Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

The 15 Best MLS Stadiums (2023 Rankings)

MLS Stadiums

Major League Soccer (MLS) is home to some of the most impressive stadiums in the United States. These soccer-specific stadiums, often located in downtown areas, have become iconic landmarks in their respective cities. As MLS continues to grow and attract larger crowds, franchise owners are investing in their stadiums to enhance the fan experience and secure the future of the league.

Teams like Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders have proven that soccer can draw huge crowds, filling football-sized stadiums. In this article, we’ll explore the top 15 stadiums in Major League Soccer, highlighting their unique features and contributions to the sport.

15. Stade Saputo

  • Location: Montreal, Canada
  • Club: CF Montreal
  • Capacity: 20,801

Stade Saputo is the home stadium of CF Montreal. Although the team temporarily played at Inter Miami CF Stadium in 2021 due to travel restrictions, Stade Saputo remains their regular fixture venue. The stadium’s capacity was expanded to accommodate 20,520 spectators, thanks to a recent expansion project. Stade Saputo originally replaced a former training ground built for the 1976 Olympics. The project was made possible through the support of the Saputo family, who covered half of the $17 million budget, with commercial partners contributing the rest.

14. Lower.com Field

  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Club: Columbus Crew
  • Capacity: 20,371

The reigning champions, Columbus Crew, debuted their new stadium, Lower.com Field, in the summer of 2021. The stadium’s opening game featured a match between the Crew and the New England Revolution. With a seating capacity of 20,000, including a new grandstand called the Nordecke dedicated to passionate supporters, Lower.com Field offers a modern and comfortable experience for fans.

13. TQL Stadium

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Club: FC Cincinnati
  • Capacity: 26,000

FC Cincinnati spent its first three seasons in the United Soccer League’s second division at Nippert Stadium, a college football venue. When the team demonstrated strong demand for soccer in Cincinnati, an ownership group worked with Major League Soccer to secure an expansion team. The result was the construction of TQL Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium designed to accommodate 26,000 spectators in the heart of Cincinnati.

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12. Subaru Park

  • Location: Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Capacity: 18,500

Subaru Park, formerly known as PPL Park, is the home of the Philadelphia Union. The stadium was completed in 2010 and hosted its first match between the Union and the Seattle Sounders. Despite initial hopes for revitalizing the Chester waterfront area, the stadium remains a premier venue for sporting events. The Philadelphia Union enjoys strong support, with an average attendance of 92.5% during the 2019 MLS season.

11. DRV PNK Stadium

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Club: Inter Miami CF
  • Capacity: 18,000

Inter Miami CF, partially owned by David Beckham, temporarily plays at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The club has plans to move to Miami Freedom Park, a permanent home and training facility, once completed. The park will offer various amenities, including public parks, tech hubs, restaurants, shops, soccer fields, and a stadium for Inter Miami FC.

10. Paypal Park

  • Location: San Jose, California
  • Club: San Jose Earthquakes
  • Capacity: 18,000

San Jose Earthquakes’ Paypal Park is a soccer-specific stadium situated in San Jose, California. The stadium was designed with the fans’ comfort in mind, boasting features like pitch-level boxes, comfortable seats, and the potential for future expansion. Construction of the stadium was financed entirely by private sources, making it a testament to the Earthquakes’ commitment to their supporters.

9. Lumen Field

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Club: Seattle Sounders
  • Capacity: 68,740

Lumen Field, home to the Seattle Sounders, is a stadium renowned for its capacity and fan experience. While it has a total seating capacity of 68,740, the stadium operates at a reduced capacity of 37,722 during the regular MLS season. Lumen Field offers excellent amenities, including a 70% roof cover, comfortable seating close to the action, and a vibrant Stadium Art Program that showcases diverse artworks throughout the venue.

8. Q2 Stadium

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Club: Austin FC
  • Capacity: 20,500

Q2 Stadium, designed by Gensler Sports, is the home of Austin FC, Austin’s first professional soccer team. The stadium’s unique features include a large canopy that provides shade and rain protection for the fans, an open concourse, breathable mesh fabric seats, and open corners. It is a state-of-the-art facility that blends seamlessly with the natural landscape and cultural heritage of Austin.

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7. Children’s Mercy Park

  • Location: Kansas City, Kansas
  • Club: Sporting Kansas City
  • Capacity: 18,467

Children’s Mercy Park is home to Sporting Kansas City and offers a remarkable experience for both players and fans. The stadium’s design showcases the athleticism and movement of the players, with its exterior composed of angular metal fins. After years of playing in ill-suited venues, Sporting Kansas City now has a stadium that represents their long-term growth and success.

6. Banc of California Stadium

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Club: Los Angeles FC
  • Capacity: 22,000

Banc of California Stadium is the home of Los Angeles FC, one of the newest expansion teams in MLS. Designed by Gensler, the stadium anchors the Figueroa corridor and offers stunning views of the downtown skyline. The stadium’s design aims to create an intimate European-style atmosphere, enhancing the excitement of game days. Visitors to the stadium can also enjoy various amenities, including entertainment, retail, and dining options.

5. BBVA Stadium

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Club: Houston Dynamo
  • Capacity: 22,000

BBVA Stadium, initially built for the San Jose franchise before its move to Houston, is the home of the Houston Dynamo. The stadium’s construction was the result of several years of negotiations and private financing. BBVA Stadium has hosted numerous sporting events since its inauguration in 2012, and it remains a vital venue for the Dynamo and their passionate fan base.

4. Exploria Stadium

  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Club: Orlando City SC
  • Capacity: 25,500

Exploria Stadium is the home of Orlando City SC and has been a popular destination for soccer fans since 2017. Originally planned for 19,000 seats, the stadium’s capacity was expanded due to Orlando City’s strong popularity during their first MLS season. With a seating capacity of 25,500, Exploria Stadium offers an excellent matchday experience for fans, making it one of the best-supported teams in MLS.

3. Audi Field

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Club: D.C. United
  • Capacity: 20,000

Audi Field, the long-awaited soccer-specific stadium for D.C. United, became a reality in 2018. The stadium’s compact design maximizes the available space, and during its first season, it averaged an impressive 88% attendance. Audi Field stands out as a privately financed venue, emphasizing the club’s commitment to its supporters. It also includes standing sections, a growing trend among MLS clubs.

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2. Red Bull Arena

  • Location: Harrison, New Jersey
  • Club: New York Red Bulls
  • Capacity: 25,000

Red Bull Arena, home to the New York Red Bulls, underwent renovations before the 2020 season. The stadium now features a vertical section with rail seating, providing a unique viewing experience for supporters. Additionally, Red Bull Arena has hosted various clubs and international teams, cementing its status as a prominent venue for soccer events.

1. Mercedes-Benz Stadium

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Club: Atlanta United
  • Capacity: 71,000

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is not just the largest stadium in MLS but also one of the most impressive sporting venues in the United States. Its futuristic design sets it apart, making it a prominent feature in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta United shares this stadium with the Atlanta Falcons, and their matches consistently draw massive crowds, with an average attendance of 52,510 during the 2019 season. The stadium offers state-of-the-art amenities, including a 360-degree halo display and an indoor display column, ensuring an unforgettable matchday experience.

FAQs

Q: What is the largest stadium in Major League Soccer?
A: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with a capacity of 71,000, is the largest stadium in MLS.

Q: Which stadium has the highest attendance in MLS?
A: Atlanta United’s matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium consistently attract the highest attendance in MLS, with an average of 52,510 fans during the 2019 season.

Q: Are all MLS stadiums soccer-specific?
A: Yes, all MLS stadiums are designed specifically for soccer matches to provide the best possible matchday experience for fans and players.

Q: Are there any plans for future stadium expansions or new stadiums in MLS?
A: As MLS continues to grow and gain popularity, there are ongoing discussions and plans for future stadium expansions and potentially new stadiums in various cities.

Conclusion

Major League Soccer boasts a collection of impressive stadiums that contribute to the growth and success of the league. These soccer-specific venues offer fans an immersive and exciting matchday experience, helping to create a vibrant soccer culture in the United States. From the iconic Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the intimate atmosphere of Banc of California Stadium, each stadium has its unique features that make it special. As MLS continues to evolve, we can expect even more remarkable stadiums to be added to this list in the future.