What Are the Best Sports Stadiums?
It’s hard to compare the hair-raising feeling that live sports gives fans. Thousands of sports fans from all four corners of the U.S. make the weekly pilgrimage to sports stadiums located around North America. They soak up the atmosphere and cheer their team on amongst other like-minded supporters. There’s nothing quite like it.
As each sports stadium provides a unique spectacle, we are sharing the top 10 best sports stadiums in America that you need to put on your bucket list. From the biggest sports stadiums in the world to some of the most historic grandstands in history, join us as we compare America’s best sports stadiums and take a look at which has the overall best match-day experience.
1. Indianapolis Speedway
- Indianapolis 500.
- Brickyard 400.
- Verizon 200.
- 257,327 (fixed seats).
- Can hold 400,000 spectators in total.
Housing the largest capacity crowds globally, the Indianapolis Speedway is hallowed turf for petrol heads worldwide. The race track is best known as the largest and second-oldest, purpose-built, oval-banked race track, with its first race being held on August 14, 1909. Housing perhaps the greatest spectacles in motorsport, the Indianapolis 500 race is considered part of the Triple Crown of motorsport, which includes the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans. But with up to 400,000 spectators in attendance at the race every year, it is a historic sporting event you do not want to miss.
2. Staples Center
- LA Clippers (basketball).
- LA Lakers.
- LA Kings (hockey).
- 19,060 (basketball).
- 18,230 (hockey).
The Staples Center in Las Angeles is one of the most iconic venues in American sport. Playing host to some of the greatest athletes the world has ever witnessed, many fans who have been to the Staples Center recall memories of how the world’s best players set the court or the ice alight at this west coast coliseum. From the likes of Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, or Magic Johnson, the arena is renowned for the talent who have played there. So, make sure to catch a game at the arena when you are next out in Los Angeles.
3. Arrowhead Stadium
- Teams: Kansas City Chiefs.
- Capacity: 76,416.
This is not the largest stadium in the NFL, but it is by far one of the loudest and most exciting to go and visit. I’d describe this stadium as a bear pit and a tough place for any visiting side to come and win at. The stadium’s bowl structure and raucous noise from their fans means the Chiefs are surrounded by a wall of noise. (I’m not quite sure how quarterback Patrick Mahomes hears any calls through his helmet!) In and around the ground, you will find fans reveling in motorcades, barbeques and hotdog stands that feature some of the best food in the south. Be sure to get there early to soak up the atmosphere.
4. Madison Square Garden
- New York Knicks.
- New York Liberty.
- New York Rangers
- 19,812 (basketball).
- 18,006 (hockey).
Stretching 820,000 square feet in size, Madison Square Garden has to be one of the most famous exhibition centers in the world. The stadium is home to one of the oldest basketball teams in America: the New York Knicks. It has also hosted some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Elvis Presley and John Lennon’s final appearance on stage.
While it is not the most high-tech stadium in North America, Madison Square Garden is historic in American culture. It's renowned worldwide for the events that have taken place under its roof. Plus, if you can manage to snag tickets to see a sports event here, you are in for one of the most intimate and spine-tingling sports experiences in the world.
5. TPC Scottsdale
- Events: PGA Tour — The Phoenix Waste Management Open.
- Capacity: 700,000 over four days.
Featuring the loudest hole in golf, the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, Arizona, is renowned for providing one of the most electric atmospheres in golf. Players, fans and pundits revel in the raucous atmosphere created at the par 3 16th hole on the course, adorned with four huge grandstands packed to the rafters with patrons who sprint across the course to secure their seats at this iconic hole. The atmosphere is something you must experience, even if you are not a golf fan. Just listen to the noise of the crowd when Francesco Molinari or Jarrod Lyle both holed out on the incredible 16th hole.
6. Citi Field
- Teams: New York Mets.
- Capacity: 45,186 (record-high attendance).
Rivaled with the Yankee Stadium, Citi Field is considered one of the best baseball parks in North America. Located directly opposite Flushing Meadows, the site of the annual U.S. Open, Citi Field is one of the best stadiums in the U.S. for amenities, food and general fan satisfaction. In addition, it is easy to get to from downtown New York, with its purpose-built metro station situated just outside the stadium. The stadium's only drawback is that it is located quite far from any restaurants or bars, so fans will need to plan their day out at the stadium in advance.
7. Fenway Park
- Teams: Boston Red Sox.
- Capacity: 37,731.
Perhaps the most historic and unique sporting arenas in the world, Fenway Park is an icon of baseball and hallowed turf in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Even if you are not able to catch a game here, attending a stadium tour is a must. It will give you a glimpse of the stadium's Green Monster — perhaps the most unique structure ever built into a sports arena in the world. This stadium is not just about history though, as baseball is a religion in Boston. The buzz and atmosphere around the ground are among the best I have ever experienced in any sport. Fans line the streets and causeways outside the ground, and once they enter through the turnstiles, you are in one of the most intimate and smallest ballparks in the U.S., but by no means the quietest. The buzz is electric.
8. Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Atlanta Falcons (American football).
- Atlanta United FC (soccer).
Currently making the headlines as the birthplace of Kanye West's latest album Donda, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, is perhaps one of the most modern and high-tech stadiums built. Architecturally, this stadium is simply stunning. With its retractable pinwheel roof, surrounded by its 100-foot halo, ring-shaped video board, fans attending this stadium will marvel at the design that has gone into this behemoth of a stadium. For the fan experience, one of the best things about this stadium is that it has partnered with local food chains, restaurants and chefs to build up a network of local concessions within the stadium itself. So, you are never far from good food in this stadium.
9. Michigan Stadium
- Team: Michigan Wolverines.
- Capacity: 107,601.
American Football's largest stadium is a must-visit if you are ever passing through the town of Ann Arbour. Playing host to the Michigan Wolverines college team, game days are a buzz of noise, motorcades and excitement around the stadium. But once inside, the roar of the 100,000 strong fanbase is deafening. If you are lucky enough to catch the Wolverines playing against their local rivals (Ohio State), you will experience a level of passion that is unique to these northeastern college powerhouses.
10. Augusta National
- Event: The Masters.
- Capacity: 35,000 to 40,000.
Although not a sports stadium per se, the Augusta National Golf Course is perhaps the most prestigious sports arena in the U.S. and perhaps even in the world. Playing host to golf's most coveted prize — The Masters — patrons watch on as the world's best golfers go battle it out to win golf's iconic Green Jacket. But there is something extra special about the atmosphere of The Masters that separates it from other sporting events across the country. Whether it is the range of iconic sandwiches at the concession stands or the roar that beckons through the surrounding pine trees when a player holes out from off the green, this historic golf course provides a uniquely breathtaking atmosphere for the patrons and golfers who walk its fairways.