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2015 NFL Stadium Experience Rankings

By Paul Swaney -- January 30, 2016 11:25 PM EST


We are pleased to present our rankings from 1-32 for the top stadium experiences in the NFL for the past season. We use our official FANFARE rankings from our correspondents when determining our list, and use the ratings of our members as the primary tiebreaker. We've included an excerpt from each of our reviews. We're looking forward to seeing the new homes for the Rams and Vikings in 2016. Please be sure to share your experiences as well, by rating the stadiums where you have attended a game.

  1. Lucas Oil Stadium - Home of the Indianapolis Colts

    Lucas Oil Stadium has consistently ranked as one of the best stadium experiences in all of sports, taking the top spot on the Stadium Journey 2012 best stadium experiences list. It has been our highest ranked NFL stadium experience every year since 2011 when we began publishing our annual ranking. Lucas Oil Stadium offers a near perfect game day experience. Here you’ll find outstanding fans, a fantastic downtown location, energetic game day experience, reasonable pricing, and some of the friendliest game day staff that you will ever encounter. It all comes together to create one of the best stadium experiences on the planet.

  2. M&T Bank Stadium - Home of the Baltimore Ravens

    From the Ravenswalk area outside of the stadium to the purple seats and concourse lighting, the Ravens have set a fine stage for enjoyment of NFL football. Expect the games to be loud inside the walls of the stadium. Every play, whether it be on defense or offense, will have the fans screaming at every detail. Even special teams plays are paid attention in great detail. The fans are knowledgeable about all aspects of the game.

  3. Lambeau Field - Home of the Green Bay Packers

    Packers fans are intelligent and well informed. They take the time to know the opponent as well as the home team. At times, it would appear that there are 70,000 NFL head coach candidates in the stands, but for the most part people share rational opinions about the match-up prior to kick-off or how situations are unfolding on the field. When the game starts, people are dialed in. Most are smart about getting up to go to the bathroom in between plays or series. No time is wasted on the wave during a crucial offensive possession, but the place can rock in the right 3rd and long situation.

  4. Heinz Field - Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers

    Heinz Field has several elements that set it apart from most NFL stadiums. The first is the FedEx Great Hall, a shrine to Pittsburgh’s long and successful history in the NFL. Amongst the displays are a History of the Terrible Towel; the actual lockers of several Steeler greats, including Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene and Lynn Swann, a section devoted to the Immaculate Reception, and salutes to each of the six Super Bowl winning teams the Steelers have fielded. A second very obvious feature is the two huge Heinz Ketchup bottles atop the scoreboard. If filled with ketchup, these bottles would hold more than one million ounces of this famous brand of condiment. The bottles “dip and pour” whenever the home team reaches the red zone.

  5. AT&T Stadium - Home of the Dallas Cowboys

    Overall, the stadium, fans, and the amazing architectural structure with its retractable roof and doors provides a good atmosphere to see a game. Although, don't expect to have the roof or the doors opened as it is has been customary to keep them closed due to the Texas weather. The fantastic artwork located throughout the stadium adds an interesting touch and brings another reason any sports fan would enjoy their visit.

  6. CenturyLink Field - Home of the Seattle Seahawks

    If you think your stadium is loud, think again. The minute you walk inside CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, you can feel the energy reverberating around the stadium. You basically can’t hear yourself think. The fans, or as they call them in Seattle, the 12th Man, are a different breed of fan. They love their Seahawks and will let opposing teams know about that when they step in there. The 12th Man has even set world records for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor stadium. This is quite an experience to witness.

  7. Arrowhead Stadium - Home of the Kansas City Chiefs

    From before you even enter the stadium, you would be hard pressed to not have a good time. Tailgating is a big deal in Kansas City. It's easy to chat up Chiefs fans as you walk through the parking lots. They are a friendly bunch of folks and don't be surprised if you are offered a beverage or some great pre-game food.

  8. Soldier Field - Home of the Chicago Bears

    Bears fans are focused on football. This isn't a stadium where people go to see-and-be-seen, especially because nobody looks good in the amount of clothing required to spend 4-5 hours sitting or standing by Lake Michigan in December. "Bear Down, Chicago Bears", the team's fight song, is worth a bonus point. It's played after every scoring drive. If you can't get swept up in singing along with 60,000 fans about the invention of the 'T' formation, there is no helping you.

  9. Gillette Stadium - Home of the New England Patriots

    In 2002 Gillette Stadium, a $325 million privately funded stadium opened right next door to its predecessor in suburban Foxboro, a small town roughly halfway between Boston and Providence. The Patriots immediately began to make the area not only a football venue, but an entertainment, dining, and shopping destination. In 2006 construction began on Patriot Place, an open air shopping center located adjacent to the stadium. Patriot Place has proven to be so successful that imitators have begun to sprout up at stadiums around the country, and have become almost a standard feature in new stadium designs.

  10. Mercedes-Benz Superdome - Home of the New Orleans Saints

    A trip to the Superdome goes far beyond simply a sports experience; it’s also a travel destination which delivers on culture, food, and good times. Whether you’re traveling along with your favorite NFL team or just looking for a reason to experience New Orleans, be sure to circle a Saints game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on your calendar in the near future.

  11. NRG Stadium - Home of the Houston Texans

    The Texans provide a great atmosphere, but considering they play in the largest city in a state that breathes football you would be hard-pressed to expect anything less. The atmosphere can be found beginning outside the stadium with the tailgating and the Texans fans have to be considered among the best when it comes to tailgating.

  12. FirstEnergy Stadium - Home of the Cleveland Browns

    The stadium features one of the most resilient fan bases in all of sport. The Dawg Pound is one of the most famous fan areas in the NFL and sport. This group is still waiting for the past glory of the Browns to return and still fondly remembers the four NFL championships they won in the pre-Super Bowl era.

  13. Bank of America Stadium - Home of the Carolina Panthers

    The stadium is open-air, has a natural grass field, and includes training facilities, practice fields, and administrative offices. In 2014, fan-oriented renovations were made to the stadium to create an easier way to enjoy the game. The Panthers’ stadium added state-of-the-art technology, including high-definition video boards above each end zone and a high-octave sound system. Anyone looking for a Sunday afternoon, family friendly event, find your way to South Mint Street for great food, a big city environment, and a great sporting event at Bank of America Stadium.

  14. Paul Brown Stadium - Home of the Cincinnati Bengals

    It's amazing what a competitive team can do for your game experience. While the open design of PBS doesn't necessarily help retain noise, the local fans do their best to create a home-field advantage. A game at Paul Brown offers you great sightlines from every spot in the stadium. The lower bowl is incredibly close to the field while the upper decks are built on a steep incline to give those seats a good viewing angle to all on-field action.

  15. Lincoln Financial Field - Home of the Philadelphia Eagles

    Set amongst a backdrop of seemingly endless rows of tailgates, Lincoln Financial Field's exterior of exposed steel, beams, brick and glass is well designed to represent the character of Philadelphia. Walking towards the stadium from the north, the open corners and upper deck shape almost give the perception of an Eagle flying. Inside, the stadium is so well designed with angled seating sections enhancing the sightlines. The lower deck is at a shallow grade, while the upper deck has more of a steeper pitch and all of the individual Midnight Green seats have backs and cupholders. Though the upper deck is high because of the below club section sandwiched between a layer of suites, the view is not bad at all. Various nooks and crannies give the stadium a non-uniform, unique appearance, while the open corners in the north end help to provide peeks of Center City (Philly's downtown).

  16. University of Phoenix Stadium - Home of the Arizona Cardinals

    You really do have to see this place to believe it. Everything is so spacious, so modern, and so clean. It is obvious that fan comfort was a top priority after the many years the franchise spent at Sun Devil Stadium. Every sports fan should make the trip to Glendale in the coming years to see University of Phoenix Stadium. It is a truly one-of-a-kind place. A modern marvel.

  17. Sports Authority Field at Mile High - Home of the Denver Broncos

    SAF at Mile High is spacious and the concourses are wide. Despite 76,000+ fans moving around during breaks and before the game, the flow is smooth. The seating areas are a little different whether you are upstairs or downstairs. The lower bowl has a lot of legroom, but the seating pitch is small. If you are behind a taller person, you'll have a tough time seeing the action on the field. In the upper bowl, the pitch is steep. For people not used to the altitude, it is a steep climb. The positive of this is you could sit behind Manute Bol and probably still see the field. The floors are metal which is fun for fans who like to make noise. During key defensive plays, fans stomp on the metal flooring creating a loud buzzing sound throughout the stadium.

  18. Georgia Dome - Home of the Atlanta Falcons

    It’s good to see the Falcons get a stadium upgrade, but the Georgia Dome will be missed. With a capacity of 80,000, the Georgia Dome is the largest dome in the world that is cable-supported. The stadium has been used for different events such as the NCAA Final Four, college football game, professional basketball game and even professional wrestling.

  19. Ralph Wilson Stadium - Home of the Buffalo Bills

    Ralph Wilson Stadium is all about the tailgating. The stadium is surrounded by vast swaths of open parking, almost 200 acres and over 15,000 spaces, and come game day it is a sea of parties and revelers, some coming in buses and recreational vehicles. In fact the RV lots open as early as three days before the game and sometime sell out well before Sunday. Fans arrive early and stay for days in some cases to participate in the community party.

  20. Levi's Stadium - Home of the San Francisco 49ers

    The 49ers boast the eco-friendly nature of their facility. According to the Levi's Stadium website, "The new stadium in Santa Clara is the next generation of stadium design. One of the most unique features of the facility is the green roof atop the suite tower on the west side of the stadium. The three solar bridges, connecting the main parking area to the stadium, will include hundreds of solar panels." The green roof atop is cool and useless all at the same time.

  21. TCF Bank Stadium - Home of the Minnesota Vikings

    Opened in 2009 for the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team, TCF Bank Stadium became a temporary home for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL season after the team left its home of 30-plus years for a new stadium that will be coming in the 2016 NFL season. In the meantime, they are sharing a home with the Gophers, at a stadium that was created for NCAA football, but remains a great place to see a football game, NCAA or otherwise.

  22. MetLife Stadium - Home of the New York Jets

    Jets fans are known for being a blue collar and gritty bunch. The fans here definitely know their team, though. Jets fans show up early and don't usually leave until the game is decided. Fans get disgruntled when the team is playing poorly, but what fan base doesn't do that? The Jets fans have endured some painful moments recently, but it looks like the team is starting to slowly pull itself up.

  23. Nissan Stadium - Home of the Tennessee Titans

    You can't ask for a better spot to drop an NFL stadium than where Nissan Stadium is located. It's situated directly across the river from Nashville's historic Broadway, and a short walk across the pedestrian bridge will put you right at the gates of the stadium. It makes it very easy to enjoy all of the bars and restaurants before and after the game without having to drive from place to place.

  24. Ford Field - Home of the Detroit Lions

    You can't blame Lions fans if they seem a bit disgruntled. The team hasn't been able to claim to be NFL Champions since 1957, and they have made no appearances in the championship game in the Super Bowl era. Sure, they've had the pleasure of seeing one of the great running backs of all time in Barry Sanders, and Calvin Johnson is one of the best athletic specimens ever to play the wide receiver position. But even when things are going well, there is this feeling that it's not a matter of if things will go down hill, but when?

  25. EverBank Field - Home of the Jacksonville Jaguars

    The Jaguars are Jacksonville's only major league franchise, and the fans will support the team through thick or thin. In their early years, the Jaguars were very competitive under the leadership of Coach Tom Coughlin and Coach Jack Del Rio, and the team presently is rebuilding through their high draft picks. Jacksonville is also a city that does not take itself too seriously, and the atmosphere at the games is party-like, with plenty of opportunities to have a good time and enjoy the nice weather.

  26. Raymond James Stadium - Home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    The Buccaneers make sure the pirate concept is very obvious in almost every aspect of the stadium. The most obvious example of this is the 103-foot, 43-ton replica pirate ship docked beyond the northern end zone. Touchdowns and red zone penetrations are celebrated with the firing of cannons that spew confetti and soft rubber footballs. At select times during the game, the "Yo Ho" song from the Pirates of the Caribbean is played. This in turn starts a mini-Gasparilla Festival (Tampa's largest party, which rivals Mardi Gras, and has a pirate theme). All that is missing is being given an eye patch or a peg leg as you enter the stadium.

  27. MetLife Stadium - Home of the New York Giants

    The area around the stadium is notable for the 20 giant LED pylons along the perimeter. These display videos and statistics of Giants players, along with lots of advertising. If you arrive early, you can study these for a few minutes while waiting for gates to open, which happens two hours before kickoff. You can also spend some time at the Bud Light garden, where bottles are just $5 and there are activities and prizes to give away.

  28. O.co Coliseum - Home of the Oakland Raiders

    It would be nice to have a clear idea of the Raiders future in Oakland or otherwise. If a commitment to Oakland is put in place the vibe at the Coliseum and within the fan base could evolve for the better.

  29. Sun Life Stadium - Home of the Miami Dolphins

    The main issue with the fans at Sun Life Stadium is the poor attendance, particularly in the selling of upper deck seats. From the first quarter to the fourth, numerous empty seats can be spotted in the upper deck and club-level areas, a rather disappointing turnout.

  30. Qualcomm Stadium - Home of the San Diego Chargers

    Despite having America’s best climate to its advantage, the city of San Diego and the Chargers now are in the midst of constant relocation rumors and must watch as other cities host big events annually. The 2016 season may be the last chance for NFL fans to see the Chargers in San Diego.

  31. Edward Jones Dome - Home of the St. Louis Rams

    The Rams will officially move to Los Angeles in 2016, leaving behind one of the worst stadium experiences in the league in St. Louis.

  32. FedExField - Home of the Washington Redskins

    FedExField is a functional stadium that is unfortunately showing its age faster than other stadiums of the same vintage. Functionality alone does not equate into great fan experiences. Its location in an area that no one seems to really want the stadium be located in, makes the whole game day experience come across as quite negative.


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