While Ford Field is currently under construction to further augment and enliven the fan experience, including upgraded video boards and wifi connectivity, it’s still regarded as one of the better stadiums in the NFL according to a list by Chris Chase of Fox Sports.
Like any good venture into ranking things, the criteria Chase used to come to his conclusions are as follows:
- Ease of travel
- “Countless other things”
All of those things considered, the rankings boiled down to answering one important question in the opinion of Chase: “Where is the best place to watch a football game?”
Ford Field ranked 15th on the list of NFL stadiums, placing it in the top half of the league. Here’s Chase’s rationale for slotting Ford Field where it appears on the list:
Only six of the NFL's 31 stadiums are without a naming-rights sponsor: Lambeau Field, Soldier Field, Paul Brown Stadium, Oakland Coliseum, L.A. Coliseum. Of the 25 stadiums that are sponsored, some are a mouthful (University of Phoenix Stadium), some are completely unnatural sounding (Bank of America Stadium) and three are from companies that a) you've never heard of; and b) apparently paid for market research that told them people enjoy a complete disregard for spacing, capitalization and punctuation (EverBank Stadium, CenturyLink Field, FirstEnergy Stadium). Anyway, of the 25 corporate names, Ford Field is the best, possessing a gravitas that American car companies haven't had in 30 years.
Whereas many of the other stadiums situated in the top 15 of this list earned praise for their architectural accomplishments, or their ability to marry technological advancements with football pragmatism, the Lions were celebrated chiefly for their name.
Never underestimate the power of alliteration.
Around the NFC North, two division rivals ranked ahead of the Lions and landed in the top ten: the Packers Lambeau Field grabbed the No. 1 spot, and the Vikings new crib—U.S. Bank Stadium—hit the list at seven. Soldier Field, the home for the Chicago Bears, was ranked as the fourth worst stadium in the NFL. Soldier Field is the oldest relic in the league, but a 2003 renovation didn’t go so well for the Bears. Here is Blair Kamin, an architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, reviewing the stadium revamp:
With its spaceship-like seating bowl crammed between the stadium's legendary rows of Doric columns, the stadium is Klingon meets Parthenon, an architectural close encounter of the worst kind.
While Ford Field’s renovations are largely centered around technological upgrades, they’re likely not to be at odds with the stadium’s aesthetic. Rod Wood mentioned during last week’s ‘Taste of the Lions’ event that things were moving along smoothly: