What's that? On the roof? The Mother Ship? No. That's called "Fire the architect." (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
A recent article on yahoo sports took a look at stadiums around the NFL. The criteria by which the stadiums were judged was as follows; Architecture, History, Fans, Weather, and Location. You can see how the stadiums ranked right here. Now I don’t know that I agree with these 100% but I did get a chuckle out of what stadium finished dead last. I have a rather limited experience in NFL stadiums. I’ve watched several games at old and new Soldier Field, I’ve caught a couple in the Metrodome and I’ve been in Ford Field but never witnessed a game there (neither has any Lions fan in recent history. I keed, I keed!) But this really got me thinking how nice (and almost impossible) it would be to see a game at every NFL field. Since I’ll probably never accomplish that I thought I’d ask you good people to tell me all about a stadium you’ve been to and how it measured up in your experience. Try to address the five criteria listed above. I’ll get us started after the jump.I’ll start with beloved Soldier Field. For me the architecture took a nose dive with the renovations but the history was actually enhanced by the "new" concourse that highlights past players, events hosted and achievements. The fans are usually pretty good. They aren't always knowledgeable when it come to the nuances of the game (we tend to cheer when things get exciting rather than when the opposition is on offense) and I have seen some pretty rowdy fans get abusive towards opposing fans but, hey, that’s just my experience. The weather, to me, is actually a huge plus. Football should be played in the cold under brutal conditions. It just feels right. And last, the best location on the face of the planet. Hands down. Between the beautiful location in the park district, the skyline in the background, and the wind off the lake, Soldier Field has a fantastic location.
Next, I’ll take a gander at my own meandering experiences in the Metrodome. The architecture is a dome. As far as domes go I’d say it is a fairly standard one. The history of the team is actually fairly storied, but you wouldn’t know it by walking around the dome. I think this is primarily because it was designed to host more than just Vikings football. The electronic ring of fame is ok. An attempt to acknowledge the past. The fans are generally pretty good. I never felt unwelcome or hated but I’ve never been there for a sellout either. I’d say they are pretty decent folk for the most part. The weather outside can, like Soldier Field, suck. But this team plays in a dome. Hello?? I’ll call it a wash. The location is in a very nice city. I like Minneapolis. Very clean and they do a fantastic job with a lighted downtown parade during the holidays. Parking and tailgating seem to be rather difficult but my experience is limited. I’d say the location is decent, but nothing special.
I went to Ford Field around 5 years ago. I knew a guy who knew a guy and we just walked in and glanced around for like 5 minutes during the off season before being told we needed to leave. It seemed very nice. The architecture was amazing. But that’s about all I have. Oh, and it is in Detroit so the location is iffy depending on your own opinion. To me the same thing can be said about Cellular Field, though. No offense intended. So where have you guys been and what was it like for you? Let’s try to get as many of these as we can.