Ranking 2019 NFL Stadiums from Worst to Best
A fanbase as big as the NFL requires venues that can fit the masses. Many of these football stadiums are as big as it gets in the United States, but is bigger always better? These spots are put to the test to see who has the best home field. Check out how your team fared and see if their NFL stadium is on the right or wrong side of the rankings.
31. New Era Field
There aren’t many positives to say about the Buffalo Bills’ home stadium other than, “At least it isn’t The Rockpile.”
Located just outside Buffalo, New York, in Orchard Park, workers first broke ground in April 1972 and had managed to open just 16 months later in August 1973.
Speed is good and all, but this cheap piece of work cost all of $22 million and renovations in 1998 and 2013 have made it just good enough to pass as garbage. Today, the stadium actually seats fewer people than it used to, falling from over 80,000 from the 1970s through 1990s to a max capacity of 71,608 fans.
Fortunately, brutal weather conditions and cursed grounds still come second to a fanbase that is absolutely bananas. People watching is probably the best thing to see here.
30. FedEx Field
It may not be the oldest or junkiest stadium, but the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field just plain stinks. The team repping the nation’s capital actually calls Landover, Maryland home, which is actually about 45 minutes away from DC. That’s just the start of the problems.
A forgettable architectural design is only topped by an even more forgettable team to root for. Worst of all is that tickets are still somehow insanely expensive for a product that can best be summed up with two words: “I’ll pass.”
One of the only positives from the numerous renovations was reducing the gargantuan capacity that topped 91,704 down to 82,000. Even then, that’s more than enough angry fans to make quite the riot.
29. FirstEnergy Stadium
It seems like the Cleveland Browns have been the butt of every NFL joke for an entire lifetime. Unfortunately, FirstEnergy Stadium doesn’t really have much going for it to boost up that losing experience. But that shouldn’t be too surprising for the Factory of Sadness.
Built in 1999, one of the best parts of the 2014-15 renovations is that it reduced stadium capacity by 67,895 people, so at least a few thousand fewer people have to worry about the ruthlessly frigid winter conditions. While the city location is nice, being right on Lake Erie has made rooting in NoEnergy Stadium (sorry, Cleveland) that much tougher.
28. TIAA Bank Field
Not much to report on here. When TIAA Bank Field first opened in 1995, this also marked the Jacksonville Jaguars’ inaugural season.
The 67,814 max capacity can expand out to 82,000, but that’s been a distant thought for most of the franchise’s existence with the usual turnout.
Along with the theme of weak designs, Florida’s third NFL team also enjoys its share of heat and stifling humidity. That’s where this stadium’s best assets come in. TIAA Bank Field has not one, but two wading pools in one end zone. Sure, it may be a little tacky to the outside world but, in the Sunshine State, that’s the lifestyle.
27. Hard Rock Stadium
If we’re being honest, the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium may as well be interchangeable with Florida’s other two NFL stadiums. It’s a really big structure; it’s really forgettable architecture; and it’s been home to some really disappointing football for some time.
Aside from that, the Dolphins’ digs in Miami Gardens is just great…
Hard Rock Stadium first opened in 1987 at a cost of $115 million and, along with a million name changes, endured shared custody with the Florida Marlins of the MLB from 1993-2011.
After the Marlins left, Hard Rock Stadium finally got a makeover, reducing capacity by about 10,000 to 64,767 to add some “luxury” seating. It seems less is more in Miami.
26. Oakland-Alameda Coliseum
The only reason the Raiders aren’t dead last is because they have a shiny new stadium in the works on the always temperate Las Vegas strip.
For now, the Raiders still call the atrocity that is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum “home.”
Opened in 1966 at a cost of $25.5 million with a $200 million renovation from 1995-96, the Raiders infamously share their home turf with the Oakland Athletics. It’s hard to really comment on anything here other than two ridiculous sights: an NFL game being playing on a baseball diamond, and a stadium with scattered fans in nosebleed bleacher seats.
25. StubHub Center
It’s another case of temporary housing for the Los Angeles Chargers, who have been forced to play in an MLS soccer stadium until their new spot is complete.
Sadly enough, even though the Carson, California location holds 45,000 fewer people at a capacity of 25,000, it still passes as nicer than the disheveled Qualcomm Stadium down in San Diego.
The biggest knock on the Chargers’ new Los Angeles location isn’t even that it’s tiny, because that’s probably a positive if anything. The biggest problem is that LA has served as more of an away stadium than anything, as LA’s billionth new sports team has served as little more than an attraction for transplants who go to root on the visiting team.
24. Raymond James Stadium
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all about soaking up that sunshine. It also requires staring directly into the sun on a daily basis to think, well, really anything about the structure. There is, however, one redeeming quality about the stadium.
The Buccaneers capitalized on their name and location, putting a legit pirate ship in one of the end zones. Whenever the Bucs score or win, the ship fires its cannons, giving a max crowd 65,618 something to cheer about. Of course, there hasn’t been a whole lot of opportunity to do that lately.
23. Levi’s Stadium
Construction on the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium began in April 2012 and finished in July 2014 at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion. Levi’s Stadium has a capacity of 68,500 (expandable to 75,000), which is right in line with what it was at the old Candlestick Park.
Though it’s a beautiful stadium, the big knock here is that San Francisco’s football team now calls Santa Clara home, which is a solid 45 minutes away from San Fran. That said, the Niners’ new home is setting an awesome trend in working to go green. Levi’s Stadium has been working to be the first stadium with a green-powered roof complete with solar panels.
22. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Just like the Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams are playing the waiting game to move into their new home stadium. In the meantime, the Rams are splitting time with the USC Trojans in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Along with serving as the Trojans’ home field since 1923, the historic landmark has been a hub of sports activity, hosting the Olympics and 10 different football teams alone!
This monstrous arena is truly worthy of its Coliseum name, as it was once able to hold a max capacity of 93,607 people. LA’s Coliseum may be so old it was originally built for less that $1 million, but a place steeped in this much history sure isn’t the worst place to call home.
21. M&T Bank Stadium
The Baltimore Ravens are plopped right in the city at Maryland’s M&T Bank Stadium. Ground was broken in 1996 and the doors were opened in 1998 ready to pack in 71,008 fans… give or take. A cost of $220 million (nearly $340 million today) is a perfectly reasonable price for a stadium that belongs right in the middle of NFL stadium rankings.
One of the positives is a killer location, as the stadium sits right by the Chesapeake Bay and stands just a parking lot away from Camden Yards where the Orioles play. Love it or hate it, an empty stadium’s blinding sheet of purple seats is about the most notable feature it has.
20. Gillette Stadium
It’s felt like the New England Patriots have been holding the rest of the NFL hostage since with pure domination since moving into Gillette Stadium in 2002, but their dynasty beginning in 2001 while still at the old Foxboro Stadium shows it’s got nothing to do with the new digs.
Aside from the fact that Gillette Stadium is plopped in Foxboro, Massachusetts – the middle of suburbia – nowhere near anything really is a sign of plenty of vanilla to come. The bridge and tower behind one end zone is the only iconic thing about this place, and even that just seems to make a very cold environment that much more of a wind tunnel.
19. Paul Brown Stadium
Paul Brown Stadium was a major boost to the city of Cincinnati when its doors opened in 2000. There’s arguing that the Bengals beat out the Browns for the better Ohio stadium, though that’s about the best thing the team has had going for it in some time.
Located right next to Cincinnati’s Central Business District, Paul Brown Stadium is situated right on the Ohio River and offers a solid skyline view of the city. The stadium’s design has earned awards and honors. In the end though, we might just have to blame the Bengals’ perpetually “meh” performance for still feeling this way about the stadium.
18. Bank of America Stadium
The Carolina Panthers find a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they’ve played at Bank of America Stadium since 1996, which accounts for every season but the franchise’s first.
Bank of America Stadium was the first stadium in the United States to get funding through Personal Seat Licenses.
This is the practice of allowing fans to buy the right to a seat, which they then make them the sole owner of the spot for season tickets. The 72,685 available seats (today’s capacity is 75,523) played a big role in supporting the construction’s $248 million cost.
Former Panthers president said it best, calling it a “classic American stadium.” We’re just calling it “a stadium.”
17. Nissan Stadium
Hooray for middle of the road mediocrity!
The Tennessee Titans’ awesome location in Nashville leaves plenty of potential to capitalize on all Music City has to offer. With a prime location on the Cumberland River just across from downtown Nashville, a solid spot is about as good as it gets.
The $290 million NFL stadium opened in 1999 in what was technically the Tennessee Titans’ inaugural year, as they played their first two seasons as the Tennessee Oilers in two college stadiums. Since opening, the only thing that’s really changed is the capacity, which changed annually until settling at 69f,143 in 2006.
16. Soldier Field
This is one of the toughest ones to judge. Soldier Field in Chicago is undoubtedly one of the most iconic NFL stadiums, but its renovations from 2002-03 actually got its historic landmark designation removed.
Located right next to the downtown business district in the Near South Side, the $632 million renovation looks like some kind of symbolic piece of art of the past giving birth to the future.
The renovations also cut off a lot of the incredible skyline view, though there’s still some nice backdrop left from fans. On top of that, the renovations dropped capacity from 67,000 to 61,500. With all that said, location is still everything and it’s still awesome an entirely new stadium wasn’t the move.
15. Ford Field
Unlike Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo, and Cleveland, Detroit assessed the situation and decided an outdoor stadium right by the Great Lakes probably isn’t the smartest move. Going with a dome was a very good call.
The Lions have been playing in downtown Detroit at Ford Field since 2002.
The stadium’s construction took nearly three years and cost half a billion dollars but it’s well worth it… even if the Lions have been doing their best to make it seem otherwise.
One of the coolest parts about the stadium is that incorporates part of an old warehouse form the 1920s, giving it that iconic industrial feel Detroit is known for, and keeping some history in-house.
14. MetLife Stadium
In 2010, the New York Giants and Jets got a desperately needed upgrade, moving out of Giants Stadium right next door to its new Meadowlands neighbor, MetLife Stadium. This was undoubtedly a bigger relief for the Jets who had to deal with a rickety stadium that was named after New York’s other team.
Of course, neither team actually plays in New York City since the Meadowlands is located just across the Hudson River in East Rutherford, New Jersey. At roughly $1.6 billion, this was the most expensive stadium in the world at the time of its construction. With a capacity of 82,500, New York’s massive fanbase has no problem coming in by train, bus or car to pack in MetLife.
13. Lincoln Financial Field
It was long overdue for the Philadelphia Eagles to get their own place to call home after sharing Veterans Stadium with the Phillies for so long. Lincoln Financial Field first opened in August 2003 after over two years of construction at a cost of $512 million (nearly $700 million today).
The wait was well worth it. Located in South Philly, The Linc can open its doors to 69,176 people. Renovations that took place from 2013-14, upgrading everything from new HD video boards to WiFi and easier passage through the stadium.
Along with housing the Eagles, the stadium is also often used for the classic Navy-Army game since its location serves as a convenient midpoint between the two schools.
12. Broncos Stadium at Mile High
The worst thing about the Broncos Stadium at Mile High is that we have to pretend it isn’t just Mile High Stadium like the old one. Aside from the wonky new name, the Denver, Colorado stadium is an all-around great experience.
Its construction from 1999-2001 cost $400.7 million, and with a beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, it’s worth every penny. The Broncos can pack in 76,125 fans who have tons of selections of craft beers to choose from inside the stadium. As for the non-drinkers, Colorado allows for some other Mile High festivities tailgating outside the stadium. Either way, the fans are happy.
11. NRG Stadium
The Houston Texans have played at NRG Stadium since their inaugural season in 2002 when it first opened. Built right next to the old Astrodome at a cost of $352 million, NRG Stadium is located in Houston’s NRG Park of sports related buildings.
NRG Stadium made a name for itself as the first NFL field to have a retractable roof, and they really went all out with the retractable part. The enormous open roof allows sunlight to flood the building, making for a perfect venue experience. The only thing needed to make this environment any better is for the Texans to actually get a playoff win.
10. Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Construction on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome first broke ground in August 1971 and took four years to be completed. The Saints’ iconic stadium looks like a gigantic UFO mothership touched down in the heart of New Orleans, making it synonymous with the city.
The already iconic Superdome became even more of a symbol for NOLA when Hurricane Katrina hit the city, as many New Orleans natives were forced to take shelter there from the storm. Damages from Katrina required $193 million in renovations ($59 million more than initial construction costs). In 2016, the Superdome got another upgrade with 330-foot wide LED screen at each end zone.
9. Lucas Oil Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the few newer stadiums that looks like it truly made a concerted effort to establish a unique look. Built from September 2005 to August 2008 at a cost of $720 million, the Indianapolis Colts’ replacement for the RCA Dome is conveniently located in the heart of downtown.
No worries about lighting in this brick building. Along with a fully retractable roof, one end zone at Lucas Oil is made up of enormous windows that flood the building with sunlight. With a capacity of 67,000 that expands to 70,000, Lucas Oil’s prime location and impressive upkeep have made for a popular for everything from huge concerts to college playoff sites.
8. Heinz Field
The Steelers have as prime a spot as it gets in Pittsburgh located directly across downtown on the other side of the Ohio River in the North Shore neighborhood.
Lucky fans who find themselves on the right side of the stadium enjoy a breathtaking view of a Downtown Pittsburgh backdrop just over the end zone.
Heinz Field first opened in 2001 with a capacity of 64,450. Renovations in 2007 added restaurants and more seating with further renovations through 2015 pushing capacity to 68,400. It’s no wonder Heinz Field kept on expanding seating since every single game since 1972 has sold out.
7. State Farm Stadium
The Arizona Cardinals have been in a slump for some time, but at least State Farm Stadium keeps on crushing it. Located just outside of Phoenix in Glendale, they first broke ground for the stadium in 2003 and finally opened the doors in 2006.
With two renovations in 2014 and 2017, the stadium remains on the cutting edge. A retractable roof isn’t the only cool thing about this place, the Cardinals also have a field that rolls in and out of the stadium to protect the grass during other events.
State Farm Stadium can hold 63,400 people, reaching upwards of 78,600 and beyond with standing room included. A cost of a cool $455 million, (about $100 million more today) was well worth it.
6. CenturyLink Field
It doesn’t get any more perfect than the Seattle Seahawks’ central location in the heart of the city. CenturyLink Field is a 69,000-seat stadium that cost $430 million and opened its doors in 2002.
The view alone makes it all worth it.
The stadium design opens one end zone’s view to the beautiful Downtown Seattle skyline. Another awesome feature that’s impossible to miss is the architecture’s perfect design to get loud. On two occasions Seattle fans have set a world record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor venue. To top it all off, CenturyLink’s already excellent location is made even better with three train stops nearby.
5. AT&T Stadium
As always, Texas always does it bigger. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went the distance when building AT&T Stadium, which is actually located about 30 minutes outside Dallas in Arlington. Construction began in 2005 and wasn’t completed until 2009, but the wait was well worth it.
The $1.3 billion stadium packs in 80,000 people and can expand to a full-on city at a capacity of over 105,000! Thousands of TVs, an art gallery (seriously) and a jumbotron that stretches from one 20-yard line to the other. All that luxury comes at a price though, as parking alone looks like purchasing premium seats.
4. Mercedes-Benz Stadium
The brand new Atlanta Falcons’ brand new stadium is pure luxury. Located right next to the old Georgia Dome in Atlanta, this $1.6 billion megalith is a work of art on the grandest scale. After breaking ground in 2014, the wait was well worth the 2017 opening.
The retractable roof moves in a stunning pinwheel fashion to open up. At the base of the roof lies an enormous 360-degree LED video board. The gigantic screen climbs 58 feet high and circles 1,075 feet around. Despite the mammoth cost to replace the Georgia Dome, they still did the fans right by keeping the concessions super cheap. Well done, Atlanta.
3. Arrowhead Stadium
The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the most insane fanbases in all of sports, which only makes Arrowhead Stadium and its history that much better. First opened in 1972, Missouri’s biggest stadium – remember, Kansas City is not in Kansas – has been up and running for a long time.
Renovations of the original $43 million stadium from 2007-10 cost $375 million made Arrowhead a whole new experience. Arrowhead maintains its classic curved stadium seating while upgrading everything else about the fan experience.
Kansas City fans didn’t want to leave their beloved Arrowhead, so they gave the people what they wanted to make the fans more comfortable at home while getting wild.
2. U.S. Bank Stadium
The Minnesota Vikings may have one of the coldest cities in the NFL in Minneapolis, but the new U.S. Bank Stadium makes that little more than an afterthought. Minnesota’s $1.06 billion stadium opened in 2016 and its megalithic structure is really a marvel.
U.S. Bank Stadium is called “The Ship,” as the massive structure looks like a modern, artsy Viking ship. Its transparent roof and walls let natural lighting flood the building and offer a Minneapolis skyline view. Hooked up with its own train station and surrounded by shopping malls and restaurants, it doesn’t get much better than going to a Vikings game.
1. Lambeau Field
Wisconsin Cheeseheads and the Green Bay Packers have something special that no amount of money put into a new stadium can match.
What makes Lambeau Field the best NFL stadium in the country is that it is steeped in history. Originally broke ground in October 1956 and opened in September 1957, Lambeau has undergone 11 different renovations, two of which spanned multiple years.
Green Bay may be a tiny city compared to other NFL teams, but that’s exactly what makes it so incredible. Packers are life here, and traditions like the famed Lambeau Leap make every moment memorable. It may be brutally frigid, but with the Pack always on the playoff prowl, toughing it out is all part of the fun.