The Best Arenas and Stadiums in America

Rolling Stone

For the last installment in a five-part series on great music venues, Rolling Stone polled 26 insiders and musicians – from top managers to Miranda Lambert – and came up with a list of the nation's coolest arenas and stadiums. Read on for our expert panel's picks, and visit our Venues that Rock page for an interactive map and much more.

Voters:
Corin Tucker (Corin Tucker Band, Sleater-Kinney)
Thomas Mars (Phoenix)
Britt Daniel (Spoon)
Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy)
Miranda Lambert
Talib Kweli
DJ Harvey
Bassnectar
Sharon Osbourne (manager, Ozzy Osbourne)
Scott Rodger (manager, Paul McCartney and Arcade Fire)
Dennis Arfa (agent, Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart)
Jim Guerinot (manager, Nine Inch Nails and No Doubt)
Tom Windish (agent, numerous indie-rock acts)
Andy Cirzan (promoter, Jam Productions in Chicago)
John Scher (promoter in New York City, manager of Art Garfunkel)
Kelly Curtis (manager, Pearl Jam)
Daniel Glass (head of Glassnote Records)
Michael Rapino (Live Nation)
David T. Viecelli (agent, Arcade Fire, David Byrne/St. Vincent, many others)
Brian Ahern (agent, William Morris Endeavor)
Bob McLynn (manager, Fall Out Boy, Courtney Love, many others)
Bertis Downs (manager, R.E.M.)
Jake Schneider (manager, Bassnectar)
Andrew Cook (manager, Deadmau5)
Rob Light

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Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

10. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

The home of football's New York Giants and Jets, the 2.1 million-square-foot, 40-acre MetLife went up on hallowed concert ground in 2010. It's next to the site of the old Giants Stadium (now torn down) in the Meadowlands Sports Complex – home to legendary Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band shows beginning in the Eighties. Bruce finally played here last year (three shows, including one on his 63rd birthday), and so have Bon Jovi and Kenny Chesney. "Probably the best stadium for concerts in the country," says veteran New York promoter John Scher. At $1.6 billion, MetLife is reportedly the most expensive stadium in the world. But it wasn't funded by local taxpayers – the Jets and Giants themselves footed the bill.

Capacity: 82,500

Website: http://metlifestadium.com

Fun fact: Confusingly to everyone other than New Yorkers, the Mets have nothing to do with MetLife Stadium. (It's named after MetLife, the insurance corporation.)

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9. Philips Arena, Atlanta

When billionaire Ted Turner, owner of the Hawks, opened the $213 million arena in 1999, it immediately transformed Atlanta's bland downtown and midtown areas. Giant business headquarters, revitalized parks and upscale restaurants opened in the surrounding areas, in addition to the arena's Hawk Walk, an entertainment-and-shopping zone that includes TV shows in every direction and basketball-shooting games. As for rock concerts, Elton John's sold-out show christened the arena in 1999, and U2, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Prince and Taylor Swift have followed. Why was it called Philips, and not Turner, Arena? Because the electronics giant paid $268 million for the naming rights. Turner sold it after five years.

Capacity: 17,700

Website: http://philipsarena.com

Fun fact: Ricky Martin sold out the arena for a fall concert in 30 minutes just a few months before it opened.

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CC Image courtesy of Christopher Chan on Flickr

8. Staples Center, Los Angeles

"That's where the Grammys are," says country star Miranda Lambert. "How can you not love that about it?" The Staples Center is also where the Los Angeles Lakers play, of course, as well as pretty much ever major performer touring the U.S. – Prince, Paul McCartney, U2, Jay Z and Taylor Swift, to name a few. And 2009, it's where the world paid tribute to the late Michael Jackson.

Capacity: 20,000

Website: http://staplescenter.com

Fun fact: The downtown building site was originally a muddy area filled with squatters. After the $375 million arena went up, so did hundreds of condos, 200 bars and restaurants and a population surge from 18,000 to 50,000 people.

To read the rest of the best arenas and stadiums in America, go to RollingStone.com
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