View Full Version : Chiefs 2017 Top 100 Stadium Experiences (Any sport)

01-18-2018, 02:02 PM
Pretty interesting article-


Each season, Stadium Journey looks back on our Top 100 stadium experiences in the United States and Canada. This year, we asked our 100 writers to give us their list of the Top 10 stadiums in North America, and from those votes, we compiled our best of 2017. You’ll see a lot of the usual favorites, but will also see a few under-the-radar stadiums and arenas. We hope you’ll use this list to inspire your sports travels in 2018. To read the full review, click on the link of any stadium name. Happy Journeys!

Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

Any stadium can offer a fan a sporting event, but only Wrigley Field can offer everyone, a fan or a casual observer, a bucket-list life experience. Nestled in the middle of the Wrigleyville neighborhood, with long-time residents living a block away to new developments going up around the park, Wrigley is a pure destination, which, in itself, helps make it the best stadium in all of sports.

2. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox rightfully bill Fenway Park as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” Still going strong after over 100 years in use, no ballpark has been more honored in film, literature, and song than Fenway Park. With its numerous quirky angles and unique features, Fenway Park has been often imitated, but never duplicated. Fenway’s old-school charms consistently rank it near the top of any ballpark chaser’s list, and it has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city of Boston in its own right.

3. AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants

Giants fans are passionate and have found a reinvigorated love for their team since they moved to this ballpark by the bay seventeen seasons ago. For the most part they are knowledgeable, passionate and loyal. The setting is as spectacular as any venue for any sport. The cozy 42,000-seat cathedral is nestled up against the basin and next to a newly gentrified area of the city that was once taboo to enter. From above, the stadium appears to sink below the ground and resemble a bowl below water level. The lawn is always immaculately manicured and maintains a brilliant green glow to it.
AT&T Park Interior

May 22, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles

Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992 and is still considered one of the best Major League Baseball stadiums. Prior to its opening, the landscape of professional baseball was littered with boring, multipurpose bowl stadiums. Now, nearly every team has a great baseball stadium. Out are lackluster parks and in are fan-friendly stadiums that are designed for the optimum fan experience. Luckily, Oriole Park has kept up with the experiences. If Baltimore had built a standard, boring facility, baseball may not look and feel the way it does today.

5. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium celebrated its tenth anniversary this past season and the experience keeps on getting better for fans of the Indianapolis Colts. The facility is nestled in between downtown and the many interstates providing easy access to the games either by foot or car. Once the visitor is within a few blocks of the stadium, that’s when the excitement begins. The home of the Colts has consistently ranked as one of the best stadium experiences in all of sports for Stadium Journey – ranking as the best overall stadium experience in 2012. It has been our highest ranked NFL stadium every year, but once (when it was ranked 2nd in the NFL), since we began publishing our annual rankings in 2011.
Colts Take the Field at Lucas Oil Stadium

Colts Take the Field at Lucas Oil Stadium, Photo by Michelle Steigmeyer, Stadium Journey

6. Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers

Much of Lambeau’s allure comes from its success in a David versus Goliath story of the NFL’s smallest franchise city competing and dominating a league of teams from much larger cities. While in Lambeau, the Packers have won four Super Bowls, 13 NFL /NFC Championships and multiple division titles. It’s a stadium that has seen 24 of its players, coaches and front office personnel go on to the NFL Hall of Fame, more than any other franchise. Lambeau also will always be linked with the coach whose name now adorns the Super Bowl Championship Trophy… Vince Lombardi.
Lambeau Field Interior

Lambeau Field Interior, Photo by Dennis Morrell, Stadium Journey

PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates

PNC Park is in a fantastic location and offers one of the best possible atmospheres for baseball. Located on the North Shore of the Allegheny River, PNC Park offers a most picturesque location for baseball in Pittsburgh. It is right by the three main bridges that connect the North and South shores, the closest which is named after Pirates legend Roberto Clemente. The Riverwalk between the outfield and the rivers is quite enjoyable on a nice day and it is not uncommon for people to dock their boats here and take in a game. Around the outside of the park you will find four bronze statues honoring Pirate legends. At the home plate entrance you will find the Honus Wagner statue and at the southwest corner of the park you will find Bill Mazeroski, running the bases after hitting his 1960 World Series walk off home run. On the east side of the park are the statues for Willie Stargell and right by the bridge is the Roberto Clemente statue.

CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks

CenturyLink Field is an absolute marvel. To be a part of the 12s on game day is a fan experience that is second to none. The Seahawks have made many strides to make the fan experience at CenturyLink Field the best in the NFL. The noise level is easily the loudest in the NFL as these fans do not have to be prompted to make some noise for their Seahawks.

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodger Stadium is the third oldest yard in the bigs behind only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Now in its 56th season, Dodger Stadium has aged quite gracefully. Year in and year out Dodger Stadium features the highest attendance figures in all of baseball. With the excitement surrounding this year’s team (2017) as the Dodgers head to the World Series for the first time since 1988, Dodger Stadium continues to draw record setting crowds, exceeding the 3 million mark in attendance for an unprecedented 29 times.

10. Memorial Stadium, Clemson Tigers

College football in the South is a religion, and one of its largest churches can be found in Clemson, South Carolina. The 81,500-seat Clemson Memorial Stadium, better known as “Death Valley,” has been home to Clemson Tigers football since 1942. It is the 16th largest stadium in college football and the largest seating capacity in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers have a daunting .716 home winning percentage in Death Valley, and have won 16 ACC Championships and two National Championships. They have also appeared in the last three College Football Playoffs.

Folsom Field, Colorado Buffaloes

Among Folsom Field’s timeless attributes are its location and setting. It sits more than a mile above sea level at 5,360 feet at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The stadium’s public address announcer heralds this fact to the Buffs’ opponent just before kickoff, with the admonition to “know your limitations and adjust your elevation.” The Flatirons rock formations sit just beyond the stadium’s west-side seats and give Folsom Field a unique and breathtaking feel. Perhaps most impressively, the Buffaloes take the field at the start of each half by running behind their live buffalo mascot, Ralphie. This is one of college football’s great traditions and it highlights the Folsom Field experience.

The Rose Bowl, Rose Bowl Game

The Rose Bowl is called “The Granddaddy of Them All” for its pomp and circumstance each year. From the parade each morning that is nationally televised to a big football game in the afternoon, this is a must-see for sports travelers and fans.

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Field has several elements that set it apart from most NFL stadiums. The first is the FedEx Great Hall, a shrine to Pittsburgh’s long and successful history in the NFL. Amongst the displays are a History of the Terrible Towel; the actual lockers of several Steeler greats, including Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene and Lynn Swann, a section devoted to the Immaculate Reception, and salutes to each of the six Super Bowl winning teams the Steelers have fielded.
Heinz Field Interior

Heinz Field Interior, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey

Coors Field, Colorado Rockies

Coors Field sits in the LoDo (lower downtown) area of Denver. It was the catalyst behind the revamping of the rundown warehousing area of Denver in the early 1990’s. Now, restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, and train stations pepper the area surrounding the stadium giving a fan a multitude of things to see and do when visiting. The stadium is of a similar architecture of Camden Yards, with the red brick and the green seats. Coors Field was the first stadium where outfield seats were placed facing towards the infield (it was an innovative idea at the time). Recent renovations include The Rooftop (a party/socializing deck in the upper right field area), all seats in the stadium were replaced in the last several years (2010’s), and drink rails were installed in 2013.

Kyle Field, Texas A&M Aggies

Not enough praise can be heaped upon Aggie fans. They truly make the game day experience something memorable. The stands, often filled with over 100,000 faithful, are littered with maroon and white, and chants of “Whoop!” (one of A&M’s signature calls) can be heard nearly in unison at all the right times during the game. Tradition is a huge part of the makeup of Texas A&M; fans not only truly respect the traditions, but they actively take part in them during every game. Aggie fans are truly some of the best in all of college football, and are easily one of the main highlights of attending games at Kyle Field.

16. Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks

Across professional sports, precious few venues constitute hallowed ground for fans and players alike. Dozens of shiny new stadiums and arenas have sprung up across America over the past two decades, each trying to outshine the architectural and premium seating accomplishments of the last. In the National Basketball Association, only one venue successfully combines 21st Century technology and design with over a half century of legend and tradition.

Tiger Stadium, LSU Tigers

Tiger Stadium is so large that you would assume it is also one of the most raucous, and you would be entirely correct. LSU has a .736 winning percentage since opening the doors and they are 418-150-18 all time at home. Fans have always made their presence known and stay loud throughout the game cheering on their Fighting Tigers.
LSU Marching Band on Field Pre Game at Tiger Stadium

LSU Marching Band on Field Pre Game at Tiger Stadium, Photo by Patrick Westrick, Stadium Journey

Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke Blue Devils

Is there a more famous combination of wild fans, historic venue and historical success in college basketball than those that reside in Durham, North Carolina? That’s up for debate, but there’s no debating the legend of Cameron Indoor Arena as one of the toughest places to play in all of college athletics. It’s not big, it’s not modern, but none of that takes away from its legend.

Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas Jayhawks

Simply put, nothing matches the atmosphere of the Fieldhouse. In 2017, the arena set a new Guinness World Record for loudest indoor stadium at more than 116 decibels, louder than a jet or chainsaw. And, that’s not with piped in crowd noise or speakers blaring music, that is pure fan jubilation. Beyond just the crowd noise, the pep band does a really amazing job performing all the standard KU songs, but they also throw in 80s and 90s pop and rock favorites, current rap hits, and the Game of Thrones theme that’s so hot right now. The cheerleaders and dance team have choreographed steps for many of these songs, just proving that every part of game production is practiced and perfected. It is an amazing place to watch ANY game, small non-conference contest or major conference rivalry.

Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg Jets

Bell MTS Place is our pick for best arena experience in the NHL and best stadium in all of Canada. Since it opened in 2004, there have been many changes on the ice; most exciting of which was the return of the NHL to Winnipeg. The changes off the ice have been just as dramatic and will be appreciated by any die-hard hockey fan. The combination of the on ice product, the passion of the fans and the building’s look, sound, feel and amenities make Bell MTS Place the best place to experience an NHL hockey game.
Center Ice at Bell MTS Place

Center Ice at Bell MTS Place, Photo by Jordan Falconer, Stadium Journey

Madison Square Garden, New York Rangers

MSG is our first venue to make the Top 100 more than once. The Rangers do a great job with their presentation during the game. Whenever a celebrity or famous athlete is in the building, they will point that out and give the fans a chance to applaud them. The Rangers also have a superb pre-game video that is projected onto the ice. It chronicles that tradition and history of the New York Rangers. When you are in Madison Square Garden, you know you’re in one of the best places to watch a hockey game.

Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The game day production at Notre Dame may be second to none. The traditions of the Fighting Irish are plentiful. Notre Dame has traditional cheerleaders and dancers that most colleges have. They also boast a fantastic marching band with The Band of the Fighting Irish. They place themselves at field level in the northwest corner of the field. Their performance at halftime is well worth the wait. Upon the entrance, the Irish follow the traditional drum major and Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot. It is almost impossible not to feel the energy and excitement.
Notre Dame Stadium Player Introductions

Notre Dame Stadium Player Introductions, Photo by Michelle Steigmeyer Stadium Journey

Beaver Stadium, Penn State Nittany Lions

Beaver Stadium was built in 1960. The stadium has been expanded many times since its opening and has a current capacity of 106,572, making it the second largest football stadium in the country and third largest stadium in the world. Needless to say, a Saturday game here is time well spent. A “white out” night game is a must-see for any college football fan.

24. Rogers Place, Edmonton Oilers

Rogers Place features so much to see and do in and around the building that you could spend a couple hours just checking the place out. If you’re a hockey fan and you’re looking for the chance to see the newest, hottest place in the NHL, you have to make the trip to Edmonton and check this arena out.

Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners

Safeco Field has come a long way since being introduced to Seattle in 1999. It now features the biggest video board in all of Major League Baseball (aptly named Mariners Vision) and has one of the best food selections in the league. The fans are passionate and despite the Mariners not making the playoffs since 2001, the fans continue to flock to a fantastic venue.

Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Wild

Open since September 29, 2000, the Xcel Energy Center has been host to many of the State of Hockey’s greatest moments in its 17 year history, including a few memorable playoff runs by the Minnesota Wild. The “X,” as it’s referred to, has hosted 18,000+ rabid hockey fans every game night since its opening, and the experience of enjoying a game there still has not lost its luster. Seventeen years later, the Xcel Energy Center remains one of the premier arenas to enjoy a National Hockey League game.
Xcel Energy Center Pregame Show

Xcel Energy Center Pregame Show. Photo by Ben Erickson, Stadium Journey

Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler Bulldogs

Basketball fans sometimes get overly caught up in the fact that this was the site of the championship scenes in the 1987 movie, Hoosiers. The fact is that this building has so much history and pure joy for the sport that an extra place in pop culture does very little to elevate this fantastic barn.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons

The new home of the Falcons and Atlanta United has opened to rave reviews from the sports travel community. When you enter Mercedes-Benz Stadium, you will immediately know you are in a venue unlike any other. Depending on the weather, you may be able to enjoy the moderate climate Atlanta enjoys in an outside environment, or during inclement weather the roof can be closed. Unlike other retractable roof stadiums, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof closes like the lens of a camera. It’s a beautiful place to see a game.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Exterior

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Exterior, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey

29. Parkview Field, Fort Wayne TinCaps

Since Parkview Field opened its doors in 2009, over a dozen other minor league teams have moved into new ballparks. Yet, Parkview Field has held its spot atop Stadium Journey’s rankings of all minor league facilities in six of the past seven seasons. To paraphrase a famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” In Fort Wayne, they certainly have.
Entrance to Parkview Field

Entrance to Parkview Field, Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs

From before you even enter the stadium, you would be hard pressed to not have a good time. Tailgating is a big deal in Kansas City. It’s easy to chat up Chiefs fans as you walk through the parking lots. They are a friendly bunch of folks and don’t be surprised if you are offered a beverage or some great pre-game food. Be sure and get inside with enough time to look around before kickoff. Behind sections 118-120 in the concourse is the Chiefs Hall of Honor. The Chiefs did a spectacular job with this area which celebrates both the team and individual successes of the Chiefs and their players. Included are jerseys, helmets, trophies, and other great miscellaneous memorabilia from throughout Chiefs history.

Avista Stadium, Spokane Indians

There is tons of history at Avista Stadium. There is a wall of history for the Spokane Indian tribe who originally inhabited this area of the Pacific Northwest. There is the Rim of Honor that pays tribute to individuals who have influenced the minor league baseball Spokane Indians, as well as a Hall of Fame Plaza at the entry way that recognizes former Spokane Indians players, managers, and owners’ with plaques in their honor.

Petco Park, San Diego Padres

Petco Park does its best to stay away from the retro theme started in 1992 with the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ironically, it was the same design team from Populous (formerly HOK) that contributed to both Camden Yards and Petco Park. While many of the retro ballparks put a huge emphasis on the use of red bricks, be it organic or contrived, the only bricks visible at Petco Park are the ones over at the Western Metal Supply building. The former warehouse, Petco Park’s signature feature, was incorporated into the yard and houses the team store, as well as two stories of suites with the Hall of Fame Bar and Grill occupying the 4th level. The rooftop can be accessed through the left field upper level concourse.

Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas Longhorns

The atmosphere is summed up easily with the motto, ‘Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late, Wear Orange,’ and throughout the years Texas Longhorn fans have seemed to follow it. The ‘Come Early’ is seen throughout downtown Austin on game day; tailgaters take over the rolling hills of the forty-acre campus around Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which covers both sides of I-35. The tailgate area is filled with wood-burning smokers, cowboy hats, and women wearing boots with dresses, and fans who aren’t setting up tailgate spots with smokers, tents, and TVs are finding a nearby restaurant.

Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay is probably not what first comes to mind when one thinks of a hockey hotbed. Amalie Arena is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and sits on the banks of the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa’s Channelside District. The arena, first known as the Ice Palace, opened in 1996 and has a capacity of over 19,000 for hockey. Despite being located in warm, sunny central Florida, the Lightning have a strong and loyal following. If you are looking for a rabid hockey atmosphere in Florida, Amalie Arena is definitely the place for you.
Amalie Arena exterior

Amalie Arena exterior. Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey.

AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium is a venue that provides top notch entertainment year round. It is a one of a kind stadium that leaves expressions of amazement on the faces of fans as they walk in for the first time. The prices may be higher than other places around the NFL, but a trip to watch a Dallas Cowboys game in AT&T Stadium should truly be among the top of every sports fan’s bucket list.

ENMAX Centrium, Red Deer Rebels

Approaching the ENMAX Centrium immediately surprises patrons. The sheer size of the arena from the outside makes it feel as if you are heading to a major league event. As compared to many other Canadian Hockey League venues, the Centrium just looks like one of the biggest, outside of the NHL or former NHL venues. The exterior features brown brick and siding which is nice enough looking. The front of the Centrium offers a nice meeting area with ticket windows. The entry is where you will find the honoured players who played for the Rebels. The entry has large banners hanging from the ceiling honouring Colin Fraser, Martin Erat, Boyd Gordon, Mathew Dumba, Martin Hanzal, Colby Armstrong, Brandon Sutter, Dion Phaneuf, Jim Vandermeer, Cam Ward, Darcy Kuemper, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, James Reimer, Kris Versteeg, Jeff Woywitka, Derek Meech, Alex Petrovic, and coach Brent Sutter.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC Trojans

The Spirit of Troy Marching Band, easily one of the most recognizable collegiate bands, is an integral part of the college football game day experience, as well as their mascot Traveler. Aside from their huge presence at sporting events, the Trojan Marching Band has made numerous other TV and movie appearances, as well as performing on Fleetwood Mac’s, Tusk. The Trojan Marching Band and Traveler are believed to have a huge impact not only on the team, but to the opponents as well. The sights and sounds of both the band and Traveler will be ingrained in your brain from the pre-game festivities through the final whistle. Another tradition is fans raising their index and middle fingers to create a “V” for victory after a win.

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center is an impressive arena. It is large, but has the intimacy of a much smaller venue. With NHL fans that enthusiastically support their team, they also get to experience a venue that has a staff that welcomes and engages all fans.

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Navy Midshipmen

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is a great place to watch a football game. Couple that with all the history and traditions on display make this a worthy stop for all football fans.

Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina Gamecocks

Over the years, the Gamecock football experience has evolved from some great on-field traditions to one of college football’s unique overall experiences. A more winning tradition, great athletics leadership and more money in the program has seen upgrades on everything from tailgate areas to stadium aesthetics to unbelievable pageantry. Start the day with a tailgate — and oh, what a tailgate. Gamecocks fans surround the stadium for miles in every direction grilling food, enjoying cocktails and partying in general. Tailgate sites vary from business parking lots to the massive fairgrounds to the upscale greenery of the old farmers market where the team walks through on their way to the game acknowledging their loyal fans.

41. Streets of St. Petersburg, Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

There is something about car racing that has captured the attention of sports fans around the world from day one. A perfect mix of speed, danger, technology, and excitement have made car racing one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports. Perhaps nowhere is that spectacle more on display than the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Bell Centre, Montreal Canadiens

A quick look up to the rafters inside the Bell Centre helps to paint a picture of what the Montreal Canadiens franchise means to the sport of hockey. From the 24 Stanley Cup banners to the crowded names of former hockey greats, stepping inside the arena means that you become part of Montreal’s most important entity. While it has been over two decades since their last Cup, fans across the league have been able to see what a raucous place the Bell Centre becomes during the playoffs.

University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona Cardinals

You really do have to see this place to believe it. Everything is so spacious, so modern, and so clean. It is obvious that fan comfort was a top priority after the many years the NFL franchise spent at Sun Devil Stadium. Every sports fan should make the trip to Glendale in the coming years to see University of Phoenix Stadium. It is a truly one-of-a-kind place. A modern marvel.

44. Children’s Mercy Park, Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas CIty clearly has an ambitious goal, even if they’ve never actually stated it publicly. This club wants nothing more than to be the best sports organization, in any league, in any geography, in any level, period. By several measures, they’re well on the way. It starts with the on-field product, of course. Fans are all too often expected to shell out money for tickets, parking, and concessions, not to mention time, to watch a team that was obviously built to tank, or save on payroll. Combined with the fact that many stadiums are financed with hundreds of millions in taxpayers dollars, and it’s really easy to be a cynical sports fan. Sporting KC has not had a rebuilding year. They never ask fans to be patient while the young guys develop in the lower levels. They build teams to win, today. And win they have. A US Open Championship in 2017, their fourth total, and third in six seasons, and two MLS Cup Titles (2000 and 2013). They’ve also achieved seven straight playoff appearances, including 2017.
Children's Mercy Park Corner View

Children’s Mercy Park Corner View, Photo by Cory Sims Stadium Journey

Stewart Stadium, Weber State Wildcats

There is one overwhelming aspect to the stadium that can never be improved on; its setting. Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Great Salt Lake on its western flank, it is Mother Nature at her finest surrounding the football field. Make sure you take a camera for the sunsets, as Weber State often schedules 6 pm kickoffs. You will not be disappointed.

Nationals Park, Washington Nationals

Nationals Park opened in 2008, and is located on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC – the Washington Monument and Capitol Building are both visible from the upper deck on the first base side. Nationals Park is a beautiful baseball stadium with lots of great amenities in an improving neighborhood within walking distance of the National Mall.
Nationals Park Interior

Nationals Park Interior, Photo by Aaron S Terry, Stadium Journey

Carter-Finley Stadium, North Carolina State Wolfpack

Located in the Research Triangle, NC State provides a great football experience amid a basketball-centric region. Carter-Finley uses bright red highlights throughout the stadium and features many wolf-related references. The team enters the field prior to the games through a cave-like structure called the Wolf’s Den. During the entrance they are serenaded by the Power Sound of the South Marching Band playing the NC State fight song. The cheer squad has not one, but two mascots, with both male and female Wolves leading the cheers. Wolf howls are repeated so much during the game that you feel like you are on the “Thriller” set.

Oracle Arena, Golden State Warriors

It’s hard to describe, but the combination of Steph Curry’s play and the fans can turn a basketball game into something else entirely, like a church revival meeting a dance party. The oohs and ahs become a character. It’s partly the fans but it’s also partly the compact gym.

Staples Center, Los Angeles Kings

In a region that has an average annual temperature of 72 degrees, it would seem challenging to build a following for a sport played on ice. The fans and the city have more than embraced their Kings and make the Staples Center an intimidating place for any opponent to play.

NRG Stadium, Houston Texans

The popularity of football in the state of Texas is well-documented via stories and movies of Texas high school football, and the football craze here continues with college football. However, the Houston Texans are the top level, and NRG Stadium is one of the best venues in the NFL, and a must visit for any football fan. If you make the trip to see a Houston Texans game, then you will understand why football in Texas offers the best football experience in the country.

Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

There’s just something about baseball in the Midwest – Progressive Field was built in the era of baseball stadiums being built as cathedrals. It aged quickly, but the team didn’t let age make the game day experience any less enjoyable. A total renovation of the outfield and concessions areas, as well as the addition of a museum in the outfield, make what was once looking a bit drab completely new again. The team is also playing like a title contender year after year, making the crowds return and the atmosphere feel like it is October every night in Cleveland.
Night game view from upper deck behind home plate at Progressive Field

Inside Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians, Photo by Chris Green, Stadium Journey

Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

There may not be any better combination of things to enjoy than at Busch Stadium, but a magical piece of that is what the Cardinals fans represent. In few other ballparks will you witness applause for visiting players who make a great play or reach a milestone. Fans in St. Louis do not need to be prompted by a scoreboard to know when to cheer. For instance, when Jeff Bagwell’s last career plate appearance in St. Louis was about to take place, Cardinals fans stood for several minutes before he saw the first pitch. Magical is the best way to describe the atmosphere as provided by Cardinal Nation.

Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium, Washington Huskies

Husky Stadium is an amazing venue for college football. There is lots of energy, the setting is beautiful, and the facility has lots of great amenities. Husky Stadium has a lot of great Husky décor, including a Husky statue out front (west end zone), signage commemorating former players and coaches inside, intimidating images of Huskies looking you right in the eyes, and loads of purple. Perhaps the most stunning piece is the shimmering, glittering “W” under the stands as you enter from the south side; all of these great add-ons really enhance the experience here.

Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin Badgers

A Badgers game is a unique experience for any college football fan. Wisconsin is a football-crazed state full of beer and brats, so it almost goes without saying that a fall Saturday in Madison is special. Camp Randall is packed between buildings and frat houses in the southern part of the city, giving it a very urban feel as you walk the streets past crowded parking lots and overflowing bars blasting music. During the Civil War, Camp Randall was a training camp for Union soldiers named after Governor Alexander Randall. More than 150 years later, Camp Randall plays host to much different battles in the form of Wisconsin Badgers football. The team has been playing at Camp Randall since 1895, so the field has been home of the Badgers since before it was a stadium.

55. Dom Cardillo Arena at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Kitchener Rangers

There is something special about a community-owned team. When Kitchener, Ontario businessman Eugene George passed the Kitchener Rangers over to the season ticket holders, a special relationship was forged between the Rangers and their community. The great history and community ownership of the Rangers are given life through the longtime home of the Rangers, the Dom Cardillo Arena at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. What locals refer to as “The Aud” was built as a living memorial to those who made ultimate sacrifice.

Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence Bruins

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Providence are frequently listed among the top destinations for fans who travel the American Hockey League circuit. The combination of a great downtown area, modern mid-sized arena, and fantastic fan support makes this venue one of the top rinks in the league. With an NHL team less than an hour away, six other professional teams and 20 division one college teams in New England, a visit to Rhode Island is a must for any true hockey fan.

Autzen Stadium, Oregon Ducks

Despite its relatively small size compared to many other FBS stadiums, Autzen Stadium is one of the loudest college football stadiums in the country, regularly hitting over 100 decibels inside, and consistently ranks as one of the nation’s top 10 places to watch a college football game.
Autzen Stadium, Marching Band Forming the O

Autzen Stadium, Marching Band Forming the O, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

Isotopes Park, Albuquerque Isotopes

Take one step in the ballpark, and you automatically feel relaxed among friends during a warm summer evening. Though walking along the concourse behind home plate can be busy, the mood is light, with people stopping to take pictures with the various Simpsons characters staged at different parts of the park.

Victory Field, Indianapolis Indians

The Indians have made improvements to Victory Field this decade by removing the right field bleachers and replacing it with a patio deck, installing an LED ribbon board in right field, adding The Cove in the left field corner, and placing the victory bell for ceremonious ringing after each victory. There are some nights and promotions that are better than others, but it is a ballpark that feels new, clean, vibrant, and beautiful more than 20 years into its existence. If architects were to create a new ballpark for Indy, they would make it exactly like Victory Field.

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Eagles

Lincoln Financial Field is a stadium that is not only designed very well, but also one that represents Philadelphia perfectly. Many little features and touches make it known that this is the home of the Eagles. Other intangibles add to a great football experience, but it is really the fans that make attending an Eagles game stand out from other places. They will never shed their reputation, but their deep passion and ability to create a boisterous atmosphere make attending a game at The Linc a must for any football fan.

Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma Sooners

Come game day in Norman, the Oklahoma Sooners put on quite a show, making Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium one of the better atmospheres in college football today. Tens of thousands of red-clad fans show up for tailgating hours before kickoff, the atmosphere inside the stadium is loud and raucous, and the staff pulls out all the stops to keep fans engaged, including twin mascots, appearances by the Sooner Schooner, jugglers, OU flags trotted out throughout the game, and even flame and fireworks to welcome the team onto the field.
Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Interior

Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Interior, Photo by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey

TD Garden, Boston Bruins

When discussing the premier venues in the National Hockey League, the TD Garden is rarely mentioned among the top tier venues. Overshadowed by the history and nostalgia of its predecessor, the original Boston Garden, and by the flash and size of many contemporary venues, the Garden is viewed by most as a middle of the pack venue. However, with recent renovations, a fantastic location, and improved amenities, the TD Garden has become a first-rate venue in its own right. Few venues can match the sheer amount of big hockey events held here, which include Stanley Cup Finals in 2011 and 2013, the NHL All-Star Game in 1996, the annual Beanpot Tournament and Hockey East Conference Tournaments, NCAA Tournament games, and the 2015 Frozen Four. This incarnation of the Garden certainly cannot match the history of its predecessor, but it is building a solid legacy of its own.

Orlando City Stadium, Orlando City SC

Orlando City opened their new soccer stadium this past season to glowing reviews. Located in the Parramore neighborhood in west-central Orlando, it is hoped that the stadium will help to revitalize the area. The stadium includes 49 rainbow-colored seats in a section of the stadium in remembrance of the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.

United Center, Chicago Blackhawks

For years after the United Center opened in 1994, the Chicago Blackhawks were the “other tenant” in the building. As the Bulls declined into mediocrity, the Blackhawks rose in prominence, hitting its zenith with its first Stanley Cup championship in nearly 50 years in 2010. Today the United Center is a hot ticket when the Blackhawks are in town, and a filled standing room only crowd a common sight.

Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Dolphins

The weather and fan-friendly atmosphere will keep any true fan coming back for more. Recent renovations have transformed this often renamed stadium. While the NFL Dolphins may have been mediocre in recent seasons, the experience at Hard Rock Stadium is top-notch.

ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Beginning in 2010, the ENMAX Centre underwent a major facelift, with $34 million in upgrades. New features include new luxury suites, a new scoreboard and sound system, new press facilities, new locker rooms for the hockey teams, and a new restaurant and lounge on the upper level of the north end.

McMahon Stadium, Calgary Stampeders

McMahon Stadium is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. This may not be the most modern stadium in the CFL, but the fun activities the staff has on hand will make your day memorable nonetheless. If you are looking for a fun football game, you can’t go wrong by stopping in Calgary.
McMahon Stadium, interior

McMahon Stadium, interior, Photo by Aaron Terry, Stadium Journey

MetLife Stadium, New York Jets

There is a reason the NFL decided to hold Super Bowl XLVIII at this stadium. It is an open-air stadium, but the architecture here does an amazing job of trapping the sound in and creating a dome-like atmosphere. The staff are all friendly, which may seem like a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Here at MetLife, they know how to put on a show. Pre-game introductions include fire, smoke, and fireworks. For the National Anthem, a stage is placed on the 50-yard line, season ticket holders unfurl Jets flags on either side, and an American flag is spread out behind the stage.

Dreamstyle Arena, New Mexico Lobos

The centerpiece athletic venue in the state of New Mexico recently turned 50. University Arena, aka Dreamstyle Arena, aka “The Pit” is still the pride and joy of the University of New Mexico athletic department and the Lobos basketball team.

FirstEnergy Stadium, Reading Fightin Phils

When you look at lists of the best minor league baseball stadiums in America you will see many parks built in the 1990s and later into the first part of the 21st century. But you will also find a remarkable park built in 1951, FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA, which has managed to capture the best essence of sport and entertainment. FirstEnergy Stadium is one of the finest and best parks you will find when traveling around the minor league landscape.

Pegula Ice Arena, Penn State Nittany Lions

Think of Penn State athletics and immediately the legendary football program comes to mind. Despite the hits the program has taken these past few years, the Paterno legacy will always be a part of things here. But that is changing, and one of the changes is a huge step for Penn State hockey as it jumps to Division One. That change would be benefactor billionaire Terry Pegula, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, who contributed $102 million to pay for the bulk of the cost for a shiny state of the art hockey venue. His contribution helped build Pegula Ice Arena, one of the nicer and more opulent venues in all of college hockey.
Pegula Ice Arena Game Action

Pegula Ice Arena Game Action. Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics.

Prospera Place, Kelowna Rockets

Opened in 1999, Prospera Place has proven to be a great home for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. The team consistently packs more than 5,000 fans into their small arena. It’s well worth the trip off the beaten path to see a game in central British Columbia.

Pauley Pavilion, UCLA Bruins

Pauley Pavilion, originally opened in 1965 and was named for the primary donor, Regent Edwin W. Pauley. The original cost of the facility eclipsed the $5 million mark with contributions coming from the state, the student body, and the alumni. Like the Duke Blue Devils, the court itself is given its own name to honor an individual that made countless contributions to the program. On December 20, 2003, former coach Wooden and his wife, Nell, were honored as the court was named “Nell & John Wooden Court.” Pauley Pavilion was designed to accommodate various athletic events. Prior to a 2010-2012 renovation the baseline seats behind the visiting team’s 2nd half basket was a great distance from the floor. Legend has it that Coach Wooden, the gentleman he is, wanted it that way to prevent his teams from having an “unfair advantage.”

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Broncos

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (SAF at Mile High) was built to offer fans modern amenities and the cozy comforts of a newer stadium. The original Mile High Stadium had lots of memories and cheaper tickets, but as is usually the case, a plain and basic stadium is replaced by a modern palace full of revenue generating streams. Built in 2001, this <NFL>stadium still looks and feels brand new. Wider seats, more legroom, and great concession options makes fans forget about the original Mile High Stadium.

California Memorial Stadium, Cal Golden Bears

Cal Football may not be the program it once was in the past, contending for national titles or making a push for the big post-season bowls, but the program is no less exciting to watch. Add to this a newly renovated stadium, and California Memorial Stadium is a prime location for fans both entertainment and weather-wise, providing a good mix for one of the best game day experiences in all of college football. Cal fans are loyal, loud, and proud, and there is little question as to why this stadium ranks among some of the best when it comes to must-see events in college sports.

CenturyLink Field, Seattle Sounders FC

The size of the crowd does, in fact, make attending a Sounders game special, but there is much more. It is what the club and the fans do leading up to the soccer game and during the match which make it one of the most rewarding game experiences in all of sports. There are the many subtle touches which make clear management’s consciousness of the details, promoting the brand at every opportunity, and adding value to the ticket holder’s experience.

Rogers Place, Edmonton Oil Kings

Rogers Place is the second venue to make our list multiple times. While the experience of attending a WHL Oil Kings game doesn’t live up to the same experience as the NHL’s Oilers, the chance to see this beautiful arena in a more intimate setting is a great experience in itself.

Giant Center, Hershey Bears

Giant Center is frankly one of the best sporting venues around. It takes the best looks and atmospheric elements of the past and adds the modern amenities expected by today’s audiences. This ice arena is a must visit for a sports fan.
Hershey Bears - Giant Center

Hershey Bears – Giant Center, Photo by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey

Memorial Stadium, Nebraska Cornhuskers

Game day in Lincoln begins long before the game kicks off. In fact, game day is more akin to an all day party. Tailgaters are easy to find and quite welcoming to visitors. The party continues up until game time but leave yourself a few minutes to stroll around the stadium. About 45 minutes before kickoff, fans line up to watch the Nebraska marching band enter the stadium, ratcheting up the atmosphere even more.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Colorado Rockies Spring Training

Salt River Fields is often brought up in excited tones when the Cactus League is mentioned, and it is with good reason. With the exception of Sloan Park, no other park in the League is in the same class. It’s a great new stadium in a resort area, with seemingly unquenchable fan turnout, copious food options, easy access, tons of extras, and all of this provided at a decent value.

Moda Center, Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers are the longest tenured professional team in Portland, and have a huge following. Upon entering the arena, you can’t help but notice the history of the Blazer franchise. All around the concourse, you see pictures of players, coaches, and executives alike. Bill Walton’s jersey from the 1977 NBA championship team is framed and on display.
Moda Center, Portland Trail Blazers in action

Moda Center, Portland Trail Blazers in action, Photo by Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey

Blaik Field at Michie Stadium, Army Black Knights

Few, if any, sports venues in the country can match the history and pageantry that go along with a football game at West Point. First time visitors to Michie Stadium should be sure to set aside enough time to tour some of the campus, and to be sure to be inside the stadium in time to catch the pre-game festivities. Visiting this area during the fall when the leaves are changing color makes for a most breathtaking view, and it’s no wonder that the area is a popular destination this time of year.

Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech Hokies

Lane Stadium has “it.” That magic that makes the goosebumps rise up on your arms and opposing teams tremble, that’s “it.” Heavyweights like ESPN and Rivals have rated it one of (if not the top) toughest places to play college football in the country, and with good reason. From the first chords of “Enter Sandman” to the final whistle and beyond, Lane Stadium rocks.

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals

Paul Brown Stadium is really one of the NFL’s unsung stadiums. It is in a great location on the quickly improving Cincinnati riverfront, and is a beautifully constructed facility. On the field, the Bengals have shown consistency in the past couple years.

Citi Field, New York Mets

The brick and dark-marbled concrete concourses offer brilliant views of the field from all levels, and images of Mets legends past and present are unavoidable all over the ballpark. While the stadium’s name suggests that of a standard-issue, cold separation of dollar from fan (the $400 million naming rights agreement struck with Citibank amid the bank’s massive 2008 government bailout doesn’t help in this regard), there is an unmistakable warmth to Citi Field. It is, quite simply, a fun and inviting place to watch baseball. Citi Field is what a ballpark should be.

01-18-2018, 02:18 PM
I'm surprised Lucas Oil Stadium is ranked the "best" football experience on the list

01-18-2018, 02:20 PM
I'm more surprised target field (twins) wasn't listed. Fantastic venue.

01-18-2018, 02:27 PM
Coors Field deserves its high ranking. Such a good place to be on a summer night. Frustrating in a way, because it draws 35k per night whether or not the product on the field is worth it.

01-18-2018, 03:23 PM
No way Coors field outranks The K on any night, summer or not.

01-18-2018, 04:20 PM
Arrowhead used to top these lists before they removed the piss troughs.

Mama Hip Rockets
01-18-2018, 05:16 PM
Lucas Oil Stadium WTF

01-18-2018, 05:30 PM
I’m guessing Lucas Oil Stadium just gets high ratings because it’s surprising. You’re in the middle of Indiana walking into a huge old shitty barn. Practically anything that happens after that is going to be a better experience than what you were expecting.