It’s incredible how much history is behind some of the oldest football stadiums.
Since 1892, when the first professional football game occurred, the sport’s popularity has risen. Millions of fans tune in to watch the games each week, as dozens of professional football clubs are now in the United States.
Despite the game’s recurrent evolution, one constant is the priority of home-field advantage. A team’s home stadium is always a special place. And the history that comes with some of the oldest stadiums in the league is truly fascinating.
Did you know the oldest NFL stadium, Memorial Coliseum, is the only one that has hosted the Olympics, Super Bowl, and World Series?
Let’s dive into the oldest stadiums in America and discover the most compelling details about them.
14 – FirstEnergy Stadium (1999)
The Dawg Pound, FirstEnergy’s end-zone bleachers, is one of the most intimidating places for any visiting team. The complex is home to the Cleveland Browns and has a capacity of 67,895.
The Dawg Pound is one of the most iconic places in the NFL. Passionate, brown-orange-clad fans, barking the hell out of their lungs, get under the skin of every opposing team.
13 – Raymond James Stadium (1998)
This ground is a sight to behold, with a pirate ship decorating the north end zone. It houses the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and features a capacity of 65,618, making it one of the smaller stadiums on this list.
But who cares about the crowd’s size when the ship fires real cannons whenever the Buccaneers score a touchdown?
Record-breaking history occurred on the field as the Buccaneers became the first Super Bowl winners to play on their grounds.
12 – M&T Bank Stadium (1998)
Being the first professional US sports complex to bag a USGBC gold certification, this is one of the eco-friendlier stadiums. It’s home to the Baltimore Ravens and has a capacity of 71,008.
M&T Bank Stadium is one of the most comfortable and technologically advanced stadiums. Fans can enjoy fast 10Gbps internet as they follow the match.
11 – FedEx Field (1997)
Once the largest NFL stadium, FedEx, at an 82,000 capacity, is only 500 seats less than MetLife (currently leader).
The home of the Washington Commanders has undergone several renovations and expansions since its construction in 1997. The most significant one was a two-month 2021 upgrade involving a change of over a foot of grass and soil.
While much younger than other stadiums like Soldier Field, it’s had some of the biggest mishaps. Some consider it the worst NFL stadium.
10 – Bank of America Stadium (1996)
As the home of the Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium has seen some exciting football games.
This stadium is one of the first to incorporate a corporate name into its title. Bank of America paid $140 million for the 20-year naming rights in 2004. With a capacity of 75,412, it’s one of the largest NFL stadiums.
9 – TIAA Bank Field (1995)
Beginning a nine-year cycle of at least one new stadium a year is TIAA Bank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It has a seating capacity of 67,164.
This stadium is notable for its two massive video screens, which were once the largest in the NFL. These two displays tower over the field at 362 feet long and 60 feet high each. That’s almost one football field combined!
8 – Hard Rock Stadium (1987)
The home of the Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, has seen some of the biggest names in the NFL pass through its halls.
With a capacity of 65,326, it’s one of the smaller stadiums on this list. But it makes up for it with its retractable roof and state-of-the-art facilities.
In 2015, the Hard Rock Stadium underwent a $350 million renovation. This update included adding a video control room, new VIP lounges, video boards on all corners, and an upgraded sound system.
7 – Caesars Superdome (1975)
The Superdome is a massive, world-renowned stadium that’s hosted some of the most significant sporting events in recent memory.
As the home of the New Orleans Saints, it’s seen its share of die-hard fans. The stadium has a capacity of 74,295, but it often packs in up to 83,000 people during center-stage concerts.
The Superdome has hosted several Super Bowls, the Final Four, and WrestleMania.
6 – Highmark Stadium (1973)
The Buffalo Bills’ home stadium, Highmark, features a capacity of 71,608. With it once peaking at over 80,000, it’s interesting to see such a decline in numbers. The Bills seem to like smaller venues, as they plan to have the smallest NFL stadium by 2027.
Though situated in one of the coldest locations, Highmark lacks heating features. One of the unique things about this stadium is the rubber-filled A-Turf Titan 50. Highmark is the only NFL stadium with this turf type.
5 – Arrowhead Stadium (1972)
Coming four places shy of the top is Arrowhead Stadium, the cream of the loudest NFL stadiums. It’s the home of the Kansas City Chiefs and can hold up to 76,416 screaming fans.
At 142.2 decibels, this location set the global record for the highest stadium crowd shout in 2014. It’s the place to be if you need somewhere to vent your frustrations.
4 – Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (1966)
The Coliseum is the only stadium on this list that’s shared by an MLB and NFL team. It’s currently the home of the Oakland Raiders and the Oakland Athletics.
After a renovation that added 22,000 seats, the field relinquished its smallest NFL stadium title to Soldier Field. The Coliseum now has a seating capacity of 63,132.
3 -Lambeau Field (1957)
Embodying the meaning of “old is gold,” Lambeau Field is arguably at the top of the best NFL stadiums. Nestled in the small town of Green Bay, Wisconsin, this stadium is the home of the Packers. It boasts a capacity of 81,441, making it one of the NFL’s largest.
On December 31, 1967, the “Ice Bowl” was played there, pitting the Packers against the Dallas Cowboys in one of the coldest games on record. The conditions were brutal, with a temperature averaging -13℉ and a wind chill of -33 to -37℉. The game is widely considered one of the best in NFL history.
2 -Soldier Field (1924)
While not the oldest stadium used by the league, this gem claims the title of the oldest NFL stadium still in use.
Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Soldier Field has a long and complicated history. Its original architecture was Doric-styled, earning it a National Historic Landmark status in 1987.
The most significant change to the stadium was a controversial one. In 2002, the stadium underwent a major revamp, adding dozens of luxury suites and drastically changing the look of the iconic venue.
1 – LA Memorial Coliseum (1923)
Leading the pack is the Memorial Coliseum, 28 years younger than the oldest college football stadium, Franklin Field. Though no longer used by the NFL, its capacity of 78,467 dwarfs most of the league’s stadiums, with only three surpassing it.
Having hosted the Super Bowl, World Series, and Olympic games, this one-of-a-kind stadium has seen plenty of action. The complex was home to the LA Rams between 1946-79.
NFL Stadium FAQs: We Bet You Didn’t Know These Too
Which NFL Stadium Is the Smallest?
The smallest NFL stadium is Soldier field, though it has an impressive 61,500 capacity. Though it’s the second oldest, it’s incredible how this is the oldest stadium still used by the NFL.
What Was the First Indoor NFL Stadium?
The first indoor NFL stadium was the Astrodome. The Houston-based stadium began operating in 1965. It was the work of Roy Hofheinz with architects H. Lloyd and W. Morgan.
The Oilers called it home starting in 1968 but moved from Houston in 1997 and switched to Tennessee Titans.
Who Has the Biggest NFL Screen?
Sofi Stadium has the biggest NFL screen, weighing a record-breaking 1000 tons. The 120-yard Samsung Infinity screen stays suspended 122 feet above the ground.
Which NFL Stadium has Hosted Most Playoff Games?
Heinz Field stadium has hosted the most playoff games. As of press time, 13 playoff games have occurred at the stadium.
There you have it: the 14 oldest NFL stadiums. We hope you learned something and are planning to tour one of them and marvel at their beauty.
While it may not mean much to some, finding yourself closest to the field is an excellent opportunity to view your faves up close. Who knows? They may even hand you some signed memorabilia to take home.
Some of these souvenirs, like balls used to break records, are worth over a million dollars. You must be dying to get your hands on one, right?
Check out answers to “can football fans keep the ball?” Maybe you’ll strike gold on your next visit to one of these “oldies!”