Many of the best stadiums in the world are home to an NFL team. But which is the best, which the worst? In a survey of experts, one of the league’s most modern stadiums emerged as the winner.
Sports portal The Athletic asked 31 NFL journalists about the five best and five worst stadiums in the NFL. The two new mega stadiums in Las Vegas and Inglewood were not yet included, the survey referred to the venues of the previous season.
THE FIVE WORST
Paul Brown Stadium landed in fifth-to-last place. Finishing in fifth-to-last place was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium. The stadium, which opened in 2000, was among the five worst stadiums on 12 of the 31 ballots. The Athletic Bengals reporter Jay Morrison criticized the stadium’s drab appearance and already outdated interior. The fact that only about a third of the escalators work, but the stadium has a lot of different levels in circulation, is also seen as a major point of criticism.
The fourth-to-last-place stadium won’t be played in next season anyway. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was home to the Los Angeles Rams last season, who will now move to SoFi Stadium. Criticisms include public transportation access, the outdated space and construction during last season by the University of Southern California.
The third-to-last-place stadium is also coming off its final NFL season. The Oakland Coliseum was abandoned by the Raiders for Las Vegas, and was actually rated the worst stadium on ten of the 31 ballots. The catering, poor visibility from the stands, no Wi-Fi, plus problems with rats and skunks – the Raiders can expect completely new conditions at the newly built Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
In second-to-last place was TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, which is considered the worst stadium by only one expert but was one of the worst on 18 other ballots. Not for nothing did Jaguars owner Shad Khan want to relocate the team, and even a move to London was on the table several times.
When it came to the NFL’s worst stadium, the experts were unanimous: on 27 of the 31 ballots was FedExField in Washington, D.C. The location is poor, there are neither restaurants nor bars around the stadium. Parking is “a nightmare,” according to reporter Ben Standig.
THE FIVE BEST
The Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, for example, did much better. Although it is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, the atmosphere was praised above all. This earned the stadium, which opened in 1972, fifth place, with the billion-dollar Mercedes-Benz Stadium project in Atlanta coming in one place behind. Chiefs reporter Nate Taylor said the parties in the parking lot outside the stadium, which are common in the U.S., are particularly legendary. The record for the loudest stadium in the world was set in 2014 at 142.2 decibels.
Lambeau Field landed in fourth place among the best NFL stadiums.
The fourth best stadium in the league is also among the older ones: While the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field was ranked first most often among the best stadiums, it in turn also landed on a ballot of the five worst once. According to Packers reporter Matt Schneidman, Lambeau Field “feels like an NFL museum.”
The bronze spot is again occupied by one of the league’s most modern stadiums. The Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium is already eleven years old, but its architecture, large video wall, lockable roof and glass construction still make it one of the most impressive stadiums in the NFL. Podium finish for AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
In second place was CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Even though the stadium is not completely covered, the atmosphere is world-famous and the volume sheer breathtaking. The Seahawks’ crowd of up to 67,000 fans ensured that in no other stadium in the NFL do away teams receive as many false start penalties as in Seattle.
The NFL’s best stadium, according to experts at The Athletic, is in Minneapolis. The Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium landed in first place by a narrow margin. The roof, which was unique in the U.S. when it opened four years ago, sets the stadium apart, as does the view of the city skyline through the glass facade. From the other side, the facade allows reflections of the skyline and the sun. In addition, the seats are comfortable and large.