Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Top 10 NFL stadiums
1. Dallas Cowboys New Stadium, Arlington. This site will open for the Dallas Cowboys in the fall of 2009 and it has already won the rights to the Super Bowl in 2011. Set to be a modern-day coliseum, this venue has everything including a retractable roof, the largest high definition screen in the world at the 50-yard line and glass doors that open behind each end zone.
2. University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix. The Cardinals had their first season at this palace in 2008 and it must have helped them out. Big and beautiful, this new stadium has climate control and a field that is brought in on an incredible tray system that was designed specifically for them. Before each game and after the field can be rolled in and out so that the grass can grow and so that the venue can host events that require a hard floor without damaging the playing surface! Amazing.
3. Lambeau Field, Green Bay. Not new like the other Megaplex stadiums but endowed with the great ghosts of football past, the field is a testament to fan support. A small town supporting a major team is unheard of and also makes this a refreshing break from the corporate gatherings hosted by other NFL stops. Great tailgating and memories of Vince Lombardi abound. The field and stadium are still wonderful with great views of the icy tundra all around.
4. Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay. Arrrgh, matey! When they redesigned this stadium in 1998 for the Buccaneers, they went all out with the pirate theme. A 103-foot pirate ship replica is on site so that fans can play in the entertainment park, Buccaneer’s Cove. The Cove also has a fishing village replica and a ton of vending areas made to look like beach huts. If you attend a game when the Bucs score a TD, they have 8 cannons fire at the same time. Of course, it has 195 luxury suites and all that but the theme park fun is what sets it apart.
5. Qwest Field, Seattle. Espresso, rain and football? These elements all come together in the Seahawk’s stadium. Perched right downtown among the buildings, the south end of the end zone opens up to views of the skyline and Mt. Rainier. The whole thing has an awesome open field with acoustics designed to funnel sound down to the field and mess up the opposing teams. When the rain comes, the screens direct it away from fans so they can sip coffee in comfort.
6. Heinz Field, Pittsburgh. The Steelers new home was built not far from the legendary Three Reviers Stadium but this all new home has the plush comforts of the new stadium with all of the hard-core fans from the old venue. What a great mix.
7. Invesco Field, Denver. After having such success in the Mile High Stadium, fans were leery of this new joint in the sports complex next to the Pepsi Center and Coors Field. Invesco Field though won them over. It still has a reference to the old stadium in the name and was built the exact same size: just more luxury boxes and a grade A facility.
8. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Once the team became champs they moved into this new modern stadium in 2008. The outside has a brick and steel facade that suggests the old era but this stadium is all modern inside. Built 25-feet below street level for easy seat access for fans, the 63,000 who gather each week to watch their team do so in style.
9. M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore. Built to look like Camden Yards, its baseball neighbor, M&T Bank Stadium features 2 massive scoreboards and seating for 71,000 each week along with the super-cool Astroturf with those little rubber balls.
10. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville. Built on the sacred ground of the old Gator Bowl, this stadium launched back in 1995 but was heavily upgraded to host the SuperBowl in 2005.