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In the early 90s, could anyone really foresee an NFL football franchise moving from Houston to Nashville? In 1996 it actually happened. Unhappy with the Astrodome and the lack of progress with the City of Houston, Oilers owner Bud Adams began negotiating with Nashville mayor Phil Bredesen on the possibility of moving the Oilers. Nearly 20 years later, the re-christened Tennessee Titans find themselves at the heart of one of the fastest growing cities in North America.
With the move of the Oilers to Tennessee, and short stints at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis and Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, the city would end up building a new stadium on the banks of the Cumberland River. The stop in Memphis was a disaster, and fortunes looked up for the Titans in their new stadium. With some new found stability, the Titans could solely focus on the on-field product, which would include 2 AFC Conference Final appearances and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams. That 1999 team provided one of the most significant moments in NFL history, the last second touchdown in the AFC Wild Card game now known as the Music City Miracle.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
As with most NFL stadium experiences, a trip to LP Field will offer you a variety of culinary experiences. All of the expected items can be found throughout the stadium including hot dogs, soda, popcorn, and nachos. You can also find some pretty good chicken options, including chicken strips, buffalo chicken, and chicken sandwiches.
The variety of local beer options is significant for the beer connoisseur. Miller Lite is also available for an $8 souvenir cup. Coca-Cola products are the soda options, and can be had for $3 or the bottomless $9 option.
Two local options that are a little more unique include the Logan's Roadhouse stands and the Jack Daniel's BBQ stands. Both can be found prominently at the north and south ends of the stadium under the videoboard. Prices are about what you would expect for an NFL venue, not awful, but by no means cheap.
LP Field is located on the eastern bank of the Cumberland River. From the upper deck on the west side there is a picturesque view of downtown Nashville. The exterior of LP Field is unspectacular, but by no means is it an eyesore. If you are walking or driving in from downtown Nashville, you will see it gradually in the distance, and it does not blow you away as being overly humongous.
Inside LP Field you will find a three-tiered seating configuration with the club options on the second level. Travelling from the west and east upper decks is not an option as they are not connected. On the face of the second deck are signs honouring the members of the Oilers/Titans Hall of Fame. Upon moving from Houston, the Titans have retained the history of the Houston Oilers, and many members of the Hall of Fame are from the Houston days, with little to no connection to the Titans, save the ownership group. Members of the Hall of Fame include Frank Wycheck, Steve McNair, Eddie George, Bud Adams and Bruce Matthews, all who have connections to the Tennessee Titans, as well as Warren Moon, George Blanda and Earl Campbell from the Oiler days.
The gameday production in Tennessee is quite strong. Compared to the Nashville Predators, there is more of a Country Music influence at the Titans game, which is to be expected. Pregame music and music during breaks is more of a healthy mix of music as compared to the Predators, which features a much heavier classic rock influence.
The Titans Party Stage under the north videoboard helps cement Nashville's reputation as Music City. The stage features a local band that performs pregame and halftime music. Upon entry to the playing field, the players are preceded by the Titans 12th Man honoree, who enters the stadium and plants a sword on the Titans logo at the fifty yard line. The players enter the field through an inflated Titans helmet among the expected pyrotechnics and smoke machines.
Consider where you are sitting when purchasing your ticket. The light standards at LP Field are relatively close to the stadium itself. As a result, in the upper deck on the east and west sides, fans are consistently annoyed by the loud humming of the lights when they are on.
LP Field is located just east of downtown Nashville, which is one of the best spots in the entire country. The main street in Nashville is Broadway which features numerous establishments for eating and drinking. At almost any time of the day, many of these spots feature live music and many spots cater to all ages.
Some spots you may consider are Rippy's BBQ, Jimmy Buffet's Maragritaville, or Honky Tonk Central. Second Avenue near Commerce also has a number of different spots including Coyote Ugly and B.B. King's Blues Club. One spot you definitely need to eat at though would be Puckett's Grocery at the corner of 5th and Church.
A trip to Nashville should be about more than just the Titans. A great spot to stay is the Best Western on 7th. It is centrally located, making walking easy to all spots including the Predators home at Bridgestone Arena and to Titans games, as well as Broadway. It is pretty reasonably priced for a downtown hotel in a major city.
When in Nashville you should definitely consider taking in a show at the Ryman Auditorium, which was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. The radio show performs at the Auditorium in the winter months rather than the larger Opryhouse on the outskirts of the city. The show is definitely worth it, even if you are not a huge country music fan. You may also consider a trip to the nearby Country Music Hall of Fame.
Recent years have shown a bit of a struggle on the field for the Titans. As a result there were numerous empty seats at LP Field for the game being reviewed. Consideration must be given that the date of the review was the final game of the 2013 season in which the Titans and their opponent had already been eliminated from playoff contention. Recent years have shown the Titans to be at 100 percent capacity for the year, but the reality is that tickets are not overly tough to come by and the vast number of empty seats suggest ownership buys tickets to avoid blackouts. The fans that were at the game were pretty quiet and not overly vociferous. Fans do appear knowledgeable, but the number of empty seats and quiet crowd prevent the fans from achieving a perfect score.
Getting to LP Field is not too difficult. It is located south of the James Robertson Parkway and there are numerous parking lots surrounding the stadium. The best way to get to the stadium is to stay downtown and walk. There are other public transit and express options that are offered by the Titans. Those options are available in detail on the team website.
Once inside LP Field the concourses and washroom facilities are more than adequate. A significant flaw of LP Field is a lack of escalator to get to the 300 level. There are large ramps that are in each corner of the field. The other option that is available are the express elevators. They are not terribly slow, but do get crowded when it is time to depart or just before kickoff.
As with all NFL experiences, you are going to pay. Face value on my 300 level ticket was $46, which is a lot to pony up. With the Titans on a bit of a down-swing, the secondary market has reacted and ticket prices have dropped a bit. The concession prices are decent and you can expect to pay $20 and up to park if you are driving to the stadium. Save a few bucks and find a way to walk, but still a trip to the Titans is something that you would want to plan for financially. The Titans definitely fit into plans for a larger Nashville vacation and you will have a good time, but think twice before dropping a big chunk of change to bring the whole family.
An extra mark for Titans public address announcer Mike "The Duke" Donegan who eerily sounds like Pat Summerall.An extra mark for the Luke Bryan "Titan Fans, Shake it for Me" bit that played on the videoboard during the game. An extra point for Nashville, truly one of the most unique cities in America. There is a designated driver sign-up booth that caught my eye during my trip to the concession stand. It is great to see that stadium personnel are actively trying to save lives at these NFL stadiums where fans do not always drink responsibly.
The Titans and LP Field make for a fun sports experience. They offer a few unique quirks and concessions that make it a worthwhile experience. With all of the options for entertainment in the Music City, the Titans fit right in as a viable option. Ensure that you take in a big chunk of Nashville as part of your Titans experience. A trip to Green Bay would have the Packers and Lambeau Field as the centrepiece, but a trip to Nashville would have the Titans as a nice addition.
Follow Dave's sports journeys on Twitter @profan9
LP Field was constructed in 1999 on 105 acres of the east bank of the Cumberland River and overlooks downtown Nashville. The stadium seats 68,798 fans for a football game, including 12,000 club level seats on both sides of the stadium. The sight lines in the stadium are good, and the vertical height of the stadium provides a good view of the field even from the upper decks.
Parking around the stadium is limited to season ticket permit holders, and there is good egress to and from the stadium for those that park close by. There is ample parking in many surface lots and garages in the downtown area. Fans walking to the stadium have use of a dedicated pedestrian bridge as well as two other bridges to get to the stadium.
Once inside the stadium, fans have multiple dining choices that range from the standard stadium fare to an extensive buffet located in the club level. The buffet is pricey, charging $27.00 per person, but it is an all you can eat affair, with offerings ranging from carved roast beef, brunch offerings, and barbecue. If you are going to eat at the buffet, come hungry. Burgers, deli sandwiches, pizza, brats, barbecue, and hot dogs are offered at numerous concession stands throughout the stadium and club level, with prices in the $5-6 for most items. The club level offers two full bars and numerous flat screen televisions to view not only the live action on the field but other NFL games that are in progress in a climate controlled environment.
The stadium is within easy walking distance from the downtown Nashville entertainment district. This area offers numerous dining and entertainment options, including many live music venues. Many fans of the Titans that do not have tickets gather at local bars and restaurants to watch the game.
One of the favorite haunts for visitors to the downtown area is Robert's Western World. This authentic country bar is home to traditional country music and is located at 416 Broadway, the main entertainment strip in downtown Nashville. The bar is approximately five blocks from the stadium and is within easy walking distance. In addition to the traditional country acts, Robert's is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists, and it is not uncommon to run into some well known entertainers there such as Dwight Yoakum and Hank Williams, Jr.. They serve a limited but traditional bar menu, and are known for their burgers. The beer selection is extensive, but many visitors enjoy the traditional offerings such as PBR and Miller. Not a particularly large venue means that visitors should arrive early to get a seat and avoid the crowds.
Big River Grill is located at the corner of 4th Ave. and Broadway, three blocks from the stadium. Big River Grill is an expansive establishment that offers ample seating indoors and a patio for outdoor seating. A varied menu offers many dining choices, from salads and light fare to steaks. Diners can find offerings that fit any appetite and taste, and most foods are made from scratch. Big River has an extensive selection of beers, including many craft beers that are brewed on site. The Czech Lager, brewed on site, is an award winning beer. Visitors can find most any type of beer, but the craft beers are exceptional and worth the visit. This popular spot fills quickly on game days before the game, and stays busy until well after the game is over.
Football is king in Tennessee, and you’ll immediately understand why when you attend a game at LP Field to see the Tennessee Titans play. When the Titans first came to Nashville from Houston, they enjoyed a great home-field advantage that had them start 16-0 before losing their first game at home.
Over the 13-plus years that LP Field has been opened, it has been used as a great venue for football. In addition to it being home to the Tennessee Titans, and it has also been the site of the Music City Bowl since it first opened in 1999. However, it is clear that LP Field has become a little outdated in comparison to other NFL stadiums. Its capacity sits somewhere in the middle of seating capacities in the NFL.
The seats can also become a little cramped, and the stadium definitely lacks the flashiness of the newer breed of NFL stadiums. With some of the cosmetic issues aside, you’ll definitely enjoy your NFL experience at LP Field. The fans are some of the kindest you’ll probably run into on your NFL journey, and the beautiful view of the Nashville skyline during the Monday Night Football game I attended capped off what was overall a great experience.
My son and I try to get to several Titans games in a season and always find the trip a pleasure! Even though they haven't had much on-field success lately there is a very strong and loyal fan base in Nashville for the Titans. Last year we went to the Jaguars game which was the last of the season and the place was still nearly full.
Although the reviewer is accurate about the immediate area surrounding LP Field, downtown Nashville, especially the area along Broadway is outstanding, day or night.
For parking, I suggest the Hilton located on the corner of 4th and Broadway. Park underground in the garage for $20, head up to the lobby, then just across the street is the access to the foot bridge to take you to LP Field. After the game, by the time you've walked back, getting out is a breeze and it's a quick trip back to the Interstates.
I've had many memorable father/son weekends at LP Field and look forward to many more.
Great food choices including incredibly tasty pot pies and turkey legs are what I will remember about this stadium. It's east of the river, and the downtown is west, just a few minutes away over a bridge. Lots to see and do downtown, once you get to the stadium, you will go straight in. Great new scoreboards at either end zone, but other than that, a fairly typical NFL venue with 3 seating levels.
Nashville, TN 37203
605 8th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203
Nashville, TN 37203
Nashville, TN 37201
152 2nd Ave N
Nashville, TN 37201
222 5th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
Nashville, TN 37203