NFL

Power Ranking NFL Stadiums, 2014 Edition

0
Vincent Frank
Written by Vincent Frank

Of the 31 stadiums around the National Football League, most of them are amazing venues to hold a football game. There are, however, some that leave a lot to be desired. As teams start to understand the necessity of building state-of-the-art stadiums, we will start to see some of the older ones become nothing more than a part of history. 

Speaking of history, there are a few stadiums that may not be as modern as we would like. But their importance to the game of football means more than any materialistic items these new stadiums boast.

With the help of individuals around the NFL world, we decided to rank each and every stadium from worst to best. We relied on some insiders when we simply didn’t have the first-hand experience to give an opinion on a stadium.

So without further ado, check below for our power rankings of each NFL stadium.

31. Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland Raiders)

Courtesy of Business Insider

Courtesy of Business Insider

Having been to this stadium dozens of times, I can honestly same that it’s the worst in the professional sports world. From the sewage leaking out into the clubhouse for A’s games to the baseball diamond in the middle of the field for Raiders gams, O.co is an absolute joke.

Even fans in Oakland can agree that the Raiders need a new stadium. The issue here is that the city of Oakland has yet to work with the Raiders to get the team new digs and Mark Davis may very well relocate out of Northern California as soon as next year.

30. Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis Rams)

Courtesy of ESPN.com

Courtesy of ESPN.com

Ground broke on Edward Jones Dome back in 1992 in order to help bring a NFL team to St. Louis. Just a few years later, the Rams would relocate to the midwest. It’s now been 20 years since the Rams moved from Los Angeles and this dome is now outdated. It’s the humble opinion of this one writer that St. Louis made a mistake by not building an open-air stadium in the first place. But that didn’t seem to be in the cards at the time.

Back in 2012, Time Magazine ranked Edward Jones Dome as the seventh-worst stadium in sports. The Rams are under contract to play in the dome until March of 2015. This means they could conceivably move back to Los Angeles as early as next year. Don’t you find it funny that the two teams that uprooted from Southern Calfornia 20 years ago rank at the bottom of this list?

29. TCF Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings)

Courtesy of Vikingsgab.com

Courtesy of Vikingsgab.com

Minnesota Vikings writer Arif Hasan of VikingsTerritory.com and DailyNorseman.com was kind enough to provide these comments on the Vikings temporary digs.

Good: Modern, great view of field, facilities are much cleaner than most stadiums I’ve been to. Lots of entry points.

Bad: Concourses a bit narrow, doesn’t feel like “home” for Vikings, not enough concessions. Parking is a nightmare. And Biggest negative: not enough seats. New seating is comfortable, but feels out of place. Aesthetically not great. Still beautiful stadium.

The Vikings will move to a new state-of-the-art stadium following the 2015 season.

28. Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

0

Notice all the horrendous football venues in California? It was a minor miracle that the San Francisco 49ers were able to build Levi’s Stadium considering the political and revenue issues in the state. Opened in 1967 and originally named San Diego Stadium, Qualcomm is one of the oldest non-historical professional sports venues in the United States. As you can see by the photo above, it leaves a whole heck of a lot to be desired from a looks standpoint.

While Qualcomm has played host to three Super Bowls, the NFL has even indicated it won’t bring another Super Bowl to San Diego without a new stadium.

27. Sun Life Stadium (Miami Dolphins)

Courtesy of Chatsports.com

Courtesy of Chatsports.com

Opened in 1987 and originally named Joe Robbie Stadium, this venue most recently hosted Super Bowl XLIV in February of 2010 and has been the site for five NFL Championship games. The league, however, denied Miami’s bid for Super Bowl 50, instead awarding it to the 49ers and Levi’s Stadium.

Up until 2011, Sun Life was a two-sport stadium, which also housed the then Florida Marlins. Back in June, the Dolphins unveiled plans for a $350 million renovation that will be funded directly out of the pocket of owner Stephen Ross. Until that’s completed, it’s among the worst venues for professional sports in the United States.

26. LP Field (Tennessee Titans)

0

LP Field was built for the Titans two years after they moved from Houston. It was at once point considered a state-of-the-art stadium and has hosted the Music City Bowl for the past 15 years. Despite internal upgrades such as new video boards and other modern amenities, Tennessee’s home isn’t anything to write home about. See what I did there?

25. FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland Browns)

Courtesy of Browns.com

Courtesy of Browns.com

It opened in 1999 when the new Browns joined the National Football League. And despite being 100 times better than where the Browns played before, it’s simply doesn’t compare to other modern stadiums. The amenities are few and far between, but that doesn’t necessarily matter to the fans in Cleveland. My personal experience wasn’t too exciting either.

24. Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo Bills)

Courtesy of Bills.com

Courtesy of Bills.com

This venue opened in 1973 and really didn’t have any major renovations until 2013 when the Bills revealed a new entrance plaza that you can see in the photo above. It’s considered one of the windiest stadiums in football and just isn’t up to snuff when it comes to the modernization of other venues around the NFL.

The Bills reached a 10-year lease extension with stadium officials, which gives the franchise the option to buy out the final three years of the lease. With a new ownership group likely to take over soon after the passing of Ralph Wilson, this venue won’t be around for too much longer.

23. Ford Field (Detroit Lions)

Courtesy of ESPN.com

Courtesy of ESPN.com

This venue opened in 2002 and was a boon for the Lions, who previously played at the Silverdome. It’s also one of the few stadiums that was financed purely through public funds and naming rights. But the overall experience at Ford Field isn’t necessarily too great. Detroit would have been much better going with an open-air stadium, at least according to my first-hand experience.

22. Fed Ex Field (Washington Redskins)

Courtesy of Redskins.com

Courtesy of Redskins.com

As evidenced by the fact that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is looking into building a new stadium, the franchise isn’t necessarily to happy with this rather old venue.  Fed Ex Field opened in 1997 and was originally named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. The attendance isn’t an issue, as the Redskins have not had a game blacked out since 1972. Unfortunately, the make up of this venue leaves a lot to be desired. Much like other stadiums built around this time, Fed Ex simply hasn’t modernized to the point where it’s considered a state-of-the-art stadium.

21. Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)

Courtesy of delawarenorth.com

Courtesy of delawarenorth.com

This venue opened in 1996, one year after the Carolina Panthers’ debut as a NFL franchise. It’s the fourth-oldest stadium in the NFL that hasn’t received major renovations since opening. Owner Jerry Richardson has received some criticism locally for the lack of an effort to modernize the venue.

20. Georgia Dome (Atlanta Falcons)

Courtesy of Seatingchartview.com

Courtesy of Seatingchartview.com

The Atlanta Falcons will be getting a new home in the not-so-distant future. And it’s about time. The Georgia Dome is outdated at this point and one of the most talented teams in the league needs some new digs. Scott Carasik of Bleacher Report provided his comments about the best and worst aspects of the old stadium.

Best: Near multiple mass transit spots. Worst: Domed Stadium in the south. Generic design.

As always, Scott is to the point. Let’s hope Atlanta’s new digs have the same transportation options as the Georgie Dome. After all, this has been an issue with some of the newer stadiums.

19. EverBank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Courtesy of Jaguars.com

Courtesy of Jaguars.com

I will plead ignorance here. The previous version of EverBank prior to the most recent renovations was among the worst in football. That I do know. Through two preseason games, not a lot has been made of the stadium. Though, the swimming pools right under that amazing high-definition video board are pretty sexy. This time next year, you can rest assured EverBank will be ranked higher.

18. Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)

0

Sporstnaut’s own Ben Haley, who also writes for eDraft.com, provided his insights about this venue.

Positives: Wind turbines and extra seats added last year, open concourses but stadium itself holds sound well and there are heat cells under the turf. Next to it is xfinity center which is a really cool sports bar. Nice luxury boxes/suited. Players Are right in front of the fans.

Negatives: Only recently big enough to host a Super Bowl, traffic in and out can be rough, security takes forever too. He also added being in Philadelphia as a negative, so take that for what it’s worth, especially coming from an Eagles fan and writer.

17. Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Courtesy of RaymondJameStadium.com

Courtesy of RaymondJameStadium.com

Luke Easterling of the Draft Report and Bleacher Report provided these comments about Raymond James.

Positives: Pirate ship, good turf (unless USF played on it the night before), clear view from any seat. Also, kids tickets that start around $18/game. Second level seats down the sidelines are padded.

Negatives: Needs updating…video boards still aren’t HD. Parking too expensive. Bloody hot for the first month or so. Sun also fades the red seats pretty quick, makes them all look pink until they repaint ’em.

About the author

Vincent Frank

Vincent Frank

Editor-at-large, Sportsnaut.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Rumi