Visiting NFL Stadiums

Today marks the first day of postseason play in the NFL, and while I’m excited there’s games on Saturday and Sunday, I’m already missing regular-season NFL play.

For several years now, I’ve been traveling (oftentimes with Raiders fan MrsChiropractic) to football stadiums throughout the United States. We try to visit at least two stadiums per season, choosing locations that are easy to get to from major airports (since we fly out of LAX). During the 2011 NFL season, I got to see a great game at Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stadium) in Tampa, Florida.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers StadiumTampa Bay Buccaneers Stadium at 50 Yard Line

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Atlanta Falcons (the Buccaneers won the game) and as you can see from the image above, the view from the 50 yard line (we were about 15 rows up) was perfect. There was rain for the first quarter of the game but it was quite warm in Tampa and the beer was cold (they deliver to the seats in this stadium).

Oakland Raiders End ZoneEnd Zone at Oakland Raiders Stadium in California

The stadium I travel to most is in Oakland California and it’s perfectly located for quick in and out flights to Oakland International Airport. A great thing about being a chiropractor that has weekends off, is being able to fly on Friday nights (oftentimes spending the weekend in San Francisco) and returning to Los Angeles on Sunday after the game. Quite a few times I’ve also flown into OAK on Sunday morning, taking the bus to Oakland Coliseum, and returned home Sunday night.

Oakland Raiders CheerleadersOakland Raiders Cheerleaders on the Field

Sitting in the lower section rows nearest to the field have their advantages when going to NFL games (like being able to get clear unobstructed photographs of players and cheerleaders) but I personally don’t like sitting in the lower rows during gametime. Far too many times I’ve had what I thought would be great seats for a game, only to be obstructed by video camera operators for the NFL on massive mobile platforms, blocking my view during the action.

Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray RiceBaltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice Signing Autographs

Some NFL players are more fan friendly than others. I’ve been to a few games where the Baltimore Ravens were playing, and I’ve seen players like running back Ray Rice (and several others) chatting with fans and signing autographs. That’s especially exciting for kids, and it reminds me of my childhood days in the 1970s, with players from the New York Jets always treating me kindly (growing up my neighbor was a New York Jets running back).

Miami Dolphins StadiumMiami Dolphins Stadium Hosting the Super Bowl

Every NFL football fan should jump on the opportunity to attend the Super Bowl. I was in Miami Florida for Super Bowl XLIV when the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts. It was a spectacular event. When it comes to the Super Bowl, I recommend traveling fans go for the full experience. Try and stay in a hotel that’s either nearby the stadium or is hosting lots of NFL guests. While in Miami, I was at a Marriott hotel filled with sports commentators and celebrities, and times in the hotel bar became an experience to remember. I am planning to attend Super Bowl 2013 in New Orleans, regardless of who’s playing. That city is going to be off the hook!

Oakland ColiseumOakland Coliseum Upper Level behind End Zone

For a Super Bowl, just being inside the stadium is good enough for me. When going to regular-season games I now prefer to sit a bit higher up and in a front row (so I can actually sit and not worry about fans in front of me standing the entire game). During a regular-season NFL game with the Oakland Raiders hosting the Seattle Seahawks (Raiders won) we had what I thought were great seats above the end zone. They weren’t too high up and they were in the first row of the section. You could see all of the plays come together from his viewpoint of the field.

Every NFL stadium is different though, and in Oakland for example (as well as in San Diego) the TV monitors are horrendous, so I wouldn’t rely on those. I have yet to visit the new stadium in Dallas Texas but that may just happen this year. Several former Dallas Cowboys superstars (like Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice) have been great advocates of regular chiropractic care, but it’s Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers (son of a Chico California Chiropractor) who is my likely pick to win this year’s Super Bowl 46 on February 5, 2012.

Have to admit there are some phenomenal quarterbacks going into this year’s postseason games though, the next few weeks should be pretty awesome to watch.