(Century Link Stadium photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks)
(US Bank Stadium photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)
Talk of Fame Network
Camden Yards remains the gold standard for baseball, with some sentiment for Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.
But what’s the gold standard for football?
That’s the subject of our weekly poll as we ask our listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network to identify the best stadium in the NFL. Is it an older building like Lambeau Field or Arrowhead Stadium or a newer building like AT&T and U.S. Bank stadiums? That’s up to you. Here are your options:
Arrowhead Stadium. Home of the Chiefs. Arrowhead was built in 1972 at a cost of $43 million. It’s remarkable how well the stadium has held up over the years, with just one renovation completed in 2010. Its seating capacity is 76,000, and Arrowhead annually battles Seattle’s Century Link Stadium for the honor of football’s loudest venue. The Chiefs currently hold the record at 142.2 decibels set in a September, 2014, game against the New England Patriots. As the Midwest’s barbeque capital, Arrowhead has some of the best tailgating in the league, and there’s no better setting in the NFL for a night game.
(Photo courtesy oft he Kansas City Chiefs)
AT&T Stadium. Home of the Cowboys. The NFL’s first $1-billion stadium. It’s as much a museum as it is a football stadium, with more than $1 million in artwork on display in its corridors. With a capacity in excess of 90,000, it’s the largest stadium in the league, with an NFL-record 342 suites. The Cowboys set the league attendance record with 105,121 in its inaugural game in 2009 against the New York Giants. The stadium also has hosted a Super Bowl and set an NBA record with an attendance of 108,713 for the league’s annual All-Star Game.
(Photo courtesy of Blake Marvin/HKS/Dallas Cowboys)
Century Link Stadium. Home of the Seahawks. Built in 2002, the stadium features two roof overlaps that offers some protection for the stands but not the field during the rainy season. It has a capacity of 69,000 and is one of the loudest buildings in the NFL. Century Link set the record for crowd noise at at 137.6 decibels at a December, 2013, game against the New Orleans Saints. That record has since been topped by a crowd at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The cantilevered upper levels put those in the cheap seats closer to the field than in any other stadium and give the Seahawks an intimidating home-field advantage. A perk is the view of Mt. Rainier.
Lambeau Field. Home of the Packers. This venerable stadium was built in 1956 at a cost of $960,000 and has had two major renovations, pushing seating capacity to 81,000. Season tickets have been passed down through the generations, and the Packers have sold out every home game since 1960. The place wreaks with history, having housed the Lombardi teams of the 1960s and the Brett Favre-Reggie White era of the 1990s. It’s located on Lombardi Avenue in a Green Bay neighborhood with homes that back up to the stadium parking lots.
(Photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)
Lucas Oil Stadium. Home of the Colts. Built at a cost of $720 million in 2008, Lucas Oil is often referred to as the “House that (Peyton) Manning built.” The stadium seats 62,000 and features a retractable roof plus a glass wall of windows that open to face downtown. Hotels and restaurants are all within walking distance to the stadium, and the buildings are connected to indoor walkways as protection from the spring and winter elements, which makes Indianapolis one of the top convention towns in the nation. Lucas Oil is the annual host of the NFL scouting combine.
(Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts)
M&T Bank Stadium. Home of the Ravens. Location, location, location. M&T sits on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor next door to Camden Yards, baseball first … and arguably best … retro stadium. Built at a cost of $220 million in 1998, it seats 71,000 and is considered one of the most comfortable stadiums in the league, with five decks and great sight lines. There’s a statue of former Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis out front and a plaza that pays homage to Baltimore’s legendary quarterback, Johnny Unitas.
(Photo courtesy of the Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens)
Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Home of the Broncos. Built at a cost of $400.7 million in 2001, it replaced iconic Mile High Stadium. Again, it’s location, location, location, with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The Broncos retained the “Mile High” moniker to remind visiting teams of the thin air that comes with a location some 5,280 feet above sea level. For that reason, Sports Authority gives the Broncos one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, with oxygen a staple on both sidelines.
(Photo courtesy of Sports Authority Field courtesy of Eric Bakke/Denver Broncos)
U.S. Bank Stadium. Home of the Vikings. The NFL’s newest stadium, built at a cost of $1.061 billion. The design of the modernistic stadium features a natural-light transmitting roof and five, giant pivoting doors to let the outdoors in. The roof also is slanted to prevent any buildup of winter snow. It seats 66,000 but can be expanded to seat 73,000 for big events, such as the Super Bowl, which will be played at U.S. Bank in 2018.
(Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)