Stadiums are a significant part of the athletic experience. Not only do stadiums offer a wide range of ice cold beers and warm finger foods, they're also examples of civic pride and titanic mausoleums in the sporting life.
While there are a ton of stadiums boasting high-tech features and state of the art architecture, there are just as many stadiums who have to be reminded they're not living in the good old past anymore and must step up their exterior game in order to attract newer sports fans and not just the longtime fans who have loved their home teams since the beginning of their respective establishments. But, with all due respect to your favorite stadiums, you have to realize your home away from home is in need of a makeover and maybe even more than that. Money definitely isn't everything, but it sure can make things look a lot better so fans can feel at ease and there would be a lot less concerns being brought up to stadium authorities on a regular basis.
From a Southland baseball commodity of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to the home of the US Open Arthur Ashe Stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, there's plenty of storied history behind many of these stadiums. And, if you haven't put much thought into various stadiums, you'll learn a couple of new things today. Here are stadiums that visiting fans should avoid.
20 Dodger Stadium
To be fair, Dodger Stadium was one of the biggest development projects in the mid-20th century, but the Dodgers' move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles is ancient history and its stadium, despite having plenty of history, isn't up to date, despite a recent plan to add upgrades, renovations and additions to get a head start in preparing for the 2020 MLB All-Star Game.
The plan may make Dodger Stadium look better on the outside, but the visiting fans may still have a hard time getting in and out without unforeseen adversity along the way.
Plus, there's a chance they could be abused and/or attacked by others at the ballgames.
19 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
If you're a Los Angeles sports fan, you may already know that the fan experience at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum isn't worth the trouble of watching the Rams, even if you're a big fan of the team. The Rams may have Cal alum and Bay Area product Jared Goff, but that doesn't mean that Rams fans enjoy making the trip to the Coliseum every few Sundays..
The L.A. Memorial Coliseum is primarily the home of the USC Trojans football team, so that might explain why the crowd control is horrendous and the game day staff ranged from inexperienced to incompetent. So I'm pretty sure the Rams and their fans can't wait for their new stadium in nearby Inglewood.
18 Honda Center
Let's take a look at the Orange County area of the Southland. Trust me, there may be a plethora of middle class folks in the OC, but the Honda Center—the home of the Anaheim Ducks—isn't all that and a bag of chips.
Remember when Stadium Journey Magazine rated the Honda Center, also known as "The Pond," as the second worst arena in the NHL? Turns out, that old rating from five years ago still stands, as non-Ducks fans may think twice before stepping foot into this particular arena due to its accessibility, pricing and parking issues. Sure, fans can visit The Pond without a lot of excess flack, but it's just another outdated arena.
17 Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, commonly referred to as just "The Superdome," is the home of the New Orleans Saints. It's also the home of the Sugar Bowl and New Orleans Bowl in college football.
According to NOLA.com, the Superdome's renovation renderings could be produced by the end of 2018.
Hopefully, the unanimously approved $1.83 million expense by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District will help change the look and feel of the Superdome because of issues ranging from poor lighting to undersized seats.
Don't get me wrong, New Orleans is a vibrant city with a long list of Cajun and Creole restaurants, but the Superdome is a mixed bag of emotions for the average fan.
16 Marlins Park
If you're an avid baseball fan, you should already know that being a Miami Marlins fan stinks. The subpar Marlins team has regularly drawn low attendance numbers and the Marlins' hiring of three executives—Elisa Padilla, Travis Apple and Michael Shaw—along with a new CEO in former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, to improve the fan experience, but the star power hasn't helped as of late.
The Marlins are currently in last place in the National League East, and Deadspin has alleged that they're so bad that businesses don't even want to open near Marlins Park. When driving to the stadium stinks, watching the team stinks, and getting out of the stadium stinks, you know you don't want to attend Marlins games unless if you absolutely have to. It's a shame a historic stadium like the Orange Bowl was demolished to make room for this atrocity.
15 Guaranteed Rate Field
If you've ever been to Chicagoland, you know there are two baseball teams: the iconic Chicago Cubs at the oh-so-historic Wrigley Field and the lesser-known Chicago White Sox at the inferior Guaranteed Rate Field.
Let's face it, the South Side of Chicago is extremely rough, and Guaranteed Rate Field isn't much of a help in alleviating the tension in the streets.
It used to be named U.S. Cellular Field (2003-2016), and Comiskey Park (1991-1990).
By the way, why the red arrow facing downward in Guaranteed Rate's actual logo? Hmmm...something seems to be strange, which is another reason why Guaranteed Rate Field can't be trusted by visiting fans.
14 Soldier Field
Let's talk about some more Chicagoland sports.
The Chicago Bears are the Green Bay Packers' biggest rival, and these two teams make for one of the best rivalries in all of sports, but don't expect to see a whole lot of Green and Gold fans at Soldier Field anytime soon.
Sure, Packers fans travel well, but Soldier Field is proof that the Bears don't exactly place a huge importance on fan experience. Even though Soldier Field has been updated, it still looks like a thoughtless piece of work that was somehow thrown together and handed to the people. Sad, just sad.
13 Oakland Coliseum
Currently, the Oakland Coliseum is home to both the MLB's Oakland Athletics and NFL's Oakland Raiders, but the multi-purpose use of the Coliseum won't continue for long. The Raiders are expected to relocate to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020, depending on when the Las Vegas Stadium in nearby Paradise is going to be completed.
But, in the meantime, the Coliseum is the only remaining stadium in the United States that's shared by both a football and a baseball team. Furthermore, its massive amount of foul territory, random addition of Mount Davis and severe sewage issues make it an undesirable place to attend a game, even if you're a media member being paid to cover the team.
12 Golden 1 Center
How many games will the Sacramento Kings win this coming season? The answer has yet to be confirmed as the 2018-19 NBA season hasn't tipped off yet.
Though, I can confirm with you that tanking teams such as the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns won't help out the Kings. A young team like the Kings need to experience more wins throughout the course of a season. Also, the Kings need to be better managed. It's a shame the Kings couldn't even get a new arena right.
The Kings' Golden 1 Center might be a failed experiment, just like their previous arena, the Sleep Train Arena.
I'm calling it early because it's state of the art now, but if the Kings resume their old ways, it might take a fall in terms of overall quality.
11 Barclays Center (For NHL)
The New York Islanders, who currently play at the Barclays Center, are pretty much the distant cousins of the New York Rangers, who play at the Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders are waiting for a new home in Long Island, which is a relief, because the Barclays Center isn't the right arena for them. The Isles are planning to move back to Long Island at Belmont Park, but that's probably not going to be a long-term success project either.
The entire atmosphere at the Barclays Center just doesn't make it feel like you're at a hockey game. The arena clearly wasn't built for hockey, but the Islanders decided to move there when Nassau underwent huge changes. Visiting fans, like, say, hockey fans from up north, will probably wonder if they're watching a pro hockey game or a minor league hockey game.
10 FedEx Field
I doubt many Washington DC-based fans will want to hear this, but the Washington Redskins are still cursed and its FedEx Field in Landover, Md. is one of the least popular stadiums in the NFL.
Sure, FedEx Field has a decent amount of history behind it, but it's far from the best NFL stadium you've ever seen. Aside from the wishy-washy Redskins squad, FedEx Field looks like a cookie-cutter type of stadium with not much spunk to keep pro football fans interested. It might be great for a concert goer, but not for a fan who's vying to check out a sporting event in the area.
9 Nassau Coliseum
The New York Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum from 1972 to 2015. Since then, the Coliseum underwent renovations in order to improve the overall fan experience for any sport, but you can't fix a dump and that's the cold, hard truth. Sorry.
Yeah, there's a laundry list of concerts and other sporting events (i.e. UFC, NBA G League, etc.) that are held in the Coliseum, but it just goes to show that the NHL doesn't belong in an old, worn-out arena in suburban Long Island.
At the very least, Belmont Park Arena may be more appealing to millennial hockey fans. We'll see what happens.
8 Arthur Ashe Stadium
Arthur Ashe Stadium, also known as the home of the US Open, can seat up to 22,547 fans, but that doesn't mean that it's one of the greatest stadiums in the US. In fact, it's one of the worst stadiums in the U.S.
But, to be fair, Arthur Ashe Stadium was once a sparkling newcomer. Now, it's more like a lonesome dinosaur in the wild. New York City is arguably a glitzy, glamorous city, but Arthur Ashe Stadium is way too big that standard tennis etiquette isn't required among fans, who can feel free to walk around whenever they want.
Also, Arthur Ashe Stadium is reportedly biased towards tennis players and fans alike.
7 StubHub Center
That new stadium in Inglewood can't get here soon enough because both the Chargers and Rams, who recently moved to Los Angeles, don't have stadiums suitable for an NFL team in 2018.
The StubHub Center was built for soccer and right now, it has by far the lowest seating capacity in the NFL.
The cheap prices may tempt fans to check out a game there but it's a stadium to avoid if you want a real NFL live-game experience. By all means, check out a soccer game here, but if you want to see the Chargers live, it might be best to wait for the state of the art stadium in 2020.
6 Sonoma Raceway
If you're a fan of America, Budweiser, NASCAR and everything patriotic, you're going to want to make a trip out to the Napa Valley to check out the Sonoma Raceway...or you'd pass on the year-round motorsports racetrack.
The Sonoma Raceway isn't in a populous area in Northern California. NASCAR's better off building a brand-new racetrack in Sacramento, Calif. as there's a ton more land and it'll attract more fans compared to the quaint-sized Sonoma County, who's better known for its vineyards and fine wines than stock car racing.
In my opinion, oval tracks are better road tracks, which are only good on television.
5 U.S. Bank Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium looks stunning from the outside and when you see it on TV, it's quite a sight to see all those fans in purple simultaneously doing the Skol chant. However, reviews of the stadium from visiting fans have gotten less than favorable reviews. The concession stands seem to be the biggest problem, as lines are said to be excessively long, with very few stands offering any beverages besides beer.
Perhaps with another year under its belt, (the stadium opened in 2016) plus with stadium employees getting the experience of hosting Super Bowl LII, fan experience will get better moving forward.
4 Little Caesars Arena
The debatable topic of Little Caesars Arena is an interesting one. Why's that? Since its grand opening in 2017, fans have been intrigued by the arena's unique, deconstructed layout...and they've also been pondering just as many controversies.
So let's talk about how the Little Caesars Arena compares to the good old Joe Louis Arena, which was widely known as "The Joe."
I believe this particular arena should've been named the "Gordie Howe Arena" after the late Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. Also, the Red Wings share the arena with the NBA's Detroit Pistons, which could help the Pistons ease back into Detroit, but at the same time, the quality of the ice at Red Wings games could be of unsatisfactory quality.
3 Talking Stick Resort Arena
For the most of us, it's difficult to remember that the Phoenix Suns were a pretty good team once.
The Suns have played their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena since 2015. It was previously known as the US Amways Center (2006-2015) and the American West Arena (1992-2006).
The Suns have won two conference titles (1976, 1993) and six division titles (1981, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2006, 2007). So they're not a god awful team, but they've been good at tanking in recent years. Also, why'd they include "resort" in the name of the arena? It's not a 2-in-1 arena and resort type of location located in downtown Phoenix.
2 Pepsi Center
The Pepsi Center is yet another multi-purpose arena. In case you need a refresher, it's the home of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, NHL's Colorado Avalanche and NLL's Colorado Mammoth. But, just because it's so versatile doesn't mean that it's a good arena to watch live games in.
Besides the NFL's Denver Broncos, these other Colorado-based teams haven't had much success in the Mile High City in recent years. So that means that there are usually fewer fans at the Pepsi Center and Coors Field, for that matter. It's a sad sight to see, but stuff happens in the sporting life. It's better off as a concert venue than a sports arena.
1 Vivint Smart Home Arena
Utah Jazz rookie guard Donovan Mitchell has been making heartwarming headlines for his friendships with the Salt Lake City residents, and most recently, his act of kindness for a young female fan who's battling cancer. But, before we ramble about Mitchell in a good way, let's take a step back and discuss the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Whether or not you care about the Jazz, the Vivint Smart Home Arena isn't that great of an arena to watch pro basketball in. It was previously known as the EnergySolutions Arena (2006-2015) and the Delta Center (1991-2006), but Jazz fans have pretty much been seeing the same old shenanigans unless if they've been a fan since the John Stockton and Karl Malone era. Hopefully, better days will come sooner than later as the Mitchell and Rudy Gobert era continues.