These days, most people like to enjoy sports on their televisions. Not only have televisions gotten larger and thinner, but they have also become more affordable and capable of high definition. Hundreds of camera angles also enhance the experience, and you don’t have to pay for parking and can drink as much as you want for cheap because you don’t need to worry about going to jail.
Oh, and the fights in the parking lot. You aren’t nearly as likely to get stabbed in your own house as you are a 49ers game. All of this combined has caused a decline in live attendance, but there are still certain stadiums that sports fans have to experience at least once (Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field, Madison Square Garden, etc.)
Then there are those stadiums that nobody wants to go to because they are terrible experiences and the teams are bad most of the time. Between massively boring domes and gaudy sightlines, some stadiums are just overall pains to go to. Which ones are the worst in all of American sports, though? Here are the 15 worst stadiums in America that still have an active major tenant.
15 Marlins Park
The first entrant onto our list is also the newest one, Marlins Park. After Jeffrey Loria basically extorted Miami into getting a new stadium, the Marlins finally opened play in their new park in 2012. At first, we all thought it was cool but didn’t want to admit that we secretly hated it. Marlins Park is way too gaudy for its own good, and way too green to go along with it. It does have a retractable roof, which is necessary when you play in Miami, but sometimes the poorly managed Marlins forget to close it, causing rain delays.
14 BMO Harris Bradley Center
The BMO Harris Bradley Center (or just Bradley Center) is the home to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. Opened in 1988, the Bradley Center has been deemed too small and lacking any amenities that all of the newer arenas have. Even NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league needed to focus on getting a new stadium for Milwaukee (even if it’s in Las Vegas). $3 million was spent on the Bradley Center for renovations, but it still falls way short of most other basketball venues.
13 Turner Field
It’s already hard enough to drive anywhere in Atlanta, Georgia, but getting to a Braves game can be a real pain. Turner Field was built as part of Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics and was converted into some lifeless baseball stadium that just looks boring. Turner Field is one of the least unique stadiums in all of sports, which is saying something because you have a lot more leeway in baseball to create uniqueness than you do in football. Thankfully for the Braves fans, they can do their tomahawk chop at the new SunTrust Park in 2017...even though it cost them $622 million.
12 Sleep Train Arena
Not only has this Sacramento Kings home had the stupidest names (ARCO Arena, Power Balance Pavilion and Sleep Train Arena), it is also one of the worst in all of sports. Mercifully, the Kings are moving out of this dump after the 2015-16 season. The area around Sleep Train Arena looks like a graveyard, with the skeleton of an unfinished baseball stadium right across the way that stopped because they ran out of money. The owners haven’t cared about the arena since taking over the team, they just want to get out of dodge. The new stadium has a name that’s just as bad, the Golden 1 Credit Union Center.
11 Georgia Dome
For whatever reason in 1980s and 1990s, people were all about building big dome stadiums for NFL teams that had zero identity and felt more like mausoleums. The Georgia Dome is one of those tombs, and is another one on our list that is going to be losing their team here soon. Arthur Blank has seen the writing on the wall that dome stadiums are soulless and that retractable roofs are the way to go, because you can actually make them look unique. Atlanta fans don’t think they need a new stadium, but just sitting in the Georgia Dome makes you yearn for sunlight after about 30 minutes.
10 Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Another one of those big steel and concrete domes that is in the south for some reason is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (not to be confused with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, future home of the Falcons). Unlike the others on our list so far, the Saints have no plans on moving away from this one despite being 17 years older than the Georgia Dome. The main reason is because of the post-Hurricane Katrina $320 million renovation that took place. The Superdome gets loud, surely, but only when the Saints are good. When they’re playing poorly, it’s a giant voodoo tomb with stupidly multi-colored seats.
9 Arthur Ashe Stadium
Arthur Ashe Stadium cost more than $375 million in today’s dollars to build in Queens and is home to the U.S. Open tennis tournament. It’s named for a tennis legend, but this massive junker doesn’t live up to his name. You can get good seats for the first few rounds of the tournament, but you’re stuck in the upper deck with some terrible sightlines for the later rounds. There is also a swirling wind tunnel that seems to attract fog more than the old Soldier Field and Candlestick Park put together. Unlike Wimbledon, the food is unmemorable and about 7-Eleven style of quality.
8 Kibbie Dome
I didn’t originally want to include any college venues in here, but then I remembered that the Kibbie Dome existed and had to throw it in. The Kibbie Dome is home to the University of Idaho Vandals football and basketball teams, as well as track & field and tennis. This week, the Kibbie Dome celebrates its 40th anniversary and still looks like a huge barn from the outside. Only around 15,000 fans can get into a game, and when you’re inside, it looks like the field just stops because a giant wall at the end of the stadium just cuts it off. Does Idaho not have enough money to build their team a better barn?
7 The Palace of Auburn Hills
For some reason when people are discussing the worst stadiums, nobody ever brings up The Palace of Auburn Hills, but why? First off, it’s pretty far from Detroit, and was opened in that bad late 1980s time period where stadiums just didn’t hold up. There are massive open areas in the Palace that make it look more like a convention center or a concert arena. The outside of the arena doesn’t look too bad and there are a few amenities there, but it hasn’t undergone many renovations and is starting to show its age. Not only that, but the Pistons have been bad lately so the place feels like a half empty funeral for some B-list celebrity.
6 U.S. Cellular Field
While the Cubs have stayed in Wrigley Field for more than 100 years, the White Sox ditched their old Comiskey Park to move into U.S. Cellular Field. While the gorgeous Camden Yards was built around the same time, it has held up thousands of times better than “The Cell”. If you want a cheap ticket to U.S. Cellular, you have to sit in the upper deck, and at U.S. Cellular it makes you feel like you’re watching the game from a blimp that isn’t moving. You are literally blocked off from entering better seats, and have to sneak around ushers after the 7th inning when they finally loosen up. The scoreboard is neat, but the rest of the stadium is bland. At least they have better food than Wrigley for the most part.
5 FedEx Field
Dan Snyder is a terrible owner, no doubt about it, but at least he has expressed interest in moving away from the dump known as FedExField since he purchased the team. FedEx Field hasn’t even celebrated its 20th birthday but fans are itching to move back to the District. This stadium, in Landover, Maryland, is nearly impossible to get to, parking is a pain in the rear, there are a multitude of obstructed seats, the upper deck has been slashed repeatedly with 17,000 taken out so far and it barely holds sound. There are no redeeming qualities about FedEx Field, and they don’t even have good food there.
4 Edward Jones Dome
Yet again, another dome stadium from the 1990’s, but at least this one doesn’t look as bad from the outside, it’s the inside that makes it bad. The Rams have been in the dome for 20 years now, and it appears they are poised to move to greener pastures in Los Angeles. Who wouldn’t want to escape the EJD? The location is terrible in terms of parking, making it feel like tailgating is impossible. There are rundown buildings all over the place, the sound and light haven’t been updated since the 1990’s and nobody is enthusiastic because they are all too busy watching the Cardinals. If they could take their proposed L.A. stadium and put it in St. Louis, that would be amazing, but I don’t see it happening.
3 Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego is one of the best cities in the United States with some of the best weather, but they have a huge garbage pile known as Qualcomm Stadium that plays host to the Chargers. At nearly 50 years old, the Chargers rightfully want to move but fans (again, rightfully) don’t want to pay for one and the team is threatening a move to Los Angeles. Qualcomm is falling apart, the video boards are God awful, and the only thing that looks good inside of the stadium is when the Chargers are wearing their powder blue uniforms. One fan said that calling it a dump is an insult to dumps.
2 O.Co Coliseum
For the third stadium in a row, we find a tenant that is threatening a move to Los Angeles, the Raiders (who have already been there). Since there are currently no stadiums being built for the Raiders or Athletics, they are stuck with this big eyesore for a while. For baseball, the foul territory is way too big and the sightlines are terrible because most of the seats are tarped off. As for football, it’s hilarious to still see a team with a baseball field on their playing surface. The stadium is also old and outdated, and it has even had sewage problems because the field is 23 feet below sea level. Why hasn’t either team been able to move yet?
1 Tropicana Field
We now reach the top of the list to find the worst stadium in sports, Tropicana Field. “The Trop” was opened in 1990 and was basically empty for years besides tennis and concerts because they didn’t have a tenant. Finally, the Rays moved into Tropicana Field and it was immediately clear that the stadium was a God awful design for baseball. The whole place feels like a big warehouse with terrible sightlines and the constant fear of a baseball hitting a catwalk and plunking one of the 800 fans in attendance right on the noggin. The turf is ugly and terrible, and is truly the worst place to watch a game. New stadiums are starting to get proposed, so hopefully this stadium is only in use for a few more years.
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