Football Stadiums: A Guide to Professional and Top College Stadiums

Overview

Football Stadiums tells the stories of about 150 of the great stadiums — active and retired — across the country that have hosted pro football or college football play. They are home to current NFL franchises and the best college teams and a source of endless fascination, research, discussion, and even pilgrimages. To serious fans, they are hallowed ground.

The NFL Stadiums chapters cover the big winners and the forever determined. Teams include the Miami Dolphins, New England ...

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Overview

Football Stadiums tells the stories of about 150 of the great stadiums — active and retired — across the country that have hosted pro football or college football play. They are home to current NFL franchises and the best college teams and a source of endless fascination, research, discussion, and even pilgrimages. To serious fans, they are hallowed ground.

The NFL Stadiums chapters cover the big winners and the forever determined. Teams include the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.

College stadiums are home to impassioned youth, future NFLers and the devoted communities they call home. They include Aloha Stadium (Hawaii), Autzen Stadium (Oregon), Cotton Bowl (Dallas), Folsom Field (Boulder), Memorial Stadium (Clemson), Michigan
Stadium (Ann Arbor), Rose Bowl (Pasadena), Yale Bowl (New Haven) and Memorial Stadium (Champaign).

Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, has been called "a shrine to pro football." It takes just over 73,000 fans to fill its seats yet more than 81,000 names are on the season-ticket waiting list. The average wait time is 30 years. That's just one of the country's many stadiums that embody the spirit of the game. Football Stadiums is a loving tribute to the sport's greatest shrines.

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Editorial Reviews

American Profile - Neil Pond
Hallowed ground to serious sports fans, stadiums are shrines of near mythical proportion where legends are forged. Giving this handsome roundup of 130 major coliseums including all 32 current NFL stadiums, 77 college stadiums, and 35 other famous or now-d
Library Journal
01/01/2014
There have been scores of books extolling the variety and romantic virtues of major league baseball parks, but the handful of books covering football's generally more uniform stadiums have tended to focus exclusively on college stadiums or parking lot tailgating, so Freedman's book is distinctive owing to its treatment of pro venues. The book is divided into three sections. The first has entries on the 32 current NFL stadiums, with information including dates of construction and upgrades, capacity, costs of construction and renovation, and "Memorable Moments," as well as a brief history of the stadium. The second section does the same for around 75 college stadiums, and the third lists 36 former professional gridirons. Usually, the current pro entries feature three large color photographs and several "Memorable Moments," while the college entries provide fewer of each. Former stadiums are illustrated by one small photograph, often black and white, and lack "Memorable Moments." Many of the color photographs are generously laid out. VERDICT A nice compendium that conveniently brings together some arcane facts and particulars, this cross between a reference book and a pictorial work will appeal to hard-core football fans.—John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770852174
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 273,669
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lew Freedman is an author and sports editor for The Republic in Columbus, Indiana, where he lives. He has been sports editor with the Chicago Tribune, where he covered the Bears, and has worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Anchorage Daily News. His books include Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History and Chicago Bears Stadium Tales.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 NFL Stadiums

AFC East
Buffalo Bills Orchard Park NY
Miami Dolphins Miami Gardens FL
New England Patriots Foxboro MA
New York Jets Florham Park NJ

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens Baltimore MD
Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati OH
Cleveland Browns Cleveland OH
Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh PA

AFC South
Houston Texans Houston TX
Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis IN
Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville FL
Tennessee Titans Nashville TN

AFC West
Denver Broncos Denver CO
Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City MO
Oakland Raiders Oakland CA
San Diego Chargers San Diego CA

NFC
East
Dallas Cowboys Arlington TX
New York Giants East Rutherford NJ
Philadelphia Eagles PA
Washington Redskins Landover MD

NFC North
Chicago Bears Chicago IL
Detroit Lions Detroit MI
Green Bay Packers Green Bay WI
Minnesota Vikings Minneapolis MN

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons Atlanta GA
Carolina Panthers Charlotte NC
New Orleans Saints New Orleans LA
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa FL

NFC West
Arizona Cardinals Glendale AZ
St. Louis Rams St Louis MO
San Francisco 49ers San Francisco CA
Seattle Seahawks Seattle WA

2 College Football Stadiums

Aloha Stadium Honolulu HI
Amon G. Carter Stadium Fort Worth
TX
Arizona Stadium Tucson AZ
Autzen Stadium Eugene OR
Beaver Stadium University Park PA
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field Gainsville FL
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium Manhattan KS
Blaik Field at Michie Stadium West Point NY
Bobby Bowden Field Tallahassee FL
Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field Atlanta GA
Boone Pickens Stadium Stillwater OK
Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium DeKalb IL
Bright House Networks Stadium Orlando FL
Bronco Stadium Boise ID
Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa AL
Byrd Stadium College Park MD
California Memorial Stadium Berkeley CA
Camp Randall Stadium Madison WI
Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh NC
Commonwealth Stadium Lexington KY
Cotton Bowl Dallas TX
Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
Austin TX
Davis Wade Stadium Starkville MS
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Greenville NC
Falcon Stadium Colorado Springs CO
Fawcett Stadium Canton OH
Floyd Casey Stadium Waco TX
Folsom Field Boulder CO
Frank Broyles Field Fayetteville AK
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Norman OK
Gerald J. Ford Stadium University Park TX
High Point Solutions Stadium Piscataway NJ
Husky Stadium Seattle WA
Jack Trice Stadium Ames IA
Jones AT&T Stadium Lubbock TX
Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn AL
Kenan Memorial Stadium Chapel Hill NC
Kinnick Stadium Iowa City IA
Kyle Field College Station TX
Lane Stadium Blacksburg VA
LaVell Edwards Stadium Provo UT
Legion Field Birmingham AL
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Memphis TN
Los
Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles CA
Memorial Stadium Clemson SC
Memorial Stadium Champagne IL
Memorial Stadium Bloomington IN
Memorial Stadium Lawrence KS
Memorial Stadium Lincoln NE
Michigan Stadium Ann Arbor MI
M. M. Roberts Stadium Hattiesburg MI
Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium Morgantown WV
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Annapolis MD
Neyland Stadium Knoxville TN
Nippert Stadium Cincinnati OH
Notre Dame Stadium South Bend IN
Ohio Stadium Columbus OH
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Louisville KY
Rentschler Field East Hartford CT
Reser Stadium Corvallis OR
Rice Stadium Houston TX
Rice-Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City UT
Robertson Stadium Houston TX
Rose Bowl Pasadena CA
Ross-Ade Stadium West Lafayette
IN
Ryan Field Evanston IL
Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas NV
Scott Stadium Charlottesville VA
Spartan Stadium East Lansing MI
Stanford Stadium Stanford CA
Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso TX
Sun Devil Stadium Tempe AZ
TCF Bank Stadium Minneapolis MN
Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge LA
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field Oxford MI
Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia SC
Yale Bowl New Haven CT

3 Famous and Demolished Stadiums

Anaheim Stadium Los Angeles CA
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Atlanta GA
Busch Memorial Stadium St. Louis MI
Cleveland Stadium Cleveland OH
County Stadium Milwaukee WI
Ebbets Field Brooklyn NJ
Forbes Field Pittsburgh PA
Foxboro Stadium Foxborough MA
Gator Bowl
Stadium Jacksonville FL
John F. Kennedy Stadium Philadelphia PA
Kezar Stadium San Francisco CA
Kingdome Seattle WA
Memorial Stadium Baltimore MD
Memorial Stadium Minneapolis MN
Metropolitan Stadium Bloomington MN
Miami Orange Bowl Miami FL
Mile High Stadium Denver CO
Municipal Stadium Kansas City MO
Pitt Stadium Pittsburgh PA
Polo Grounds New York NY
Pontiac Silverdome Pontiac MI
RCA Dome Indianapolis IN
Reliant Astrodome Houston TX
Riverfront Stadium Cincinnati OH
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Washington DC
Shea Stadium New York NY
Shibe Park Philadelphia PA
Sportsman's Park St. Louis MO
Tampa Stadium Tampa FL
Texas Stadium Dallas TX
Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh PA
Tiger Stadium
Detroit MI
Tulane Stadium New Orleans LA
Veterans Stadium Philadelphia PA
War Memorial Stadium Buffalo NY
Yankee Stadium New York NY

Index

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Preface

Introduction

The word "stadium" connotes something big and impressive, a vast acreage with seats stretching to the sky. In our minds stadiums are larger than other sports venues, with mythical proportions linking back to the Roman Colosseum—or Coliseum—that could seat 50,000, an unbelievable figure when compared to today's stadiums. Even though Italy didn't have a football team at the time it was built—between 72 and 80 A.D. (yes, construction took eight years)—it may justifiably be said that the Colosseum is the ancestor of all football stadiums. The word "coliseum" has its roots in the word "colossal." The Colosseum's construction of concrete and stone provided an enduring formidability that seems appropriate.

Then, as now, the stadium is a community gathering place, an opportunity for sporting fans to come together and cheer for favorites in competition. In Rome the spectacles regularly featured gladiators, and now,
football players are often referred to as gladiators. Some football stadiums are among the most famous buildings in the country. The Los Angeles Coliseum may be most actively used for football, but it twice hosted the Summer Olympics. Yankee Stadium was built for baseball, but was home to professional football for decades. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, is an incredibly significant landmark, not because it is the weekly home of a football team, but because it is the home stadium of the most popular annual college football game.

College football was more popular than the pros during much of the 20th century, and end-of-the-season holiday bowl games helped to make the names of the host stadiums widely known even among non-dedicated fans who never ventured far from their recliners. Following in prominence behind the Rose Bowl were the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Cotton Bowl and even casual sports fans recognized those place names—and they may have secretly wished to visit them one day.

Television spread the lore of individual stadiums. When a sports fan tuned in on a Saturday he was often presented with a spectacle unique to a region and the names of the local coliseums reverberated.

During the Roman Coliseum's heyday a gathering spot that could hold 50,000 people was gargantuan. Yet gradually, as passions increased and spread, with some college football teams carrying the hopes and dreams of entire regions, campus stadiums were expanded, and expanded ... and expanded. Relying on the sharpest architects to preserve the unique, sentimental traits of an aging building while managing to update the seat selection and other amenities, colleges poured hundreds of millions of dollars into enlarging their beloved stadiums. The result is that many of the largest sporting venues in the United States are college football stadiums. Each Saturday in the fall when home games are scheduled,
more than 100,000 people collect at Penn State University, the University of Tennessee, Ohio State University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Austin, Texas. The Los Angeles Coliseum used to be larger, but remodeling trimmed capacity to the 93,000 range. These are the biggest buildings in the nation where people gather to view an activity more than once or twice a year. They are eclipsed in size only by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, selected auto racing tracks, and a few horse racing tracks.

No National Football League stadium tops official accommodation of more than 80,000 people, although the recently built Cowboys Stadium in Texas was somehow configured to hold more than 100,000 people for the 2011 Super Bowl.

Size alone does not define the atmosphere of a stadium. Sometimes new and gleaming construction efforts are pleasing to the eye and engage the senses. In more tradition-bound communities when the stadium needs work,
the local powers gave considerable thought to the form it should take.

In Chicago, home of the Bears, when the team felt aging Soldier Field had to be updated, the challenge was to add modern amenities yet not tamper with the fundamental structure that had won the stadium a place on the list as a National Historic Landmark. The fact that they did not succeed doesn't belittle their attempts, rather it reflects the rigidity of the powers that administer the heritage list system.

In Green Bay, the continuous, mushrooming popularity of the Packers convinced team officials that the stadium where the team played, built in 1957, needed major renovation. They have repeatedly tweaked and lovingly worked with the original to expand seating and add new features. Fans become very attached to their stadiums. Neither Chicago residents nor Green Bay residents would have been easily persuaded to favor building entirely new ones. One thing all stadiums have in common is the potential to be an integral part of the scene when special memories are made. Ultimately, it is up to the performance of the stadium's team to become progenitors of those memories, but the site is always inexplicably linked to the achievement. There is always an added luster when an accomplishment is recorded at home.

Home-field advantage is often spoken of in sports: it is as if the inanimate stadium and the very animated fans collude to create a special atmosphere in support of the gladiators representing the community. It is human nature to respond better to cheers than boos. If a big game is won, a championship is captured, then the stadium where it occurred becomes part of the story line.

Stadiums play one additional role in the making of enduring memories. With the exception of the extensive festivities that generally attend the grand opening of a stadium, it takes time for a stadium to earn its stripes. Yes,
fans will be proud to say they were there the day the first game was ever played at a new stadium. But in the psyche of the fan, longevity matters more. Stadiums become the home for generations of the same family—father takes son to the game, who takes his own son to the game, then grandfather, father, and grandson attend together. The stadium is one of the most important common denominators, so long as the amenities are kept up to date.

Players and coaches come and go. Years pass and families go through changes. The stadium—made of concrete and steel—remains.

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