STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #13
- Location: Detroit, MI
- Opened: 2002
- Capacity: 65,000
- Football Weather Misery Index: Indoors
- Games attended: 6
- Last visited: 2018
The Lions are my team, and I hate myself for it.
Having grown up watching games in the old Pontiac Silverdome, it was nice to get a shiny new palace. Even though the place is approaching its 20th birthday, it still feels fresh with its industrial chic design, high-quality concessions and solid game day operation. Unfortunately, the team inside drags the experience down.
The Lions stink. So it would be unfair to the fans to have them sit in the cold in November and December to watch bad football. Even in a market that takes pride in its grit and determination, indoor football makes sense. But so does natural light. So skylights and large windows allow a lot of light into this fixed-roof facility.
The Lions stink. So it would make sense to feed the fans well in order to encourage them to come back for more punishment. Ford Field has some of the best concessions in the NFL featuring a ton of well-respected local restaurants. There’s BBQ from Slow’s, pizza from Bigalora, coney dogs from National Coney Island, sausages from Corridor Sausages, geltato from Zingerman’s, and shawarma from La Shish. Plus you can get macro beer for $5.
The Lions stink. So you might as well try to make people happy before the game. Ford Field is on the outskirts of downtown Detroit and within walking distance to Greektown, putting it in the area of several bars and restaurants. But there’s still a good tailgate culture. The biggest area is over by Eastern Market, a good walk east of the stadium. West of the stadium (and closer) are many lots which can also get pretty hopping before the game. Plus the Lions offer a Pride Plaza with food trucks, a zipline, interactive games, cheerleaders and autograph sessions with former Lions. Once inside the stadium, the pre-game intro music from a triad of Michiganders (Eminem, White Stripes, and Kid Rock) will temporarily give Lions fans hope. And the fight song, Gridiron Heroes, ain’t bad when it’s not played to “celebrate” a meaningless touchdown to make the score 27-10 them.
If the team on the field could match the level of excellence of its facility, a whole lot of Lions fans would be happy. Because then, the Lions wouldn’t stink.