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SI.com's NFL Fan Value Experience Rankings


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SI.com has posted a NFL Fan Value Experience Rankings list. I'm sure there will many who will disagree with where their favourite team is positioned. (Please, no asterisks)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/foot...ex.html?eref=T1

1. Packers - Lambeau Field

2. Steelers - Heinz Field

3. Browns - Cleveland Browns Stadium

4. Lions - Ford Field

5. Ravens - M&T Bank Stadium

6. Eagles - Lincoln Financial Field

7. Seahawks - QWEST Field

8. Colts - RCA Dome

9. Titans - LP Field

10. Panthers - Bank of Amer. Stadium

11. Patriots - Gillette Stadium

12. Jaguars - Municipal Stadium

13. Broncos - INVESCO Field at Mile High

14. Texans - Reliant Stadium

15. Bills - Ralph Wilson Stadium

16. Chiefs - Arrowhead Stadium

17. Buccaneers - Raymond James Stadium

18. Saints - Louisiana Superdome

19. Bengals - Paul Brown Stadium

20. Bears - Soldier Field

21. Raiders - McAfee Stadium

22. Chargers - Qualcomm Stadium

23. Dolphins - Dolphin Stadium

24. Cardinals - Univ. of Phoenix Stadium

25. Giants - Giants Stadium

26. Cowboys - Texas Stadium

27. Rams - Edward Jones Dome

28. Redskins - FedEx Field

29. Falcons - Georgia Dome

30. 49ers - Monster Park

31. Vikings - HHH Metrodome

32. Jets - Giants Stadium

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At first I got mad at this list for putting the Georgia Dome at the bottom...then I looked at the criteria...and looked at the experiences I've had there myself...and realized it was right. From the color scheme of the dome (pink and green with green seats??? WTF???), to the seating (Sec. 339 is the true Mile High of the NFL), to the experience (built for the other team's fans. I can still remember going to a playoff game and the Event Staff getting mad at some Falcons fans for cheering too loudly in the presence of Ram fans...WTF???), to the traffic (which is always bad, but it's a whole 'nother level on game day.) So yeah, I can see why they put the Georgia Dome near the bottom. It's the most "meh" stadium in there.

On the other hand, idk about anybody else down there in the NO, but I used to LOVE going to the Superdome to see a Saints game. I will give the Saints this: They are probably the most loyal fans in the NFL. The last game I went to was a Rams game, back when the Rams were Super Bowl contenders. Had this game been in Atlanta, I'm guessing that the ratio of fans would've been 70/30 Falcons fans. But, it was at least 95/5 in this case, because the Saints fans turn out. Whether it's in shame (Back in the days of the Aints and the Bagheads...loved those days.) or in joy (recent successes), they always show up. That's why I like Saints fans. But back to the topic of the game experience, it's nice. I liked the seats, they're better than the Dome, and the game experience, like S.I. said, feels like Mardi Gras under a roof, especially when the Saints score/win. So yeah, I loved the experience of going to Saints games. Too bad I'm not a Saints fan. lol.

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At first I got mad at this list for putting the Georgia Dome at the bottom...then I looked at the criteria...and looked at the experiences I've had there myself...and realized it was right. From the color scheme of the dome (pink and green with green seats??? WTF???), to the seating (Sec. 339 is the true Mile High of the NFL), to the experience (built for the other team's fans. I can still remember going to a playoff game and the Event Staff getting mad at some Falcons fans for cheering too loudly in the presence of Ram fans...WTF???), to the traffic (which is always bad, but it's a whole 'nother level on game day.) So yeah, I can see why they put the Georgia Dome near the bottom. It's the most "meh" stadium in there.

If its the game I'm thinking of, they were probably near-suicidal by the end, which might have been why the ushers wanted to discourage the cheering.

I'm not surprised where the Edward Jones Dome is...the tickets are relatively cheap, which makes up for the "church-like" atmosphere at Rams games today (in terms of noise). I too have heard stories where folks in the lower bowl ask the ushers to ask fellow fans to sit down and be quiet during games. That, and the stadium is slightly better in quality than 3 of the ones below it.

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I'm glad to see the Ralph get some respect. I've been to just two NFL stadiums -- FedEx and Ralph Wilson -- but the experience was night and day. Both stadiums are in the middle of suburbia (FedEx moreso), both are in the top ten of capacity (I'm assuming), and both are outdoor. I've been to Orchard Park four or five times and FedEx just once, but that's partly because unless I'm in a box, I never want to go to FedEx again. I was way high, I had no room, I could barely see, and I felt crammed in on the way to the game, while watching the game, and again on the expressway going home. Just a miserable experience the entire time, even if I did see the burgundy alts in person AND a Giants win (the team I was rooting for). It's different in Buffalo, however. There's a real sense of community among all of the fans before the game, parking isn't horribly expensive (although the last few times I've gone, I've taken a bus from Rochester), and there's stuff to do at the stadium before the game. There is room in all parts of the stadium, food isn't too expensive, and sightlines are good no matter where I've been.

Basically, even though it's a low-frills experience, it's a good one. I compare it to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The sole purpose of the stadium is to present a relatively affordable experience for the common fan to enjoy a game. The proletariat in me respects that.

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At first I got mad at this list for putting the Georgia Dome at the bottom...then I looked at the criteria...and looked at the experiences I've had there myself...and realized it was right. From the color scheme of the dome (pink and green with green seats??? WTF???), to the seating (Sec. 339 is the true Mile High of the NFL), to the experience (built for the other team's fans. I can still remember going to a playoff game and the Event Staff getting mad at some Falcons fans for cheering too loudly in the presence of Ram fans...WTF???), to the traffic (which is always bad, but it's a whole 'nother level on game day.) So yeah, I can see why they put the Georgia Dome near the bottom. It's the most "meh" stadium in there.

On the other hand, idk about anybody else down there in the NO, but I used to LOVE going to the Superdome to see a Saints game. I will give the Saints this: They are probably the most loyal fans in the NFL. The last game I went to was a Rams game, back when the Rams were Super Bowl contenders. Had this game been in Atlanta, I'm guessing that the ratio of fans would've been 70/30 Falcons fans. But, it was at least 95/5 in this case, because the Saints fans turn out. Whether it's in shame (Back in the days of the Aints and the Bagheads...loved those days.) or in joy (recent successes), they always show up. That's why I like Saints fans. But back to the topic of the game experience, it's nice. I liked the seats, they're better than the Dome, and the game experience, like S.I. said, feels like Mardi Gras under a roof, especially when the Saints score/win. So yeah, I loved the experience of going to Saints games. Too bad I'm not a Saints fan. lol.

I agree with all you wrote. My first Saints-Falcons game in Atlanta was in 2001 and I was shocked at the number of Saints fans there. The Falcons were actually booed as they came out for introductions! When the Falcons' offense had third downs, there were chants of "DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!" And it hasn't changed...last season, the Falcons defeated Pittsburgh in the Georgia Dome and TE Alge Crumpler, with tongue in cheek, called it "the best road win we've had in a while."

As for the Superdome, I've been to plenty of games there - from the first one (preseason vs. the Oilers in 1975) to their first playoff win and last year's MNF "return to the Superdome" vs. the Falcons. It's not so great for tailgating since the main parking lots are in a garage and the others are right in the middle of downtown, but not close together. But as for loyal fans who get into the game, I'll put Saints fans against anyone, especially considering the terrible tradition of losing they've endured. Most seasons haven't been much fun but they're still out there.

And last year's MNF game against Atlanta produced the best moment I've ever personally experienced at a sporting event. When Steve Gleason blocked that punt and the Saints recovered for a TD, I have NEVER heard noise like that anywhere. I will never ever forget it.

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And it hasn't changed...last season, the Falcons defeated Pittsburgh in the Georgia Dome and TE Alge Crumpler, with tongue in cheek, called it "the best road win we've had in a while.

I went to that game. If the Falcons had lost that game, Atlanta would've been Pittsburgh South for the rest of that day, instead of the 3 hours that it was. :P

But yeah, I think the only stadium that the Falcons fans really show up in is in Carolina. We beat them last year @ Carolina, and by the 3rd Quarter there was nothing but baby blue seats with red and black patches here and there. If I can find a picture, then you'll see what I mean. But it was great. :D Point is, I know that the Falcons fans get a bad rap for leaving early, but people in Carolina leave at HALFTIME if they're down by at least 10 points.

EDIT: Found the pic. In the words of that oh-so-eloquent poet, Young Jeezy, HA HA!

071706010.jpg

EDIT 2:

If its the game I'm thinking of, they were probably near-suicidal by the end, which might have been why the ushers wanted to discourage the cheering.

It is the game you're thinking of. 2004-05 Divisional Playoffs. Falcons 47, Rams 17, Vick and Dunn at their finest. I will nevar forgetttt. And this one fan who was obviously drunk heckled at the Ram fans leaving, "OH NO! YOU GON STAY FOR THIS ASSWHUPPIN!!!" Ah, good times. It's good to reminisce about the past when the present isn't exactly a present.

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I'm glad to see the Ralph get some respect. I've been to just two NFL stadiums -- FedEx and Ralph Wilson -- but the experience was night and day. Both stadiums are in the middle of suburbia (FedEx moreso), both are in the top ten of capacity (I'm assuming), and both are outdoor. I've been to Orchard Park four or five times and FedEx just once, but that's partly because unless I'm in a box, I never want to go to FedEx again. I was way high, I had no room, I could barely see, and I felt crammed in on the way to the game, while watching the game, and again on the expressway going home. Just a miserable experience the entire time, even if I did see the burgundy alts in person AND a Giants win (the team I was rooting for). It's different in Buffalo, however. There's a real sense of community among all of the fans before the game, parking isn't horribly expensive (although the last few times I've gone, I've taken a bus from Rochester), and there's stuff to do at the stadium before the game. There is room in all parts of the stadium, food isn't too expensive, and sightlines are good no matter where I've been.

Basically, even though it's a low-frills experience, it's a good one. I compare it to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The sole purpose of the stadium is to present a relatively affordable experience for the common fan to enjoy a game. The proletariat in me respects that.

Don't forget about the tailgating. People line up at the gates in RV's on FRIDAY afternoon. Then early on Sunday morning cars roll in and the party begins. It's not just a game here. If the Bills lose the city is depressed until the Bills win.

The parking is expensive in the stadium lot, but you can get lots for $5 a block or two away on someones front yard. The food is cheap for a sporting venue, and the fans are obviously loud and proud. All this said, I am surprised the Ralph is not higher on the list. Cheap, good and loud fans, old but nice stadium, and in my biased opinion the best tailgating in the country.

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This list has made me excited for the weekend. I'm driving from Indy to Pittsburgh tomorrow, staying through the weekend, and going to the Steelers-Browns game on Sunday. I've been to plenty of Steelers games, but you never realize what you miss until you are gone, Indy has nothing on Sundays in Pittsburgh. A well deserved number 2, I say.

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At first I was mad to see Arrowhead at 16, but SI had a lot of great things to say about it:

"The closest to a college atmosphere you can get in the NFL," Chiefs games are "almost a religious experience -- communal chanting, fans slapping each other on the back when times are good and talking each other off the ledge when times are not so good." "From the fans finishing the national anthem with '... and the home of the Chiefs' to the B-2 bomber flyover to the mass cheering from the 'sea of red'-clad fans," football Sundays - or Mondays - have the "feel of an event more than just a game." With a sellout streak that now stretches 16 years, Arrowhead often "sounds like a 777 is taking off right over your head." "After a big play, you literally can't hear someone six inches from you say a word." Others add "they might as well take out the seats because nobody sits down." Chiefs fans "have something different about them" that makes "being in the stands [akin] to be part of a raucous party, and yet, if you are a fan of another team, you are welcome."
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Personally, it could be nice if it was some Sport Management students graduate thesis or dissertation, but for a media company like Time Warner, I think this is pretty bogus. 2 of the 7 categories are biased and even "unfair". For disclosure, the only stadiums I haven't been to are: Baltimore (going in December), Invesco Field (but went to Mile High), Gillette, and Bank of America

1- Team: Look at the bottom third. There are 3 teams with winning records, DAL, NYG, and WAS. DAL and NYG play in two of the oldest facilities not renovated recently.

WAS has put in more seats per row at least once since opening, so you are uncomfortable, especially in November and December as fans wear winter coats. It was damn tight when I was there in December 2001 for a Cowboys game.

2-Neighborhood: Cities generally build stadiums in depressed areas as it is easier to claim "eminent domain" to the courts and take the property. Most are industrial areas or and need to be rebuilt. Plus, what is wrong with " sea of parking lots". I want parking and easy access out. That should be rewarded, not penalized. This is not college, this is more of an indistry rather than Saturday traditions. Plus, look at the rating for JAX. While most of their seats are in between the 20's, look at the nunber of seats covered in tarps. Who made that a great experience?

Add to that tailgating and accessibility categories. Dallas and Miami scores lower than Cleveland and Houston (who encourages taking public transport?). My opinion of Miami is with the neighborhood issue. There was land and Joe Robbie built it. With Texas Stadium, there are "secret or little known" ways in regardless of what parking pass you have. If you don't have a parking pass, then you are really naive.

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A lot of people think the Ed Jones Dome has no atomesphere. It's relatively neutral, but the fans can give it atomesphere. But that won't be happening the way the team is playing.

They are going to be make some major renovations to it soon including trying to bring in some outside light (no idea how) somewhere. Should help.

Anyways, I don't think many people would argue with the low rating for the Rams. But hopefully it will improve.

I don't get to hardly and games at all though anyways. They just cost too dang much.

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OK, now I've had a chance to thoroughly read the section on the Superdome and a couple of things jumped out at me:

This...

"When things are going bad, the only reason you can't hear a pin drop is because of all the people rushing to the exits. People will leave at any given moment if something goes wrong; masses will leave before halftime in a close game because the Saints lost a fumble."

...is complete and total horses**t. It's just flat out wrong. Maybe the person who wrote it runs for the exit if the Saints lose a fumble but as a general statement, it's ridiculous.

And a "Dixieland band that strolls the stadium"? There's been a jazz band from time to time but I've never seen them "stroll the stadium" and as far as I know they have a designated area where they sit. That was one very cool feature of the old Tulane Stadium...when the Saints scored, the jazz band would play a rousing rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In just like a college band strikes up the fight song. They don't seem to do that in the Superdome, or you just can't hear it because the 'dome's acoustics are atrocious - don't ever waste your money to go to a concert there.

Turning to Lambeau, I went to a 2004 preseason game and it...was...AWESOME! Go to our blog and scroll down about halfway for pics if you're interested in having a sense of what it's like. Near the top is also an album from last year's MNF "return to the Superdome" game vs. Atlanta.

Here's my intro to the Lambeau pics:

"An amazing trip in August 2004 took me to Green Bay to see the Saints and Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packer fans are incredible in their devotion to the team, enthusiasm for tailgating, grilling expertise, and their kindness to people like me who have the nerve to wear enemy colors in Green Bay. Several groups insisted that I join them for pre-game snacks, and one cool aspect of the trip was meeting the parents of Saints DB Fred Thomas, RB Rob Karney, and QB Todd Bouman. They were easy to spot, wearing their relatives' jerseys at the game. As you look at the pics, keep in mind that this was a pre-season game. It was sold out and from the atmosphere, you would have thought it was the playoffs."

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OK, now I've had a chance to thoroughly read the section on the Superdome and a couple of things jumped out at me:

This...

"When things are going bad, the only reason you can't hear a pin drop is because of all the people rushing to the exits. People will leave at any given moment if something goes wrong; masses will leave before halftime in a close game because the Saints lost a fumble."

...is complete and total horses**t. It's just flat out wrong. Maybe the person who wrote it runs for the exit if the Saints lose a fumble but as a general statement, it's ridiculous.

Dead-on on this one, Skyaa. That's a load of baloney. I mean, come on we're the fans who are known for staying and putting BAGS over our heads, not for leaving early!

And a "Dixieland band that strolls the stadium"? There's been a jazz band from time to time but I've never seen them "stroll the stadium" and as far as I know they have a designated area where they sit.

Actually Skyaa, not sure when was the last time you have gone to a game in the 'dome, or where you sat, but there IS a small Dixieland quartet that roams the dome as part of the game day experience. They usually go into about every other entry portal on the Club (loge) level and Terrace level, walk out to the landing, and turn around and play a little bit of "When the Saints Go Marching In" directed up the stands to the fans in those sections during TV breaks or timeouts. The sound cannot be heard all over the dome, just in nearby sections. They may also play in the Plaza level, but as they would be BEHIND the seating area, on the entry ramps and walkways behind the last rows, they are not as noticeable in that section. At least I've never noticed them when seating in our company's seats down there.

They did have a bigger jazz band down in the corner by the "Charlie's Saints Marching Club" banner years ago, but I haven't seen them around for many years.

Of course, why less focus on stdium-wide music during breaks? To focus attention on the ads running on the jumbo tron during that time, of course. All about the money.....

B)

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OK, now I've had a chance to thoroughly read the section on the Superdome and a couple of things jumped out at me:

This...

"When things are going bad, the only reason you can't hear a pin drop is because of all the people rushing to the exits. People will leave at any given moment if something goes wrong; masses will leave before halftime in a close game because the Saints lost a fumble."

...is complete and total horses**t. It's just flat out wrong. Maybe the person who wrote it runs for the exit if the Saints lose a fumble but as a general statement, it's ridiculous.

Dead-on on this one, Skyaa. That's a load of baloney. I mean, come on we're the fans who are known for staying and putting BAGS over our heads, not for leaving early!

And a "Dixieland band that strolls the stadium"? There's been a jazz band from time to time but I've never seen them "stroll the stadium" and as far as I know they have a designated area where they sit.

Actually Skyaa, not sure when was the last time you have gone to a game in the 'dome, or where you sat, but there IS a small Dixieland quartet that roams the dome as part of the game day experience. They usually go into about every other entry portal on the Club (loge) level and Terrace level, walk out to the landing, and turn around and play a little bit of "When the Saints Go Marching In" directed up the stands to the fans in those sections during TV breaks or timeouts. The sound cannot be heard all over the dome, just in nearby sections. They may also play in the Plaza level, but as they would be BEHIND the seating area, on the entry ramps and walkways behind the last rows, they are not as noticeable in that section. At least I've never noticed them when seating in our company's seats down there.

They did have a bigger jazz band down in the corner by the "Charlie's Saints Marching Club" banner years ago, but I haven't seen them around for many years.

Of course, why less focus on stdium-wide music during breaks? To focus attention on the ads running on the jumbo tron during that time, of course. All about the money.....

B)

Thanks for the info on the band...the only recent game I've been to is last year's MNF vs. the Falcons.

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Panthers Stadium at #10 is a bit high. it's a great place, good sight lines, easy in/out. but the atsmophere in stadium is way behind what other places have. the in stadium broadcast has few to no replays, boring commercials at every break in the action, not enough scores from around the league, and is just too "fair-weather fan" based. we come late, stagger later after halftime, and leave early. toss in a handful of Boo birds, the fact we're 13yr franchise (w not as established fan base), and the volume of visitor fans "taking over"... i feel the ranking was very generous.

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