Top Ten NFL Stadiums That Need an Upgrade
Does Your NFL Team's Stadium Need an Upgrade Badly?
2014 NFL Off-Season
If you’ve been watching sports new lately, and I think I can safely assume you have, you may have noticed there’s been a LOT of talk about shiny new NFL stadiums. From San Francisco to Minneapolis, it seems like everyone is updating, upgrading, or razing completely. In today’s list, we’ll break down the top ten stadiums that could desperately use some freshening up, yet are still waiting on the go-ahead.
USA TODAY Sports
1. The San Diego Chargers, who have actually threatened to leave sunny southern California on several occasions, are clearly tired of playing in Qualcomm Stadium, which opened in 1967. While Qualcomm has seen its share of memorable moments, including Super Bowls and MLB All-Star games, the Chargers organization is working with the city of San Diego to either majorly upgrade or destroy the facility in the relatively near future.
2. Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland Coliseum, O.Co Coliseum…whatever you choose to call it, the home of the Oakland Raiders is not the best place to watch a game, especially if you’re a fan of the opposing team. Raiders fans, fun though they are to tailgate with, can be a little scary. Plus, the Raiders and the MLB’s Oakland A’s share this aging facility (it opened in 1966), so the field can be confusing to look at. Though this stadium has few amenities for fans, there hasn’t been much talk of updating or replacing it.
3. The St. Louis Rams' Edward Jones Dome isn’t the oldest building on this list (it opened for business in 1995), but it definitely deserves to be in the top 5. This facility was initially constructed to serve as a convention center, not a football stadium. As such, it lacks character and fan amenities. The Rams lease states that this arena must receive significant updates by the start of the 2015 NFL season. Or, they could just prove all of those rumors true and move back to LA…
4. Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, is a well-known facility, having hosted 5 Super Bowls and, well, Dan Marino's career. However, the facility opened in 1987 and could use significant upgrades at this point. Let’s face it, even the seats are starting to look dated. The only good thing about Sun Life is that the Florida Marlins finally got their own stadium.
5. The Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium opened in 1996 and hasn’t undergone a single update since. This is a problem for a facility that was considered one of the league’s best at the time it was constructed. Hopefully the Panthers’ brass can manage to secure some funding soon; only 4 other stadiums older than this one have yet to receive major renovations.
6. FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, opened in 1997, much to the chagrin of fans who still pine after their old RFK Stadium. FedEx Field doesn’t have much going for it in the way of distinction, aside of the fact that its the largest stadium in the NFL (and we all saw last year how well filling the stands is going for the ‘Skins). The fan experience here is decidedly lacking, so there’s already talk of a new facility.
7. Ralph Wilson Stadium is iconic and Buffalo Bills fans definitely don’t want to lose this place. However, it opened in 1973, so updates are more than necessary at this point. The facility is actually in the midst of a massive remodeling project, so if all goes well, talk of a new waterfront stadium ought to die down.
8. The Jacksonville Jaguars' EverBank Field has actually undergone some renovations lately, which moves it firmly into the bottom half of this list. Still, though, this facility (est. 1995) isn’t one of the most exciting places in the NFL. It’s more than a little generic, but heck, at least the seats are cheap.
9. FirstEnergy Stadium, where the Cleveland Browns play their home games, isn’t on this list because it desperately needs a laundry list of updates, but because it needs a dome in the worst way. The fact that the Browns organization opted to build a stadium directly on Lake Erie is a problem for fans and players alike. This isn’t Lambeau or Soldier Field, so adding a roof really wouldn’t be an insult to history.
10. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play their home games at Raymond James Stadium, which isn’t a terrible facility overall. However, this is one of the league’s most generic arenas (save for the massive pirate ship, which not everyone is fond of), so adding a few more fan amenities (or, ya know, wins) to jack-up the electricity in the atmosphere wouldn’t be a bad thing.