This Sunday, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers will face off in Super Bowl 50 to determine the champion of the 2015 NFL season. Unless your remote has been lost in your couch since September or you’re living under a rock, you probably knew that already.
What you might not know already is that Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. To most football fans, this isn’t huge news. But to us, the real estate fanatics at Fundrise, it’s a big deal. How big you might ask? About 1.3 billion jaw-dropping dollars—that’s the estimated construction cost of Levi’s Stadium.
That price tag means Super Bowl 50 is being played in one of the most expensive stadiums in the NFL. Additionally, there has been recent controversy over the staggering amount of public funds used to build stadiums.
As true fans of both the game of football and real estate, we decided to do a little due diligence and look into these properties.
Here’s what we found about the five most expensive stadiums in the NFL:
5. Lucas Oil Stadium: 500 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225
Home to the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, or “The House That Manning Built”, is a beautifully appointed stadium, featuring a brick facade trimmed with Indiana limestone designed to mimic local landmarks.
Two massive feats of engineering undoubtedly contributed to this stadium making our list. The first is a massive retractable roof over the field. At the touch of a button, a 4.5 acre hole can be opened in the roof to let in the Indianapolis sunshine. Second, a 20K sq ft window wall on one end of the stadium can be opened for views of downtown Indianapolis. Surely the 70,000 fans that pack the stadium on any given Sunday in the fall would agree that these features are well worth the price.
4. Soldier Field: 1410 Museum Campus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Soldier Field, the oldest stadium in use by an NFL team, sits on the shore of Lake Michigan. Most of the stadium’s impressive price tag comes from badly needed renovations made from 2001-2003. The new look of the stadium prompted one Chicago critic to dub it “the eyesore on the lakeshore.”
Despite this damning portrayal, the New York Times named Soldier Field one of the “best new buildings of 2003,” calling the renovations a “dynamic remodeling and an aggressive move forward.”
An added bonus: the stadium was the first in the NFL to achieve LEED status, by doing things such as repurposing old field sod for other landscaping projects.
3. Levi’s Stadium: 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Levi’s Stadium, the host site of Super Bowl 50, opened its doors in July 2014. On a dramatic note, our own due diligence revealed recent concerns about the quality of the turf in the stadium. Since its opening, the 49ers and their opponents have dealt with poor field conditions, including some over-analyzed slips on the field. Luckily the sod has been replaced several times, and will be replaced again before Sunday’s game.
Not to be outdone by Soldier Field, Levi’s Stadium is the first professional stadium in the United States to receive LEED Gold status for new construction. This is thanks in part to easy access to nearby metro stops, and a combination of green roof space and solar panels.
In a funny turn of events, Wrestlemania drew the stadium’s current attendance record at 76,976 people.
2. AT&T Stadium: 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011
AT&T Stadium, sometimes called “Jerry World” after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, lives up to the adage that “everything is bigger in Texas”. For starters, the stadium’s dome is supported by two impressive 300 foot arches that span the entire stadium. Without standing room, the stadium can hold 80,000 people, and it currently holds the regular season attendance record for a crowd of 105,121 people set in 2009.
The stadium is also famous for its gigantic scoreboard, which was the largest high definition display in the world at the time of installation. The board, which hangs over the field between the 20 yard lines, is believed by some to be an obstacle for punters. To date, only two punters have struck the scoreboard in an NFL game.
All in all, AT&T stadium is a fitting home for the Cowboys, the world’s second most valuable sports franchise.
1. MetLife Stadium: 1 MetLife Stadium Dr, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
MetLife Stadium tops our list of heavyweight stadiums, with a construction cost clearing 1.7 billion dollars. The stadium, which opened in 2010, is home to both the New York Giants and the New York Jets, who jointly own the stadium. The only other stadium to host two professional sports teams from the same league is the Staples Center in LA.
One look at the exterior of the stadium will tell you who is playing at home that week—green lights for the Jets, blue lights for the Giants. It takes about 18 hours and a 40 person crew to change the end zones when the team playing at home changes. Finally, there are actually 4 locker rooms in the stadium, one for each home team, and 2 for visiting teams. Seating for 82,566 people makes MetLife stadium the second largest in the NFL by capacity.
Image Credit: Jeramey Jannene, Flickr