The History Of NFL Stadiums

The History Of Football Stadiums


“Soccer Stadium” by martha_chapa95 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Teddy Dehn, Journalist

The NFL just celebrated their 100th season last year. The NFL has had so much amazing history throughout the years. Its legendary coaches, epic plays, and its amazingly talented athletes have all played a major role in the growth of the NFL and why it is the most popular spectator sport in America today.  Yet, one topic goes overlooked most of the time. Its stadiums. The NFL has been around for 100 years and, in that time, 300 stadiums have been built.  Construction costs for professional football stadiums during that period have ranged from as little as $15 million  for Staley Field in Chicago in 1920 to 5 billion dollars for the state of the art SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles which opened in 2020.  That’s a full century apart!

SoFi Stadium

SoFi Stadium is not only the newest but also most expensive and advanced stadium ever to be built in the NFL. Topping out at 5 billion dollars for construction, SoFi Stadium is home to two NFL teams, the Chargers and the Rams.  SoFi Stadium, the king of all sports arenas, is truly a modern marvel of construction engineering.  The roof covering the stadium is enormous.  It made out of a clear durable plastic called ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethlene), which is corrosion resistant and can withstand wide variations in temperature.  The roof is not attached to the stadium.  Rather, it supported by a series of columns that surround the bowl-shaped arena.

The Metrodome

The Metrodome was one of the largest, and most exciting stadiums in football, home to the 109 yard field goal return, 99 yard touchdown, and 109 yard kickoff return, all in the top three longest touchdowns ever. But the Metrodome is known for its famous roof collapse in 2010.  In its day, the stadium was the largest air-supported dome facility.  Its roof was constructed of bowed fiberglass panels tied together by wire cables.  After a large storm hit the Minnesota area, snow had begun to pile up on the dome.  The weight of snow and ice eventually lead to the whole thing collapsing under immense pressure. Sadly this marked the beginning of the end for this historic stadium.

Soldier Field

Soldier Field is the longest lasting NFL stadium. Soldier Field was originally created in 1924, and has been the home to the Chicago Bears ever since.  The longevity of this stadium is attributable to its durable design.  Soldier Field was built with sturdy Roman columns reminiscent of the most famous stadium ever – the Roman Colosseum – which still stands after 2000 years.  Soldier Field remains one of the keystones to the success of the Chicago Bears franchise, and the NFL.

Overall the construction of NFL stadiums has significantly contributed to the identity of sports franchises and the history of the NFL.  Afterall without a stadium where would you play football?