FedEx Field and the Worst Stadiums in NFL

Mike FosterCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2013

FedEx Field and the Worst Stadiums in NFL

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    Much has been made this week about the terrible playing conditions at FedEx Field for the NFC Wild Card game between the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins.

    For a playoff game, it was surprising to see how poorly kept the turf, or lack thereof, was by the grounds crew.

    Viewers probably noticed that the field was very green, almost too green, until play began. Within minutes, the middle of the field was brown. Obviously, something wasn't right.

    As you can see in this video taken by Seahawk Michael Robinson on his phone, the groundskeepers of FedEx Field literally threw some flakes of grass on top of dirt and spray painted the entire field bright green.

    After injuries to Robert Griffin III, Chris Clemons and even Marshawn Lynch, scrutiny has reared its ugly head.

    It's hard to imagine that NFL teams would put up with a lack of premier facilitation but, for years, they have done just that. To this day, there are some NFL teams that aren't playing in the greatest of venues.

    Here's a list of stadiums in the league that should be improved or abandoned.

Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

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    Date Opened: 2009

    Before you freak out, hear this one out.

    No, Cowboys Stadium isn't a dump. It is a product of Jerry Jones, which means it has every bell and whistle you could imagine for a game day experience.

    But, I promise you any Packer fan would take one step into this building and laugh at the extraneous minutia of the complex.

    Sometimes, Jerry, less is more.

    The one major issue with Cowboys Stadium is the giant scoreboard, which spans 30 yards wide and hangs from the rafters. It seemed like a good idea until a punt hit it, but there's a more lingering problem than the fact a scoreboard requires its own entry in a stat sheet for punt blocks.

    Basically, when you have a stadium that is six decks high, people in the nosebleed section are not only going to possibly need spacesuits, but they might need for a closer view of Earth.

    The fact is that the world's largest television only serves as a distraction to fans. Essentially, if you pay to see a game at Cowboys Stadium from the upper deck, you are paying to watch television.

    This isn't the game day experience that separates being at a great venue and sitting on a couch at home. Again, Packers fans probably laugh.

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

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    Date Opened: 2001

    The truth is that any team in the Northeast that takes its chances with real grass is going to have problems...well, except for Green Bay, who has somehow managed to always avoid the worst surface rankings despite nicknaming its own plot the "Frozen Tundra."

    The Bills, Patriots, Giants/Jets, Ravens and Bengals have switched to artificial turf for their outdoor facilities.

    Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have stubbornly refrained from laying down the plastic.

    While NFL Films probably taught us all that sloppy surfaces bring out the authenticity of the sport, sometimes poor playing conditions can become frustratingly hindering.

    Heinz Field is known around the league for having the worst, thanks in part to the infamous slop fest from 2007. In a Monday Night Football game against Miami, the field was churned so much that a punt literally got stuck in it.

    The funny thing is that Pittsburgh's past venue, Three Rivers Stadium, had Astroturf. I'm not saying carpet is a good idea in 2012, but adding field turf at Heinz Field wouldn't be the end of the world.

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA

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    Date Opened: 1960

    There's a lot of reported problems with Candlestick Park and, luckily for 49ers fans, they will only have to endure its lackluster commodities for one more season.

    In 2014, the San Francisco 49ers will move to a new, state-of-the-art venue in Santa Clara.

    The new stadium will help eliminate the issues of the old park, which include terrible entry points from interstates, zero club seating, extreme wind (that might be unavoidable without a roof) and awkward seating.

    I can't imagine why those seats that sit at the end, next to the extended bleachers, in the corner are worth more than $3 and a pack of bubblegum. The viewing angle and distance from the field is terrible, but that's what you get for trying to play football in a baseball stadium.

    The funny thing is, the Giants moved out of the 'Stick in 2000.

    The B/R from this place would sound something like this: "I'm cold and I can't see anything."

Mercedes-Benz Supderdome, New Orleans, LA

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    Date Opened: 1975

    The venue formerly known as the Louisiana Superdome has its allure and mystique, especially after it housed a suffering city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    It will also host the Super Bowl this February. But, there's reason to think the actual atmosphere of the Big Easy have more to do with the committee's choice than the venue housed therein.

    The Superdome has numerous issues. For one, the seats are way too close together. Don't go to a Saints game unless you plan on knowing the exact BMI of the people sitting to the left and right of you. Also, the Superdome might be the only NFL stadium where the upper-deck seats are better than the lower deck.

    People have complained about views being terrible from under the overhangs of above seating. Also, Saints fans are usually equipped with portable cup holders before they even enter the stadium. They're called hands; a lot of seats in the dome don't have cup holders.

    And the concourses are extremely bland. Overall, there's not much that actually makes the Superdome appealing, except for the fact you feel like it might take off and fly to Mars at any moment in the game.

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN

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    Remember that time the Metrodome roof collapsed?

    Now, onto the next slide.

    Just kidding, but seriously, why did it take this long for the Vikings to make plans for a new venue? A new building is in the works, but in the meantime we have to hope the snow doesn't come back for seconds.

    For anyone wondering, the Metrodome is the only remaining dome venue that uses actual air-pressure to support the roof. That's a neat idea until the gods decide to drop a mall-sized snowball on top of it.

    The only other NFL team that had an air-supported roof was the Detroit Lions when they played in the Pontiac Silverdome, but obviously the gods pitied the Lions and spared them the embarrassment because, well, they were the Lions.

O.co. Coliseum, Oakland, CA

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    Congratulations Oakland, you're the only NFL team left that actually makes your team play on a baseball field.

    Luckily, the Miami Marlins moved out of Sun Life Stadium, which keeps the Dolphins off this list.

    In all seriousness, why aren't we having a discussion about moving the Raiders back to Los Angeles? If we're talking about an inevitable move there, thanks to a new stadium that's being built there, what team needs that more than the Raiders?

    It's not like the Raiders haven't played in Los Angeles before. Remember when they were the Los Angeles Raiders? That makes a lot more sense than having your team play in a baseball venue, where, from the top seats, you can see Candlestick park.

    Why take the Vikings, Rams or Jaguars and move them to Los Angeles, creating another California-based team, when you can save one from the worst venue in the league?