Sports stadiums can be amazing works of art, especially when there is a photo looking down on them from an aerial view. With stadiums getting bigger and bigger, it’s not just about the game on the field anymore, but about the view the stadium offers, what it looks like to the fans and selling it as a place to go. Some stadiums look simply amazing in photos, as they work with their city to display lights during games or sit in the perfect spot to get the light at just the right angle when the sun goes down and sets over the horizon. And some could use a lot of work on their impression when a photographer is looking down on them.
It’s not enough anymore to just construct a massive building of steel and concrete without it also being catching to the eye. And many teams, cities, and schools are starting to make sure their stadium is a work of art, with marvels of engineering, and large price tags. If they are going to spend a lot of money on them, they might as well look stunning in photos. Here are 15 stadiums that look stunning from way up high, and 15 others that could use a little work and we would rather not see.
30 Stunning: Bank of America Stadium
This night photo of Bank of America Stadium is as if the stadium took its colors from the skyline, and less from the team that plays there. The blue seating is because the stadium is the home to the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, whose colors are blue and black. It’s a stunning photo of the empty stadium that has found its place in the area and doesn’t look at all like it doesn’t belong. According to the Sporting News, it was built in 1996, making it one of the league’s newer stadiums.
29 Stunning: Tiger Stadium
This isn’t another color rush photo, but rather, just the LSU Tigers lighting their stadium up in their purple color at night when the stadium is empty. It’s more about school pride here, and at night, anyone can point out where Tiger Stadium is, just by looking for the purple glow coming out of the stadium. According to LSU, the stadium has a capacity of 102,321, but when it was originally built, it held just 12,000. It’s now the seventh largest stadium in the world.
28 Stunning: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
What does $1.6 billion look like? The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. ‘Hotlanta’ got its new stadium in 2017 according to Sporting News, and this photo shows just how much it towers over their old stadium right next door. It also is an interesting design, as the roof is retractable and when it is closed, it makes the shape of the Mercedes-Benz logo. It’s just a stunning showcase of the old and the new and what stadium design is starting to become.
27 Stunning: Folsom Field
Folsom Field actually gets a bad reputation, as according to Bleacher Report, it can be a pretty boring atmosphere on game day. But if you have this view to look at when sitting in the stadium, you might take a few plays off as well from the game to take a look at the sunset over the mountains. Home of the University of Colorado, football team, this horseshoe-shaped stadium also sits at an elevation of over 5,350 feet, more than a mile above sea level, making it the third highest stadium in college football.
26 Stunning: Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans has gone through a lot in its time, as it held people looking to escape the path of Hurricane Katrina back in 2009, which damaged the stadium and forced the NFL’s New Orleans Saints top layaway all season. But the stadium was renovated and in this photo, looks better than ever, lit up for the Super Bowl with the sun setting in the distances, it’s a feel-good photo considering how important this stadium was during a crisis.
25 Stunning: Lambeau Field
When it comes to the greatest football stadiums in the NFL, you would be hard press to find Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. Lambeau Field is just one of those stadiums with so much history behind it that it doesn’t need much to make it look amazing. But in this stunning photo, Lambeau Field and the fans of Green Bay went one step further, turning the entire stadium from Packers green and yellow in the nations red, white and blue.
24 Stunning: CenturyLink Field
On Thursday Night Football, the NFL started a tradition of doing a Color Rush game. So, in the spirit of that, the Seattle Seahawks turned their stadium, CenturyLink Field, all grown in anticipation for their Thursday night game. It’s a stunning photo of the Seattle skyline, with the stadium lit up against a normal cityscape. It brings your eye to the field, in what is one of the loudest stadiums in the league. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it has twice held the record for loudest crowd roar at an outdoor game, first at 136.6 decibels in 2013, and 137.6 in 2014.
23 Rather Not: Hard Rock Stadium
Hard Rock Stadium in Florida is the home of the Miami Dolphins, and it has an interesting design that makes it look like a massive square. It’s a shame, because the Dolphins teal blue color, which is evident under the massive roof, really pops, and would make the stadium stick out on game day, but as it is, it’s just a giant billboard for the Hard Rock brand. According to Sporting News, the 30-year-old stadium has gone through at least five name changes and lacks anything amazing to come and see, other than all things Miami football.
22 Stunning: Heinz Field
Heinz Field is considered one of the best football fields in the NFL, according to Sporting News, and was built in 2001. It even was the setting for the famed football scene in The Dark Knight Rises and has many traditions, such as the Terrible Towel. But in this photo, it’s a stunning example of the stadium set on the mouth of Three-Rivers in Pittsburgh, as the stadium is home to the Steelers of the NFL. It’s right on the waterfront, just a little west of downtown, and shows of the beautiful Pittsburgh river system with all their bridges.
21 Stunning: MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium is the only shared stadium currently in the NFL, at least until Los Angeles builds their new stadium. And if any stadium was going to do that, it would be one that has the beautiful New York skyline in the background. According to the Sporting News, the 2010 built stadium has a capacity of 82,000 and is actually located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, despite the teams being from New York, but in this amazing night photo, you get all of New York’s skyline, which is a picture of its own, and made even better with the bright and fresh new stadium also glowing.
20 Rather Not: FedEx Field
FedEx Field is the home of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, and according to the NFL, it’s the largest stadium in the league, with over 91,000 seating capacity. This stadium since in the middle of a massive parking lot and for it being the league’s biggest stadium, it leaves much to be desired. According to the Sporting News, it’s ranked the worst stadium in the league, as it’s just a large steel structure that has a very little character to it, not at all what anyone would expect from the league’s biggest stadium.
19 Stunning: FirstEnergy Stadium
This photo of FirstEnergy Stadium may actually make people want to go watch the Cleveland Browns play, despite their inability to win over the last few seasons. According to the Sporting News, the stadium was built in 1999 to house the returning Browns and is now the home of the ‘Dawg Pound’. It still makes you wonder why they are called the Browns when it’s clearly orange, but it doesn’t stop this photo from being stunning with the orange backdrop and a city getting behind its team.
18 Rather Not: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is known around the league as The Black Hole, mostly because the home team Oakland Raiders wear all black uniforms, but it could very well stick for this ugly stadium that is bleak and lacks any color. According to the Sporting News, the stadium ranks 30th in the NFL and is a big reason why the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, as the stadium is old, having been built in 1966, and only holds 56,000 people.
17 Rather Not: Ryan Field
Ryan Field is home to Northwestern Universities football program and while it’s a great school, the stadium leaves a lot to be desired. This third of a bowl stadium looks small for an NCAA stadium and doesn’t have that massive presence like other college stadiums do. One of the stadiums largest flaws is the parking, as behind the stands you’ll see a small lot, which is the only parking available. According to Bleacher Report, there is no game-day parking at all, as the university encourages fans to take the train into the stadium.
16 Rather Not: Fouts Field
Texas is known for their football culture, but it’s hard to believe this stadium belongs to an NCAA football program team, as some high school programs have better-looking stadiums that North Texas University’s Fouts Field. According to Bleacher Report, Fouts Field has one of the most boring atmospheres in the country for a game, and the stadium, which is open to walk up traffic on two corners, doesn’t tend to be that inspiring as a game day atmosphere, and lacks any character for the home team, other than a few letters in the end zones.
15 Rather Not: Soldier Field
Soldier Field is one of the NFL's longest-standing stadiums, as according to the Sporting News, it was built in 1924 and has a capacity of 61,500. As the home of the Chicago Bears, it is considered a shrine to some in the league. But here on game day, it’s missing any kind of character and despite massive renovations that have had to happen over the years, it’s missing the modern looks of a stadium today. It may have a great location, but up against a freeway doesn’t help make the picture any better.
14 Stunning: Michigan Stadium
There are no flashy lights here, no night game, no sunsets. But that isn’t what makes this Michigan Stadium, how of the University of Michigan Wolverines NCAA college football program, photo looks stunning. It’s the number of people packed into this bowl stadium. According to the team’s website, the official capacity is 107,601, making it the second largest stadium in the world. That’s enough people that on game days, it’s bigger than most cities in Michigan. It’s just simply amazing how many people will pack in for a college football game.
13 Rather Not: Los Angeles Coliseum
The stadium that never seems to close, the Los Angeles Coliseum was opened back in 1923 as part of the Olympic Games, and has a capacity of 93,000, according to the Sporting News. Nicknamed the Grand Old Lady, it has plenty of history, but it’s more famous for its arch opening than this aerial view, and from up high, it doesn’t have the same mystical feeling you would get standing just outside with the Olympic torch in view. It currently is the temporary home for both the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers before they move to a new stadium.
12 Stunning: Albertsons Stadium
Albertsons Stadium really does make an impression, especially from the air, as the field is one of the first fields in the country to be painted non-green outside of the end zones, according to Boise State University, and the only one today among the NCAA Division 1 football system. In this photo, it’s a great example of how the field and team colors work together, which is generally odd for the field to be part of it and not just the seats. But Boise State may be on to something and adding that intimidation factor for when teams come to them.
11 Rather Not: War Memorial Stadium
War Memorial Stadium is the home of the University of Wyoming NCAA football team, and while the fans can be loud and wild for their team, the stadium, on the other hand, misses much with two open sides with bleachers that only go up halfway. It just looks like any other stadium, and with so many stadiums in the country known as War Memorial Stadium, something needs to stand out to make it be something truly memorable, other than trees, which look weird for a football stadium.