6 Football Stadiums That Beat Watching the Game From the Couch

by thehipmunk

Fans across the U.S. are rejoicing as football season finally gets underway (or, more accurately, they’re yelling at their TV screens and drinking a lot of beer). While many fans opt for the comfort of couch viewership, they don’t know what they’re missing live and in person. NFL stadiums around the country are vacation destinations in their own right, and each boasts a distinct vibe and set of amenities for a total experience that’s well worth the trip. Here are six stadiums to check out this season.

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1. AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) – Arlington, TX

“Everything’s bigger in Texas,” indeed. The NFL’s largest venue can pack in more than 100,000 fans underneath its retractable roof. How do retractable roofs work? Hustad Roofing explains that retractable roofs are designed to roll the roof back on tracks so that the interior of the facility is open to the outdoors. It boasts an HD Jumbotron that spans the entire distance between the 20-yard lines, luxury boxes level with the field, and unobstructed sightlines thanks to the stadium’s impressive construction, which avoided the use of pillars. And don’t miss the nearby Cowboys Hall of Fame.

Where to Stay

There are a number of hotels near the stadium that are cheap and decent at the same time. Check out the Rosewood Crescent if you’re feeling fancy, the MCM Elegante Hotel & Suites if you’re looking for affordable comfort, or the Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Central Expressway if you’re in the mood for a clean stay without any frills.

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2. Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI

One of the most legendary (and loudest) stadiums in all of NFL history, Lambeau Field (named after the Green Bay Packers’ founder, E.L. Lambeau) has been making a name for itself since its opening in 1957. While it’s undergone several massive renovations in the years since—including expansions to the concourses, seating capacity, locker rooms, and luxury suites—the stadium is still beloved for its old-school feel. To visit Lambeau is to revisit football moments of yore, from 1967’s “Ice Bowl” to the legendary coaching of Vince Lombardi.

Where to Stay

The area outside of Lambeau Field includes a variety of hotels as well as bars and restaurants. The family-friendly Tundra Lodge includes access to a waterpark while the Motel 6 Green Bay offers rock-bottom prices.

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3. Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IN

Those looking to enjoy the game from the lap of luxury should book a flight to Indianapolis, stat. Lucas Oil Stadium—home of the Colts—boasts state-of-the-art amenities at every turn, from the retractable roof (which is temporarily being kept shut) to the club lounges, field-level suites, spacious concourses, climate-controlled walkways, cushioned seats, accessible vendors, and a window wall that showcases downtown Indianapolis.

Where to Stay

Comfortable and affordable lodging abounds near the stadium. You can’t go wrong with the well-rated Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, the Westin Indianapolis, or the Embassy Suites Indianapolis Downtown.

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4. Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

High-tech is the name of the game in Santa Clara, where the NFL’s newest stadium (home of the 49ers) is pioneering advances in technology. The $1.2 billion stadium includes a bridge made from solar panels, LED video boards, Wi-Fi that works throughout the whole stadium, an interactive museum, and a stadium-specific app that tells users where to find parking, provides real-time stats from other games, and lets fans order food directly to their seats. It’s also the first professional football stadium to earn LEED Gold certification in recognition of its energy-saving initiatives.

Where to Stay

Don’t confine yourself to the stadium—get out and explore all that nearby San Francisco has to offer. Stay in the middle of the action at the luxurious Fairmont San Francisco, historic and budget-friendly The Mosser, or the exclusive Park Central Hotel San Francisco.

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5. Soldier Field – Chicago, IL

The NFL’s oldest venue, Soldier Field was first constructed in 1924 and then extensively renovated in 2003. Its historic nature—this is the field where the “Monsters of the Midway” claimed four titles in seven years—makes it a must-see for any football devotee. Its views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan aren’t bad, either.

Where to Stay

Chicago may be a pricey city, but it is possible to find affordable accommodationsnear Soldier Field. Check out the spacious River Hotel, the budget-friendly Inn of Chicago, or the swanky Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.


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6. Sports Authority Field – Denver, CO

Opened in 2001, the newest home of the Broncos is almost twice as large as the team’s original stadium. Head to Sports Authority for the gorgeous views—not just of the Ring of Fame, which honors legendary Denver players and is visible from every seat, but also the Rocky Mountains (visible even from within the stadium) and the public works of art that line the pedestrian walkways.

Where to Stay

Peak travel season for Denver runs through October, so book hotels for November or later in order to get the best deals. Scope out good prices and great amenities at the Double Tree by Hilton Denver-Aurora, the Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast, or the Hyatt Place Denver Airport.

Prices for flights and hotels will rise as the season kicks into high gear, so book early for the best deals. Whether in Indianapolis or San Francisco, enjoy the game!

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 25, 2015.

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