STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #22
- Located: Cleveland, OH
- Opened: 1999
- Capacity: 67,895
- Football Weather Misery Index: 65.2 (21st best of 23 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1
- Last visited: 2017
Since coming back to the league, the Browns have stunk. FirstEnergy Stadium was the only NFL stadium in operation in 2021 that has never hosted a playoff game.
But Browns fans are die-hards: the place continues to fill to close to capacity to watch bad football, often in bad weather (the 3rd worse in football). Other than a few knuckleheads, they’re good fans who know football, and are desperate to see a winner.
The stadium itself, built on the site of old Municipal Stadium (a.k.a. The Mistake by the Lake) is a nice albeit unspectacular venue. It features three decks of seats (mainly orange), 274 washrooms, wide concourses, good concessions and big scoreboards. Compared to stadiums of 30 years ago, it would be amazing. But even after a $125 million renovation, it’s just in line with other middle-tier NFL stadiums. And there are already murmurs of a roofed replacement within the next decade.
The Browns don’t have an official parking lot, so everyone parks in local lots, spreading the tailgate around a little. With its location right on Lake Erie, some fans even sailgate at a nearby marina, and others fire up grills on nearby jetties.
I’ve said that now that the Cubs have won the World Series, the fan base that would go most bonkers over of a championship is the Cleveland Browns’ (others considered here include the Maple Leafs, the Bills, the Lions and the Knicks). A home playoff game in this solid venue would be a good start.