Some of NFL’s most iconic and im­pact­ful venues over the years

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports -

LOS AN­GE­LES ME­MO­RIAL COL­I­SEUM, Los An­ge­les: Opened in 1923, the Col­i­seum first gained the Rams as a ten­ant in 1946 when they moved west from Cleve­land. The Raiders played there from 1982-1994 in their L.A. stint be­tween stays in Oak­land. Then the Rams came back in 2016 from St. Louis for a fi­nal re­union un­til they move into their new sta­dium in In­gle­wood in 2020. The Col­i­seum will host a third Sum­mer Olympics in 2028.

SOL­DIER FIELD, Chicago: Opened in 1924 next to Lake Michi­gan, Sol­dier Field be­came host of the Bears in 1971, af­ter they played 50 years in front of the brick and ivy at Wrigley Field. The colon­nades re­mained af­ter the ren­o­vated sta­dium re-opened in 2003 fol­low­ing a one-year stay for the team at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois in Cham­paign.

LAM­BEAU FIELD, Green Bay: The Packers moved into the new City Sta­dium, a big­ger ver­sion across town that was con­sid­ered the NFL’s first foot­ball-spe­cific fa­cil­ity, in 1957. Eight years later, it was re­named for the famed fran­chise’s first head coach, Curly Lam­beau. The Packers won their first Su­per Bowl af­ter the 1967 sea­son af­ter beat­ing Dal­las in the NFL cham­pi­onship game, known as the “Ice Bowl,” on a last-sec­ond quar­ter­back sneak by Bart Starr af­ter a kick­off tem­per­a­ture of 13 de­grees be­low zero.

CAN­DLE­STICK PARK, San Fran­cisco: Opened in 1961, this sta­dium near the brisk San Fran­cisco Bay gained the 49ers as a ten­ant in 1971. The fa­cil­ity, which was much windier for base­ball games than it was for foot­ball, hosted five Su­per Bowl cham­pi­onship teams, rang­ing from the 1981 to 1994 sea­sons, as fu­ture Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame mem­bers Joe Mon­tana and Jerry Rice formed one of the league’s great­est pass­ing games. Mon­tana’s throw to a stretched-out Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone in the NFC ti­tle game against Dal­las, known as “The Catch,” sent the 49ers to their first Su­per Bowl and helped put the ‘Stick on the NFL map.

THREE RIVERS STA­DIUM, Pitts­burgh: One of the many cookie-cut­ter, cir­cle-shaped, multi-pur­pose fa­cil­i­ties of the era, Three Rivers Sta­dium opened in 1970 for the Steel­ers, who won four Su­per Bowl cham­pi­onships dur­ing their res­i­dency along the river­banks. One of the most fa­mous plays in NFL his­tory took place here in 1972, when the “Im­mac­u­late Re­cep­tion “by Franco Har­ris off a de­flected pass in the clos­ing sec­onds gave the Steel­ers a play­off game vic­tory over Oak­land. That was the fran­chise’s first post­sea­son win af­ter go­ing the first 40 years with­out one, the first 37 of which were at Forbes Field and Pitt Sta­dium.

TEXAS STA­DIUM, Dal­las: Opened in 1971 in the sub­urb of Irv­ing, the sta­dium fea­tured a Euro­pean soc­cer-style par­tial roof with a rec­tan­gle cut-out that cast long shadows on the turf and kept the game out­doors while still shel­ter­ing fans from the weather. Or, as Cowboys line­backer D.D. Lewis was widely pur­ported to have ex­plained the rea­son for the hole was “so God can watch his fa­vorite team.” The Cowboys won five Su­per Bowl cham­pi­onships dur­ing their stay at Texas Sta­dium.

MERCEDES-BENZ SU­PER­DOME, New Or­leans: The Su­per­dome has out­lasted seven other domed sta­di­ums from the As­tro­Turf era that have come and gone, even sur­viv­ing Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina that forced the Saints to play else­where in 2005. The space­ship-like build­ing, which opened in 1975, has hosted seven Su­per Bowls. At the last one, six years ago, Bal­ti­more beat San Fran­cisco af­ter a 34-minute power out­age dark­ened the sta­dium and halted the game.

CEN­TURY LINK FIELD, Seat­tle: Opened in 2002 for the Sea­hawks, this sta­dium quickly be­came the loud­est out­door fa­cil­ity in the league be­hind an ar­dent fan base known as the “12th Man” and a unique rain­bow truss de­sign that traps in the crowd noise.

AT&T STA­DIUM, Dal­las: The first sta­dium with con­struc­tion costs that passed the $1 bil­lion price tag, AT&T Sta­dium opened for the Cowboys for the 2009 sea­son in the sub­urb of Ar­ling­ton with a mas­sive, cen­ter-hung, high-def­i­ni­tion videoboard as the premier at­trac­tion among many Texas-sized ameni­ties. The Su­per Bowl was held there in the sta­dium’s sec­ond year, in­fa­mously re­mem­bered for the tem­po­rary sec­tions that weren’t com­pleted in time for the big game and ul­ti­mately left 400 ticket hold­ers with­out seats in the quin­tes­sen­tial first-world prob­lem.

US BANK STA­DIUM, Min­nesota: Opened in 2016 for the Vik­ings and host of the sec­ond-high­est scor­ing Su­per Bowl fol­low­ing the 2017 sea­son, US Bank Sta­dium be­came the NFL’s first fa­cil­ity with a translu­cent roof . The world’s largest piv­ot­ing glass doors add to the out­door feel for the in­door sta­dium.

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