Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosted its first Atlanta Falcons game -- an exhibition against the Arizona Cardinals -- Saturday to some rave reviews.
NFL fans will get their first live-action views of the future site of the 2019 Super Bowl when the Green Bay Packers visit Atlanta Sunday, Sept. 17, for a nationally televised game. The rematch of last season’s NFC Championship that closed down the Georgia Dome, will make a much bigger stage than an August exhibition game.
But before then, the Sporting News has ranked the league’s venues ahead of the season. The NFL’s newest facility didn’t outranked some of its more storied homes. It didn’t even list better than some of the most recently built stadiums.
This is how they fall from worst to best (notes on NFC South facilities):
31. FedEx Field (Washington Redskins)
30. Oakland Coliseum (Oakland Raiders)
29. StubHub Center (Los Angeles Chargers)
28. Soldier Field (Chicago Bears)
27. Los Angeles Coliseum (L.A. Rams)
26. Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins)
25. EverBank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars)
24. Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)
It just went through some necessary upgrades, but in relation to a lot of the revved-up, newer stadiums, it’s definitely from the 90s.
23. FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland Browns)
22. Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals)
21. New Era Stadium (Buffalo Bills)
20. Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Bucaneers)
The pirate ship is cool, but with a bunch of new stadiums opening, it has become more middle of the pack.
19. Nissan Stadium (Tennessee Titans)
18. M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens)
17. MetLife Stadium (N.Y. Giants & Jets)
16. Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots)
15. Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos)
14. Lucas Oil Field (Indianapolis Colts)
13. Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
12. NRG Stadium (Houston Texans)
11. Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)
10. Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons)The Georgia Dome wasn’t too old, but it got outdated in a hurry. This will be a big improvement just across the street.
9. U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings)
8. University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals)
7. Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers)
6. Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans Saints)
The last old-school dome standing anywhere in any sport. One won’t find a better indoor party, an extension of the spirit that is New Orleans.
5. Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers)
4. Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)
3. AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)
2. CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks)
1. Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)