GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 19:  A general view of Lambeau Field during the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on September 19, 2004 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Bears defeated the Packers 21-10. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ranking every NFL stadium from best to worst

Alicia Barnhart traveled the country visiting every NFL stadium in record time. Her experience, which she told The Comeback about here, qualified her for the Guiness Book of World Records. Here, Alicia is back, sharing thoughts on each stadium in the NFL.

I visited all the stadiums in 86 days and these are my rankings based off my personal experiences. In my opinion, most stadium atmospheres are enhanced by what’s going on on the field, so I included the matchups as well as the time the games took place. Since I was traveling alone I never drank (though I did enjoy living vicariously though others) and attended most games as an impartial fan. If you’re butthurt about what I thought of your team’s stadium, please don’t take it personally. I’m sure if I went with you, we’d have a great time. My schedule for next season is fairly open, though I have made tentative plans with some Vikings fans for their opener.

(Disclaimer: These stadiums are ranked in order, but I wanted to share more about the surroundings and the gameday experience as well. Sometimes the best stadium experience doesn’t always make the best football experience.)


1. Lambeau Field

(Packers vs Chiefs MNF)

Stadium: 5/5
Outside is pretty brickwork that looks a little cookie cutter, but once you enter and walk out to the field you’ll be slapped in the face with pure sports nostalgia. It’s intimate, classic, and one of the few places on earth you wouldn’t mind freezing in.

Fan Experience: 5/5
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a sports movie, this is where you’ll live that fantasy out. From the moment you arrive in Green Bay you’ll feel like you’ve grown up down the street and are on your way to a high school football game. Get to your seat on time and stay there. Seriously, concourses are ghost towns during the game.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 3/5
Green Bay is in BFE Wisconsin. There’s an airport, but your best bet is flying into Milwaukee or Chicago and driving. Parking in the surrounding neighborhoods is free.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 3/5
Gotta say after tailgating before a Brewers game I had higher expectations for this crowd. Not bad, but not nearly the ish show of their baseball friends down the road. Recommend getting a bratwurst across the street at Kroll’s. They’re loaded with pickles, sauerkraut, onions, mustard, ketchup, and BUTTER.

Cost: 3/5
Standing room tickets are the cheapest way in and under $100. Concessions prices aren’t bad and they offer cheese curds, a local delicacy.

Local Flair: 3/5
Green Bay is quaint and wholesome should you be into small town America. If not, make it a day trip from Chicago or Milwaukee.


2. Arrowhead Stadium

(Chiefs vs Broncos TNF)

Stadium: 4/5
It’s definitely a uniquely shaped stadium, rockin’ that older stadium feel with spiral ramps and small scoreboards. The concourses are a little cramped, but the Hall of Honor is worth getting in early to check out or stroll through during half time.

Fan Experience: 5/5
This is the football experience you dream about. Loud, fans fully decked out (quite a lot of head dresses here), and high energy- THE ENTIRE FREAKIN’ GAME! Be prepared to stand the majority of the game and leave hoarse.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 1/5
It’s located well outside of Kansas City and you have to drive or take a taxi/Uber. The latter is great for getting there, but you’ll be stranded for awhile after the game if you want to avoid jacked up rates.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 5/5
Forcing your fans to drive to your stadium does wonders for your tailgate scene! It’s rows upon rows of cars and everyone has a grill. People arrive early and there’s lots of entertainment including parades and an Elvis impersonator near the south end zone…and he does perform!

Cost: 3/5
Just another reason Midwest is best: ticket and concessions are affordable.

Local Flair: 5/5
Kansas City is great city to spend a couple days exploring. It boasts the most fountains second to Rome and delicious BBQ. You can get cultural while you stuff your face!


3. AT&T Stadium

(Cowboys vs Seahawks Sunday 4:30 game)

Stadium: 4/5
Say what you will about Jerry Jones, but the man built a football temple in Arlington. It’s everything you’d expect the place that houses America’s team to be- big, flashy- it’s all over the top. The only way it could be improved is if the dome was a giant cowboy hat.

Fan Experience: 4/5
There’s so much glitz and glamour that you’ll forget you’re there to see a football game. The amount of production around the game is impressive and let’s be real- the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are the real sports icons here.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc) 1/5
Another stadium located outside of a major city and a pain to get to. Drive or take a shuttle from surrounding hotels.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 1/5
It was raining and there wasn’t much tailgating to be had around the stadium. Surprised by the lack of grilling and hoopla.

Cost: 4/5
Cowboys boast the highest and lowest ticket prices. Standing room is only $29.

Local Flair: 2/5
Arlington is between Fort Worth and Dallas so you can pick your experience. Want cowboy boots and country vibes? Visit the Fort Worth Stockyards. Dallas from what I’ve been told is where young money and hipsters go to be superficial.


4. Superdome

(Saints vs Falcons TNF)

Stadium: 3/5
The Superdome isn’t the greatest venue, but it’ll do. It’s a large stadium, but the upper level is steep which keeps fans close to the field action.

Fan Experience: 5/5
The Saints have the best in game production of all the teams and keep up the atmosphere the entire game. When Bourbon Street is your playground, your fans come ready to cheer and dance. This stadium was a giant dance party every touchdown and their unofficial theme song “Halftime” by the Ying Yang Twins perfectly captures this fan base’s essence.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 5/5
The stadium is downtown and an easy walk from the French Quarter or you can hop on a street car.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 4/5
It’s not your stereotypical football tailgating down here, you have to walk over to Bourbon S.t to find fans from both teams pre-gaming. Hurricanes and grenades certainly light people up! There is a block party set up next to the stadium with live music performances, but it didn’t get crowded until closer to game time.

Cost: 3/5
Middle of the road, depends on how well the team is doing/who they’re playing. Concessions are a little high, but that’s expected.

Local Flair: 5/5
New Orleans is unlike any other city in the entire country. Some of the best food, music, history, and culture can be found here and it’s not all in the French Quarter, though that’s a good start.


5. Gillette Stadium

(Patriots vs Dolphins TNF)

Stadium: 3/5
Gillette is bigger than it appears on TV and is spacious with tons of standing room. There’s a nautical theme going on which is a little odd since Foxborough is inland, but the giant lighthouse is cool and it lights up. The stadium feels like it’s out in the woods, but there’s actually a bunch of bars, restaurants, a movie theater, and hotel built next to the stadium. A mini Patriots village.

Fan Experience: 5/5
Boston fans are in a league of their own and are highly entertaining. Don’t mouth off to them unless you want to hear back and then some. Chowderheads make the stadium worth the visit though, because their passion is infectious and it’s hard not to be impressed by the team. Sure you want to hate Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but spend one game here and you’ll be on the bandwagon… until you leave the stadium, that’s when the spell breaks and you feel dirty for loving it so much.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 1/5
Getting to this stadium via the ONE TRAIN they offer out of Boston is a bad time. It says it will get you there about 50 minutes to kickoff, more like 25. Highly recommend you drive if you can to avoid the post game drunks fighting in confined spaces.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 3/5
By the time the train dropped us off at the station it was a half hour to game time and the lots were mostly abandoned. The aftermath of tailgating that I walked through leads me to believe the fans had a great time getting primed for the game.

Cost: 1/5
Not Boston, but close enough. East coast prices are the worst.

Local Flair: 5/5
Boston is a beautiful city with tons of American history at your fingertips. Walk the Freedom Trail, eat clam chowder, and drink Sam Adams (brewery tour is fantastic).

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