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Rating MLS stadium: From Red Bull to Gillette
SI.com, June 14th, 2011 7:47PM
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In the wake of Sporting Kansas City moving into a new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park, Steve Davis ranks MLS's 17 stadiums, giving the top spot to Red Bull Arena. Portland's just-renovated JELD-WEN Field would probably have topped the charts but for the artificial turf. Everything else is pretty much perfect, a downtown facility packed to the rafters with fans who are bonkers for their side.

After No. 3, Toronto FC's BMO Field, comes one of the earlier stadiums built for MLS, the Home Depot Center, where the Galaxy and Chivas USA play their home games. Rio Tinto Stadium, with the mountain backdrop, artistic design and light rail options, ranks No. 5, ahead of Livestrong Sporting Park, where ownership didn't miss a trick at the gleaming, high tech new park. It's a bit far outside the urban core, but that looks like the only black mark for now.

Crew Stadium in Columbus will always have a special place in history as the first major U.S. stadium built just for soccer. Trouble is, the facility is like a stadium starter kit, as bare bones as they come and it ranks No. 13.

At the bottom is the New England Revs' Gillette Stadium: It's too big, too far out and burdened by artificial turf. And lately, attendance is no better than in other long-suffering markets.

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0 comments
  1. John Singer
    commented on: June 16, 2011 at 3:56 p.m.
    You did not even bother to mention the fabulous Buck Shaw Stadium, home of the SJ Earthquakes. I understand how you could have overlooked it. The original NASL Quakes had the best stadium environment of any club of the era. Sadly, it seems there is a real lack of enthusiasm for the current Quakes. I don't quite understand how things have changed since then. Maybe, the demographics in the South Bay have changed--soccer fans replaced by engineers on H-1B visas. I think the ownership group has broken ground on a new stadium, or training ground, but unless things change it will always be the same 10,000 folks out there.

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