The worse the Panthers get, the more fans of the away team that can be seen at Bank of America Stadium on any given Sunday. I went to the Denver Broncos game last year, and to be fair the Broncos were about as bad as the Panthers last year. Even still the stadium was at least half orange. I don’t know about you but I haven’t met that many people from Denver in Charlotte. So it’s safe to assume a portion of these fans traveled to Charlotte for this game. To support the team, that was far from the top of their game. No hate for the Broncos. I’m a Panthers fan but I was there specifically to see Russell Wilson who is one of my favorite players. I was surprised to see that many Broncos fans at the game, but now that I know Charlotte is one of the top cities for visiting NFL fans….it makes more sense.

The Study

This data was provided to us by our friends at BonusFinder.com. They compared each of the 30 NFL stadiums and their home cities in nine categories. These ranged from the city’s selection of game day activities to the price of beer and hot dogs at the stadium. All of this in an effort to determine which city is the best for visiting NFL fans to attend a game.

I’ve actually been to a handful of NFL Stadiums. Though coincidentally Bank of America Stadium is the only one on this list. I’ve also been for concerts and college football games, no other NFL games other than Panther home games. But I have to say there is one clear stand out of the stadiums I’ve visited. And I’m SHOCKED it was not included on this list. Because in most of these categories, I’d rank Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta high. The cost of food/drink- unbeatable. It’s downtown location is walkable to hotels and restaruants/bars. Not to mention tourist attractions like the College Football Hall of Fame and Georgia Aquarium.

But I’m not here to hype up Atlanta, instead to tell you about what are the best places to attend an away game to support your team. And let you know why Charlotte was named in the top 5 cities for visiting NFL teams. Not mentioned in this study is the ease and affordability of getting tickets since the team is terrible right now. Have you visited any of these stadiums?

  • 10. Indianapolis, IN

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the 2015 Final Four, is seen on March 31, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    Iconic Stadium: 11.9/20

    Franchise Prestige: 13.9/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 5.6/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 9.1/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 8.8/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 3.4/5

    Cost of a Beer: 4.2/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.3/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 7.8/10

    When traveling to an event at an NFL Stadium, a dome instantly gets extra points from me. The last think you want is to spend the money to travel and the game/event gets canceled. Lucas Oil Stadium and the Colts have some good history. While Indianapolis isn’t at the top of my bucketlist, I wouldn’t mind attending something here.

    Overall Score: 72.99

     

  • 9. Cincinatti, OH

    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 26: General view of Paul Brown Stadium during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 26, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 23-9. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    Iconic Stadium: 9/20

    Franchise Prestige: 12/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 8.1/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 9.4/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 9.1/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 3.65

    Cost of a Beer: 4.8/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 9.1/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.1/10

    Overall Score: 73.19

    I’ve fully jumped on the Bengals bandwagon. My teams have been terrible the last few years and I need some good to come from Sundays so I’m not ashamed of that. My alma mater has two players on the defense, and have you seen Joe Burrow? I’d love to attend a game here!

  • 8. Denver, CO

    10 Sep 2001: General view of Invesco Field. The Broncos defeated the Giants 31-20 at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit:

    Iconic Stadium: 11.9/20

    Franchise Prestige: 14.8/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 9.4/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 7.5/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 5.3/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 3.1/5

    Cost of a Beer: 4.2/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.3/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 9.1/10

    Overall Score: 73.61

    Denver is an overall wonderful city to visit, the Broncos have some incredible history as a franchise. No surprise Mile High Stadium is on this list.

  • 7. Baltimore, MD

    BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 28: Ravens fans enter the stadium as the Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs on September 28, 2003 at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. The Chiefs defeated the Ravens 17-10.

    Iconic Stadium: 11.9/20

    Franchise Prestige: 12.5/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 8.4/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 8.1/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 8.4/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 4.7/5

    Cost of a Beer: 4.4/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.7/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.1/10

    Overall Score: 75.30

    I’ve been to the other Maryland Stadium (FedEx Field in Landover), but not Baltimore’s. Solid, consistent scores across the board seems to be what landed this somewhat of a sleeper (IMO) on the list.

  • 6. Las Vegas, NV

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 19: An exterior view shows Allegiant Stadium, the USD 2 billion, 65,000-seat home of the Las Vegas Raiders, west of a marquee at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders will play their first game as Las Vegas' NFL franchise at the glass-domed facility against the New Orleans Saints on September 21, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the league's first "Monday Night Football" broadcast.

    Iconic Stadium: 10.4/20

    Franchise Prestige: 15.9/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 10/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 5.3/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 7.8/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 4.8/5

    Cost of a Beer: 3.4/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 9.8/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.1

    Overall Score: 75.75

    This is what the NFL wanted when putting a stadium in Vegas. You can’t ask for a better location to visit for an away game. A stadium on the strip with every bar, restaurant, casino, and tourist attraction imaginable within eyesight seemingly.

  • 5. Pittsburgh, PA

    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 11: A general view of the opening kickoff of a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans on September 11, 2005 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Titans 34-7.

    Iconic Stadium: 12.5/20

    Franchise Prestige: 18.3/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 7.2/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 7.8/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 6.9/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 2.5/5

    Cost of a Beer: 3.4/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.4/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.8/10

    Overall Score: 75.80

    When you think of stadiums and teams with history you have to think of the Steelers and Pittsburg. While I’m far from a fan of the team, a game here is a must-do for any NFL fan.

  • 4. Charlotte, NC

    CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: General view of the interior of Bank of America Stadium during the game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers on September 14, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Iconic Stadium: 13.5/20

    Franchise Prestige: 11.7/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 8.8/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 9.4/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 9.7/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 3.3/5

    Cost of a Beer: 3.6/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.3/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.8/10

    Overall Score: 76.99

    A prime stadium location (David Tepper please don’t move it out of the city I’m begging you), gave Bank of America Stadium a boost in the rankings. I mean it’s a solid stadium, but I am a little surprised it ranked quite this high.

  • 3. New Orleans, LA

    NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 25: An overall view of the first kick-off to start the Monday Night Football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on September 25, 2006 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tonight's game marks the first time since Hurricane Katrina struck last August, that the Superdome, which served as a temporary shelter to thousands of stranded victims in the wake of Katrina, has played host to an NFL game.

    Iconic Stadium: 12.5/20

    Franchise Prestige: 13.1/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 8.1/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 9.7/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 9.4/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 3.1/5

    Cost of a Beer: 3/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 10/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.1/10

    Overall Score: 77.05

    Most likely the next on my NFL Stadium adventure is the Superdome in New Orleans. I mentioned before my love of indoor stadiums when traveling. A prime location in a fun city as well, makes me say yes please!

  • 2. Chicago, IL

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 01: In this drone image, a general view of Soldier Field with the Chicago skyline before a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears on November 01, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Iconic Stadium: 17.3/20

    Franchise Prestige: 18/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 9.7/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 7.2/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 5.9/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 1.9/5

    Cost of a Beer: 3.1/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 9.5/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.8/10

    Overall Score: 81.38

    Another team, city, and stadium steeped in history. This one is on my short list as well!

  • 1. Detroit, MI

    DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 22: A general view of Ford Field priort to the start of the NFL game between the Detroit Lions the Green Bay Packers on September 22, 2002 at Ford Field Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 37-31.

    Iconic Stadium: 14.4/20

    Franchise Prestige: 15.5/20

    Sports Bars Within 5-Mile Radius: 7.8/10

    Distance From Major City Center: 9.4/10

    Bars Walking Distance: 10/10

    Cost of a Hot Dog: 2.8/5

    Cost of a Beer: 5/5

    Gambling Opportunities: 8.7/10

    Sports Related Activities Nearby: 8.1/10

    I know you Michiganders have a lot of pride, but Detroit is hardly the most desirable location for me to visit. But the stats in this case gave it the title.

    Overall Score: 81.70

  • Methodology

    To determine the best NFL cities in the US for visiting fans, we analyzed the 32 teams and their 30 stadiums and home cities in the following factors, which were given different weighting depending on their importance for visiting fans.

     

     Iconic Stadiums – Score calculated based on the following three categories (Score out of 20)

    • The stadium’s combined score based on its review scores on Google Maps, TripAdvisor and Yelp

    • The age of the stadium (the oldest scored the highest score and the newest the lowest)

    • Number of hashtags on Instagram

     

    Prestige of the Club – Score calculated based on the following categories (Score out of 20)

     

      • The founding year of the team

      • Number of Super Bowls

      • Number of MVP Players

      • Number of players that have been introduced to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

    Read the rest of the methodology here. Thanks to our friends at BonusFinder for sharing this research with us.

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