The five largest capacity NFL stadiums in America

The five largest capacity NFL Stadiums in America, US sport building images, Sports arena architecture structures

The Five Largest Capacity NFL Stadiums in America

post updated February 10, 2024

Everyone knows that Americans are crazy about sports and that they love nothing more than to be the biggest and best at everything they do. Those two characteristics combine when it comes to their sports stadiums, with the United States being the home to some of the largest capacity sporting arenas worldwide. American Football is the most popular North American sport, and, as a result, some of the stadiums used by the National Football League (NFL) franchises are out of this world.

The Five Largest Capacity NFL Stadiums in America

August 8, 2023

It is not only the top-tier NFL teams that have stadiums with huge capacities because college football is massive in the States. College and university sports are usually played for the fun of doing so in most parts of the world, but they are big businesses in the U.S. The Alabama Crimson Tide are hot picks in the Alabama betting markets online, and they play at the Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, a 100,077-capacity stadium. That ranks as only the eighth-largest in the United States by capacity! However, let us forget about college football for now and concentrate on the might of the NFL and their incredible homes.

MetLife Stadium – New York Giants and New York Jets – 82,500 capacity

The MetLife Stadium is located at 1 MetLife Stadium Drive, East Rutherford, New Jersey, and is the shared home of the New York Giants and New York Jets. 360 Architecture, EwingCole, Rockwell Group, and Bruce Mau Design were all involved in the mega project, which began in 2005.

The Architects’ brief was to design a neutral stadium that embodies the personalities of both teams. The New York Giants management favored a traditional exposed steel look, while those in charge of the New York Jets wanted a modern look featuring steel and glass.

After much deliberation, the architects submitted plans for a limestone-like stonework facade, with the rest of the stadium clad in an outer skin of aluminum louvers and glass. Interior lighting can switch from blue to green, depending on which team uses the stadium.

Ground broke on September 5, 2007, with the MetLife Stadium opening a little under three years later on April 10, 2010. Overall, the costs ran to $1.6 billion and would have been more had a proposal for a retractable roof not been quashed during the design stage.

Lambeau Field – Green Bay Packers – 81,441 capacity

The Five Largest Capacity NFL Stadiums in America

Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, is the second-oldest NFL stadium used today, having opened to the football-loving public in 1957. Only the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field (1924) has been in use for longer. You can find Lambeau Field at 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Somerville Associates were the architects tasked with designing a new home for the Green Bay Packers, which was to be the first modern stadium built specifically for an NFL franchise. The overall cost was $960,000 – the equivalent of just $10 million in 2023 – and for that, the Packers received a 32,500-capacity stadium.

Several expansions and stadium renovations occurred as football and the Packers’ popularity grew. Four years after Lambeau Field opened, an additional 6,000 seats were added, and the capacity increased to 56,263 by 1970. Further expansions were completed over the next couple of decades, taking the number of seats to 60,890 by 1995.

Ellerbe Becket was given a $295 million budget to renovate the stadium in January 2000, with Turner Construction Sports conducting the construction management. This large-scale renovation took three years and resulted in an 81,441 capacity. There is every chance the Packers will either expand again or build a new stadium because demand for tickets far outweighs demand; there is a 115,000-person waiting list that is expected to take 30 years to clear!

AT&T Stadium – Dallas Cowboys – 80,000 capacity

The AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, has an 80,000-seat capacity and is the largest NFL stadium by capacity, featuring a retractable roof. HKS Inc. were the architects, with project lead Bryan Trubey wanting to design something that was not just a stadium but built like a civic structure.

Original estimates put the cost at $650 million, but the stadium’s actual construction costs almost doubled to $1.15 billion. There are a pair of 300 ft tall arches spanning the length of the stadium’s dome, making the dome one of the tallest in the world. Bizarrely, the AT&T Stadium is orientated east-west instead of north-south, which allows sunlight to interfere with players’ vision under certain weather conditions, much to the annoyance of those players.

Structural engineering firm Walter P Moore designed the retractable roof, which allows the stadium to be used regardless of the elements.

Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City Chiefs – 76,416 capacity

The Arrowhead Stadium is where the Kansas City Chiefs have played their home fixtures since 1972, although there have been expansions in 1995 and 1997 and an extensive renovation between 2007 and 2010. The stadium cost $43 million in 1972 ($301 million today)

Denver-based architect Charles Deaton and Kansas City Chiefs general manager Jack Steadman had grand plans for a two-stadium build. They wanted a home for the football team with an adjoining baseball park. However, the two-stadium concept was scrapped, and Kansas City firm Kivett & Myres was responsible for the design process.

The bowl design sees sounds reverberate around the stadium, resulting in often deafening crowd noise. Indeed, in 1990, the crowd was so loud that the referee threatened to penalize the Chiefs if the supporters did not quiet down! In October 2013, the Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium was broken, with noise levels reaching 137.5 decibels. For comparison, a military jet taking off with its afterburner running 50- ft away from a person generates 130 decibels!

Empower Field at Mile High – Denver Broncos – 76,125

The Denver Broncos’ Empower Field at Mile High Stadium gives them a distinct home advantage. Not only are most of the 76,125 fans there to support the Broncos (and they do so exceptionally loudly), but the stadium was built 5,280 feet above sea level.
HNTB and Fentress Architects worked on the plans for the Broncos’ new home, with ground breaking on August 17, 1999, and construction completed almost precisely two years later on August 11, 2001. Construction cost $400.9 million ($704 million today).

A fire broke out on March 24, 2022, which destroyed approximately 1,000 seats. Investigators found sparks from a welding torch used on an expansion joint caused the fire.

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