I was introduced to football games as a young girl. My uncle is the biggest Redskins’ fan I know, so naturally I was locked into being a fan as well. I attended games with him during my younger years, but I’ll be completely honest that I didn’t know everything about the game. It wasn’t until I attended college at Virginia Tech that I started learning all the details. Next thing I knew, it became an obsession. I loved going to games, playing fantasy football, and watching every red zone coverage on TV.
Soon I made it a goal to visit every single NFL stadium. I love to travel and I love football, so I figured this would be a perfect goal for me to work on achieving. There’s something about going to different stadiums and getting a feel of that team’s fan experience that is just so fulfilling. Now, I’m sure it will take me years to actually check off this bucket list item, but I’m determined to make it happen. My good friend, Christian, and I try to attend at least two away games each season. We do make repeated visits (he’s a Colts fan, so we’ve gone to Lucas Oil Stadium a handful of times), so that may make this list even harder to complete. Below is a list of stadiums that I’ve been to so far with details on my experience and what to expect.
FedEx Field: Home of the Washington Redskins
Location: 1600 FedEx Way, Greater Landover, MD 20785
Game(s) I attended: Too many to keep track of
How to Get There: I find that the easiest way to get to FedEx is by car. The metro will also get you there, but coming from VA it is long and unpredictable. Assign a designated driver and car pool with friends to get the game. Just be sure to purchase a parking pass! There are cash lots around, but be prepared to walk a good distance if you decide to park in one.
Experience: FedEx is my hometown stadium; however, it is probably my least favorite stadium that I’ve been to. For one, it isn’t actually in D.C. or even close by. The venue itself is pretty standard with nothing that truly stands out. The fans can sometimes get too rowdy and disrespectful. I’ve witnessed many fights here. If you go to a NFC East game here, it is almost guaranteed that the crowd will be split 50/50 with fans of the opposing team. Also, there are many seats in the 200 section that have obstructed view, so be aware when purchasing tickets. I’d much rather go to Redskins away games than a home game.
M&T Bank Stadium: Home of the Baltimore Ravens
Location: 1101 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 21230
Game(s) I attended: Colts vs Ravens 2010
How to Get There: Located in Baltimore, this stadium is an easy drive from where I live in Virginia. The stadium is located downtown, so there is ample parking nearby. During my visit, I parked in a garage and walked over the stadium. There are plenty of cash garages available, so no need to for a parking pass unless you plan to tailgate.
Experience: This was my first “away” stadium that I visited. My team wasn’t playing, but I purchased Colts vs Ravens tickets for my friend and I as a gift. Since we were rooting for the away team, we definitely got hackled a bit. Luckily for us, there was a Patriots fan sitting nearby, so fans turned their attention towards him and away from us. Overall, it was still a good experience at M&T Bank Stadium, but nothing truly memorable.
Lucas Oil Stadium: Home of the Indianapolis Colts
Location: 500 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225
Game(s) I attended: Colts vs Packers, Colts vs Patriots, Colts vs Broncos, Colts vs Redskins
How to Get There: Lucas Oil Stadium is conveniently located in downtown Indianapolis. It’s walking distance from all major hotels in the city with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. When staying in Indianapolis for a game, it is not necessary to rent a car if your accommodation is downtown.
Experience: This stadium is by far my favorite that I’ve been to. Hence why I’ve visited four times and will more than likely be back. For one, the building is beautiful and unique. It does not look like your typical stadium at all with it’s industrial feel to it. There are so many details put into the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium that you’ll honestly be in awe when you first walk in. There are a variety of vendors available and the fan experience is just great. Colts fans have always been respectful and friendly. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a roof so it’s okay to visit during the winter! They block off nearby streets during game days and set up plenty of fan interactive activities. They also set up Bud Light stations so feel free to purchase a beer and roam around that fenced off area.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High: Home of the Denver Broncos
Location: 1701 Bryant St, Denver, CO 80204
Game(s) I attended: 2013 season opener Broncos vs Ravens, 2014 Broncos vs Colts
How to Get There: Sports Authority Field is walking distance from the downtown Denver area. Although not located right in the downtown area (about 1.7 miles walking), it’s a great location. So, you can choose to walk or take an uber/cab to the stadium. It’s right next to the highway, but you can find some bars down the street to pregame at.
Experience: Both games I attended at Sports Authority Field were amazing! I’m a huge Peyton Manning fan, so the fan atmosphere was just unbelievable. Everyone gets really into the game and engages in football conversations. Keep in mind that this stadium has a high altitude. I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but a few beers in and I can hardly remember the game. So, pace yourself!
Heinz Field: Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Location: 100 Art Rooney Ave, Pittsburg, PA 15212
Game(s) I attended: 2014 Steelers vs Colts
How to Get There: I drove to Pittsburgh for the game I attended, so I had my car readily available. We parked on the other side of the bridge in an underground garage for an insanely cheap price. From there the stadium was walking distance, so I really enjoyed the convenience of Heinz Field’s location.
Experience: The end zone section (where we sat) are benches, so keep that in mind. I actually like that set up because it reminded me of the college days at Lane Stadium. I loved that the stadium overlooked the river giving you a beautiful view during the game. Just like Lucas Oil, there are fan interactive activities set up right outside the stadium before kick off. There’s plenty to do around the area, so we were able to go to a few bars before walking over to the gates.
Gillette Stadium: Home of the New England Patriots
Location: 1 Patriot Pl, Foxborough, MA 02035
Game(s) I attended: 2014 AFC Championship Game – Colts vs Patriots
How to Get There: From Boston take the Gillette Stadium train directly to the stadium (Patriot Place). You can find the details here. I purchased my train tickets in advance to ensure a spot.
Experience: The atmosphere is loud, energetic, and intense. All of which you look for when attending a football game. However, we came as Colts fans (and lost badly) so our experience wasn’t quite positive. If my hatred for the Patriots wasn’t so strong, I’m sure I would’ve loved this stadium! But losing the AFC Championship while cold and soaking wet definitely left me feeling some type of way.
Arrowhead Stadium: Home of the Kansas City Chiefs
Location: 1 Arrowhead Dr, Kansas City, MO 64129
Game(s) I attended: 2015 home opener Chiefs vs Broncos
How to Get There: Located pretty much in the middle of no where surrounded by trees and another stadium. So, driving and a parking pass is a must! However, beware of the chaos of leaving the stadium after the game. We were stuck in parking lot traffic for almost 2 hours. It’s absolute madness.
Experience: Another favorite for me. My experience at Arrowhead made me regret not visiting sooner before Peyton Manning retired. As QB for the Broncos, I had a good reason to attend a game every season (did I mention Peyton being my favorite player of all time?). However, I waited for his final season to go and boy did I have one hell of a time! Even though I was there in my Peyton shirt cheering on the opposing team, the fans were nothing but pleasant. It was a great game and they commended the Broncos for putting on a show. Even before the game when we went to breweries and bars, the locals of Kansas City were nothing short of amazing. Oh and let me not forget to mention the BBQ offered at the stadium. Get there early to tailgate with fellow fans and then expect a great time from kickoff to the last second of the game.
Lambeau Field: Home of the Green Bay Packers
Location: 1265 Lombardi Ave, Green Bay, WI 54304
Game(s) I attended: Sunday Night Football – 2015 Packers vs Seahawks
How to Get There: We actually stayed in a nearby town called Appleton because Green Bay accommodation was way too pricey. It’s about an hour away, so we rented a car (flew in from Chicago due to high flight prices). Businesses surrounding the stadium offered their lots to park in for an inexpensive price. We paid $10 to park at Chuck-e-Cheese which was a short walk to Lambeau.
Experience: I’ll be honest…I was expecting a little more out of Lambeau. I’ve heard endless great things about this stadium, so I left feeling like I didn’t experience it correctly. Don’t get me wrong..the people were great! The lady next to me even offered me her husband’s jacket because I was shivering. (Note: bring a sweatshirt because it gets chilly at night even in the summer) I definitely need to go back with a larger group to tailgate and tour the stadium.
MetLife Stadium: Home of the New York Giants/New York Jets
Location: 1 MetLife Stadium Dr, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Game(s) I attended: 2016 Giants vs Redskins
How to Get There: If you’re coming from NYC then getting to MetLife Stadium is fairly simple. Purchase a roundtrip ticket for $11.00 on the NJ Transit leaving from Penn Station and arriving at Meadowsland station. There is a stop at Seacaucus Junction in which you will switch trains to get to Meadowsland. The train rides are crowded, but short. Make sure to check out the schedule beforehand to estimate your arrival. The train will drop you off right in front of the stadium!
Experience: The stadium itself is pretty basic, but still a good one to go to! We sat in the 300’s section and to my surprise, it wasn’t bad! I had a clear view of the plays during the game. The fan atmosphere was positive. I expected the worst since it was a NFC East division game, but Giants’ fans were great to be around. Since the stadium is secluded with its location in NJ, we didn’t partake in any pregame activities.
To my fellow football lovers:
I’d highly recommend traveling to other stadiums for away games! It’s such a great experience…especially when you come across fellow fans like yourself. I see folks in Redskins jerseys in other states and I’m like yessss, instant besties. If you’re interested in taking on this bucket list item, then be sure to check out this new feature that Skyscanner has to offer. They released this tool this year (oh how I wish it was available sooner), which makes it SO easy to plan your next football trip.
Follow these Steps:
- Click on the photo above
- Enter your home base airport
- Enter your favorite team
- Skyscanner will list flight prices/options for each away game
- Book and plan your trip. Enjoy some good ol’ football!