The XFL stadiums run the gamut of venues, from an almost brand new 20,000 seat stadium to an over 20-year old previous Superbowl site. In fact, two sites have seen previous Super Bowls. Since they range in type quite a bit, we thought we would give you a quick overview of the different places the XFL teams will call home and simultaneously rank them for a bit of water cooler discussion.
I confess I have only been to one of these sites in person so far, Globe Life Park and all the data below is simply general information readily available on the internet at multiple sites. Nevertheless, we are going to rank these sites based on venue, XFL preseason knowledge and potential fan experience. This list could very well change after seeing the games and fans at each venue once 2020 starts and maybe we will rank them again then.
There is obviously nothing bad with the NFL stadiums on this list. And in the grand scheme of things a much smaller, previously only soccer field will not be beating out MetLife Stadium in New York on an average stadium ranking list. However, being this is the XFL and someone must finish last in the list of great facilities so, the bottom three will indeed be the NFL stadiums. Don’t get me wrong, it is great the XFL gets to play in these NFL stadiums and I am glad we do for these three teams. But right now, they may not have the charm of the smaller venues when the forecasts are hoping for around 20,000 people or a little more at a game.
#8: Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium
This stadium has had two NFL Superbowls and is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was opened in 1998, which was right before the modern big stadium boom we saw in the past ten or fifteen years. So, it may not have the modern style and architecture of say AT&T Stadium or MetLife Stadium, but it did undergo extensive renovations completed in 2018. And it does have some neat, unique features that set it apart. One is the 103-foot replica pirate ship in one end. And at the other end they have added a beach section complete with sand chairs and tiki huts for pregame festivities. The Stadium seats 65,000 and is expandable to 75,000.
#7 : New York – MetLife Stadium
Opened in 2010 this is one of the newer NFL stadiums and when built was the most expensive stadium in history. It is just outside of downtown New York and home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets. It has the largest capacity of all XFL sites at 82,500 people. This stadium has also hosted an NFL Superbowl. A unique fact of this stadium is the front row 50-yard line seats are only 46 feet away from the sideline, which is the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums.
#6: Seattle – CenturyLink Field
This stadium is very close to downtown Seattle and home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders of the MLS. The stadium has some unique architecture that is designed to amplify sound. It only holds 69,000 people, has an open roof and yet at one time it was the loudest stadium ever recorded by Guinness World Records. Additionally , they kept the north end partially open in order to pull in the view of the Seattle skyline. The design also gives it a unique look and feel, that seems more intimate even holding near 70,000 people and being open roof. MLS has done well in this stadium and might mean there is a pretty good market for non-NFL franchises. It was opened in 2002.
#5: Washington DC – Audi Field
Located right in Washington DC and within view of the Capitol and other DC landmarks. It is also home stadium for DC United of MLS. It is the newest facility of the eight XFL sites, opening in 2018 and holding 20,000 people. This place also has a rooftop patio for event goers, along with a 10,000 sq. ft. indoor lounge and Fan Plaza. This is the smallest XFL facility but might be one of the most fun if sold out and cheering a good game.
This facility is on the California State University campus a bit south of Los Angeles, its main tenant is the LA Galaxy Major League Soccer. It was opened in 2003 and holds 27,000 spectators. It was first designed with soccer in mind and it is the largest soccer specific stadium in the U.S. However, with the XFL coming to town hopefully the league can be big enough to make them have to alter that fact someday. This is part of a larger sports complex that also includes tennis, track and field and a Sports Center for various activities , which will include some events in the 2028 Olympics. The stadium was upgraded in 2017 to make it better for the temporary placement of the NFL’s Chargers. So, the XFL should be able to slide right in.
#3: Houston – TDECU Stadium
Another, relatively new stadium, this is the home field of the University of Houston Cougars football team. It opened in 2014. The stadium has won several architectural awards in the short time it has been operating. It currently holds 40,000 people with plans to expand to 60,000. The upper area of the stadium called Cougar Cage, has a unique look with corrugated metal exterior that is powder coated Houston Cougar red. And it is said to give optimal airflow and natural lighting for fans. And like Seattle, the architecture also left open a spot in the stands for a view of the Houston skyline, a bit over two miles away.
#2: Dallas – Globe Life Park
This stadium is currently a baseball stadium for the Texas Rangers, and is in Arlington, TX just a few miles west of downtown Dallas. The Rangers opened the park in 1994 and coincidentally, this is the Texas Rangers last season at Globe Life Park before they move to Glove Life Field next door. There had been many talks on what to do with the facility and then the XFL came knocking. There will be renovations to the parks lower sections to retrofit the field from baseball to football. The seating currently holds 48,000 but will be lowered some with the renovations. Arlington also has a large nightlife section called Texas Live, which is basically right next door to Globe Life Park that caters to gameday fans. XFL Dallas is currently the only team that calls Globe Life Park home, which was my decided factor over Houston, and this same fact also gave weight to my #1.
#1: St Louis – The Dome at America’s Center
Opened in 1995 and holding over 67,000 people, it was originally home to the St Louis Rams until they left in 2015. Like other older stadiums on this list it was renovated in the last few years as well. I know what you are thinking, how can I rank all three current NFL stadiums last and this former one first? A couple reasons, one is it is no longer an NFL team’s stadium and two, like Dallas this will only be the home of the XFL St Louis team. They have big, nice indoor stadium all to themselves. I believe there is a lot to be said for being the main home tenant of a stadium. More prominent marketing and such can come into play. And it is just good feeling being the top dog. This stadium is also in downtown St. Louis and right next door to a casino for after game fun, especially when St. Louis has the late Saturday game. And isn’t that one of the main goals of the XFL, being a fun fan experience all the way around. A lot of people might make a quick flight to see a game and a night at the casino since it is within walking distance. One last reason I ranked it so high is because of the fans in Twitterverse. On that platform the St. Louis fans seem to be the most active and vocal of the bunch and that might go a good way in creating a fun game atmosphere.
So, there you have it, my current rankings of the XFL stadiums. Yes, it may change if I went to a game in each place. And after watching them for a year it may also change. As such, your ranking might be just as valid as mine even if completely opposite. Besides the games themselves I think we enjoy talking and bickering about sports stuff almost as much as watching them. These rankings and information are more fodder for that.