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    Default Heinz 4th

    Ranking the NFL Stadiums
    The National Football Post

    I thought about opening this article with a snazzy intro (which would be the first time I accomplished such a feat), but then I realized that most of you will probably skip the opening, head straight to the rankings, disagree with what Iíve said and then proceed to destroy me in the comments section.

    Thatís all fine by me, but this article isnít solely about ranking the actual stadium structure. Iíve incorporated elements such as tailgating, fans, weather, surrounding areas, etc. to give this thing a bit more flavor.

    Because at the end of the day, the NFL is facing a lockout and thereís very little to break down and analyze right now. Itís time to get creative and stir up a debate.

    Note: I havenít had the privilege of watching an NFL game at each of the 31 stadiums (see resume at end of article), so a good portion of this article is based on what Iíve seen on television, what Iíve read and the people Iíve talked to who have actually been to these venues.

    STADIUM RANKING CRITERIA

    1. Architecture: Basically, does it look cool in person and/or on television? Does the facility have any unique features?

    2. History: Has the joint opened recently and never hosted a playoff game (i.e. Houston), or do you get chills when exiting the concourse and viewing the field thinking about what has taken place there (i.e. Chicago)?

    3. Weather: Football was meant to be played outdoors, so the domes are going to take a slight hit in the rankings. This also applies to tailgating. Itís easier to grill burgers and pound beers in San Diego than it is Minnesota.

    4. Fans: A packed house with rowdy diehards is going to make for a better time, as fan participation adds value to the NFL experience. Whatís the point of going to a first-class stadium if itís only half-filled?

    5. Location: Is the stadium in the middle of nowhere or in the heart of a major U.S. city? Parking may be an issue, but thereís something to be said about hitting a packed bar within walking distance of the venue prior to and even after the game.

    THE RANKINGS

    1. Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)

    Seating Capacity: 72,928
    Playing Surface: Grass
    Opened: 1957

    Lambeau Field Billed as ďthe crown jewel of the National Football League,Ē Lambeau Field underwent a $295 million facelift in 2003 to give the venue a 21st century look while maintaining a retro feel. Lambeau certainly isnít the most architecturally impressive venue, but it does boast some of the leagueís best fans and has more historical significance than any other stadium in the NFL.

    Think of it like this: If youíve never been to an NFL game and knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you rather go to the old stomping grounds of Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, or the two-year old Cowboys Stadium?

    2. Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)

    Seating Capacity: 80,000 (allegedly expandable to 110,000, but we saw how well that worked out at the Super Bowl)
    Playing Surface: Artificial Turf
    Opened: 2009

    As far as architecture and technology are concerned, Cowboys Stadium is the best in the business. You canít help but find yourself in awe at the sheer size of the building as you approach from Route 30. In addition, the $30 million video screen that hangs 90 feet above the field has become the gold standard for JumboTrons in todayís NFL.

    However, having opened in 2009, the place lacks historical significance and has the ability to keep the roof closed if the weather turns ugly. Thatís why it failed to top Lambeau for the top spot in the rankings.

    3. Qwest Field (Seattle Seahawks)

    Seating Capacity: 67,000
    Playing Surface: FieldTurf
    Opened: 2002

    Not only is Qwest Field a sweet piece of eye candy that makes up part of the Seattle skyline, but this place is as loud as they come. I challenge you to name one outdoor venue that can generate more noise on Sundays than Paul Allenís baby.

    Qwest is located in downtown Seattle right next to the Puget Sound and per the Seahawksí website is set ďagainst the backdrop of snow-covered mountains.Ē In addition, Seattle is 5-1 at home during the playoffs since opening the joint in 2002.

    Bonus: Qwest is located just 41 miles north of Chambers Bay, the best golf course youíve never heard of.

    4. Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers)

    Seating Capacity: 65,050
    Playing Surface: Grass
    Opened: 2001

    Heinz has only been open for ten years, so the history doesnít run too deep. But the Steelers have won two Super Bowl bowls since making the move from Three Rivers Stadium, something 21 NFL teams canít say theyíve achieved in their entire history.

    Pittsburgh is one of the great football cities in America. If youíre looking for a good time, book a hotel in the downtown area on Saturday and valet the car, because you can get everywhere you need to go by walking or taking a cab. The parking at the stadium is limited, but you can hit McFaddenís before the game to get tuned up prior to kickoff.

    If you disagree with Heinz Field being rated this high, youíve never been there in a crucial third down situation with the 65,000+ faithful in attendance all waving their Terrible Towels trying to help their defense get a stop. Itís an awesome sight.

    When in Pittsburgh, be sure to visit Primanti Bros.

    5. Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)

    click on the link below for the rest of the stadiums.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...e_nfl_stadiums

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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    Heinz Field does not belong anywhere near the top 5 IMHO. It wouldnt even make the top ten.

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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    his ranking theory goes out the window IMO once he put Dallas 2nd....no history....indoors....2nd and 3rd criteria he used...WTF?

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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Harrison View Post
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    Heinz Field does not belong anywhere near the top 5 IMHO. It wouldnt even make the top ten.
    it is unique...the view of downtown...not many stadiums have anything like it...the fans make it one of the best.....the open end which is different than any other, the stats and problems for kickers is unique......location is good...parking and access good....natural grass surface, although problematic...due to so many teams using it...tailgating...good.....history is being made each season..this season alone...once again defeated the Ravens for a 3rd time in a season...then the Jets for the AFCCG.

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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    Im not a fan of Heinz Field and really never have been. Its a rip off of the Titans stadium, and is nearly identical. The view of the city largely depends on where you are sitting. The sound does not hold inside the stadium nearly as well as it did at Three Rivers. The yellow seats make the stadium look almost half empty throughout the whole 1st and 3rd quarters while people are trying to either, get to, or get back to their seats. The field is much improved, but still often below average. There is really nothing that separates it from any other modern age stadium. Plus parking is getting to be a pain, and tailgating isnt near what it used to be.

    As for the fans, of course the atmosphere is like none other, mainly because the Steelers are always good. How special would Heinz be if the Lions played there?

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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    Heinz Field was a great experience for me. I loved going to the Blast Furnace, but Heinz was alot better than I thought it would be ( in '01). For me though, it's all about the 65,000+ waving the Terrible Towels and seeing the Steelers gear everywhere. I really loved the painted endzones and the massive Steelers logo at midfield at Three Rivers.
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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    I'd give my lazy nut to see a game there. I'm tired of screaming at the monitor from 3,261 miles away. The minute I get a few quid together I'm there.
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    Default Re: Heinz 4th

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Goonatic View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I'd give my lazy nut to see a game there. I'm tired of screaming at the monitor from 3,261 miles away. The minute I get a few quid together I'm there.
    I've only been to a pre-season since I got here (plus two pre-SB pep rallies) but the place is impressive, especially compared with some of the older footy and Rugby venues in the UK that I've had the pleasure of visiting.

    The game I went to was a bit of a revelation - I was at the back of Peanut Heaven and I still had a good view of the field.

    Even on s freezing cold pre-Super Bowl Friday, with snow and winds swirling, the place was over a quarter full and that was without a game on. People were tailgating a pep rally!

    Save a few quid (the exchange rate is decent) and do it.
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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