With football being the most popular sport in the United States, NFL teams need to provide an upper-class experience for their teams. Quite a few NFL teams have had new stadiums open up recently, or are in the process of opening them. Fans want more than just a football game, and a stadium that can provide more than that is worth going to. But also, NFL fans want an experience like no other.
In the MLB, you can go on dates there or take a family because of everything there is to do. MLB stadiums have to have a lot to do because they have to cater to more than just the average baseball fan. At NFL games, it’s very different. The game is the highlight, and nobody wants to miss out on the action. So, there’s actually more that goes into making a good football experience.
A unique thing about football games too, is that it’s an all-day affair. From the tailgate before the game, to the actual game, to maybe the local bars to watch other games or celebrate a win. It’s basically a day long party on Sunday’s for football fans, which may be why it’s so popular.
If you’re a NFL fan reading this, you probably want to know where you should and shouldn’t go. If you’re thinking about traveling to different stadiums, this list may help save you from a trip that isn’t worth going on. Some of these stadiums are some of the best in the world, while some need a renovation or new stadium, as soon as possible.
20 Visit: NRG Stadium - Houston Texans
One of the older yet nice stadiums to visit (yes, it's now actually one of the NFL's older ones), is NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. A plus side to any stadium is the fact that there is a dome. NRG Stadium actually has a retractable dome, which is nice to open if the weather is just right, or close when it’s too hot or cold.
With the Texans having the most popular young star, Deshaun Watson, it will only crank up the “NRGy” in the stadium. You can watch all the highlights of the young quarterback on the screens at each end zone. It’s a unique stadium that differs from the rest.
19 Skip: Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia Eagles
In Philadelphia, things can get a little crazy. And that is probably the most entertaining part about Lincoln Financial Field, because it feels like one big stadium with really no technology in it. There’s a small scoreboard and screen in the end zone, but it’s one big headache.
If you aren’t an Eagles fan, it can get scary.
Philly fans are known to give visiting fans a hard time. Maybe winning the Super Bowl will settle them down a little, or it can make them more obnoxious. Imagine having to deal with that crowd, at a four-hour football game. Most people would probably say, no thank you.
18 Visit: University of Phoenix Stadium - Arizona Cardinals
If you live in Arizona, there’s a good chance you may have been to the University of Phoenix Stadium. This stadium is where the Arizona Cardinals play, as well as the host of many other sporting events and concerts. The roof at the stadium can open up, but is usually kept close during football games.
This is a great stadium to visit, because you don’t have to necessarily visit when the Cardinals are playing.
It has the ability to expand and switch the flooring for different events, which is very different compared to many other NFL stadiums. That is why this stadium is considered a multi-purpose stadium.
17 Skip: Bank of America Stadium - Carolina Panthers
Talk about a bland stadium. The only cool thing about Bank of America Stadium is that all the seats are blue. This stadium is like most old school NFL stadiums, that don’t include a lot of technology, except two smaller scoreboards above the top deck at each end zone. There’s no history to this stadium that would interest anyone in coming to this stadium for any nostalgic reason. A great place to go see Cam Newton if you want, would be against a NFC South opponent in their stadium. Going to the Carolinas just for a Panthers game may not be worth the trouble.
16 Visit: U.S. Bank Stadium - Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings got a huge improvement with the U.S. Bank Stadium. The stadium is fully enclosed, and has pivoting doors at each end zone. When you’re outside of the stadium, you can actually see a reflection of Minnesota. It’s a unique stadium compared to where they used to play, plus now you can enjoy a football game indoors, while still getting some natural light.
U.S. Bank Stadium finally opened its doors in time for the 2016 season, so it’s one of the newest stadiums in the NFL.
It’s a great venue that can host more than just football games, although it will get pretty crazy in there with Kirk Cousins as the new quarterback.
15 Skip: First Energy Stadium - Cleveland Browns
Like anything related to the Cleveland Browns, it stinks. It’s more than just the team that isn’t good, the stadium isn’t even worth visiting. The stadium still manages to sell tickets to the die-hard Cleveland Browns fans, even if they team can’t win a game all season. All around, it’s a bad place to watch a football game.
You’re probably not going to see a close game, in a low-level football stadium, with hardcore Cleveland fans. Fans are just surrounded by orange, which may remind you how depressing it is to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns. But, if you’re a fan of another team, at least you know your team is always better than somebody.
14 Visit: Lambeau Field - Green Bay Packers
One stadium in the NFL is owned by the fans, and that is Lambeau Field. And that’s part of what makes it so great. Some of the best fans in the world come together each Sunday to watch one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history play. And the tailgates there are very unique. There are actually houses that you can rent to tailgate for a Packers game, with full service.
It’s NFL history in a stadium. It may not be the flashiest with all new technology, but it’s filled with great spirit and great fans. You’re almost guaranteed to have a great time at Lambeau Field.
13 Skip: Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City Chiefs
Unlike the Kansas City Royals who have a beautiful stadium, the Chiefs aren’t as lucky. The most basic stadium in the NFL has to be Arrowhead Stadium. While most NFL stadiums have at least a decent sized screen to show highlights, this screen is very small in the shape of a football. In most seats in the stadium, you really can’t tell what’s going on with the screen.
Overall, it’s a little bland and if you're not a fan of the Chiefs, you can go ahead and skip it. It’s a bland stadium with nothing really to it, and nowhere that you can clearly see replays and scores. You almost feel like you’re away from reality in the stadium.
12 Visit: Heinz Field - Pittsburgh Steelers
Most stadiums that are worth visiting are new stadiums. But Heinz Field is not new, but it’s definitely worth a visit. With the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline behind the stadium, and “the terrible towels” flying around everywhere, it’s a fun experience. The Steelers have been playoff contenders for the past decade.
There’s such a crazy atmosphere with so many amazing games having been played there.
Plus, it’s the perfect cold, playoff atmosphere stadium that makes fans go nuts. If you want to see your team play another team on the road, this is the best play. You could be in for a treat.
11 Skip: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - Los Angeles Rams
While there’s history at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s a waste of time. If you’re a Rams fan and you’re trying to see the team while they play at a high level, it makes sense. But for a fan just trying to visit, wait until the new stadium is built. The Rams' new stadium in Inglewood is going to be state of the art, and the Coliseum just isn't suitable for an NFL team in 2018.
You can wait a few more years and see a brand-new stadium that the future of the Rams will play in, so why waste your money now? The old school stadium is history, but doesn’t mean it’s worth going to.
10 Visit: Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta Falcons
The newest stadium of them all, Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. The beautiful new stadium includes a 360-degree screen at the top of the stadium, with a unique outside shape. And there’s also some stuff for non-football fans to check out. Outside of the stadium, there is the world’s largest bird statue, to show the home of the Falcons.
Mercedes Benz Stadium even has many food options, including Chick-Fil-A. Many people questioned why have a Chick-Fil-A when they’re closed on Sundays, but it proves that this stadium will be used for other events besides football. What a wonderful new home for the Atlanta Falcons.
9 Skip: FedEx Field - Washington Redskins
If the grounds at FedEx Field were a little bit smoother, maybe Robert Griffin III would still be playing at a high level. It all starts from the field.
The messy grass, sometimes muddy, is just ugly to look at and not very practical for the players.
Who wants to look at players trip up and get hurt because of poor grounds? And like the rest of it, the stadium isn’t eye appealing.
It is a positive that the scoreboards are at eye level, but there’s nothing unique about this stadium. Unless you like Washington, this would be a waste of a trip.
8 Visit: Raymond James Stadium - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Want to drink and party on a pirate ship at a football game? Head to Raymond James Stadium, where you can be a pirate, while watching the Buccaneers. The pirate ship is a great addition that makes this a fun stadium to go to, especially children who dream of being pirates. During every score, the cannon fires from the pirate ship to get fans pumped up.
Overall, it’s a unique atmosphere. And if you want to see some beautiful cheerleaders, you can actually meet them at certain areas. Raymond James Stadium focuses on the games, but creates an immersive experience for all families.
7 Skip: MetLife Stadium - New York Giants & Jets
Everything is bigger in New York, right? Well, not necessarily. First off, MetLife Stadium is actually in New Jersey, not New York. So, if you’re staying in New York City, you could have up to a 30-minute commute (without traffic) to the stadium. And when you get there, there’s nothing great about it. There’s screens in the corners, but there’s no wow factor to the stadium.
For what you would expect a New York sports stadium to be like, it’s highly disappointing. Maybe the Giants and Jets decided to take keep it simple, figuring most fans would spend time before and after games in New York City.
6 Visit: Hard Rock Stadium - Miami Dolphins
If this list came out before the Dolphins stadium underwent renovations, it would be on the do not visit list. But with the new screens, roof, and upbeat atmosphere, Hard Rock Stadium is the place to be.
It’s a nice stadium with views of Miami as you walk around the stadium, and it feels like a party in the stadium.
There’s house music blasting through the stadium, with dancers and lights and flashy stuff going on. It gets so crazy because, you know, it’s Miami. Miami doesn’t just party at the clubs on South Beach, but also at the football games.
5 Skip: StubHub Center - Los Angeles Chargers
And the smallest stadium in the NFL belongs to, the Los Angeles Chargers. After they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, they became the home team at StubHub Center. The StubHub Center is very small, as it only can hold 27,000 people. That is about 40,000 less people than the average stadium holds.
While it could be cool to get a close up of all the players, it’s a boring environment. It’s kind of like a baseball stadium atmosphere, but for a football game. And because the team hasn’t been very good, it doesn’t help the situation either. Luckily, the Chargers will be moving out soon.
4 Visit: Gillette Stadium - New England Patriots
It may seem like Gillette Stadium is in the middle of a big city on TV, but that’s actually wrong. It’s in the middle of nowhere, with a huge shopping area connected to it. It’s one of the most unique stadiums in the game.
The stadium itself is really nice with open areas, but what takes this stadium to the next level is Patriot Place, which opened in 2007.
It’s a shopping area surrounding the stadium with different shops, bars, and other forms of entertainment. So you can go out to dinner, hit the bar and go bowling, and after you're done shopping, go see Tom Brady throw touchdown passes.
3 Skip: Oakland Coliseum - Oakland Raiders
The only stadium in the country that houses two professional teams, is Oakland Coliseum. There’s nothing appealing about seeing a football and baseball field used together, with patches in the field and what not. And on top of that, the stadium isn’t in a good area at all, which may deter some people from wanting to spend more time before and after the games.
There’s no denying the love these fans have for the team, but the stadium is disgusting.
Luckily for traveling fans of the Raiders, the team will be moving to Las Vegas by 2020. That will be the real experience with a football team in Vegas.
2 Visit: AT&T Stadium - Dallas Cowboys
Jerry’s World. The place to be. AT&T Stadium is like nothing else in the game, with a humongous HD screen that sits above the field, that stretches more than half of the stadium. Each end zone has large doors that fans walk through to enter the stadium, along with Cowboys dancers atop when the doors close.
AT&T Stadium changed how owners had to go about building new stadiums. It’s now more than just a stadium, but an experience. Jerry Jones doesn’t do many things right football wise, but he was able to build an incredible experience for sports fans.
1 Skip: Soldier Field - Chicago Bears
The only good thing about Soldier Field, is that at the highest point of the stadium, you can see the city of Chicago in the background. There's also the rich history of the stadium. Despite that, there’s nothing to do, and it’s really not that nice looking of a stadium. The worst part, is that it can get really cold there. When watching Bears game, you can see the players' breaths through the duration of the game.
While the cold weather is a part of football, there’s no success to this team to make it worth suffering. If you want to see Mitchell Trubisky play, catch them on the road.