With the Eagles playing in the Falcons’ year-old Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time Sunday, I thought this would be a great time to look back on the best and the worst NFL stadiums I’ve been to since I started covering the Eagles in 1987.
And since I tend to make lists out of everything, why not NFL stadiums?
So here is every NFL stadium I’ve seen the Eagles play in over the years, ranked from best overall stadium experience to the worst.
Now, most of these stadiums have had a bunch of names. To keep things simple, I just used the name most commonly associated with that stadium during the years it was open.
1. CenturyLink Field, Seattle (Seahawks, 2002-2019)
The Seahawks went from having one of the worst stadiums in history to one of the best when they moved in 2002 from the Kingdome to this spectacular stadium within walking distance of downtown Seattle.
2. Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc. (Packers, 1957-2019)
Now in its 63rd season, Lambeau is an incredible relic from another NFL era, a living football museum that sits in the middle of a non-descript town the same size of Allentown. A must-visit for any football fan. You’ll get chills when you first drive up to it.
3. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City (Chiefs, 1972-2019)
Hard to believe it opened the same year as the Vet and was designed by the same people. It’s really an incredible experience seeing a game at Arrowhead. It’s just so freaking loud, whether the Chiefs are good or not. And proof that a stadium doesn’t have to be new to give fans a fantastic game-day experience.
4. Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia (2003-2019)
The Eagles really nailed it when they moved into the Linc in 2003. It’s everything the Vet wasn’t. Comfortable, spacious and well-maintained. Hard to believe this is Year 17 for the Linc. It feels like home.
5. Heinz Field, Pittsburgh (Steelers, 2001-2019)
Heinz Field is a new stadium that has an old-time stadium feel. And the riverside stadium area, with tons of bars and restaurants and other attractions, really adds to the atmosphere. And there’s the spectacular Fort Duquesne Bridge over the Allegheny River that allows fans to easily walk to Heinz Field and the Pirates’ PNC Park from downtown.
6. AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas (Cowboys, 2009-2019)
I know, I know. A lot of people hate it. And it’s the Cowboys. And Jerry Jones built it. But a game at AT&T is truly an experience like nothing else. Part Vegas theater, part NFL stadium. Has to be seen to be believed.
7. Wembley, London, England (various, 2012-2019)
Maybe it’s just the novelty of being in London, but the refurbished Wembley is really a heck of a place for a football game. It’s huge but it doesn’t feel huge. Hope we go back soon.
8. U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis (Vikings, 2016-2019)
I’m not a huge fan of domes, but they got it right with U.S. Bank. There’s enough natural light that it doesn’t feel claustrophobic, like a lot of indoor stadiums. And the design is different than any other stadium and actually feels cozy. Plus … Feb. 4, 2018.
9. Raymond James Stadium, Tampa (Buccaneers, 1998-2019)
You’re in Tampa, so it’s already a good day. And the fact that there’s a giant pirate ship in the north end zone is worth 10 spots on this list.
10. Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz. (Cardinals, 1988-2005)
With incredible views of the mountains to the east and its location on Arizona State’s campus, Sun Devil was a pretty amazing setting. But it was always a thousand degrees when the Cards played and nobody wanted to go. Nicest empty stadium ever.
11. Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif. (49ers, 2014-2019)
It’s nowhere near San Francisco — about 50 miles south of downtown — but it’s a striking, unique and comfy state-of-the-art facility and a worth replacement for Candlestick.
12. Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver (Broncos, 2001-2019)
The old Mile High stadium really wasn’t bad. They tore it down and built a nicer version nearly on the same spot.
13. Soldier Field, Chicago (Bears, 1971-2001, 2003-2019)
There’s really very little left of the original Soldier Field, which was built in the 1920s. The 18-month renovation that started literally minutes after the Eagles beat the Bears in a 2001 playoff game transformed the stadium into something totally new inside but with the original exterior on the outside. It’s kind of a weird combination of old and new but it works.
14. FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland (Browns, 1999-2019)
Cleveland’s current stadium is a big part of a downtown renaissance along with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, Jacobs Field and Quicken Loans Arena (the last two have new names that we’ll ignore). Cleveland is finally a great place to visit. And so is their stadium.
15. Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass. (Patriots, 2002-2019)
They’ve got a shopping center like 50 feet from the stadium, so if you need to buy some towels at Bed, Bath & Beyond at halftime, you can actually do it and get back to your seat in time to see Tom Brady throw another touchdown pass.
16. M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore (Ravens, 2008-2019)
Nothing special about the stadium itself. It’s fine. The big part of the appeal is the location, nestled in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor amidst tons of bars, restaurants, hotels and attractions, including Camden Yards. Best thing about it: Game ends and you can be dining on crab cakes within 20 minutes.
17. Nissan Stadium, Nashville (Titans, 1999-2019)
Another stadium you can walk to from downtown. The downtown river location gives Nissan a great vibe.
18. Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego (Chargers, 1967-2017)
The Eagles only played in San Diego once in the stadium’s last 20 years of existence — Donovan McNabb threw for 450 yards in a loss — but any stadium that has a fish taco concession stand is my kind of place.
19. Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill. (Bears, 2002)
With Soldier Field undergoing renovations in 2002, the Bears played their home games in an 80-year-old college stadium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was ancient, but it was pretty cool seeing the Eagles beat the Bears on a college campus in the middle of nowhere 140 miles south of Chicago.
20. Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh (Steelers, 1970-2000)
One of the nicer of the older stadiums built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So much history in that building.
21. Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y. (Bills, 1973-2019)
For a stadium that’s nearly half a century old, Rich Stadium is OK. The fans really make it what it is. There’s not much else to do in Buffalo and they pack the place no matter how bad the Bills are.
22. Reliant Stadium, Houston (Texans, 2002-2019)
The place gets points for hosting Villanova’s NCAA Championship in 2016.
23. RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. (Redskins, 1961-1996)
It was old and run-down, but the Redskins’ downtown D.C. home did have an authentic old-timey throwback feel to it. But boy, was it a nightmare trying to find the only way out of the parking lot after a night game!
24. Stub Hub Center, Carson, Calif. (Chargers, 2017-2019)
Let’s be honest, this is not an NFL stadium. But it was amazing seeing Eagles fans outnumber Chargers fans 5 million to 12 in a road game.
25. Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C. (Panthers, 1996-2019)
Kind of a non-descript place, but it’s pleasant enough and benefits from its downtown location. They’re about due for a replacement.
26. Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati (Bengals, 2000-2019)
Also known as the stadium where Paul Turner caught a 41-yard pass.
27. Tampa Stadium, Tampa (Buccaneers, 1976-1998)
The Bucs’ original stadium was only 23 years old when it was torn down. Is that a record? That would be like replacing the Linc in five years. With its single deck design, it had a nice college feel to it.
28. Mile High Stadium, Denver (Broncos, 1961-2000)
Mile High was 52 years old and still in great shape when they tore it down after the 2000 season. The only thing wrong with it was it didn’t have suites. They could have used it for another 52 years.
29. ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville (1995-2019)
We were just there a few weeks ago for a preseason game and I don’t even remember it. That speaks volumes. Just an average stadium that doesn’t really make an impression. Not great, not terrible. It’s just there.
30. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (Colts, 2008-2019)
It’s pleasant enough but has as much personality as your average downtown convention center … which it happens to be connected to.
31. University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. (Cards, 2006-2019)
They spent a billion dollars to build a stadium with a retractable roof and they never open it. It’s kind of a cool, futuristic place. I just can’t think about it without being pissed that they didn’t call pass interference on Rod Hood.
32. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford (Jets, Giants, 2010-2019)
Gotta hand it to the Jets and Giants for demolishing Giants Stadium and then building an equally faceless replacement. There’s nothing remotely interesting about MetLife except that the Eagles are 7-2 there against the Giants and 1-0 against the Jets. They could have done so much better.
33. Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, Calif. (Rams, 1980-1994)
The Eagles only played here once, Week 3 of 1990. They came in 0-2 and rumor was that Norman Braman was going to fire Buddy Ryan if the Eagles lost. But they found a way to win, and Ryan kept his job. For a few more months at least.
34. Ford Field, Detroit (Lions, 2002-2019)
They built this amazing free elevated monorail that makes a circuit around downtown Detroit every few minutes. It doesn’t go anywhere near the Lions’ new stadium. Welcome to Detroit.
35. L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles (Rams, 2016-2019)
The place has a ton of history, but it’s just woefully inadequate to host modern NFL games. And the Rams’ temporary home obviously holds bad memories for Eagles fans.
36. Texas Stadium, Dallas (Cowboys, 1971-2008)
Yeah, it had a giant hole in the roof, big whoop. It was a dump.
37. Metrodome, Minneapolis (Vikings, 1982-2013)
One cool thing about the Metrodome was that most of it was underground. So you walked in and you were in the upper deck. Wait, that might have been the only cool thing about it.
38. Candlestick Park, San Francisco (49ers, 1971-2013)
The thing that always got me was all the cracks in the concrete. I never felt safe at Candlestick. Always thought the thing was about to collapse. Walked up and down 400 ramps to the press box because I didn’t trust the elevators. The 49ers had one hell of a run, winning four Super Bowls in the 1980s. It’s a shame it didn’t happen in a nicer place.
39. Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis (Rams, 2002-2016)
I don’t care how many times they denied it, the Rams clearly used to pipe fake noise through the speakers. You could tell because there’d be this huge massive roar after like a three-yard gain. It was so obvious.
40. Georgia Dome, Atlanta (Falcons, 1992-2017)
The Eagles played in the first game ever at the Georgia Dome, a preseason game in August of 1992. Should have been the last game ever in that God-forsaken hellhole.
41. Superdome, New Orleans (Saints, 1975-2019)
This nightmarish concrete blob should have been replaced decades ago. The only thing the Superdome has going for it is its prime location smack dab in the middle of New Orleans. The only stadium where you can watch a Monday night game and still find a bunch of bars and restaurants that are open after the game.
42. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore (Colts, 1953-1983, Ravens, 1996-1997)
I’m sure it was a nice ballyard when the Colts played there. By the time the Bobby Hoying Eagles stopped by for a riveting 10-10 tie with the Ravens in 1997, it was a unfit for NFL usage. It was actually torn down at halftime of that game.
43. Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta (Falcons, 1966-1991)
This place was such a dump that its replacement has already been replaced.
44. Giants Stadium, East Rutherford (Giants, 1976-2009, Jets 1984-2009)
Hey, let’s build a stadium in a freaking swamp in North Jersey. Great idea.
45. Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati (Bengals, 1970-1999)
Hard to believe these joyless concrete bowls were ever considered state-of-the-art. A scenic location along the Ohio River, but if you were inside you had no idea. You could have been anywhere.
46. Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami (Dolphins, 1987-2019)
Since 2002, this monstrosity has had more names (six) than the Dolphins have had winning seasons (five). Hard to believe it was built in the mid-1980s. It's got the feel of a place that's been falling apart for 50 years.
47. RCA Dome, Indianapolis (Colts, 1984-2008)
A gruesome concrete eyesore.
48. FedEx Field, Landover, Md. (Redskins, 1997-2019)
One of the few stadiums that’s worse than the one it replaced. FedEx Field is a faceless generic blob plopped down between a bunch of highways somewhere in Maryland. It’s a terrible place.
49. Municipal Stadium, Cleveland (Browns, 1946-1995)
It was built in the 1930s and outdated by the 1940s but still used until 1995, when Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore. It didn’t take much to demolish it because it was already halfway there. No stadium was ever more appropriately nicknamed than “The Mistake by the Lake.”
50. Schaefer Stadium, Foxboro, Mass. (Patriots, 1971-2002)
You know those excruciating aluminum benches they have at some high school football stadiums? They had ‘em here, too. At an NFL stadium.
51. County Stadium, Milwaukee (Packers, 1953-1994)
Hard to believe the Packers played three games a year in Milwaukee until the mid-1990s. You’ve got Lambeau. Just stay there. Built in the 1950s and never updated or upgraded, County Stadium was finally demolished in 2001, and the Brewers’ Miller Park was built on the same site.
52. Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia (Eagles, 1971-2003)
One-time Eagles offensive lineman Doug Brzezinski, upon arriving at the Vet one Monday morning, took a deep breath and said, “Ahh, nothing like breathing in that aroma at the Vet the morning after a game: Deisel fuel, spilled beer and urine.” That says it all. Sorry, I’m not going to get emotional about the Vet. It sucked.
53. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland (Raiders, 1966-1981, 1995-2019)
This place was seriously outdated 30 years ago. I probably ranked it too high. When they tear it down I will celebrate.
54. Kingdome, Seattle (Seahawks, 1976-1999)
Almost as dark and gloomy and depressing as the Astrodome. The only stadium in history that was in better shape after it was demolished.
55. Astrodome, Houston (Oilers, 1968-1996)
It was a decrepit, gloomy, rat-hole the day it opened. A toxic landfill with goalposts.
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