Tour every NFL stadium
The Minnesota Vikings unveiled U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. In celebration of Minnesota's sparkling new home, NFL Nation takes you through the best and worst of all 31 NFL stadiums, while "Madden NFL 17" gives a unique look at the best venue in each division, as voted on by ESPN experts.
REPORTING BY NFL NATION | VIDEOS BY EA SPORTS | 9/16/16
Gillette Stadium - Home of the four-time champ Patriots
Fly over Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, through the lens of Madden NFL 17.
Capacity: 66,829 • Year opened: 2002 • Field: Turf • Roof: Open
Best thing: Gillette Stadium's lighthouse is a distinguishing feature (especially when it is covered by a Tom Brady banner), as is the bridge across part of the north end zone that serves as a meeting point for fans to congregate.
Worst thing: Traffic. The road leading to the stadium, Route 1, can be a bottleneck as it is only two lanes on each side. It's not fun sitting in that traffic and then paying $50 to park. -- Mike Reiss
New Era Field
Year opened: 1973
Best thing: Bills fans love the no-frills, often-rowdy atmosphere at New Era Field, which resembles some college venues. It's consistently one of the cheapest tickets in the NFL, and Bills fans take pride in both their tailgating experience and the camaraderie of packing the seats on a freezing winter day.
Worst thing: The stadium is 43 years old and, despite $130 million in renovations in 2014, it still lacks many of the amenities of modern NFL venues. -- Mike Rodak
Hard Rock Stadium
Year opened: 1987
Best thing: The newly rebranded and upgraded Hard Rock Stadium features four new HD scoreboards and a canopy over the venue to protect most of the fans from the rain. It will also help keep in the crowd noise.
Worst thing: Too many Dolphins fans sell their tickets to fans of visiting teams, particularly late in the year during the stretch run. That makes it hard for Miami to establish a sizable home-field advantage. -- James Walker
Year opened: 2010
Best thing: Fans like the massive video screens, which stretch 118 feet wide and are located in the stadium's four corners. The exotic food choices -- including a seafood tower featuring oysters and crab claws; a filet mignon sandwich with red pepper and mozzarella -- are also a hit.
Worst thing: The stadium lacks charm. Because it houses the Jets and Giants, it had to be built with neutral colors. As a result, it has a gray cinder-block feel and look to it. And, oh yes, the ticket prices are steep. -- Rich Cimini
Heinz Field - Home of the Terrible Towel
Fly over Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, through the lens of Madden NFL 17.
Capacity: 68,400 • Year opened: 2001 • Field: Grass • Roof: Open
Best thing: From the bright gold seats to the riverfront setting, Heinz Field has plenty of flavor. The venue feels intimate because of the crowd swinging Terrible Towels in unison and the scarcity of bad seats. Fans can view the Pittsburgh skyline during the game or watch replays on the customized, Heinz-inspired Jumbotron.
Worst thing: Ticket prices are on the higher end, league-wide, and parking can be a challenge because of the stadium's location on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. Heinz Field opened in 2001, so a common online complaint among fans is that the seats are tight compared to today's modern NFL stadiums. -- Jeremy Fowler
M&T Bank Stadium
Year opened: 1998
Best thing: Fans are on top of the action -- the front row is 50 feet from the playing field sidelines and 20 feet from the back of the end zones -- which has helped the Ravens have the third-best home winning percentage since 2008. The team nicely blends modern technology (giant video boards) and football history (statues of Ray Lewis and Johnny Unitas greet fans outside the stadium).
Worst thing: M&T Bank Stadium is the league's 11th-most expensive venue, according to Money magazine. It will cost a fan $219.83 for a ticket, beer, soft drink, hot dog and parking. -- Jamison Hensley
Paul Brown Stadium
Year opened: 2000
Best thing: The stadium is located downtown in an area of Cincinnati that has experienced rapid growth over the past few years. Its proximity to the Reds' Great American Ball Park is another neat aspect, and you can't beat the views of the Ohio River.
Worst thing: Fans called the 16-year-old stadium an "ode to concrete" because of its lack of personality or nods to teams of the past. If you're looking to learn about the history of the team, don't expect to find it at the stadium. -- Katherine Terrell
Year opened: 1999
Best thing: The Browns' new stadium is built on the same piece of ground as the team's original field. So the tradition stays the same, and the ground where Otto Graham threw and Jim Brown ran and Paul Brown coached is the same that modern players use -- albeit with less success.
Worst thing: There is little inside the stadium that says "Cleveland" aside from the orange seats. It's a stadium built in a hurry so the Browns could return in 1999, and because of that it's cookie cutter with little character. -- Pat McManamon
Lucas Oil Stadium - Home of Andrew Luck and the Colts
Fly inside Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, through the lens of Madden NFL 17, as they look to get back into the playoffs.
Lucas Oil Stadium
Capacity: 67,000 • Year opened: 2008 • Field: Turf • Roof: Retractable
Best thing: Lucas Oil Stadium has been voted the NFL's best game-day experience for five consecutive years by Stadium Journey magazine. Not only do the Colts have a retractable roof, but they also have the ability to open a large window on the north end of the stadium, which gives an incredible view of the city skyline. The stadium is located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, which makes it convenient for those who want to walk to the game from their hotel or a restaurant.
Worst thing: The Colts had to replace the railing that gave out in during a 2013 game against the Raiders, causing two fans to be injured. The Colts often follow a controversial weather rule in determining if they'll keep the roof open or closed. They'll keep it closed when the temperature is below 50 degrees or above 80 degrees. Not wanting to be outdoors in cold weather is understandable, but the 80-degree rule takes away from some of the overall fan experience. -- Mike Wells
Year opened: 2002
Best thing: Having a retractable roof is a must for the 95-degree early-season games. And while it could be an advantage on the field to keep the roof open on steamy days since most other teams are not used to playing in the Houston heat, it would be miserable for fans.
Worst thing: NRG Stadium will be hosting Super Bowl LI in February, so the Texans spent the offseason upgrading the facility's WiFi and turf, among other things. The biggest complaint now may be that the stadium doesn't have the best sight lines. -- Sarah Barshop
Year opened: 1995
Best thing: It's really a toss-up between the pools in the north end zone and two of the world's biggest video boards. I give the slight edge to the video boards because everyone can see them. But if you can shell out for the more expensive pool ticket, it's worth it.
Worst thing: The Jaguars' prices are reasonable: According to NerdWallet.com, they had the 10th-cheapest ticket prices last season. So the worst thing has to be the on-field product. The Jaguars have won more than five games in a season just twice since 2007. -- Mike DiRocco
Year opened: 1999
Best thing: Location. On the east bank of the Cumberland River, Nissan Stadium is an easy walk over the bridge from Nashville's lively downtown. It's very convenient for fans who want to eat/drink before or after the game.
Worst thing: As the product on the field has gotten worse, opposing fans have started scooping up good seats. Easily audible "Let's go Vikings" chants wafted through Nissan Stadium in the fourth quarter of the Titans' Week 1 loss to Minnesota. -- Paul Kuharsky
Broncos looking to bring another title to Sports Authority Field
Fly over Sports Authority Field, home of the Denver Broncos, through the lens of Madden NFL 17, as they seek to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
Sports Authority Field
Capacity: 76,125 • Year opened: 2001 • Field: Grass • Roof: Open
Best thing: When it comes to winning -- and the Broncos win at home a lot -- it just might be the altitude. Even if opponents won't admit it, the Mile High air has worn down many teams in the fourth quarter. Some fans miss the atmosphere of the old Mile High Stadium, but the current venue still gets so loud that the stadium shakes.
Worst thing: Many fans say parking is no fun and because of the layout of the lots around the stadium there are pockets of tailgating, but Broncos home games lack that massive tailgating presence you see at other NFL stadiums. -- Jeff Legwold
Year opened: 1972
Best thing: The tailgating. A vast parking lot makes Arrowhead Stadium a haven for pregame festivities. Occasionally, so many people have their grills working at one time that the stadium is circled in smoke.
Worst thing: The remote location. The stadium isn't close to many bars or restaurants, so other than tailgating before and after the game, there aren't many options for fans looking to make an event out of gameday. Public transportation options to the stadium are also limited. -- Adam Teicher
Year opened: 1966
Best thing: Tailgating and intimidating home-field advantage. Acres of land give Raiders home games a unique experience for grilling and hanging before games, while the Black Hole and its costumed denizens in the intimate stadium make every home game feel like Halloween.
Worst thing: O.co Coliseum is the lone stadium hosting both NFL and MLB games, so September -- and October, depending upon what the A's are doing -- is painful for players being tackled on baseball infield dirt. Fans also complain about the tight quarters in the concourse, and while backed-up sewage often floods the A's clubhouse, the Raiders' locker room is on a higher level. -- Paul Gutierrez
Year opened: 1967
Best thing: The weather. With more than 250 sunny days a year and a comfortable 75 degrees most times on game days, tailgating and watching football at Qualcomm Stadium is usually an enjoyable experience, both for fans of the Chargers and the opposing team.
Worst thing: Qualcomm is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, and it lacks the modern amenities that fans expect. It's one of the reasons the team is pursuing a November ballot measure for a new stadium project in downtown San Diego. -- Eric D. Williams
AT&T Stadium is home to America's team
Fly inside AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, through the lens of Madden NFL 17.
Capacity: 80,000 • Year opened: 2009 • Field: Turf • Roof: Retractable
Best thing: There is not a bad seat in the stadium with the center-hung digital board. Those in the upper reaches of the stadium can see the sweat dripping down a player's face with the size and clarity of the screen. The stadium has the feel of a nightclub, which might not be the best thing come to think of it.
Worst thing: The glass windows are a nice touch, but as we saw in the opener, the sun shining through can negatively impact the game. The real answer here, though, is the lack of home-field advantage. Too often opposing fans get the run of the place. Believe it or not, the Cowboys once had to use the silent count at home. Dallas is 27-29 AT&T Stadium since the building opened in 2009. -- Todd Archer
Year opened: 2010
Best thing: It's comfortable. There's room to walk, sit and the restrooms are much more accessible than the old Giants Stadium. It's also not as windy and frigid during the cold winter months.
Worst thing: With MetLife Stadium being shared by the Giants and Jets, it lacks character. It feels quite sterile, and unlike most of the stadiums around the NFL doesn't have an incredibly homey feel. This is the downside of sharing a stadium with another team. The seat licenses that came with the new stadium also aren't popular among fans. -- Jordan Raanan
Lincoln Financial Field
Year opened: 2003
Best thing: The ammenities. The old Veterans Stadium was a rat-infested concrete bowl with far too few bathrooms (often forcing patrons to get, um, creative) and a court room in the basement to deal with the unruly fans on-site. Lincoln Financial Field offers a much more convenient, family-friendly experience.
Worst thing: The kinder, gentler Linc is also kinder and gentler to the visiting team. Gone is the "700 Level" where an anything-goes atmosphere made opponents almost as uneasy as the rock-hard turf they were forced to play on. -- Tim McManus
Year opened: 1997
Best thing: The Redskins have made many upgrades in recent years, including the installation of a giant video board that is a great improvement and, along with upgraded food options, provides a better in-game experience.
Worst thing: There's not much that can be done about this until a new stadium is built, but it's just a bland stadium. FedExField has failed to capture the aura of RFK Stadium. It's too generic and it's a pain to get to, especially for night games because of its proximity to the Capital Beltway. -- John Keim
Capacity: 81,435 • Year opened: 1957 • Field: Grass • Roof: Open
Best thing: It's as close to a college atmosphere as there is in the NFL. Tailgaters galore are willing to share a brat and a beer even with fans of a rival team, and the neighborhood setting of Lambeau Field makes it feel like the old-school NFL even though the stadium's amenities have been modernized through recent renovations.
Worst thing: The entire lower stadium bowl has bench seating. When the stadium was renovated in 2003, the Packers thought about changing over to individual seats but it would have significantly reduced capacity. Although it may be uncomfortable, at least fans can get nice and snuggly when it's cold. -- Rob Demovsky
Year opened: 1924
Best thing: The north end zone of Soldier Field offers breathtaking views of the downtown Chicago skyline. The team recently installed a pair of massive video screens that seriously upgrades the in-stadium experience.
Worst thing: The architecture. New Solider Field looks like a spaceship landed on top of the old Soldier Field. It is not aesthetically pleasing. And where is the roof? Chicago should be hosting Super Bowls and Final Fours. Maybe that happens if the Bears and city officials built a stadium with a retractable roof. -- Jeff Dickerson
Year opened: 2002
Best thing: The sight lines at Ford Field are fantastic. There are few -- if any -- bad seats in the house, even from the upper deck. This allows fans to get into the game when the Lions are doing something positive, creating a raucous atmosphere that can make a significant difference, particularly for night games.
Worst thing: The WiFi is an issue, although the Lions have been committed to fixing that. If you polled fans, most would complain about the product on the field. Save for a couple of seasons recently, Detroit has mostly stunk during the Ford Field era with no home playoff games or playoff wins since the building opened. -- Michael Rothstein
U.S. Bank Stadium
Year opened: 2016
Best thing: U.S. Bank Stadium's clear roof and pivoting glass doors create a striking backdrop, as the stadium opens up to downtown Minneapolis. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the field will look on TV like it's in an outdoor stadium, and fans are seated closer to the action than any stadium in the NFL.
Worst thing: In the first event at the stadium, fans reported crowded concourses and long lines waiting for concessions and restrooms. Some of the traffic has been due to fans learning how to navigate the stadium, but way-finding might need to be addressed before the Super Bowl comes to town next year. -- Ben Goessling
Bank of America Stadium - Home of the NFC champions
Fly over Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, through the lens of Madden NFL 17, as they look to make another run at a Super Bowl.
Bank of America Stadium
Capacity: 75,419 • Year opened: 1996 • Field: Grass • Roof: Open
Best thing: There isn't a bad seat, from the corner of the upper deck to the mid-level suites. The food is awesome if you like good ol' southern BBQ and craft beer. The new elevator systems have made access to every level fast and easy. Then there are the bronze Panthers statutes at each entrance to the stadium. It's the first thing most people see, and they are spectacular.
Worst thing: This is more about stadium policy than the stadium itself. Large banners that excite fans and add to the color of the day have been outlawed since Cam Newton ripped down one that a Green Bay fan put up in 2015. -- David Newton
Year opened: 1992
Best thing: The parking. The Red Deck garage next to the stadium makes it pretty convenient, at least for some fans, to park and walk over to the Georgia Dome. That's not to say everybody is fortunate enough to park in that area, but those who do no doubt benefit from the close proximity.
Worst thing: Lack of elevators. There obviously aren't enough elevators in the Dome, which leads to folks cramming in while trying to get to their suites or seats. -- Vaughn McClure
Year opened: 1975
Best thing: Easy -- the atmosphere, the sheer volume and the history of one of the country's most iconic sports venues. The Superdome has hosted everything from Super Bowls to Final Fours to a Muhammad Ali boxing match in 40-plus years. And recent upgrades such as massive new video boards keep it going strong.
Worst thing: It shows its age in some areas (such as the elevators). And fans have always yearned for a real tailgating area outside of the Dome (assuming you don't count the French Quarter itself). -- Mike Triplett
Raymond James Stadium
Year opened: 1998
Best thing: The pirate ship. It's an absolute must-see at Bucs games, and the cannons going off after the team scores really adds to the environment. The team's new HD video boards make up a combined 30,000 square feet, the third-largest video space in the NFL.
Worst thing: A 1 p.m. game in 90-degree heat isn't exactly ideal for fans, and the stadium's close proximity to several strip clubs along Dale Mabry isn't great for children and families, although the area itself is generally considered pretty safe. -- Jenna Laine
CenturyLink Field brings you the 12th man
Fly over CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th man, through the lens of Madden NFL 17.
Capacity: 68,000 • Year opened: 2002 • Field: Turf • Roof: Open
Best thing: There aren't many louder stadiums in the NFL, which explains why the Seahawks have gone 31-9 at home over the past five years. Only the Patriots and Packers have posted a higher home winning percentage during that span.
Worst thing: It costs a lot to go to games. According to TicketIQ, Seahawks tickets carry an average price of $466 on the secondary market, the highest number in the NFL. -- Sheil Kapadia
University of Phoenix Stadium
Year opened: 2006
Best thing: Where to start? The design is futuristic, the low-sloped seating provides great sight lines, and the acoustics make it incredibly loud for opposing players. But the best part is the innovative field tray, which rolls a natural grass field outside to get sun and water, before being rolled back indoors to play under a retractable roof.
Worst thing: The location of the stadium. It's not centrally located in Glendale, Arizona, making some commutes to the stadium about an hour, if not longer. While it's a perfect event stadium, it lacks the character that stadiums in downtown areas enjoy. -- Josh Weinfuss
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Year opened: 1923
Best thing: The history. The Coliseum has hosted two Olympics, the first Super Bowl and a World Series. John F. Kennedy spoke there for the 1960 Democratic National Convention and Pope John Paul II conducted a mass in 1987. From the Rams' perspective, it's where the likes of Roman Gabriel and Deacon Jones were immortalized.
Worst thing: Well, the history. It's a 93-year-old facility, so that is to be expected. The Rams are OK with it, because they know they'll transition into their massive, luxurious Inglewood stadium by 2019. -- Alden Gonzalez
Year opened: 2015
Best thing: You'd be hard-pressed to find a more technologically advanced stadium in the NFL. Fans can connect to Wi-Fi from anywhere in the stadium. They can find their seats, order food/drinks, and located the shortest bathroom lines via an app.
Worst thing: The cost of attending a Niners game is awfully high. CBS Money Watch ranked Levi's Stadium as the NFL's second-most expensive stadium. One other complaint: the heat. Levi's Stadium offers little shade and, after Miami unveiled the canopy on its stadium renovation, many 49ers fans began asking for something similar at Levi's. -- Nick Wagoner