Power Ranking All 32 NFL Stadiums by Game-Day Experience

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2011

Power Ranking All 32 NFL Stadiums by Game-Day Experience

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    Have you ever wanted to step out of your home city and go to a different NFL stadium just for a new experience?

    If you decide you want to watch a game at the ultimate live venue, then this list will help. 

    This article will power rank the NFL stadiums, which will let you know which stadiums are dumps and which stadium is an American version of the Taj Mahal.  

32: Minnesota Vikings: Metrodome

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    Capacity: 64,121

    Opened: 1982

    The fact that the roof collapsed made the Metrodome the worst game-day experience in 2010, given that there was no game-day experience. 

    But the roof aside, it was still among the worst NFL stadiums. 

    The Vikings should really just invest in a new stadium, because Los Angeles is dying for a new NFL team, and all it will take is a commitment from an NFL team before they break ground. 

31: Jacksonville Jaguars: Everbank Field

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    Capacity: 67,164

    Opened: 1995

    Everbank is not terribly old, as it was opened in 1995, but the atmosphere at this stadium can't be an upbeat one. 

    The Jaguars are likely the primary target for Los Angeles' hunt for an NFL team, and the Jacksonville fans know that. 

    It's not their fault, since the city was a terrible choice for an expansion team to begin with, but the attendance records are suffering greatly. 

30: St. Louis Rams: Edward Jones Dome

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    Capacity: 66,965

    Opened: 1995

    The Edward Jones Dome was a happening place during "The Greatest Show On Turf" era (1999-2001), and it was easily the loudest stadium in the league.

    However, the pitiful performances put on by the team in recent years have significantly hurt attendance.

    Also, the stadium has no heart or soul and resembles a cave more than a home for an NFL team. 

29: Oakland Raiders: Oakland Coliseum

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    Capacity: 63,026

    Opened: 1966

    The Oakland fans are as wild as they come, so the atmosphere those fans provide is definitely a plus, but not enough to excuse the overall poor conditions of the stadium

    Early in the season, you will see a baseball infield in the middle of the playing field, which just looks awful. Not to mention, the stadium is 45 years old, which makes it the fourth-oldest stadium in the NFL, so don't expect the latest technology when attending a game at the Oakland Coliseum.

28: Miami Dolphins: Sun Life Stadium

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    Capacity: 75,192

    Opened: 1987 

    Sun Life Stadium plays home to the Miami Dolphins, who have an edge in providing a fun game-day experience. They have sun, beaches, celebrities and even cocaine (kidding, just kidding).

    The Dolphins also have an enthusiastic fanbase, which makes the experience much better.

    But the building is in desperate need of renovations, and the Dolphins also have to share the place with the Florida Marlins, so just like the Raiders, the Dolphins have an ugly baseball infield for the beginning of the season.

27: San Francisco 49ers: Candlestick Park

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    Capacity: 69,732

    Opened: 1960 

    Candlestick Park has a lot of history, and the 49ers certainly have some dedicated fans, but the place is falling apart. 

    The stadium opened in 1960, so the fans are deprived of any state-of-the-art perks. And not to mention, the location is a crowded mess.

    Overall the 49ers could really use a new stadium.

26: San Diego Chargers: Qualcomm Stadium

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    Capacity: 71,500

    Opened: 1967

    What is it with California and obsolete stadiums? 

    Like San Francisco and Oakland, San Diego is going to need a new stadium in the near future. The facility is ancient.  

    Recent success with the team has likely picked up the vibe around the place, but still, the place is a dump. 

25: Cleveland Browns: Browns Stadium

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    Capacity: 73,200

    Opened: 1999

    The Cleveland Browns' stadium opened in 1999, so it's not the oldest or most outdated stadium in the world.

    However, the team has been so bad for so long. There are some hardcore fans who will always stick by the team, but years of futility takes a toll. A Browns game is probably more like a funeral than a football game.  

24: Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Brown Stadium

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    Capacity: 65,790

    Opened: 2000

    Like the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals don't have an ancient stadium, but the team that occupies it is less than spectacular. 

    The Bengals have had some success here and there, but they've been a pretty bad team overall. 

    As you can see in the photo, the stadium gives off a nice view of downtown Cincinnati, which is actually a very underrated city as far as looks. But the view is not enough to compensate. 

23: Atlanta Falcons: Georgia Dome

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    Capacity: 71,228

    Opened: 1992

    The Georgia Dome, occupied by the Atlanta Falcons, is old and lifeless. 

    The dome looks like an old soda can that has been sitting outside too long. 

    The Falcons have been a pretty successful team in the last decade, so they have an energized fan base. But their home stadium needs to go. 

22: Detroit Lions: Ford Field

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    Capacity: 65,000

    Opened: 2002

    Ford Field is a fairly new complex that isn't hard on the eyes. 

    However, the Lions have been one of the worst teams in the NFL for so long, so the attendance has suffered. 

    It's hard to imagine Ford Field as a party place, but if the Lions complete their turnaround, then it could happen. 

21: Washington Redskins: FedEx Field

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    Capacity: 91,704

    Opened: 1999

    The Redskins have a really strong fanbase for whatever reason, despite the team's futility, so you can expect an exciting atmosphere when attending a Redskins game. 

    However, the surroundings make it very crowded, and the stadium is in a terrible neighborhood.

20: Tennessee Titans: LP Field

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    Capacity: 69,143

    Opened: 1999

    LP Field is pretty average, just like most things regarding the Tennessee Titans. 

    Their fanbase is not the best, but decent; their team has not been dominate, but not terrible; and their stadium is not impressive, but it's not a dump either. 

19: Carolina Panthers: Bank of America Stadium

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    Capacity: 73,778

    Opened: 1996

    Carolina should have never received an expansion team. 

    The fanbase has it's supporters, like every team, but the small fanbase likely hurts the atmosphere. 

    Not to mention, the Carolina Panthers were the worst team in the NFL in 2010, so I would expect little, if any, enthusiasm from the fans in 2011. 

18: Houston Texans: Reliant Stadium

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    Capacity: 71,500

    Opened: 2002

    Reliant Stadium opened in 2002, which was also the very first year of existence for the Houston Texans.

    There's not a lot of history with the team, obviously, so they are still building their fanbase. 

    The team has shown promise in recent years, but it's not likely that Houston's game-day experience will stand out until they do something significant. 

17: New Orleans Saints: Louisiana Superdome

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    Capacity: 76,468

    Opened: 1975

    The Louisiana Superdome is an eye sore. 

    It looks like a flying saucer, and there simply isn't anything unique or breathtaking about the dome. 

    However, the Saints just won the Super Bowl in 2009, and New Orleans is a party city. So you can expect a wild atmosphere at any given game. 

16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raymond James Stadium

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    Capacity: 65,857

    Opened: 1998

    Raymond James Stadium is not the most advanced or impressive stadium in the NFL, but it has its advantages. 

    The pirate ship that shoots a loud blast when the Buccaneers score is a great addition that really gives the stadium something unique. 

    Also, the weather in the area is great, even in December. 

15: Denver Broncos: Invesco Field at Mile High

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    Capacity: 76,125

    Opened: 2001

    Invesco is a loud stadium that houses the Denver Broncos, which have a great fanbase.

    The stadium also gives view to the wonderful Colorado scenery, such as the Rocky Mountains.

    Now if the team could just start to win again, then it would be a great game-day experience.  

14: Baltimore Ravens: M&T Bank Stadium

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    Capacity: 71,008

    Opened: 1998

    The Baltimore Ravens don't have a triumphant stadium, but it gets the job done. 

    The team has been very successful since the acquisition of linebacker Ray Lewis, so it has given the fanbase something to be happy about, including one Super Bowl victory that came from the 2000 season. 

13: Chicago Bears: Soldier Field

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    Capacity: 61,500

    Opened: 1924

    Soldier Field doesn't crack the top 10? That's because it's overrated. 

    What is it with the city of Chicago getting way too emotionally attached to its sports venues? 

    Soldier Field was opened in 1924, making it the oldest stadium in the NFL. And since the Bears are a pretty historic franchise, it is obvious that the stadium has a lot of history. 

    The stadium looks like a broken bath tub that's constantly losing pieces. They need to get a new stadium, and then after they see that a new stadium is not the end of the world, then hopefully the Chicago Cubs will follow their lead. 

12: Buffalo Bills: Ralph Wilson Stadium

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    Capacity: 73,079

    Opened: 1973

    The Buffalo Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium is old and outdated, but the fanbase makes up for it. 

    Despite the Bills being awful in recent years, the fans absolutely set the bar as far as tailgating, and they remain loyal to the team by continuing to make it for games. 

    The fanbase deserves to be rewarded with a new stadium, as well as a winning team.

11: Seattle Seahawks: Qwest Field

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    Capacity: 67,000

    Opened: 2002

    The Seattle Seahawks like to boast that Qwest Field is the loudest stadium in the NFL. 

    That claim looked to be true during their finale against the St. Louis Rams. They won the game and barely squeezed into the playoffs with a 7-9 record as a result. And you can bet that the crowd played a role in that victory. 

10: Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium

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    Capacity: 81,425

    Opened: 1972

    The Kansas City Chiefs are a historic team with deep-rooted fans.

    The stadium sits in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts on Kansas City, so there is plenty of room for parking and tailgating, but it's old and very rundown.

    Fortunately for the Chiefs, their fans make Arrowhead into a wonderful game-day atmosphere. 

9: New England Patriots: Gillette Stadium

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    Capacity: 68,756

    Opened: 2002

    The New England Patriots have been the most successful team of the century, so there is no doubt that the fans show up ready for football. 

    The Patriots have never had a losing record in Gillette Stadium, which is just remarkable. 

    Expect the stadium to be a happening place for the Boston area as long as the magic lasts. 

8: Arizona Cardinals: University of Phoenix Stadium

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    Capacity: 63,400

    Opened: 2006

    The University of Phoenix stadium looks a little awkward, but it is absolutely cutting edge. 

    The stadium has a retractable roof, which is always a plus, and the team just went to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season, so that has attracted fans. 

    The Cardinals seem to be slipping back into their futile ways, which would really hurt the atmosphere, but it's a great stadium nonetheless.

7: Philadelphia Eagles: Lincoln Financial Field

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    Capacity: 69,144

    Opened: 2003

    The Eagles have unquestioned loyalty from their fans, and the city of Philadelphia is diehard when it comes to supporting their teams. 

    So expect the atmosphere at Lincoln Financial to reflect the hearts of the fanbase, as well as the success of the team.

6: New York Giants: New Meadowlands Stadium

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    Capacity: 82,566

    Opened: 2010

    The Giants finally got their wish of a new stadium. 

    There is a surplus of fans in New York City, the most populated city in the country, so don't ever expect New Meadowlands stadium to go empty. 

5: New York Jets: New Meadowlands Stadium

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    Capacity: 82,566

    Opened: 2010

    It would be a little odd if the Jets and the Giants weren't ranked side-by-side, given that they play in the same stadium. 

    Both teams are successful, so neither team is lacking as far as their fanbase in concerned. Expect an experience as wild as any at New Meadowlands Stadium.  

    But still, you'd think playing in the same stadium all of those years would get old, but apparently they are good together as roommates. The fans and the teams may have preferred their own stadiums to call home, but at least it saves the taxpayers some money. 

4: Indianapolis Colts: Lucas Oil Stadium

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    Capacity: 66,153

    Opened: 2008

    The Colts were just rewarded with a brand new stadium that opened in 2008, so the fans can expect the latest and greatest features seen in any other new stadium. 

    And as long as Peyton Manning is around, who will end his career as arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, you can expect an optimistic crowd that is ready to watch football.

    Indianapolis may not be the most exciting city to see, but taking a Sunday visit to Lucas Oil stadium to see one of the greatest quarterbacks ever play would not be a bad plan.   

3: Pittsburgh Steelers: Heinz Field

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    Capacity: 65,050

    Opened: 2001

    What is the city of Pittsburgh between the beginning of spring and the end of summer? Dead. Because Pittsburgh is a diehard football town.

    And what happens when you give a hardcore football town two recent Super Bowl victories, as well as a Super Bowl appearance just several month ago?

    You get a great football atmosphere with great fans. Forget the stadium, which is still pretty new and attractive. All you need for a great game-day experience is awesome fans and a lot of wins.   

2: Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys Stadium

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    Capacity: 80,000-110,000

    Opened: 2009

    The new Cowboys Stadium is an absolute wonder of the world. 

    It has state-of-the-art everything, and the building is monstrous in size. It seats 80,000 people, but can be expanded to 110,000, which gives it by far the most capacity of any NFL stadium. 

    And as far as the atmosphere, Dallas has the largest fanbase of any NFL team. Why do you think they are overrated and constantly talked about on ESPN? Because they want to satisfy the highest number of people. 

    If you go to Cowboys Stadium to watch the game with the help of the enormous Jumbo Tron, and tailgate with their dedicated fanbase, then you will come away with a great experience.   

1: Green Bay Packers: Lambeau Field

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    Capacity: 72,928

    Opened: 1957

    Lambeau Field is the absolute icon of NFL stadiums, and it is home to a historic franchise and world famous fans. 

    Forget state-of-the-art gadgets. Lambeau Field represents the soul of American football. You go to Wrigley or Fenway for the ultimate baseball experience, just as you go to Lambeau for the perfect football game.

    And though the stadium was opened in 1957, it's not some rotting crater that smells of urine. Prior to the 2003 season, the Packers invested nearly $300 million in renovations, so the stadium will remain upright for years to come.