For the college or NFL football player, nothing beats winning a big game in front of the home crowd. For the college or NFL football fan, it is all about the experience of being at the actual game. You remember it when you were younger. The first time you ever set foot inside a big-time football stadium, or any other sports stadium for that matter, it felt like you were stepping inside of a fictional castle. As time goes on, you might go to college and part of the decision could be if your school has a big-time football program and a great atmosphere to watch the games in. Some teams like Alabama or the New England Patriots are playing in their stadiums just a little bit longer than a lot of other teams on a consistent basis. But which stadiums might fans hype up just a little too much? Which stadiums might they not hype up enough?
Let's face the facts. There are just some college and NFL stadiums that people love to talk about that don't come through with the ultimate viewing experience. Others slip under the radar and we don't realize how good they are to watch a football game in until somebody brings it up. It is always nice to be able to see a professional or college football game live. Having it in an awesome stadium and getting that next level experience can make it all the better. Let's do some exploring! Let's look at 12 football stadiums in America that are overrated and 10 that are very much underrated.
24 Overrated: Rose Bowl (UCLA)
The Rose Bowl just isn't what it used to be. Sure, there used to be a time when UCLA football was very good and could put out a good product. But now, it just seems very mediocre, given the team itself isn't a powerhouse like they once were. We'll see if that changes when Chip Kelly gets a couple more years to recruit.
The stadium itself is very nice and has hosted some big games in the past such as the 1994 FIFA World Cup and sponsors the annual Rose Bowl game. But the magic doesn't seem to be there anymore at the classic Rose Bowl Stadium.
23 Underrated: Carrier Dome (Syracuse)
The Carrier Dome might be one of the most underrated fields in all of college football. Being inside of a dome, while playing college football, is quite a perk to have. Not to mention that besides Syracuse football, the dome also has played home to Syracuse basketball and lacrosse as well. Any seat you may have is not a bad one and the aerial view is quite amazing. The Syracuse Football team was ranked quite high this season, making the Carrier Dome a "can't miss" spot. Will it become even better in the future? Let's also not forget it's also one of the largest domed stadiums in the country.
22 Overrated: Folsom Field (University of Colorado)
The University of Colorado had some bright and shining years with their football program under the supervision of legendary head coach Bill McCartney. But while the Buffaloes seemed to be winning games on the field, it didn't seem to be that great of a stadium to watch the game off of the field. The Buffaloes do find some magic in their home stadium as they have a career winning percentage of .642, when playing for the home fans. The stigma around the stadium is long gone from the McCartney days. Now, it is just an average college football stadium to watch a game in on Saturdays.
21 Underrated: Harvard Stadium (Harvard)
One of the best college football traditions in the country comes right in the New England region as the Harvard-Yale game takes place every year. One of the stadiums in that rivalry that goes a bit under the radar, so to speak, is Harvard Stadium. It has a very nice outlook on it, with a turf field that was implemented in 2006. There is also a lot of history to look back on with the Boston Patriots playing one season at the stadium. The 1984 Summer Olympics was held there as well. Harvard Stadium has lots to be proud of through all of their years of existence.
20 Overrated: L.A. Coliseum (USC/L.A. Rams)
The USC Trojans had quite the ride in the mid-2000s with two consecutive National Championships. They were also one play away from three-peating. But now, USC is just an average Division I Collegiate program and the energy that surrounded the L.A. Coliseum is gone.
The Coliseum also has the privilege of hosting the Los Angeles Rams, who have seen a resurgence in recent years. However, the Rams will be on the move again very soon. Unless the USC Trojans get another recruiting class like the one with Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and LenDale White, the Coliseum is just another stadium to watch a college football game on Saturdays.
19 Underrated: Nissan Stadium (Titans)
The Tennessee Titans might be a franchise that has struggled to reach perennial contender status, but what they have to look forward to is their home stadium, Nissan Stadium, being filled to maximum capacity within the next few years. Nissan has state-of-the-art technology and they have some of the best field maintenance workers as they re-sod their grass every few weeks to make sure the field is always in tip-top shape. Plus, the best part is that it is right in Nashville, which everyone seems to be excited to go to. Nissan Stadium is one to visit and check out if you are ever in Nashville and bored.
18 Overrated: Heinz Field (Steelers)
Heinz Field is one of those legendary fields that seems almost mythical. Or is it? Heinz Field is home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. There are reports that the Panthers won't even be able to play their home games at the stadium in the near future. Besides that, it is tough to see the games way high up in the stands with the way the field is currently constructed. While the towel wave is a fun idea, it doesn't replace the fact that the field is just average and the Steelers are starting to look just average as well.
17 Underrated: Broncos Stadium at Mile High (Broncos)
The Denver Broncos may not be making the playoffs this season. But they do have a nice home field in Broncos Stadium at Mile High for spectators to enjoy the show. The stadium offers many ways of transportation to the games and can seat up to over 76,000 people for a Broncos game on any given day. The stadium also has some cool in-game traditions such as the fans yelling, "IN-COM-PLETE!!" when the opposing quarterback throws an incomplete pass. The stadium can also hold enough room for big concerts and live shows to gain more revenue. The Denver Broncos definitely have a winner in Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
16 Overrated: Metlife Stadium (Jets and Giants)
New York professional football teams are just not in a good state at the current moment. The Giants are still trying to rebuild, even though they drafted Saquon Barkley last season. The Jets have not made any progress within the last few years in the AFC East. Also, to top it all off, the stadium that both of these teams play in is highly overrated. Metlife charges a fortune for parking and food alone. But then, to have to pay for the tickets to see these two teams lose way more often than win is simply head-scratching. Metlife needs to do a better job of taking care of ticket holders if their teams are not going to perform most weeks.
15 Underrated: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Falcons)
Being in a dome is always a blessing in disguise for fans. They don't have to worry about wind, rain, snow, etc. as they watch their respective team play. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is no different. It can hold up to 70,000 people for an Atlanta Falcons football game, 80,000 for concerts, and can also hold over 40,000 for soccer matches if they so choose. They also host a number of college football games and bowl games. It's also set to host Super Bowl LIII. Once fans around the country get a great look at this stadium, perhaps it will really get its due. The only bad part about the stadium is that it doesn't have a Super Bowl banner raised in the rafters. They, unfortunately, have the New England Patriots to thank for that little issue.
14 Overrated: The Big House (Michigan)
The writing is on the wall for "The Big House," or Michigan Stadium in this case. The Michigan Wolverines were supposed to have one of their best teams ever and seemed destined to upset a very good Ohio State team in Ohio. Unfortunately, Ohio State beat them again and showed that Michigan is just another slightly upper tier football team. Michigan Stadium is the second largest stadium in the world, so it's understandable why there is so much hype to it. But when you have a coach that can't beat Ohio State and a team that cannot get to that next level of competitiveness, maybe that tells fans they need more than just a decently nice stadium to win.
13 Underrated: FirstEnergy Stadium (Browns)
The Cleveland Browns actually have a competitive football team this season. Led by rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns find themselves playing relevant football in December and could potentially be a very scary team to play in the future. Also, FirstEnergy Stadium isn't exactly the worst stadium to play in. The stadium is filled with some of the most passionate sports fans in any of the four major sports. And of course, who can forget about the legendary "dog pound"? The "dog pound" is sacred when it comes to being a Cleveland Browns fan. With Baker and company poised for a big run next season, why wouldn't you want to go see a game there?
12 Overrated: Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)
People will like something because it is different, new, or just not seen as often as others might be seen. That seems to be the case with Albertsons Stadium at Boise State University. The one thing that people acknowledge about Boise State's football field is that the turf is all blue. Other than that, what is really appealing about it? Plus, with the track attached on the other side, it is kind of an inconvenience. It hosts the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which it has done since 1997. The stadium is different, known for its blue turf, but there are definitely other stadiums that are way better to watch a game at than Boise State's stadium.
11 Underrated: Autzen Stadium (Oregon)
The University of Oregon may not be as high or a powerhouse football team like an Alabama or a Clemson. But, they definitely do have a stadium that is a lot of fun to be a part of. Autzen Stadium can hold up to 54,000 Oregon Duck fans on any given night, and most of the time can hold even more than that. They have fun traditions at the stadium for fans to look forward to such as the Oregon Duck mascot doing push-ups for every point the Ducks score on that particular night. It definitely seems like a lot of fun to watch Oregon play.
10 Overrated: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn)
It is hard to be relevant when you are in the same state as one of the premier college football programs in the country. That is the exact scenario that Auburn football finds itself in. Auburn is obviously in the same state as the Alabama Crimson Tide. With the Crimson Tide consistently winning almost year after year, Auburn's stadium, Jordan-Hare Stadium, seems very overrated to watch a game in. The Tigers in most years know that the 87,000 fans that the stadium can seat will be disappointed at the end of the Iron Bowl. It also doesn't host many other events outside of Auburn football games.
9 Underrated: Hard Rock Stadium (Dolphins/Hurricanes)
Hard Rock Stadium plays home to the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes during the college football season. The stadium itself is a very electric and fun stadium to be in when either team is playing. It has a lot of history to it, as it has been the host of several Super Bowls, as well as hosting National Championship games and World Series games as well. The important part is that the stadium took their parking places very seriously as they implemented 140 acres of total parking space so people could find a reasonable spot. If you're in Miami, make sure to go see a Hurricanes or Dolphins game!
8 Overrated: Levi's Stadium (49ers)
The days of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, etc. are long gone. The San Francisco 49ers are a very mediocre football team at best. Granted, they lost their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season early on in the year. The 49ers play their home games in Levi's Stadium and it is not the best stadium to play in. There have been issues with the turf, which have been bad enough that opposing players were complaining about how bad it was for them. There also have been questions about having a true football atmosphere. It seems like the 49ers have more than just lingering issues on the field.
7 Underrated: Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts)
The Indianapolis Colts have seemed to find their stride this year with Andrew Luck back under center. They are fighting for a playoff spot. They also have a high-tech, state-of-the-art stadium in Lucas Oil Stadium that is severely underrated. Of course, there is the retractable, movable roof piece that makes the stadium appealing off of the bat. There are also soccer games and concerts that go on all the time within the stadium. It can seat up to 67,000 people for any given Sunday when the Colts are playing at home. It might need more seats installed if the Colts continue to take steps forward in the future.
6 Overrated: StubHub Center (Chargers)
The Los Angeles Chargers have the StubHub Center to play in for their respective home games. The funny part is that there is a small possibility that the Chargers could have home field advantage throughout the playoffs there if some things go their way with other teams losing. The StubHub Center is not as great, as it had to make many renovations to the stadium seating and the locker rooms as well. It also serves as home field for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS. The architecture of the stadium also seems a bit off with the openings in one side of the stadium. The Chargers can't get out of there soon enough.
5 Underrated: Lambeau Field (Packers)
There is a lot of history that comes with Lambeau Field. Obviously, Lambeau is home to the Green Bay Packers. It is one of the oldest running NFL stadiums in the history of the game. There, of course, is also the Lambeau Leap into the stands that a lot of people enjoy seeing. The funny part is that people own a small piece of the Packers and can also feel the history surrounding them in the stadium. From Bart Starr to Brett Favre, and now with Aaron Rodgers, fans have always had a good quarterback to root for. Lambeau Field is definitely one football stadium to go and visit if you are from out of town.
4 Overrated: Soldier Field (Bears)
The Chicago Bears are NFC North champions and are in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But now, they will have to worry about the Rams and Saints in their own conference before worrying about the AFC Conference winner. They also have to worry about their stadium, Soldier Field, being considered overrated. Soldier Field is the second oldest field in the NFL currently.
They only have one form of public transportation, so good luck getting to the field otherwise. They have had many other events happen at the stadium as well. It's long been evident that upgrades are needed to Soldier Field, but they're safe, as the stadium became the first NFL stadium to get LEED status.
3 Underrated: Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs)
Arrowhead Stadium is widely regarded as one of the hardest places to play a professional game in if you are an opposing team. Arrowhead is home of the Kansas City Chiefs, who have had a tough time winning home playoff games in the past.
Arrowhead definitely is extremely loud as the Chiefs were once threatened with a penalty in a game if the crowd could not control the noise level. The aerial view is a beautiful one as well. I feel bad for any team having to play at Arrowhead come January. While it's not exactly a state of the art venue, it's a must see for passionate football fans.
2 Overrated: Gillette Stadium (Patriots)
The New England Patriots have dominated the NFL for nearly two decades now. They have a beautiful home stadium in Gillette Stadium that they get to play in. But, it may not be as magnificent and magical as some might think. People have to remember that the food is extremely overpriced at Gillette and the aisle seating makes it extremely difficult to maneuver in and out of seating. The saving grace has been the Patriots being able to put a winning product on the field year after year. Watch for a steady decline in ticket sales once Tom Brady and Bill Belichick ride into the sunset.
1 Underrated: AT&T Stadium (Cowboys)
With so many fans resenting the Cowboys, many overlook just how state of the art their home is. AT&T Stadium is one of the best stadiums out there. But people don't really understand how special it really can be when it comes to watching football. The stadium itself can sit up to 80,000 people and the Cowboys even had one game with over 100,000 people at one game. It has hosted basketball, soccer, and has also hosted the Cotton Bowl since 2010. The historic star in the middle of the field is a cool feature as well, whether you are a spectator, a Cowboy, or an opposing player.