Top Ten Cities For NFL Fans to Visit
A Look at the Most Appealing Cities For Football Fans
2014 NFL Off-Season
We’ve officially made it through a month of the off-season, y’all. Hope nobody has succumbed yet. As we begin preparing for summer road trips (yes, I promise, you will eventually be able to walk outside without donning 18 layers and a parka), it seemed appropriate to rank the top ten best cities for NFL fans to visit. Even though kick-off is still 180-some days away, why not make your entire year football centric?
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1. Green Bay, Wisconsin - Green Bay lives and breathes football 24/7, 365. It’s no shocker that Packers nation tops this list. Even though Green Bay isn’t a massive city, you’re sure to have a great time. The people are friendly, the dining is excellent (especially if you like pub fare…think beer…lots of it), and it doesn’t get much more iconic than Lambeau Field.
2. Canton, Ohio - Canton may not be the first place that people think of when they begin planning their summer vacations. However, if you’re an NFL fan, this is your mecca. Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which every football enthusiast should visit at least once. Stepping inside is like walking into a living history of America’s favorite sport. The facility hosts several summer events, including this year’s inaugural Fan Fest and the annual Hall of Fame game.
3. Indianapolis, Indiana - Sports fans of all ilks need to make a point of visiting Naptown, but there’s no mistaking that the Colts reign supreme here. The city boasts a sports-oriented downtown with Lucas Oil Stadium and the Pacers’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse within mere blocks of one another. Furthermore, you can walk by the NCAA’s headquarters while you’re downtown and make your way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just outside city limits.
4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - You’ll know when you’ve entered Steelers country. These fans don’t take an off-season. You’ll find no shortage of excellent sports bars and grilles where you can talk football all year long. Also, like in Indy, the fact that Heinz Field is right downtown means there’s a constant reminder of the Steelers presence in the city. You should be able to take some great skyline photos showcasing the stadium during your stay.
5. Dallas, Texas - Even though the Cowboys have had a rough go of it lately, they still have an incredible legacy. Whether or not you still consider the franchise “America’s Team,” there’s no denying that people in the Big D love their football club. Jerry World (less commonly referred to as AT&T Stadium) is a sight to behold; all NFL fans should take it in once. Plus, if you have the misfortune of traveling with individuals who aren’t football fans, Dallas has enough high-end shopping and dining to keep even the pickiest travelers satisfied.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana - Louisiana fans LOVE football, whether they’re rooting for the LSU Tigers or their beloved Saints. You’ll have no trouble finding sports fans with whom to talk shop when you visit the Big Easy. There’s also tons to do in New Orleans, from dining on delicious local fare, to learning about the city’s intriguing history, to taking a haunted tour of the French Quarter, to, of course, seeing the Superdome, you won’t be bored for even a moment.
7. Seattle, Washington - The Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII victory moved Seattle up my list. If you love football, you need to see the home of the league’s most famous 12th Man. CenturyLink Field is a stunning venue and there’s no lack of things to see and do in Seattle (you can even visit the original Starbucks, if you, like me, could regularly use an IV caffeine drip). There’s no better time for an NFL fan to visit this northwest metropolis; everyone is still riding high from last month’s big win.
8. Houston, Texas - We’ll return to the great state of Texas for No. 6. Though the Texans did not have the season they’d hoped for in 2013, Houston fans still love this team and look forward to better days ahead. Reliant Stadium is an impressive piece of architecture and Houston as a whole is a welcoming city that knows how to show tourists a good time all year long. You also can’t ask for better barbeque anywhere….priorities, people.
9. New York City, New York - I initially hesitated to include the site of Super Bowl XLVIII on this list because football simply isn’t as much of a day-to-day priority here as it is in many smaller markets. However, it is the only city in America that is home to two franchises and both Giants and Jets fans can be absolutely rabid. Also, what football fan doesn’t want to see Radio City Music Hall, where the future of the league is decided every year on draft day?
10. Omaha, Nebraska - I know, I know. This one seems more than a little random. But after Peyton Manning made “Omaha” famous last season (he uttered the audible 44 times in a single play-off game), the city’s tourism council launched a great marketing campaign that caters to football fans. I can’t be the only NFL addict who now kind of wants a photo with the city’s “Welcome to Omaha” sign; it would look perfect next to my autographed Manning ball.