TIAA BANK FIELD
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #23
- Location: Jacksonville, FL
- Opened: 1995
- Capacity: 67,838
- Weather: OK (7th best of 20 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1
- Last visited: 2019
Jacksonville is always mentioned as the NFL team most likely to leave town. The fan base is thinner than most other markets, and the stadium struggles to fill its seats. Which is too bad, because it’s one of the more underrated venues in the league.
Its fanbase is probably the most “southern” in pro football, with many sporting the Gardener Minchew look in a non-ironic fashion. Chants of DUUUVAL (in reference to the city’s location in Duval county) echo after a big play. It’s hard to find a craft beer with demand being mainly for macro brews.
About 76% of seats are between the goal lines. The north end zone features a VIP suite deck area that includes two pools with clear sides that look out onto the playing field. There’s no “club level” (the team moated the best seats in the lower bowl between the 30’s to serve as the club area) so the upper bowl feels closer to the field. Concessions include barbecue, jambalaya, and offerings from several local eateries. And the stadium boasts the largest videoboard in North America.
Despite being just 1.5 miles from the heart of downtown Jacksonville, there isn’t much around the stadium other than one good brewpub and 8 churches. While I did find an amazing steampunk beer bar in the city, Kickbacks Gastropub, it was about 4 miles from the stadium.
TIAA Field is a quality stadium that’s probably best visited later in the season to avoid the scorching Florida weather. On-going renovations have continued to improve the fan experience. It just needs more people inside it.