21. MetLife Stadium – Jets

(Jets vs Eagles Sunday 1:00)

Stadium: 3/5
The stadium is huge, and in a very “New York” corporate way. Which is how most stadiums shared by two NFL teams probably have to be (enjoy it, LA). MetLife might be the most “NFL” of all the NFL stadiums.

Fan Experience: 3/5
The Jets are a little looser and have a more lighthearted vibe than their Giants counterpart. There was more set up to do around the stadium and they did more in means of in game production. Their cheerleaders are Fembots, but they’re there hyping up the crowd and there’s more zeal in the touchdown celebrations. Their fans are typically Mets fans (saw a guy wearing a Mets jersey with a J taped on it) and I was surprised they weren’t clashing heavily with Eagles fans during the game.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 4/5
The stadium is located right off the Meadowlands train stop and it’s easy to get to from NYC, Hoboken, and Jersey City. But more people chose to drive and park in the stadium lots for this game than the Giants.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 3/5
There were a lot more people tailgating for the Jets game they looked like they were having a great time. The lots were fairly split between the fan bases, but people were in good spirits, though they kept to their respective fan base.

Cost: 2/5
Still New York pricing, though tickets are cheaper on resale.

Local Flair: 3/5

The stadium is in New Jersey, but you would totally spend your time in NYC doing sightseer stuff. If you’ve visited the Big Apple enough, I recommend Jersey City. It’s more like Brooklyn- trendy and less touristy.

 

21. MetLife Stadium – Giants

(Giants vs Redskins TNF)

Stadium: 3/5
It amazed me that they can change between the Jets and the Giants and you can’t tell, not even a little. I took a million pictures and was on a mission to find a fail, but there weren’t any. People at MetLife are pros.

Fan Experience: 3/5
This organization seems to take themselves seriously and they deliver no frills football. There aren’t cheerleaders, no fight songs, they don’t cheer for first downs. There’s still a good environment because the fans are passionate about the team and into the game. It’s impressive, but it only works because the team is usually good. A few down years and people will want more pizzazz if they’re shelling out the money to go.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 4/5
The stadium is located right off the Meadowlands train stop and it’s easy to get to from NYC, Hoboken, and Jersey City. Lots of people use it though, so leaving the game is a long wait.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 1/5
Not impressed. Will give the fans the benefit of the doubt that it was a Thursday night game and New Jersey is a tough commute from the city… but still where were you guys?

Cost: 2/5
It’s the New York Giants, what do you expect?

Local Flair: 3/5

See above thoughts because they’re the same.

 

23. EverBank Field

(Jaguars vs Titans TNF)

Stadium: 4/5
For the reputation the Jaguars have, their stadium is pretty kick butt. Huge scoreboards that the organization uses to their advantage to heavily hype up the crowd. The north end zone has cabanas open to all and if you’re really lucky you can watch the game in one of their pools. The stadium is a little wide which pulls the upper level out a bit from the field, but since ticket prices are low, would recommend sitting in the lower bowl instead.

Fan Experience: 3/5
There’s a solid effort by the Jaguars to make the game as exciting as possible and keep the crowd in the game. The team is doing better with Blake Bortles at the helm and that helps significantly. This was another stadium with prime people watching as it’s Florida and there were quite a few characters.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 2/5
Jacksonville is the largest city by area in US, so it’s very spread out. Driving is your best option and parking is easy to find. There are a good number of lots around the stadium and traffic isn’t as bad post game as one would expect.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 2/5
It was raining heavily leading up to this game and that kept fans from arriving early to pre-game. We were in a lot shielded by an overpass, but even that one was fairly empty leading up to the game.

Cost: 5/5
Similar to the Browns situation, though there’s more hope… ticket resale is a steal.

Local Flair: 3/5
Jacksonville is an interesting city that’s for sure, but you can’t hate on any city that close to the ocean.

 

24. M&T Bank Stadium

(Ravens vs Jaguars Sunday 1:00)

Stadium: 3/5
MT Bank is a pretty stadium, so I can sorta see why Art Modell would want to move his team there when compared to Cleveland Municipal. For as rough as Baltimore the city comes off, the sports venues are the opposite, which is confusing. There are pillars in the large, open concourses and gothic details along the scoreboard edges that class up the joint. Also that Ray Lewis statue out front is money.

Fan Experience: 2/5
Ravens do a pretty poor job with stadium environment despite having a marching band, cheerleaders, and a sweet mascot. I’ll hand it to Baltimore; going with the Raven was a great idea. Execution is lacking and since the team isn’t playing very well, the crowd was kinda meh. They rely heavily on one fan that spells out Ravens with his body following a touchdown and the fight song. He’s entertaining… and get’s the crowd going when he whips off his shirt.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 5/5
Stadium is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or by foot. You can find free street parking on Sundays, but ask a native where it’s safe to leave your car. I parked in Baltimore’s Little Italy… right in front of the house where our national anthem was written (fun fact for you!).

Tailgating/pre gaming: 3/5
There are large lots around the city and across the light rail tracks. They were all full and it had a good football vibe flowing. There was a fan zone to walk through that had lots of interactive displays including two real live ravens from the zoo which are the team’s official mascots.

Cost: 3/5
A little more expensive tickets than most stadiums, but still cheaper than other east coast cities.

Local Flair: 3/5
Baltimore is a cool city (especially the area around the harbor), but recent civil unrest will make you think twice about staying there. I haven’t seen anything myself and never came across anyone who wasn’t friendly, but there is an unease in the air (or I’m hella paranoid).

 

25. Nissan Stadium

(Titans vs Raiders Sunday noon)

Stadium: 3/5
Nissan is a nice, simple stadium that incorporates the city’s country theme into the large end zone concourses. There’s even a stage in the north end zone for live half time performances by up and comers. It’s a little bare, but the Titans try cover up the concrete by recognizing loyal fans and team legends throughout the lower concourses.

Fan Experience: 2/5
Well there weren’t many Titans fans present and those that were present were outnumbered by Raiders fans. There wasn’t much in terms of in game production from the team and the Titans have the saddest touchdown celebration in the league. Just a couple of those bang fireworks most teams launch during the “bombs bursting in air” line of the anthem. Poor Marcus Mariota and company don’t get any love. It ended up raining the entire second half which cleared out even more fans. At least the game came down to the very last play or this stadium would’ve been a ghost town.

Logistics (getting to stadium locally, proximity to stuff, etc): 5/5
The stadium is located right across the river from downtown and very easily accessed by car, bus, and walking. There’s lots of free street parking along the river and fans walk across bridges to the stadium.

Tailgating/pre gaming: 1/5
It was raining and the team isn’t very good so there weren’t many fans out tailgating and those that were had weak setups, especially considering this city identifies with the south (where are your grills?!).

Cost: 5/5
Bad on the field performances made this another bargain stadium.

Local Flair: 4/5
Nashville is the country music capital and Broadway Ave is lined with live music bars, restaurants, and cowboy boot shops. If someone offers you hot chicken- they aren’t lying, it’ll clear you out!

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