Top Ten Oldest Stadiums in the NFL
Find Out Which NFL Stadiums Have Been Open the Longest
2014 NFL Off-Season
The NFL is full of shiny new stadiums, like the 49ers Levi’s Field (which will be used for the first time during the 2014 pre-season), but sometimes oldies really are goodies. The older stadiums in the NFL have seen some of the sport’s most iconic games and fans still flock to them week after week each year. Today, we’ll look at the ten oldest NFL stadiums that are still goin’ strong.
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1. Soldier Field, a true Chicago landmark, opened in the year 1924. It’s hard to believe that in just ten years, the facility will be 100 years old. When the Bears take to the gridiron during the season, hardcore fans pack this outdoor stadium no matter what the weather. In 2003, Soldier Field reopened after a $365 million renovation. The facility’s upgrades led it to become the first NFL stadium to be granted LEED-EB honors.
2. It really doesn’t get more iconic than Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. The Packers have played here since 1957 (before the Super Bowl era even began). Lambeau has been through a number of renovations through the years, but these have only served to enhance the fan experience. Where else, after all, can you savor an incredible amount of NFL history (the Ice Bowl, anyone?) while enjoying a patented bowl of beer cheese soup?
3. O.co Coliseum, which opened in 1966, was originally named the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (has a certain ring to it, right?) During the Raiders’ stint in Los Angeles, fans patiently waited for their beloved team to come back to the Black Hole. When they eventually did in 1995, Raiders Nation was more passionate than ever. To this day, O.co is the home of some of the NFL’s most loyal (and slightly crazy) fans.
4. Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, was first used during the 1967 NFL season. The Chargers could’ve terminated their lease on Qualcomm prior to the 2014 season, but opted not to due to a strong desire to keep the team in San Diego. Look for the powers-that-be in SD to try to figure out financing for a new stadium sooner rather than later.
5. Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972 and almost immediately became one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Even when the Chiefs aren’t great, it is not easy to beat them at home. Through the decades, Arrowhead has undergone all sorts of renovations, including a seating expansion (it now holds almost 80,000 fans) and the addition of a Chiefs Hall of Honor. Arrowhead is beloved by fans and players alike, so I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.
6. Ralph Wilson Stadium, which opened in Buffalo in 1973, has always been one of the best places to tailgate in the NFL. These days, the tailgating is more often than not the highlight of game days for Bills fans. However, Ralph Wilson Stadium has seen some iconic moments, including the biggest post-season comeback in NFL history in 1993. The Bills made-up 32 points to win their first-round contest.
7. New Orleans’s Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which opened in 1975, is truly an iconic facility. Not only has it hosted seven Super Bowls (including the 2012 game) and hundreds of Saints games, but it was the site of Muhammad Ali’s last win as a professional boxer. Furthermore, the Superdome became a beacon of hope for the city of New Orleans when it housed refugees after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the area.
8. Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, opened in 1987. In its nearly 27 year existence, it has hosted four Super Bowls, two World Series, and a variety of other events. South Florida’s weather and party atmosphere make Miami the perfect host city for fans. Sports and South Beach? Sign me up!
9. The Georgia Dome (shockingly, the home of the Atlanta Falcons), opened its doors in 1992. The facility holds 71,250 people and is the biggest cable-supported domed arena on earth. The ATL has hosted two Super Bowls and numerous other sporting events (including portions of the 1996 Olympic Games) in the Georgia Dome.
10. Jacksonville’s EverBank Field opened on August 18, 1995. Just slightly over a year later, the Jaguars reached their first AFC championship game. EverBank, which holds just over 67,000 spectators, is undergoing a $63 million renovation, which will be completed by 2014’s kick-off weekend. The upgrades will include the largest scoreboards in the world (large print, perhaps, for all of Florida’s senior citizens?)