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Sports stadiums just keep getting better and better. With a wide array of extras ranging from offbeat concession stands to immersive fan experiences, the on-field action is usually only half of the fun of attending a live event.
But as good as most facilities have become, some stadiums stand out. Whether because of their amenities, their history, their design or simply the quality of the events they host, these venues go above and beyond to give attendees a great experience almost every time their doors open.
Below, read all about 25 North American stadiums that every sports fan should make a point of visiting at some point in their life.
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
Team: Kansas Jayhawks
The lowdown: There have been more big college basketball games played in Allen Fieldhouse than just about any other arena, and the powerhouse Jayhawks are almost always worth watching. While you’re there, pay your respects to the game’s most important pioneer – the court itself is named after James Naismith, the first coach in program history.
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
The lowdown: Locked in a constant battle with CenturyLink Field for the title of loudest NFL stadium, the rabid Chiefs fans make Arrowhead Stadium one of the toughest places to play in any sport. When you’ve had your fill of Kansas City football, head down to the food court for some Kansas City barbecue – the burnt ends are especially good.
Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York
- Al Bello/Getty
Event: US Open
The lowdown: It’s hard to beat the intensity of a marquee tennis match, especially when the score is close and the players have a history together. In North America, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the gold standard – every year, dozens of celebrities flock to the venue to watch the final rounds of the US Open, the last major of the season.
AT&T Park, San Francisco
- Ezra Shaw/Getty
Team: San Francisco Giants
The lowdown: One of the most stunning venues in the country, AT&T Park’s location on San Francisco Bay makes it the perfect place to take in a baseball game. The stadium has seen plenty of historic moments in its relatively brief history, including Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th home run in 2007. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab your kayak and paddle out to McCovey Cove behind right field for a chance at an extra special home run ball.
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Team: Dallas Cowboys
The lowdown: There aren’t many NFL owners who can rival Jerry Jones when it comes to the grandiose and extravagant. AT&T Stadium once held the Guinness World Record for largest video board, and it features thousands of Sony LCD displays throughout the venue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the stadium is said to consume more electricity than the entire country of Liberia.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
- Joe Robbins/Getty
Team: Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever
The lowdown: Bankers Life Fieldhouse has a striking retro look that’s just perfect for a basketball-crazed state like Indiana, and with talented young players like Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner on the Pacers’ roster, it’s the perfect marriage of old and new. The arena occasionally hosts other events, including high school wrestling championships and midget car races.
Bell Centre, Montreal
- Minas Panagiotakis/Getty
Team: Montreal Canadiens
The lowdown: One of the most unique arenas in North America, Bell Centre was completed in 1996 and features steep grandstands to give fans a clearer view of the game. Montreal is one of the world’s great cities, and you don’t have to wander far to experience a bit of the culture -La Mise au Jeu is a fine dining restaurant located right in the facility.
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
- Matt Hayward/Getty
Team: Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders
Capacity: 69,000 (football), 39,419 (soccer)
The lowdown: The crowds at CenturyLink Field, famously known as the Seahawks’ 12th man, are notoriously loud, measuring in at over 130 decibels on multiple occasions. You can get some relief from the screaming fans by grabbing a shrimp skewer from the Pacific Pan Bistro or a local craft beer from Elysian Brewing.
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
- Sean Gardner/Getty
Events: Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400
The lowdown: Completed in 1959, Daytona International Speedway has become synonymous with NASCAR, playing host to some of the Cup Series’ most memorable moments. While there, head over to the UNOH Fanzone for a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite driver’s race preparations.
Fenway Park, Boston
- Maddie Meyer/Getty
Team: Boston Red Sox
The lowdown: When it comes to baseball, it doesn’t get more classic than Fenway Park. The Boston landmark has been in operation for over 105 years, with its iconic Green Monster watching over some of the game’s most historic moments. While the stadium’s detractors harp on its clunky design and relative lack of amenities, the atmosphere in the stands needs to be experienced to be believed.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway, Indiana
Events: Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400
The lowdown: It may be the site of two of the biggest events in North American racing, but you don’t need to be a racing fan to get something out of a trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As the highest-capacity sports venue in the world, just being there is a potential highlight of any trip to the Midwest.
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Team: Green Bay Packers
The lowdown: In operation since 1957, no NFL team is associated with its home stadium like the Packers are associated with Lambeau Field. If a bunch of fans wearing cheesehead hats isn’t enough for you, then maybe the history is – the Packers Hall of Fame, open since 1970, tells the story of the franchise’s 13 NFL championships. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Lambeau Leap, one of the most iconic celebrations in all of sports.
Madison Square Garden, New York
Team: New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty
Capacity: 19,812 (basketball), 18,006 (hockey)
The lowdown: Known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden is practically synonymous with New York sports. Even if it’s not the NBA’s most up-to-date venue, generations of kids have grown up picturing themselves playing under those bright lights. While you can’t go wrong with a concert, head to a basketball or hockey game for the classic MSG experience.
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
- Gregory Shamus/Getty
Team: Michigan Wolverines
The lowdown: Affectionately known as “The Big House,” Michigan Stadium is the largest football stadium in the Western Hemisphere and one of college football’s great cathedrals. Countless big moments over the years have been amplified by the cheers of tens of thousands of the biggest Wolverines fans around.
Ohio Stadium, Columbus
Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
The lowdown: While Ohio State has been better at football than archrival Michigan in recent years, it still trails the Wolverines in terms of home stadium capacity. But even so, “The Horseshoe” always features massive crowds and an electrifying atmosphere, and its unique shape makes it one of the most iconic stadiums in sports.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
- Patrick Smith/Getty
Team: Baltimore Orioles
The lowdown: It may be hard to believe today, but Camden Yards was a revolutionary baseball stadium when it was opened in April 1992. At the time, stadium architects heavily favored huge concrete behemoths that could be used for multiple sports, but the Orioles ushered in a new era with their sleek, retro design. If you’ve ever enjoyed a game at Citi Field or Comerica Park, head on down to Camden to enjoy the venue that started it all.
PNC Park, Pittsburgh
- Justin K. Aller
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
The lowdown: Pittsburgh doesn’t get enough credit as one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, and PNC Park does a great job of utilizing the breathtaking skyline to create a unique experience for baseball fans. For a special treat, head to Primanti Bros. for their signature sandwich, stuffed with meat, cheese, fries, tomatoes and cole slaw.
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Team: UCLA Bruins
The lowdown: It can’t quite fit 100,000 people, but for most college football fans, the Rose Bowl is as good as it gets. If you don’t feel like shelling out hundreds of dollars to go to the eponymous FBS game, consider checking out Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins, off to a 2-0 start this year.
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Team: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Sparks
Capacity: 19,060 (basketball), 18,230 (hockey)
The lowdown: It’s hard to talk about Los Angeles sports without talking about the Staples Center. The Lakers and Sparks have been formidable teams since the early days of their respective leagues, while the Clippers and Kings have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. Before the game, check out the statues of Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson and others at Star Plaza outside the arena.
TD Garden, Boston
- Adam Glanzman/Getty
Team: Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins
Capacity: 18,624 (basketball), 17,565 (hockey)
The lowdown: While thousands of proud Celtics fans will insist that nothing can compare to the old Boston Garden, the updated model, in operation since 1995, is one of the great arenas in sports in its own right. While you’re there, check out the Sports Museum of New England for a thrilling and educational experience.
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
- Sam Greenwood/Getty
Event: The Players Championship
The lowdown: This one isn’t a true stadium, but the numerous grandstands and major championship atmosphere certainly make it feel like one. With a list of past winners that includes Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, the Players Championship is one of the biggest events in golf, and the Stadium Course always provides an ideal test. If you go, be sure to check out the iconic 17th hole and its island green.
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge
Team: LSU Tigers
The lowdown: With a capacity of over 100,000 and a structure that seems to amplify the crowd, Tiger Stadium might be the toughest place to play in college football – no wonder it’s known as “Death Valley.” That level of volume, along with the crowd intensity that can only be found in college sports, is something that every fan should experience at least once.
US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Team: Minnesota Vikings
The lowdown: Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, US Bank Stadium is a sleek and striking homage to modern architecture. There are other new NFL stadiums, but none look nearly as cool, and besides, Vikings fans are some of the most passionate in the game. If you’re hungry, check out Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen for some bizarre (or not so bizarre) foods.
Wrigley Field, Chicago
Team: Chicago Cubs
The lowdown: Just a smidge younger than Fenway, Wrigley Field is home to some of the baseball’s most idiosyncratic traditions. From weekday day games to ivy-covered walls to throwing home run balls back onto the field, a baseball game on the North Side is unlike anything else. Be sure to stroll through the center field bleachers, where Babe Ruth may or may not have aimed his famous “called shot” nearly 85 years ago.
- Corey Perrine/Getty
Team: New York Yankees, New York City FC
The lowdown: Yankee Stadium isn’t even the best MLB venue in New York – that distinction goes to the Mets’ Citi Field – but if you’ve never taken the 4 train to watch the Bronx Bombers in action, your baseball bucket list is incomplete. While you’re there, stop by Monument Park to learn more about the greatest players to play in pinstripes.