We rank the 5 best NFL stadiums that all football fans need to visit and must be added to the bucket list.
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Typically, when American sports fans talk about their favorite stadiums, they’re talking baseball.
When the subject does turn to football, it usually centers on college stadiums:
- The Rose Bowl
- The Big House
- The Horseshoe
- The Swamp
And with good reason, as these legendary buildings have been around for generations.
But don’t miss out on some of the gems in the professional ranks. Rabid fan bases, historical sites, tailgating – they all play a role in creating unforgettable atmospheres for the game of football.
These are our best 5 NFL stadiums for all fans to visit. Get them on your bucket list.
5. Lumen Field (Seattle Seahawks)
One reason why it’s challenging for NFL stadiums to build the reputations their NCAA counterparts enjoy is the constant name changes. Over its 21-year history, Lumen Field is already the fourth name for this almost 70,000-seat home of the Seahawks.
But no matter what you call it, Lumen Field has to go down as one of the best NFL stadiums. It is one of the loudest, most raucous venues in the NFL, as the “12th Man” routinely makes life hell on visiting offenses. One of the highlights of the Seahawks’ first conference championship season in 2005 was a December game with the New York Giants in which the visitors were whistled for 11 false starts.
An inability for opponents to deal with crowd noise is just one highlight. For a relatively new stadium, Lumen Field has seen quite a few famous – and infamous – moments in recent NFL history.
There’s Richard Sherman’s play to end the 2013 NFC Championship game and send the ‘Hawks onto their lone Super Bowl win. Two years later, Jermaine Kearse caught a long TD pass from Russell Wilson to send the Seahawks back to the Big Game. And there was the Monday Night ‘Fail Mary’ where a highly debated TD pass won a 2012 game for the Seahawks against the Green Bay Packers. It’s the signature moment of that season’s referee lockout.
But they all pale to Marshawn Lynch’s ‘Beast Quake’ TD run in the 2011 NFC Playoffs. The crowd reaction measured as a small earthquake on local seismographs:
4. AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)
The largest NFL stadium in terms of seating capacity, AT&T Stadium has attracted events from basketball’s Final Four to WrestleMania and coming in 2026, the FIFA World Cup.
But this article is about the NFL, and one thing that sets “Jerryworld” (nicknamed for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose vision led to the creation of the stadium) is the presence of visiting fans who come in large numbers to see their favorite teams play in this one-of-a-kind wonder.
AT&T Stadium is the only professional football venue to host a crowd of over 100,000 for a game. When the stadium opened in 2009, Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to award certificates for the World’s Largest HD Video Display for the video screen that hangs above the playing surface. At the 2014 NCAA Final Four, the video board dwarfed the basketball court. Three NFL punters have struck the video boards with kicks, most recently Bryan Anger in a wild-card playoff game against the 49ers earlier this year.
Much has been made of the Cowboys’ playoffs struggles in recent years, and as such, the most famous NFL moments in AT&T Stadium belong to member of visiting teams. Ex-Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, now of the New York Jets, won his only Super Bowl there in 2011 and completed a playoff comeback for the ages six years later, bouncing the Cowboys from the postseason.
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3. Highmark Stadium (Buffalo Bills)
OK, complete honesty here: there’s nothing THAT special about Highmark Stadium itself. A 50-year-old venue that’s served the Buffalo Bills all the way back to the days of O.J. Simpson.
This ranking is all about the tailgate experience and the famed “Bills Mafia”. Tailgating is a big part of enjoying NFL football, and perhaps no one does it better – certainly not more memorably – than Buffalo fans.
We’ve all seen the videos of the diehards jumping off RVs and SUVs through tables. And perhaps you’ve heard of “Pinto Ron,” a Bills superfan who attended every game for over 26 years, known for cooking all varieties of foods and routinely dousing himself in ketchup and mustard before games.
There have been some historical NFL moments within the stadium itself as well, as the Bills won the AFC four consecutive times in the early 1990s, highlighted by a comeback victory over the Houston Oilers in 1993. Trailing 35-3 at halftime, the team rallied for an overtime victory and returned to the Super Bowl.
They’re still chasing that elusive title, however, and may have their best opportunity yet with quarterback Josh Allen and a prolific offense in 2022.
But a visit to Highmark Stadium, in the end, is about a tight-knit, loyal fanbase, and a one-of-a-kind pregame experience.
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2. Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)
It would be just about impossible to list the historical NFL moments that have taken place at the home of the Green Bay Packers over its 65-year history. When Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are lighting up the same stadium Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi once did, you know you’ve got a storied franchise.
But the oldest continually operating NFL stadium is known for more than just the players who’ve called it home. Named in honor of legendary coach Curly Lambeau, this is one stadium that never picked up a corporate name – which is better for all involved, because among NFL fans it will forever be known as “The Frozen Tundra”.
The Packers’ run through the 1990s cemented the stadium’s place in the game’s lore, as LeRoy Butler performed the first “Lambeau Leap” after a game-clinching play in 1993. For the past 30 years or so, Packers players have routinely climbed or jumped into the stands to celebrate touchdowns with arguably the game’s most ardent, loyal fanbase.
A trip to a Packers game at Lambeau also offers the closest thing the NFL has to offer to a small-town experience. Only about 100,000 people call the city of Green Bay home, and the stadium is built in such a way that residents can legitimately claim to live only a block or two from the stadium. Thus, at least some of the robust pregame tailgate scene takes place at the homes of some of the franchise’s most ardent supporters.
1. GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)
Arrowhead gets top honors on our list because of the pure spirit of the Kansas City fans. From the “sea of Red” that fills the 76,000-plus seat stadium to the crowd’s insertion of the word “CHIEFS” in place of “brave” at the end of the final stanza of the national anthem, a trip to Arrowhead Stadium means two things – you’ll probably want to bring along a couple of Advil for a potential headache, and you’re in for an unforgettable time.
True diehards will appreciate the little bits of obscure NFL trivia that originate in Arrowhead. For example, it was the first stadium to use arrows on the yard markers to indicate the nearer goal line (appropriately enough, these initially resembled arrowheads). Now, it has also been inducted into our ‘Best NFL Stadiums’ Hall of Fame.
Our Best NFL Stadium: Arrowhead
Arrowhead Stadium also inadvertently led to the NFL relocating the Pro Bowl to Honolulu for a long-term period between the late 1970s to the mid-2010s. The Pro Bowl used to rotate among NFL cities like other major All-Star games, but that ended shortly after a 1974 ice storm caused players to work out in San Diego for the week leading up the game at Arrowhead Stadium (the game itself was played at Arrowhead in somewhat milder conditions).
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But Arrowhead will forever be closest associated with crowd noise. The short-lived NFL rule that a home team could be charged with a timeout if the opposing quarterback could not hear originated with a Chiefs-Broncos game in 1990. In 2014, the fans set a Guinness World Record for loudest outdoor stadium at 142.2 decibels.
Best of all, the franchise has given fans plenty to cheer about in recent years, as coach Andy Reid’s team brought the Super Bowl title back to Kansas City in 2020 for the first time in 50 years. Arrowhead also hosted what’s widely accepted as the best game of the 2021-2022 season, a 42-36 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
Our Final List: Best NFL Stadiums
- Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City Chiefs
- Lambeau Field – Green Bay Packers
- Highmark Stadium – Buffalo Bills
- AT&T Stadium – Dallas Cowboys
- Lumen Field – Seattle Seahawks
There they are – our Top 5 NFL stadiums every fan should have on their bucket list. It’s no coincidence that most of these stadiums belong to particularly storied franchises, but these venues have stories of their own, whether they’re 10 years old or 100 years old. The NFL always offers a must-see product on the field – but these are the field, stadiums, and venues every diehard fan must see.