The List: Top 12 NFL stadiums

In light of Super Bowl XLV being played earlier this month at the awe-inspiring Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, here’s the Goal-Line Stand’s look at the top 12 facilities in the NFL:

1. Cowboys Stadium
Home team: Cowboys
Year built: 2009
Capacity: 111,000 with standing room (allegedly)

Size matters when it comes to stadiums, and the 80,000-seat, $1.3 billion behemoth in Arlington is as big as they come. And although it’s hard to believe, JerryWorld actually looks bigger than it is. The clincher, though, is its world-record-sized video screen.

2. Ford Field
Home team: Lions
Year built: 2002
Capacity: 65,000

Similar to the way Toronto’s Air Canada Centre was built in connection to an old post office, Ford Field was built around and against an 80-year-old warehouse that actually offers a home to the majority of the facility’s luxury suites. Frosted ceilings mimic Detroit-area car auto factories. Glass windows in the corners help bring in more light than your average domed stadium. It’s a very cool, quasi-retro stadium.

3. Lambeau Field
Home team: Packers
Year built: 1957
Capacity: 73,128

This is football’s Holy Grail. It’s like our sport’s combination of Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. When sitting in the stands at Lambeau, you feel the history. You don’t get that with many other modern NFL stadiums.

4. Lucas Oil Stadium
Home team: Colts
Year built: 2008
Capacity: 63,000

Hard not to love the retro, fieldhouse look that makes it trademark Indiana. An extremely unique movable window wall at the north end of the stadium offers a sick view of downtown Indianapolis.

5. Qwest Field
Home team: Seahawks
Year built: 2002
Capacity: $67,000

It’s simply beautiful. It really is. And it was designed with the purpose of keeping the sound in, despite the fact that, you know, it doesn’t have a roof.

6. Heinz Field
Home team: Steelers
Year built: 2001
Capacity: 65,050

Situated at the confluence of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, it has one of the best locations in sports. The yellow seats and curling stairways are pretty awesome too.

7. University of Phoenix Stadium
Home team: Cardinals
Year built: 2006
Capacity: 63,400

How ’bout this for a unique feature: the entire playing surface canĀ slide in and out of the stadium. It also has a retractable roof and a very unique exterior design.

8. Reliant Stadium
Home team: Texans
Year built: 2002
Capacity: 71,500

It was the first NFL facility to have a retractable roof. Also cool: the concourses are open to the field of play on one end and the outside world with massive windows on the other.

9. New Meadowlands Stadium
Home team: Giants and Jets
Year built: 2010
Capacity: 82,556

The most expensive sports stadium ever built ($1.6 billion) has four HD jumbo video boards. Too bad it’s located in New Jersey.

10. Raymond James Stadium
Home team: Buccaneers
Year built: 1998
Capacity: 65,857

It distinguishes itself wonderfully with a 103-foot pirate ship with a cannon that fires six times after every touchdown from the home team. It also has one of the best playing surfaces in the league.

11. Gillette Stadium
Home team: Patriots
Year built: 2002
Capacity: 68,756

A Disney-style entrance with a lighthouse separate the fan experience from others. Apart from that and two new HD videoboards, it’s a pretty standard 10-year-old stadium.

12. LP Field
Home team: Titans
Year built: 1999
Capacity: 69,143

Similar to Heinz Field, it’s located right in the city and on a picturesque river. A solid, modern, open-air stadium.