Ranking all 30 NFL stadiums, from worst to best
The NFL is always pushing the single-game attendance experience vs. watching every game at home. But in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league will see its teams show off their stadiums with no or limited fans.
The NFL's current 30 venues are not created equal, however, from capacity to luxury. Some stadiums are Sunday shrines, and others are downright dumps.
Here is how Sporting News values each league home field, from 30th to first heading into the 2020 season, including the new homes of the Raiders in Las Vegas and both the Rams and Chargers in Los Angeles.
1 FedEx Field (Washington Football Team)
Open since: 1997 | Capacity: 82,000 | Surface: Bermuda grass
RFK Stadium in D.C. was a perfect place for the Hogs and hailing to the now former Redskins. Washington really mailed it in with FedEx Field, located in a made-up city (Landover) in Maryland. Let’s hope they can find a home with more downtown mojo again soon.
2 Bills Stadium (Bills)
Open since: 1973 | Capacity: 71,608 | Surface: A-Turf Titan 50
Rich-turned Ralph Wilson-turned New Era, Buffalo’s home in Orchard Park, N.Y., has been central to the some of the most loyal and hungry NFL fans. It has the same community feel as that of Lambeau Field, but it could use more updating.
3 Hard Rock Stadium (Dolphins)
Open since: 1987 | Capacity: 65,236 | Surface: Platinum TE Paspalum
It's been 30 years, and the venue already has been called Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium, Land Shark Stadium and Sun Life Stadium. It has been a solid home for all things Miami football; it just lacks anything spectacular.
4 TIAA Bank Field (Jaguars)
Open since: 1995 | Capacity: 69,132 | Surface: Bermuda grass
The former Alltel Stadium still packs them in, from the NFL in Jacksonville to the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," aka the annual Florida-Georgia game. There have been some recent improvements in an attempt to match some of the stadium's more modern brethren.
5 Bank of America Stadium (Panthers)
Open since: 1996 | Capacity: 75,523 | Surface: Bermuda grass
Charlotte has had the same NFL venue since the city was granted an expansion team. The venue recently went through some necessary upgrades, but in relation to many of the revved-up, newer stadiums, it’s definitely from the 90s.
6 Paul Brown Stadium (Bengals)
Open since: 2000 | Capacity: 65,515 | Surface: UBU Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf
There’s nothing wrong with the form and function of Cincinnati’s NFL venue, but it doesn’t have the same ideal location as the Reds’ Great American Ballpark. It lost something when it moved from “The Jungle.”
7 Raymond James Stadium (Buccaneers)
Open since: 1998 | Capacity: 65,890 | Surface: Bermuda grass
"The New Sombrero" has seen some great moments in Tampa, from the Bucs’ dominant defensive heyday to plenty of Outback Bowls. The pirate ship is cool, but with a bunch of new stadiums opening, it has become more middle of the pack.
8 FirstEnergy Stadium (Browns)
Open since: 1999 | Capacity: 67,895 | Surface: Kentucky bluegrass
Along with the Indians’ Progressive Field, this stadium has been a big improvement for Cleveland’s NFL team, with the Dawg Pound no longer housed in The Mistake By the Lake that was Municipal Stadium. The energy is there, but thanks to the team’s struggles, the advantage is still lacking.
9 Nissan Stadium (Titans)
Open since: 1999 | Capacity: 69,143 | Surface: Bermuda grass
When it first opened as Adelphia Stadium, it provided a noisy atmosphere that led to both the Music City Miracle and an AFC championship. That has cooled off, but with Tennessee finding its groove again, Nashville can find its vintage NFL Sunday sound.
10 M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens)
Open since: 1998 | Capacity: 71,008 | Surface: Bermuda grass
It may not have the warehouse look of Camden Yards, but Baltimore’s NFL home brings its own kind of charm to the heart of the city. It’s a good game-day experience.
11 Levi’s Stadium (49ers)
Open since: 2014 | Capacity: 68,500 | Surface: Bermuda grass/Perennial Ryegrass mixture
OK, the Santa Clara location isn’t ideal for all the fans in San Francisco. But once one gets past the “hard to get to” part, it’s a terrific facility that showcased its glory during Super Bowl 50.
12 Soldier Field (Bears)
Open since: 1924 | Capacity: 61,500 | Surface: Kentucky bluegrass
You can’t beat the location right near Lake Michigan on Chicago’s Museum Campus. But even after a pricey renovation, it’s been hard to find the sweet spot between modernity and maturity. That’s especially in relation to the home of Bears’ archrivals in Green Bay.
13 Gillette Stadium (Patriots)
Open since: 2002 | Capacity: 66,829 | Surface: FieldTurf CORE
Foxborough is closer to Providence than Boston, but once one gets used to getting there to watch the most dominant team in the NFL, the stadium brings a jacked-up feel to match the intimidation New England creates for its visitors.
14 Ford Field (Lions)
Open since: 2002 | Capacity: 65,000 | Surface: FieldTurf Classic HD
The location can’t be beat, right next to Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, and the revered Detroit Athletic Club. It’s been a nice upgrade over the Pontiac Silverdome as a well-maintained modern stadium.
15 Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
Open since: 2003 | Capacity: 69,596 | Surface: Desso GrassMaster
Philadelphia needed a turf- and fan-friendlier stadium than Veterans. The Link has bridged the gap nicely to become one of the league’s most underrated venues.
16 MetLife Stadium (Giants and Jets)
Open since: 2010 | Capacity: 82,500 | Surface: UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf
As the only shared stadium left in the NFL, the East Rutherford venue holds up against all the newer ones when it comes to amenities and spaciousness. It deserves another shot at hosting a Super Bowl despite the northern weather issue.
17 Empower Field at Mile High (Broncos)
Open since: 2001 | Capacity: 76,125 | Surface: Kentucky bluegrass
It was important for Denver to keep the attitude associated with the altitude of Mile High. The stadium blends functional with picturesque in the mountains, and the fans make it come alive.
18 NRG Stadium (Texans)
Open since: 2002 | Capacity: 72,220 | Surface: Hellas Matrix Turf
The excellent site of Super Bowl 51 was a second-time host for a reason. It’s a solid all-around facility, even though it’s not very close to downtown. The Texans have had plenty of good recent memories at the old Reliant.
19 Mercedes-Benz Superdome (Saints)
Open since: 1975 | Capacity: 73,208 | Surface: FieldTurf Revolution 360
One power outage during the Super Bowl a few years back does not take away from the resilience and importance of this building, the last old-school dome standing anywhere in any sport. One won’t find a better indoor party; an extension of the spirit that is New Orleans. The Super Bowl isn’t the same without the Superdome.
20 Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts)
Open since: 2008 | Capacity: 67,000 | Surface: Shaw Sports Momentum Pro
The Luke has been a force in hosting events, from the Super Bowl to the Big Ten championship. It has a great spot in the heart of downtown Indy and also serves as a superb host to the NFL Scouting Combine.
21 State Farm Stadium (Cardinals)
Open since: 2006 | Capacity: 63,400 | Surface: Bermuda grass
It looks a little like the combination of a Goodyear Blimp and a cooked Jiffy Pop, but somehow it carries a futuristic charm. Since this stadium opened, Glendale has been built up for the Arizona fans who fill the fine facility every week.
22 Heinz Field (Steelers)
Open since: 2001 | Capacity: 68,400 | Surface: Kentucky bluegrass
This venue gets bonus points for serving as a great supporting actor in The Dark Night Rises, even if its playing surface was CGI-harmed in the process. It's a beautiful open setting worthy of all the traditions of Black and Gold, down to the last Terrible Towel.
23 Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Falcons)
Open since: 2017 | Capacity: 71,000 | Surface: FieldTurf Revolution
The Georgia Dome wasn’t too old, but it got outdated in a hurry. The new stadium is a big improvement, even though it carries the same title sponsor as that of the home of the Falcons' archrivals in the Big Easy.
24 Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs)
Open since: 1972 | Capacity: 76,416 | Bermuda grass
It's perfectly located for supreme tailgating and getting the Kansas City faithful sauced up to make the noise to match the sea of roaring red. It’s a good mix of what Green Bay and Seattle have.
25 AT&T Stadium (Cowboys)
Open since: 2009 | Capacity: 80,000 | Surface: Hellas Matrix Turf
Some people don’t love the football amusement park known as Jerry World, but it deserves credit for being modernly majestic more so than a messy monstrosity. They do things bigger in Texas, and there’s nothing wrong with Jones going extra large for his 'Boys.
26 U.S. Bank Stadium (Vikings)
Open since: 2016 | Capacity: 66,665 | Surface: UBU Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf
The Vikings' new venue set the tone for the next wave of NFL stadiums. Don’t be fooled by the spaceship exterior; it’s a complete gem that sparkled for Super Bowl 52.
27 Allegiant Stadium (Raiders)
Open since: 2020 | Capacity:65,000 | Surface: Grass
The Raiders left their troubled venue in Oakland, Calif., for their fancy new digs right off the Las Vegas Strip, aptly in a place named Paradise. It's an impressive construction with a Space Age-look, a mix of Silver and Blackness that matches the glitz nearby in the desert.
28 SoFi Stadium (Rams and Chargers)
Open since: 2020 | Capacity:70,240 | Surface: Hellas Matrix Turf
Inglewood, Calif. once was home to the Lakers' "Showtime" Era with The (Fabulous) Forum. The Rams and Chargers don't have the same Hollywood appeal yet as modern NFL franchises, but spending a few billion on a premier venue, even without fans, gives them something different than a college football or soccer feel. This has the same opening vibe that "Jerry World" once had for Cowboys, making Dallas the ideal first opponent.
29 CenturyLink Field (Seahawks)
Open since: 2002 | Capacity: 69,000 | Surfrace: FieldTurf Revolution 360
Seattle lies on Puget Sound, and it’s known for coffee, rain and grunge. So it’s appropriate for its stadium to have a loud, perked-up crowd that forms its own elemental mosh pit of intimidation. It serves up a home-field advantage like no other.
30 Lambeau Field (Packers)
Open since: 1957 | Capacity: 81,441 | Surface: Desso GrassMaster
When it comes to NFL stadiums, Green Bay boasts the one closest to a must-visit baseball park. It’s a cozy place made for the league’s smallest-but-most passionate market. Part museum, part mecca, all classic.