Here's a look at 5 of the oldest stadiums in the National Football League (NFL) still in use. Founded in 1920, NFL is widely watched in America and all over the globe. There are 31 stadiums for 32 teams in the league, since the New York Giants and New York Jets share the MetLife Stadium. Here are 5 of the oldest ones:
#5. Arrowhead Stadium (Founded: 1972)
The Arrowhead Stadium is home to the 1969 Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were earlier hosting games at the smaller Municipal Stadium, and officially shifted to the Arrowhead in 1972. The new stadium now has an impressive seating capacity of 76,416. Chiefs fans are known to be one of the most vocal and can easily intimidate their visiting opponents. On October 13, 2013 in a home game against the Oakland Raiders, Chief fans set the Guinness World Record of 137.5 decibels for the loudest roar at an outdoor stadium. Sports Illustrated magazine had once tagged the Arrowhead as the toughest stadium to play in, owing to its loud fans. "When the Chiefs are having a bad season, they're tough to beat at Arrowhead " noted the magazine. You wouldn't certainly want to mess with a Chief fan at this collosal arena.
#4. Qualcomm Stadium (Founded: 1967)
San Diego Chargers owner Barron Hilton spent $27.75 million to present its fans with the then 53,000 capacity Qualcomm Stadium in 1967. Over the years the stadium has undergone a lot of renovations, and now boasts a capacity of 71,500. The stadium is well known for its state-of-the-art facilities and has hosted the Super Bowl on three occasions (1988, 1998 and 2003). Other than NFL matches, Qualcomm is also popular as a venue for football matches. In an International friendly between Argentina and Mexico in 2008, the stadium had 68,498 footfalls. It also hosted pre-season friendlies for clubs like Real Madrid, Portsmouth and Chivas. It was also amongst the venues selected during USA's failed bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
#3. O.co Coliseum (Founded: 1966)
The Oakland Coliseum is home to one of the most successful NFL outfits Oakland Raiders. The Men in Black have won the Super Bowl thrice (in 1976, 1980 and 1983) and have ended runners-up in 1967 and last in 2002. The Coliseum has a crowd capacity of 63,132 and is home to some of the most passionate and loyal fans. The Coliseum also hosts football matches and was host to some of the matches at the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which Mexico were crowned champions. The Colisem has a very unique design, in which the playing surface is actually 21 feet below ground level to give it more depth in look.
#2. Lambeau Field (Founded: 1957)
One of the most popular and iconic NFL teams Green Bay Packers call the Lambeau Field their home. It opened in 1957 and in 1965 was named in memory of Packers founder, player and long-time head coach Curly Lambeau. Lambeau is revered for its history and traditions attached to the stadium. One of the most famous traditions followed at the 'Frozen Tundra' is the 'Lambeau Leap'. In this long-followed tradition, a Packers player jumps into the end zone and stands after scoring a touchdown. The Sports Illustrated magazine has rated the Lambeau Field as the best stadium experience in NFL, in 2007 and 2008. Although there has been a mammoth increase in the crowd capacity of the ground since its early days, demand for tickets still remain high. The Packers astonishingly have sold out every single home game since 1960. According to their official website www.Packers.com, the season ticket waiting list has 81,000 names and are informed that the average waiting time is 30 years!
#1. Soldier Field (Founded: 1924)
Home to the Chicago Bears, the Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in the NFL. Originally known as the Grant Park Municipal Stadium, it opened its doors on October 9, 1924 after incurring a cost of $13 million. It is comparatively limited in crowd capacity (63,500) and is the third-smallest stadium in the NFL. It underwent major renovations worth $365 million in 2003 to upgrade its infrastructure. The fans were critical of the new upgrades as they thought it robbed the stadium of its old world charm. In May 2012, it became the first NFL stadium to achieve the coveted ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) status for its design, construction and maintenance of green neighbourhoods. The Soldier Field also has a famous visitor in USA President Barack Obama, who is a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and often visits their home games.Published 11 Jun 2014, 13:59 IST