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SI ranks top stadiums for fan experience


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Honestly im not surprised... even when the Jets do good fans still seem apathetic.

How They Finished

By Paul Forrester, SI.com (with additional writing and reporting by Nicki Jhabvala and Bryan Graham)

For NFL fans, each Sunday's game is only part of an event that includes a lot more than what happens between the hash marks for three hours. From the commute, to tailgating to taking one's seat, the act of attending a game is an experience shared by every NFL fan from Seattle to Miami. But what separates one venue from another?

That's what SI.com has attempted to discover in rating the experiences each NFL team offers the fans who attend their games. From ticket prices to availability, from the quality of the tailgating to the comfort of the seats, we asked fans to rank and describe every aspect of the game day experience. After painstakingly reviewing each of the 17,000 responses in our online survey, we sorted the information to give you a snapshot of what our readers told us and rated each team in seven categories.

The criteria we used is described below. In the cases of a tie, teams were ranked based on the length of their current sellout streak. Hence, though the top two teams finished with the same score, the fact that No. 1 (Green Bay) has sold out every game since 1960 carries the day over a team (Pittsburgh) with a sellout streak dating to '72.

So dive in, football fans, to the chart above, and see how each team stacks up. And, of course, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts.

The ratings in each category were determined by the following:

Tickets

The availability of tickets and fan atmosphere were weighed against the average ticket price (determined by Team Marketing Report's 2007 NFL Fan Cost Index, which represents a weighted average of season ticket prices for general seating). The lower the price, the fewer the available seats and the more festive the crowd, the better.

Food & Souvenirs

Does the stadium offer a selection of food that can fuel a fan's passion for the game, or does it specialize in a typical spread of lukewarm hot dogs and expensive beer that can sap a crowd of its vigor as quickly as a loss on the scoreboard?

Accessibility

Is the trip to the stadium smooth or as thick as molasses? Do public buses or rapid transit trains offer more convenient alternatives to driving? And how is the search, and cost, for parking?

Tailgating

The tenor of the game ahead often is set at the hours spent grilling in the parking lot beforehand. What teams offer the chance for fans to bond over fabulous food and heated football talk? Which teams don't?

Team

Is the team's performance worth watching?

Stadium Atmosphere

A facility's architecture can go a long way toward making a fan feel the team isn't merely a tenant, but a resident of the city. Of course, it can also make one feel like the team plays in a soul-less mall. Those teams that do their best to incorporate the city beyond its walls can charm fans even during a losing season; those that don't better win or risk irrelevancy.

Neighborhood

Is the city that lies beyond the stadium's walls worth visiting before or after the game? Is it safe? Or is one best served by beating a hasty retreat to the safety of home?

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I assume they are talking about their own fans, Joisey.

No way should the Patsies be ranked so high. Sure, the teams performance is stellar, sure the stadium itself has a lot to offer, sure teh tailgating is great, but there are no tickets available unless you want to pay something silly on StubHub, parking is $40 and it takes about three hours to just get out of the parking lot - let alone route one. From my small reference group - Gillette is EASILY the least accesible stadium in the league.

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I assume they are talking about their own fans, Joisey.

No way should the Patsies be ranked so high. Sure, the teams performance is stellar, sure the stadium itself has a lot to offer, sure teh tailgating is great, but there are no tickets available unless you want to pay something silly on StubHub, parking is $40 and it takes about three hours to just get out of the parking lot - let alone route one. From my small reference group - Gillette is EASILY the least accesible stadium in the league.

Ok then. I figured they had one of their guys or girls head out to all the stadiums and kind of rate them ,so fans like me and Brenda could have an idea of what stadiums we`d like to travel to

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The Bottom Line

It's one thing to pay New York style prices and New York style traffic if you're getting high-end New York style service. When you're made to feel like a visitor in your own home (i.e. standard New York service) while still making the same sacrifices, you deserve better. A better team also would help, and owner Woody Johnson has at least tried. But in eschewing the opportunity to build their own stadium in decidedly unglamorous places such as Queens or New Jersey, the Jets have forced their fans to play the permanent guest. True, the new shared facility with the Giants won't be associated with a single team, but it won't provide the type of home these fans haven't had since leaving Shea Stadium in 1983, either. And these fans know it: "If you live in New Jersey, practice in New Jersey (as the Jets are scheduled to in 2008) and play in New Jersey, you better own up to it." As some have ominously hinted, "when it takes almost 10 hours to get to the stadium, watch the game, then return home, it makes me wonder if it's worth the trip."

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They all seem to agree that Jets fans are by far the more spirited and overall better fans in NY and amongst the best in the league.

Only if our stadium didn't suck ass and wasn't in the middle of nowhere and our team was at least half as good as we were this time last year and we'd be in the top 15 on that list.

The point is, as spirited and die hard as Jets fans are, they are not going to waste their time driving hours and hours to the middle of nowhere, sit in traffic that shouldn't by anywhere near as bad, to watch a chitty team play in a chitty stadium where everything, from parking to concessions, is overpriced.

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SI sucks I cancelled my subscription years ago.Dr.Z and SI do not like the Jets.They can stick their magazine where the sun doesnt shine. If you are a Jets fan CANCEL your subscription today!

Why, because they tell the truth? I don't find much in the article that I can really argue with. They acknowledge that Jets fans are good fans (except when things go south), but the overall experience leaves a lot to be desired.

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Why, because they tell the truth? I don't find much in the article that I can really argue with. They acknowledge that Jets fans are good fans (except when things go south), but the overall experience leaves a lot to be desired.

What truth? They just hate us. They've hated us for years.

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Paranoid much?

You clearly haven't read anything from those guys. Dr. Z picks against us every week, and yeah this year that's a good bet but last year we were 10-6. They also make fun of us when referring to the team. It is an obvious bias. Seriously, do you read Dr. Z even? I couldn't stand those guys and gave up awhile ago. I doubt they have changed their tune when we are even worse this year.

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You clearly haven't read anything from those guys. Dr. Z picks against us every week, and yeah this year that's a good bet but last year we were 10-6. They also make fun of us when referring to the team. It is an obvious bias. Seriously, do you read Dr. Z even? I couldn't stand those guys and gave up awhile ago. I doubt they have changed their tune when we are even worse this year.

I have an SI subscription. The only one that I really have a problem with is the resident Patriot sack licker, Peter King. I don't have a problem with Dr. Z, I remember him picking the Jets last year (and losing). As far us being made fun of, that happens to a lot of teams and the only way to avoid that is to put a respectable product on the field year in and year out, something the Jets have been unable to do, ever.

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For starters they waited till construction started and all the parking and tailgateing got screwed up before they take this poll next isn`t this the reason the building that piece of $hi+ xanadoggie do in the first place (even though the thing won`t be open on game days) to give people a better expierence.

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Driving out to the Meadowlands game experience is lousy compared to the nicer stadiums and amenities elsewhere- so this ranking makes sense to me.

Thats fine Frank ,but the fact you are compareing it to the nicer stadiums ,I assume you are talking about the newer stadiums who have upgraded ,so how is that fair to compare it to a stadium that is in the process of upgradeing ,that would be like compareing the new Philly Lincoln Park baseball field to Shea ,if you ask the philly fans about the old game day expierience they`d tell you it was a dump

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Thats fine Frank ,but the fact you are compareing it to the nicer stadiums ,I assume you are talking about the newer stadiums who have upgraded ,so how is that fair to compare it to a stadium that is in the process of upgradeing ,that would be like compareing the new Philly Lincoln Park baseball field to Shea ,if you ask the philly fans about the old game day expierience they`d tell you it was a dump

It is my hope that they will make the new stadium a nice place with all sort of things close by to partake in- growing up in New York/NJ we deserve this for all the money and time we have supported our teams.

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Getting out of the lot is all determined on where you park. I park where I park and walk around the stadium to meet up with my friends' tailgates for a reason. If I don't tailgate a little bit after the game I can fly out of there while everyone is walking to their cars. 1st row infront of Gate C. Can't get any better.:beer: Section 124 is right there.

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this poll is absolutely dead on correct

the meadowlands is in a toxic swamp with nothing around it

the parking lot is covered in bird s--t

the traffic is a nightmare

no mass transit other than the bus (which sits in the same traffic)

the food is terrible

the drink is adequate at best

the seats are blue and red

the sign says Giants Stadium

half the parking lot is gone

satellite lots may as well be in siberia

oh and the team is friggin brutal

this poll is 100% true, going to the Meadowlands sucks, flat out.

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LOL, Me and my brother were planning to go to an NFL game next year but because he's a Pittsburgh fan we couldnt decide on what team to go see (I want to go to see the Jets, he obviously wants to see the Steelers). This may have changed my mind, is it really that bad???:confused0082:

Doesnt help that the Steelers are #2.:mad0259:

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this poll is absolutely dead on correct

the meadowlands is in a toxic swamp with nothing around it

the parking lot is covered in bird s--t

the traffic is a nightmare

no mass transit other than the bus (which sits in the same traffic)

the food is terrible

the drink is adequate at best

the seats are blue and red

the sign says Giants Stadium

half the parking lot is gone

satellite lots may as well be in siberia

oh and the team is friggin brutal

this poll is 100% true, going to the Meadowlands sucks, flat out.

I have to do it:

POTW NOM

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