size of the arena. It is able to hold up to 63,400 screaming football fans.
6. CenturyLink Field
Capacity: 68, 740
Opened: July 28, 2002
From their debut in 1976 all the way until 2002, the Seattle Seahawks played football in the Kingdome. While it held up for nearly thirty years, the team eventually moved into CenturyLink Field. The Kingdome was always a great football stadium, but it could never hold a candle to the mammoth that the Seahawks now call home.
The stadium was built with beauty in mind, as the end zone opens up to a city view of Seattle in all of its glory. It also has amazing acoustics, which have allowed Seahawk fans to garner the reputation of being the loudest fans in the NFL.
5. AT&T Stadium
Opened: May 27, 2009
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most popular and recognizable teams in the NFL. They also have an amazing indoor stadium to match that popularity. According to Tie Breaker, the AT&T Stadium was built by Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and he had no reservations about building the best stadium he could imagine.
Four years and $3.1 billion dollars later, Jones landed one of the greatest stadiums in the NFL. The powerhouse stadium has over a thousand televisions inside, as well as one of the biggest jumbotrons in the sport, stretching from one 20-yard line to the other. Naturally, getting a ticket isn’t cheap, and parking alone will cost as much as seeing a game in another arena.
4. Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Opened: August 26, 2017
If you desire a football stadium that’ll have you sitting in the lap of luxury, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is where you want to go. First opening its doors in 2017, the stadium was a huge step forward from the Georgia Dome where the Atlanta Falcons used to play.
This Mercedes-Benz Stadium has features that are practically unheard of elsewhere. It has a stylish technology lounge, 24 bars and restaurants, and a 100-yard bar. They also have an array of amazing seating arrangements. There are over 190 luxury suites and 7,600 club seats. This is where you watch the gridiron greats in style.
3. Arrowhead Stadium
Opened: August 12, 1972
Despite having opened its doors almost fifty years ago, Arrowhead Stadium remains like no other in the world. Half of what makes them so unique is their fan base. Supporters of the Kansas City Chiefs are like none other in the NFL. They are one band of revelers that never fails to bring the hype.
While old, renovations in 2007 brought this stadium up to modern standards. While it still has it classic curve that it’s always been so famous for, it is completely upgraded with HD jumbotrons and all the other works. According to PETA, the Arrowhead Stadium is known for being the most vegan friendly stadium in the NFL, as it has many restaurants offering vegan options.
2. U.S. Bank Stadium
Opened: July 22, 2016
Minnesota is one of the coldest locations in the United States. Thankfully, instead of having the Vikings play in the snow, they have the U.S. Bank Stadium. While even their last stadium was in a dome, the present dome has an extra flash of style, as it’s made of glass. You can be sitting warmly in your seat while a blizzard wreaks havoc outside.
Not only does this glass stadium allow a good amount of sunlight into the building, but it also gives way to an amazing skyline view of the Twin Cities. The stadium is also hooked up to a train station, as well as a shopping mall with a number of stores. It couldn’t possibly get much better than this…or could it?
1. Lambeau Field
Opened: September 27, 1957
While it may not come with the newest technology, the most comfortable seating, or the best design, Lambeau Field has something a lot the newest stadiums fail to capture, and that is history itself. Wisconsin’s Lambeau Field first opened its doors to Packer fans way back in 1957.
The stadium has had a number of cheering generations in its rafters. Over the decades, the stadium has had eleven different renovations done, but it has always kept its original style and vibe. In 2019, amid jumbotrons and luxury suites, we may forget what the original football experience was all about, but thankfully, it can still be found in Lambeau Field.
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