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Ranking the NFL Stadiums

Where does your team fall among the 31 venues? Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This February 17, 2011, 03:00 PM EST
29 Comments

I thought about opening this article with a snazzy intro (which would be the first time I accomplished such a feat), but then I realized that most of you will probably skip the opening, head straight to the rankings, disagree with what I’ve said and then proceed to destroy me in the comments section.

That’s all fine by me, but this article isn’t solely about ranking the actual stadium structure. I’ve incorporated elements such as tailgating, fans, weather, surrounding areas, etc. to give this thing a bit more flavor.

Because at the end of the day, the NFL is facing a lockout and there’s very little to break down and analyze right now. It’s time to get creative and stir up a debate.

Don’t like where your team is ranked? Take it to the comments section below or to the NFP Message Boards. You can also email me at: Joe.Fortenbaugh@NationalFootballPost.com.

Note: I haven’t had the privilege of watching an NFL game at each of the 31 stadiums (see resume at end of article), so a good portion of this article is based on what I’ve seen on television, what I’ve read and the people I’ve talked to who have actually been to these venues.

STADIUM RANKING CRITERIA

1. Architecture: Basically, does it look cool in person and/or on television? Does the facility have any unique features?

2. History: Has the joint opened recently and never hosted a playoff game (i.e. Houston), or do you get chills when exiting the concourse and viewing the field thinking about what has taken place there (i.e. Chicago)?

3. Weather: Football was meant to be played outdoors, so the domes are going to take a slight hit in the rankings. This also applies to tailgating. It’s easier to grill burgers and pound beers in San Diego than it is Minnesota.

4. Fans: A packed house with rowdy diehards is going to make for a better time, as fan participation adds value to the NFL experience. What’s the point of going to a first-class stadium if it’s only half-filled?

5. Location: Is the stadium in the middle of nowhere or in the heart of a major U.S. city? Parking may be an issue, but there’s something to be said about hitting a packed bar within walking distance of the venue prior to and even after the game.

THE RANKINGS

1. Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)

Seating Capacity: 72,928
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1957

Lambeau FieldLambeau Field

Billed as “the crown jewel of the National Football League,” Lambeau Field underwent a $295 million facelift in 2003 to give the venue a 21st century look while maintaining a retro feel. Lambeau certainly isn’t the most architecturally impressive venue, but it does boast some of the league’s best fans and has more historical significance than any other stadium in the NFL.

Think of it like this: If you’ve never been to an NFL game and knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you rather go to the old stomping grounds of Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, or the two-year old Cowboys Stadium?

2. Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)

Seating Capacity: 80,000 (allegedly expandable to 110,000, but we saw how well that worked out at the Super Bowl)
Playing Surface: Artificial Turf
Opened: 2009

Cowboys StadiumJerryWorld

As far as architecture and technology are concerned, Cowboys Stadium is the best in the business. You can’t help but find yourself in awe at the sheer size of the building as you approach from Route 30. In addition, the $30 million video screen that hangs 90 feet above the field has become the gold standard for JumboTrons in today’s NFL.

However, having opened in 2009, the place lacks historical significance and has the ability to keep the roof closed if the weather turns ugly. That’s why it failed to top Lambeau for the top spot in the rankings.

3. Qwest Field (Seattle Seahawks)

Seating Capacity: 67,000
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2002

Qwest FieldNot bad.

Not only is Qwest Field a sweet piece of eye candy that makes up part of the Seattle skyline, but this place is as loud as they come. I challenge you to name one outdoor venue that can generate more noise on Sundays than Paul Allen’s baby.

Qwest is located in downtown Seattle right next to the Puget Sound and per the Seahawks’ website is set “against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains.” In addition, Seattle is 5-1 at home during the playoffs since opening the joint in 2002.

Bonus: Qwest is located just 41 miles north of Chambers Bay, the best golf course you’ve never heard of.

4. Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Seating Capacity: 65,050
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 2001

Heinz FieldWhen in Pittsburgh, be sure to visit Primanti Bros.

Heinz has only been open for ten years, so the history doesn’t run too deep. But the Steelers have won two Super Bowl bowls since making the move from Three Rivers Stadium, something 21 NFL teams can’t say they’ve achieved in their entire history.

Pittsburgh is one of the great football cities in America. If you’re looking for a good time, book a hotel in the downtown area on Saturday and valet the car, because you can get everywhere you need to go by walking or taking a cab. The parking at the stadium is limited, but you can hit McFadden’s before the game to get tuned up prior to kickoff.

If you disagree with Heinz Field being rated this high, you’ve never been there in a crucial third down situation with the 65,000+ faithful in attendance all waving their Terrible Towels trying to help their defense get a stop. It’s an awesome sight.

5. Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)

Seating Capacity: 69,144
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 2003

Lincoln Financial FieldPhiladelphia boasts one of the best sports complexes in the country.

This place doesn’t feature the same hostility or 700 level chaos that could be found at Veterans Stadium back in the days of Buddy Ryan and Randall Cunningham, but trust me, that doesn’t mean Lincoln Financial Field is a friendly environment for visiting teams.

I’ve sat in the last row at the Linc and can tell you first hand that this place doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. In addition, fans are treated (I use that term loosely) to scenic views of the Philly skyline out of the west end zone.

The true beauty of Lincoln Financial Field comes before kickoff, as this venue is part of a Philadelphia sports complex that is also home to Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) and the Wells Fargo Center (Flyers, Sixers). With all of the parking available, fans have the luxury of tailgating with their 69,000 closest friends prior to game time.

Bonus: Matt Bowen was heckled by an old lady at the Linc while on crutches when he played there with the Rams back in his glory days.

6. Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts)

Seating Capacity: 66,153
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2008

Lucas Oil StadiumThe house that Peyton built.

Since opening in 2008, Lucas Oil Stadium has been the site of 19 regular season wins in only 24 games and is known for getting extremely loud when the roof is closed, although legend has it the Colts used to pump in extra noise through their sound system.

An architectural masterpiece, this venue is walking distance from a host of bars and restaurants in the downtown area, which becomes a sea of blue on Sundays. In addition, how often do you have the opportunity to attend a game that features one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history?

7. Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots)

Seating Capacity: 68,756
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2002

Gillette Stadium

Already the site of two Super Bowl championship teams and countless Tom Brady hairstyles, Gillette cracks the top-ten on this list mainly because of a personal experience I had here at the beginning of the 2009 season.

The Patriots were hosting the Buffalo Bills in the Monday night opener and trailed 24-10 with just over two minutes remaining in Brady’s first game back from a knee injury that sidelined him for pretty much the entire 2008 season.

Until this point in the game, I was disappointed in the New England faithful. Despite being a nationally televised game, the crowd had been mostly quiet and indifferent to what they were watching.

But after Brady hit tight end Ben Watson for a second touchdown with just 50 seconds remaining on the clock (giving the Pats a one-point lead), this place came alive like nothing I’ve ever witnessed in my 30-years on planet Earth. The lower level was shaking like it had been hit with an earthquake as the fans erupted in celebration.

I would gladly trade 58 minutes of dullness to experience another two minutes like that.

8. New Meadowlands Stadium (New York Giants, New York Jets)

Seating Capacity: 82,566
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2010

New Meadowlands StadiumNew Meadowlands Stadium

It ranks second in the league in seating capacity and is brand new, so New Meadowlands Stadium was obviously going to find its way into the top ten.

However, this place has no identity. Two teams play here and both failed to bring the postseason back to northern New Jersey. In addition, while NMS looks spectacular from the outside, the inside of the stadium area was built in the old school style that features one lower seating bowl and one upper level seating bowl.

While most new outdoor venues get a little more creative, the Giants and Jets opted to go the traditional route.

And you can’t really blame them. Honestly, who the hell wants a skyline view of East Rutherford?

9. Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Seating Capacity: 65,857
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1998

Raymond James StadiumThe infamous pirate ship.

If you’ve never been to Raymond James, I expect you’ll be hitting up the comments section to tell me I’m an idiot for having this place ranked this high. But outside of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, good luck finding a venue that features better weather than RJS. How many places provide the opportunity to get a sun tan while watching an outdoor football game in mid-December?

The tailgates are awesome, the fans are passionate, the building is relatively new and the team has already won a Super Bowl since moving in.

But the real star of Raymond James Stadium is the south end zone. While the 103-foot-long pirate ship in the north end zone gets all of the attention, the south end zone is the place to be if you’re between the ages of 21 and 32, as this is the site (at least it was while I was frequenting the joint back in 2006) where a host of young professionals from the Tampa area gather to hang out and drink beers on Sundays.

It’s the only place in the NFL where you have the opportunity to stand around and score digits while watching a football game from a sunshine-filled lower level.

Not that I would know, although I have tried and failed.

10. University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals)

Seating Capacity: 63,400 (expandable to 78,600)
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 2006

University of Phoenix StadiumThe Big Toaster

ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it “The Big Toaster.” Others say it looks like a spaceship. Cardinals fans are just happy that University of Phoenix Stadium offers air conditioning and a closed roof (if the team chooses), unlike the glory days at the old Sun Devil Stadium.

As far as actual facilities go, this place is top notch with a cutting-edge design and a grass field that can be moved outside into the Arizona sunshine. How cool is that?

However, the fans cost this place some bonus points in the rankings when they struggled to sell-out the 2009 Wild Card playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, considering the fact that the Cardinals had not been to the playoffs since 1998.

11. Invesco Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos)

Seating Capacity: 76,125
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 2001

Invesco Field at Mile HighYou like the view?

While the team hasn’t posted a winning season here since 2006, Invesco Field is regarded as one of the loudest and most intimidating stadiums in the game today.

Set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the first row of level four is one mile above sea level.

Bonus points for originality: Invesco Field features a plaque located outside of the visitor’s locker room that is meant to intimidate opponents by informing them of the dangers of being in the thin Rocky Mountain air.

You can’t find stuff like that in Atlanta.

12. Soldier Field (Chicago Bears)

Seating Capacity: 61,500
Playing Surface: A crappy combination of grass and mud.
Opened: 1924

Soldier FieldWhat does this look like to you?

After undergoing a $365 million renovation that was completed in 2003, here are some of the things that were said about the new-look Soldier Field:

“It looks like a UFO crash-landed on an ancient ruin.”

“It’s like a fat man trying to wedge himself into a skinny man’s shorts.”

The Chicago Tribune called it the “Monstrosity on the Midway.”

Still, Soldier gets bonus points for location (by the lake in the great city of Chicago), fans and historical significance. Think about it: This place has been around since 1924. That’s before the stock market crashed!

Additional Bonus Points: After catching a game at Soldier, you’re within walking distance of Lou Malnati’s.

13. New Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)

Seating Capacity: 81,425
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1972

New Arrowhead StadiumThe Chiefs opened up this place with a bang.

Chiefs fans, I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve never been to a game at Arrowhead and know very little about the stadium. I put you guys in the 13 spot because you just dumped $375 million into renovations and you’re regarded as some of the best fans in the league.

Had I actually been to a game at Arrowhead, I have a feeling I’d be rating this place a lot higher.

Feel free to blast me in the comments section.

14. M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens)

Seating Capacity: 71,008
Playing Surface: Sportexe Momentum Turf
Opened: 1998

M&T Bank StadiumThe home of Ray Lewis.

Located within walking distance from a really good time known as Inner Harbor, M&T Bank Stadium is the proud owner of a Vince Lombardi Trophy and home to one of the game’s all-time great linebackers in Ray Lewis.

However, despite qualifying for the playoffs seven times in the last 11 years, M&T has only hosted three postseason games in its existence, with two of them resulting in losses.

M&T ranks in the middle of the pack because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t really stand out in any of the stadium ranking criteria categories. The building is nice, the fans are good, the location is above average and there is some historical significance, but not a whole lot.

There’s not really anything else to say.

15. Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans Saints)

Seating Capacity: 76,468
Playing Surface: Sportexe Momentum Turf
Opened: 1975

SuperdomeSix Super Bowls have been played here.

I hate to say it (and I know it’s going to lead to some uproar) but the actual stadium structure is pretty dumpy. The place was opened in 1975 and was dealt a pretty serious blow when Hurricane Katrina came through New Orleans in 2005.

However, the Superdome has hosted six Super Bowls and isn’t far from Bourbon Street, which leads to some major bonus points. In addition, the great fans of New Orleans are capable of turning this venue into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL.

Said Vikings quarterback Brett Favre after losing the NFC Championship game to the Saints in 2010, “That was, by far, the most hostile environment I’ve ever been in. You couldn’t hear anything.”

History, fans and location are a big plus, but architecture and amenities are what’s keeping the Superdome from a higher ranking.

16. Reliant Stadium (Houston Texans)

Seating Capacity: 71,500
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 2002

Reliant StadiumReliant Stadium

The first facility in the NFL to have a retractable roof, Reliant Stadium is the exact opposite of the Superdome.

The architecture is outstanding and the amenities are first class, but the venue lacks any legitimate history and is populated by fans who have never seen their team qualify for the postseason.

Give the people something to cheer about, and I’ll bump you up. Until then, nothing here really stands out. Sure, the actual stadium is nice, but how often do you hear people talking about Reliant the way they talk about Qwest or Lucas Oil?

17. Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)

Seating Capacity: 73,778
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1996

Bank of America StadiumBOA is located in the beautiful city of Charlotte.

Located in the city of Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium offers a scenic, urban backdrop and fairly favorable weather conditions on Sundays in the fall. However, despite opening in 1996, this venue is already among “the oldest third of current NFL stadiums,” per Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, BOA has only hosted three playoff games in its 15-year existence. In addition, it’s tough to forget the memory of hearing how quiet this place was during the Divisional Round of the playoffs in 2009.

Granted, the Panthers got thrashed by the Cardinals 33-13, but I expected more from a fan base that had only been a part of two home playoff games prior to that dreadful day.

18. LP Field (Tennessee Titans)

Seating Capacity: 69,143
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1999

LP FieldLP Field

The open-aired home of the Titans is located in Nashville, which affords Tennessee fans the luxury of partying in one hell of a fun city prior to kickoff. Since opening its doors in 1999, LP Field has played host to four playoff games, including the legendary “Music City Miracle” in 2000.

This venue is located in a solid location and has a respectable fan base, but nothing stands out about the architecture and the historical significance of the building is somewhat lacking.

I could very well be missing something here, but I’m not sure how LP deserves a higher ranking.

19. FedEx Field (Washington Redskins)

Seating Capacity: 91,704
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1997

FedEx FieldBe careful when leaving this place.

Located in the heart of the NFC East, FedEx Field boasts a top-notch fan base and the gritty, northeast weather in which football was meant to be played. A seating capacity of just over 91,000 is a big plus, as FedEx can get extremely loud when the ‘Skins are playing well.

Outside of that, there are a lot of problems with this place. For one, the traffic getting in and getting out is awful. In addition, it’s possible that FedEx is located in the worst neighborhood of any NFL city.

I’m not sure about you, but in my opinion, going to a football game shouldn’t include the risk of getting gunned down after watching your team get beat.

20. Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo Bills)

Seating Capacity: 73,079
Playing Surface: AstroPlay
Opened: 1973

Ralph Wilson StadiumOne of the many tailgates at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

When it comes to architecture and amenities, RWS is going to rank at the bottom of the list. But there’s something charming about the home of the Bills in that there’s no denying this place was built to host football games.

While I haven’t had the privilege of attending a game at Ralph Wilson, I’ve never heard a negative thing about their fan base. Buffalo boasts one of the most loyal followings in the NFL, despite having to root for a team that hasn’t produced a winning season since 2004.

These people are known to throw a first-class tailgate party, which is a big-time bonus in my book. In addition, anytime weather plays a serious role in your games, you get an added bump.

This is how football should be played (unless it’s the Super Bowl, in which case it should be in Miami, Southern California, Phoenix or New Orleans).

21. Ford Field (Detroit Lions)

Seating Capacity: 64,500
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2002

Ford FieldJust after kickoff (just kidding).

The home of the Detroit Lions is said to be very nice. Sadly, you’d never know because nobody attends the games and very few people actually talk about the place.

That will all change in two years when Jim Schwartz leads the Lions back to the postseason.

22. Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Seating Capacity: 71,294
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1967

Like all California football stadiums, this place is a dump. But Qualcomm scores major bonus points for two things: tailgating and weather.

The monstrous parking lot offers up one of the best pregame party spots in all of the NFL, as tee shirts and shorts can be worn pretty much for the duration of the season. I was a San Diego season ticket holder back in 2005 and can tell you firsthand that the tailgating at Qualcomm is arguably the best in the business.

Unfortunately, San Diego is a transplant city, which means once you get inside the stadium, the very real possibility exists that you’ll be outnumbered by fans who support the visiting team.

I was booed out of the joint back in ’05 when the Cowboys, Steelers and Giants all came to town. In addition, you’d be wise to avoid the upper deck when the Raiders visit, as all-out brawls tend to be the norm for this fierce AFC West rivalry.

Bonus Points: The weather is so nice (rarely any wind), that beer pong is a staple of many a tailgate.

*Fast forward to the 38-second mark to witness Oakland and San Diego fans treating each other with the utmost respect. 

23. Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals)

Seating Capacity: 65,790
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 2000

Paul Brown StadiumThe Bengals have never won a playoff game at this stadium.

The traveling circus known as the Cincinnati Bengals rarely give their fans anything to cheer about. Since opening its doors in 2000, Paul Brown Stadium has hosted just two playoff games, with both of them predictably resulting in a loss.

However, PBS is located in downtown Cincinnati and offers a pretty decent few of the city skyline. Additionally, if your stadium carries the nickname, “The Jungle,” you definitely deserve some respect.

Overall, the venue is nice and the fans are pretty solid, but the place lacks historical significance and can probably get pretty miserable late in the season when the Bengals are getting cracked.

Bonus Points: Somehow, Paul Brown Stadium made the list of “America’s favorite 150 buildings and structures,” per the team website. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

24. Georgia Dome (Atlanta Falcons)

Seating Capacity: 71,228
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Opened: 1992

The place is 19 years old and the team is already clamoring for a new venue.

That says it all.

25. Browns Stadium (Cleveland Browns)

Seating Capacity: 73,200
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1999

Browns Stadium has never hosted a playoff game and is affectionately known as, “The Mistake by the Lake.”

Hard to imagine why this place didn’t crack the top ten.

UPDATE:  Thanks to a variety of vicious emails from 12 Cleveland fans, I now know that the "Mistake by the Lake" was the old Cleveland Stadium and not the new one.  I apologize and yes, I'm an idiot.  Also, I was thoroughly impressed by the Cleveland support, so I'm bumping you guys to No. 23 and moving Cincinnati and everyone else down one spot.

26. Candlestick Park (San Francisco 49ers)

Seating Capacity: 69,732
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1960

Upside: NFL legends such as Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Charles Haley called this place home. Additionally, the weather is often nice and the city is gorgeous. There’s a lot to be said about a place that has served as the stomping grounds for five Super Bowl championship teams.

Downside: The structure is way too old and Section 19 offers awful views of the field. Keeping with current California NFL stadium standards, this place is a dump.

27. Sun Life Stadium (Miami Dolphins)

Seating Capacity: 75,192
Playing Surface: Grass with a baseball infield (Nice touch!)
Opened: 1987

Sun Life StadiumThis is where the Dolphins play football.

The team letterhead may say they’re from Miami, but this aging venue is located in Coral Gables*, with unimpressive surroundings.

The weather is solid, the fans usually show up and the building has hosted five Super Bowls, which offers some form of historical significance. But the fact that the field has a baseball diamond fowling things up during football season serves for a point deduction.

*Update No. 2:  According to several readers, Sun Life Stadium is located in Miami Gardens and not Coral Gables.  My apologies for the mistake.  What's really sad is that I should probably know this, considering I've been to this stadium four or five times.

28. Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis Rams)

Seating Capacity: 66,965
Playing Surface: AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D (I have no clue what that means)
Opened: 1995

I completely forgot that the Rams played here.

29. Everbank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Seating Capacity: 67,164
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1995

Believe it or not, the Jaguars have actually hosted three playoff games at this place. Unfortunately, the most recent one took place in 2000.

I know this organization has some die-hard fans, but your cause doesn’t benefit from constant rumors about the team heading for Los Angeles.

1 Bonus Point: Everbank hosted a Super Bowl!

-1 Point: Everyone complained and it probably won’t happen again.

30. The Oakland Coliseum (Oakland Raiders)

Seating Capacity: 63,026
Playing Surface: Grass
Opened: 1966

The Oakland ColiseumThis thing looks friendly.

Please excuse my language, but this place is a first-class shithole. At first glimpse, it looks like someone molded a toxic landfill into an NFL stadium.

The only upside here is that the Raiders have some seriously dedicated fans.

I would know. One of them threatened to knife me back in 2005 when I made the mistake of going to this place with a bunch of Giants fans for the regular season finale on December 31. I wasn’t even rooting for the Giants, but apparently I was guilty by association.

-25 points: I had been drinking heavily that day, but I’m pretty sure I was sitting on metal bleachers instead of an actual seat. I’d be willing to bet that there are high school stadiums in West Texas that are more advanced than this dump.

31. The place where the Minnesota Vikings play (what the hell do you people call it these days?)

Seating Capacity: 64,121
Playing Surface: Sportexe Momentum Turf
Opened: 1982

The video speaks for itself:

Fortenbaugh’s Stadium Resume

1. Cowboys Stadium (Cowboys)
2. Heinz Field (Steelers)
3. Gillette Stadium (Patriots)
4. Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
5. Raymond James Stadium (Buccaneers)
6. Soldier Field (Bears)
7. New Meadowlands Stadium (Giants, Jets)
8. Sun Life Stadium (Dolphins)
9. The Oakland Coliseum (Raiders)
10. Qualcomm Stadium (Chargers)

Been to the following, but not for games: M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens), Superdome (Saints), Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts)

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Comments

Add a Comment
HRMLSSONE
Feb 17, 2011
03:27 PM

University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals) = The Jiffy Pop Dome

SkolVikings
Feb 17, 2011
03:53 PM

Let me get this straight - you put the new, faceless, and freezing-cold Lucas Oil Stadium in 6th because of Manning? And Raymond James, Invesco, and U Phoenix get ranked above Soldier Field? You're considering recent success as a factor (which you didn't list) and even worse, you're applying the standards pretty damn unevenly. The Panthers get knocked for having "quiet" fans, but Raymond James has "passionate" fans (how many times did they get blacked out this season?) LP and M&T get knocked for not having history but the Linc doesn't? Come on dude, at least put more effort into this than slapping together a list in 10 minutes while smoking a joint.

Also, as a Vikings fan, I can even understand our stadium getting knocked (although, I'm not sure about your joke - the place has only changed its name once, and recently at that, unlike Miami's digs), but it is one of the loudest places in the league and has a loyal following, not to mention is a stone's throw away from downtown Minneapolis. I just thought this list was done pretty lazily.

Journeyman
Feb 17, 2011
03:55 PM

Fortenbaugh, I gotta disagree with you on two of those stadiums. FedEx, which I went to this October, is just this soulless, lifeless coliseum. It's an awful stadium. Before buying tickets, I did some research on it and discovered the following:

The stadium is divided into three decks: too high, right on the field (and super-expensive), and just right, which is taken up by luxury boxes. In addition, on the visitor's side at the 220 level, a whole level of seats are set way back under the second deck. The tickets are cheap there, but you can't see punts or kickoffs because the overhang cuts off your view, and sometimes your view is literally blocked by the concrete pillars that hold up the second deck. In other words, you are paying for a seat behind a concrete pillar, upon which the Redskins have helpfully installed hi-def TVs so that you may watch the game on those instead. What a great way to blow $100!

In addition, the stadium itself isn't even in DC, but out in Maryland. There's one Metro line with a stop a half a mile away from the stadium, which is always absolutely packed (and they don't run extra trains). Parking is a nightmare, too, if you decide to drive. The 'Skins fans can get really loud (seating, 91,000), but that's a dubious redeeming factor at best.

On the other hand, I wouldn't complain if Browns Stadium and FedEx swapped spots. I actually find its location by the lake to be well-chosen; when I went there in October, the stadium itself was rather charming and the view of it and the lake was great. Browns fans are pretty decently loud, too (particularly if you graded them on a curve, since the team stunk so badly).

Sirscorps
Feb 17, 2011
04:50 PM

Stadiums should be knocked down a spot for not having 100% real grass too. I don't see what the issue is with teams, media, players, fans, etc...bitching about having to play on dead grass & some mud (or the cold, GASP!!!!!!) up to a few times per season, how nitpicky is that????? How many lists do you see made up about "The Top 10 Most Sterile Looking Games In Football History" or "The Best Dome Games Eve"? I don't recall those conditions causing many injuries either, have you? The game is sterile (i.e. corporate) looking enough as it is. Might as well play the games in a "big box" store!

You should write an article on if fake grass really helps that much compared to astroturf when it comes to the usual injuries associated w/artificial turf. Example; Would Woodson's shoulder injury in the SB have been prevented/lessened if they played on real grass? Has anyone done a study on this yet?

Cowboys Stadium is overrated. I'm assuming the only reason they have the screen is because there are thousands of bad seats.

captainvan
Feb 17, 2011
04:54 PM

Not that the Browns have done anything to warrant losing this moniker, but Cleveland Municipal Stadium was the "Mistake by the Lake," not Browns Stadium.....

jmm1784
Feb 17, 2011
04:59 PM

Though I think you nailed their spot in your rankings (#27), SunLife Stadium is not located in Coral Gables, which is where the Univ. of Miami is. SunLife is in Hollywood, FL, basically a worthless tract of land suitable for two things: a stadium and bunch of highways, close to nothing worthy of merit or visiting. Also, SoFlo has some of the WORST sports fans in the country; I've never been around so many fair-weather fans I don't think. And that label doesn't apply just to Fins fans: Heat, Marlins, Tha U, all of it. You can always tell how their teams are doing based on game day attendance, a terrible indicator of success. Also, HUGE minus points for letting Jimmy Buffett in on team stadium rights, sponsorship, etc...

Im Just Sayin
Feb 17, 2011
05:08 PM

I'd much rather go to a game a Qwest than Jerry's World. Seattle is a way better city than Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Sirscorps
Feb 17, 2011
06:00 PM

Lambeau Field is 95% bleachers too. PLUS, when they revamped the place, they moved the seat numbers on the bleachers closer together to help "expand" the seating capacity. How lame is that? Especially in a state full obese people like Wisconsin & especially when their all wearing winter gear in the cold weather. You can clearly see the old seating numbers too. Isn't this a professional football stadium? Isn't it the 21st century?

/Lives & have lived in GB for almost my whole life.
//Lambeau Field is NOT perfect.

PhinsTifosi
Feb 17, 2011
06:10 PM

Joe

You are a moron. JRS (otherwise known as Sun Life Stadium) is located in Miami Gardens, which is NORTH of Miami proper. Coral Gables was the home of the Infamously fabulous ORANGE BOWL (RIP) and is home to THE U. Coral Gables is SOUTH of Miami proper. Get your frakin geography correct before you dis someplace.

You also forgot to give JRS added points for being one of only 3 stadiums where you can get a tan at a December or January game. You just must be a Phins hater.

A new baseball stadium is built on the grave of the OB, so when it opens (2012 or 13 I think) there will be no more baseball infield.

Dfosterf
Feb 17, 2011
06:22 PM

Sirscorps- One man's lame too close together with mis-aligned #'s/ bleachers place with obese folk is another man's thank God this fat lady is helping me keep warm 'cause otherwise I'd be freezin' my a$$ off kinda place.

:-)

Lambeau is very deservedly number 1, and it isn't even close, imo

Journeyman has Fed-Ex pegged perfectly in his critique, and I'd venture to say that any Redskin fan that participated in rocking old RFK would also say that rating boy-wonder's God-awful shrine to his limitless greed at 19 is probably the nicest thing anyone ever said about it.

ziwhtam
Feb 17, 2011
06:31 PM

This guy has clearly not done his research, because Reliant Stadium has hosted a playoff game.

Apparently he doesn't know what a "Super Bowl" is.

herz_aus_stahl
Feb 17, 2011
07:30 PM

journeyman,
i would have to say the bleacher seating keeps the old feel in place, plus like dfosterf said, it helps you stay warm in winter, i've never minded it and never will. plus who knows how many seats would have been lost if they put in regular stadium seats. as for the seats being moved closer togerther, what section are your tickets in? hasn't seemed any different to me where i am, or if it is, it wasn't that noticeable.

so Fortenenbaugh, when are you gonna have Matt take you to a game at Lambeau so you can see what you've been missing? just don't forget the 2nd and 5th game every year are the "gold" tickets and mostly milwaukee fans (at least the ones who don't sell them)

Packer Pete
Feb 17, 2011
08:22 PM

How did the Metrodome get ranked that high?

Journeyman
Feb 17, 2011
11:21 PM

herz_aus_stahl,

Hey, I don't mind the bleachers at Lambeau. I've been there a few times (Packer fan) and as long as you bring a blanket or something to sit on, there's nothing wrong with 'em.

herz_aus_stahl
Feb 18, 2011
07:42 AM

Journeyman,
even better than having to drag a blanket in, just get a couple cheap stadium cushions, easier to carry in and then you never notice the bleachers. surprisingly i can never remember hearing an opposing teams fan complain about them either. it'll be interesting to see how the new scoreboards look also...

samthedog
Feb 18, 2011
07:44 AM

Packers Pete, that was hilarious. I think Hubert Humphrey's memory would have been better served if they would have named a local sewage facility after him.

Sepnasty
Feb 18, 2011
09:58 AM

JF-
Next season, whenever that will be, you need to come to GB and check out a game at Lambeau. There is nothing like it. If you had a good time tailgating anywhere else you will have a blast in GB. You will never have a more enjoyable experience at a sporting event! Hit up Andrew Brandt and come to Lambeau. Ill have a cold High-Life waiting for you!

Lou
Feb 18, 2011
12:45 PM

@Dfosterd

You know Snyder didn't build fedex it was Cooke who built it

Pantherphan
Feb 18, 2011
01:12 PM

I'm actually surprised the BoA is ranked 17...pretty bland stadium but good seats all around. My seat has the view of the sky line which is nice. Night games are great when the Duke Energy building is lit up and changing colors.

As for the quiet fans during the Cardinals playoff game debacle, we were rocking after DWill's TD run to open the first drive of the game. Then Jake proceeded to take all the air right out of the stadium with his 5 picks and fumble. It really was heartbreaking so you have to understand why it was so quiet. The only other Panther moment that hurt worse was when Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds in the Super Bowl XXXVIII and gave Brady the ball at the 40 to easily get into field goal range to win...damn, that hurt just typing it!

Otto DeFay
Feb 18, 2011
04:34 PM

What an idiot! Have you nothing better to do than put out such a subjective and unresearched article? At least all of us have something to tell you about how poorly you did here.

Lambeau Field is the only NFL facility that has large numbers of backless bleacher seats. Oakland, even back in 2005 when you went, had ZERO! No wonder you almost got stabbed. How overserved were you? Dum-bass! Don't hold that against the facility and crowd.

Jerryworld is more sterile than most operating rooms. Any large video screen that was inspired by visions of Celene Dion must be suspect.

Arrowhead needs to be ranked much higher and domes need to be at the bottom. Arrowhead, Seattle and Denver are the loudest outdoor stadia.

Only 2-syllable word heard at the "Brown-Hole" in Cleveland is the word "asshole." And it is the entire city, not just the old stadium that is "the Mistake on the Lake."

Ralph Wilson in Buffalo is a one of a kind experience. The fans come out no matter what and are fun and knowledgable. "A drinking town with a football problem." And, yes, history has been made there.

Candlestick is a total dump. It is not in San francisco proper, but out on a point against the bay. Dirty, damp and falling apart. Accessible only by passing thru the worst slum in town, it has none of the ambiance of San Fran. It has the ambience of an abandoned shipyard. At least Oakland is next to a freeway, BART and AMTRAK stations for easy in and out.

"Miami" is one of the older, new generation facilities. Far better than the Orange Bowl. LOL

DonHutson
Feb 18, 2011
05:51 PM

Lambeau rules! Those backless seats build a strong spine needed to walk the protest lines in front of the state capital. Wisconsin home of the Packers, Lambeau Field, and the new Pharoh.

Seriously though the site lines at Lambeau make watching a game there a real treat. But avoid the northeast seating higher bowl seats late in the second half of an afternoon game in the Fall - either that or have really good sun glasses.

ppabich
Feb 18, 2011
09:35 PM

I like how angry people get over a stadium list

Otto DeFay - What an idiot!

ziwhtam - This guy has clearly not done his research, because Reliant Stadium has hosted a playoff game.
Apparently he doesn't know what a "Super Bowl" is.

PhinsTifosi - Joe
You are a moron.

SkolVikings - I just thought this list was done pretty lazily.


It's stadium ranking people! It's just his opinion, nobody is making fun of your mothers!

Stewart Godshall
Feb 19, 2011
03:55 PM

Lambeau - After the remodel it still has BLEACHERS? Really? And it's #1? Obvviously the only criteria that mattered to the author was "historical" aka the oldest building where they play football. The list is hereby rendered irrelevant and stupid.

Brian1
Feb 19, 2011
07:20 PM

Been to MY BOYZ' COWBOYS STADIUM & it's EXACTLY like Fortenbaugh says it is.FIRST CLASS & AWESOME BABY JUST AWESOME!!!!!!

Fielding_Mellish
Feb 21, 2011
11:02 AM

In 2005, I saw the Iggles play the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Nicest group of fans I've ever been around. Very passionate but respectful. Tailgating was a sea of red and civilized. Arrowhead is extremely clean and the sightlines are fantastic. I strongly recommend people take a trip there.

Nashville
Feb 24, 2011
11:08 AM

Oakland Raiders fans threatening a stabbing...ha. They are just a classless as the team they root for.

Velveeta
Jun 14, 2011
05:50 PM

The old Browns played in "The Mistake on the Lake." So do the new Browns.

The Mistake on the Lake is Cleveland.

Baltimore teez
Dec 24, 2011
09:14 PM

I agree wit the Guy that said u took points off of m&t bank stadium for not having history but not off the Linc.. m&t bank stadium is one of the loudest stadiums in all of football and if u kno ur football history u kno that old memorial stadium where the Baltimore colts played, was called the worlds largest outdoor insane asylum cuz of how loud it was and sports writers call m&t bank stadium the world's largest outdoor insane asylum 2 cuz its an outdoor stadium and they say its loud like the old Seattle king dome or I think it was called, with the concrete roof? They da that was the loudest stadium ever and they say m&t bank stadium is loud like that!! Go ravens!!

Benny
Feb 13, 2012
04:42 PM

You don't mention how indoor stadiums become outdated after ten years and teams want new ones after 20 years. The Vikings plan on having an indoor stadium built, which will cost $1 billion. They'll want a new one after 20 years cause it'll be considered a dump by then. Indoor stadiums don't become legendary. Outdoor stadiums do. If the Vikinf built an outdoor stadium, it would be standing for many years.

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