Major League Soccer may still be in its infancy in some aspects compared to the rest of the world, but that doesn’t mean that the venues are any less beautiful. The American soccer league showcases some of the more beautiful stadiums in the world.
This past Tuesday, Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian listed her rankings of stadiums in Major League Soccer. Here are some of the highlights.
Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta United)
This is one of the premier venues to take in an MLS game. “Atlanta United has come closer than any other Major League Soccer team to creating a game day atmosphere like that seen in soccer stadiums across Europe,” said Goldberg in her piece.
The Five Stripes draw more than double the fans of most of the MLS teams and time will tell if United will be a permanent fixture in Atlanta or a dying trend, it’s fun to see the Terminus Legion and Hype Depot get fans riled up during a match.
Orlando City Stadium (Orlando City SC)
Orlando City Stadium opened in time for Orlando City’s first home game of the 2017 and has established itself as one of the best places to watch soccer. Orlando’s soccer-specific stadium is just a few blocks from the heart of downtown and was built with the intention of promoting an incredible atmosphere on game days.
Supporters paint the inside of player tunnels to create a hostile environment for visitors, and a welcoming environment for their hometown team.
The stadium features the first safe-standing section in the United States (similar to what one can see in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund) for the club’s supporters’ group. The roof of the stadium was built at an angle with the intention to trap in noise.
Providence Park (Portland Timbers)
Of all the venues in MLS, Providence Park provides the most atmosphere. “The Timbers Army has helped to create one of the top game day experiences across any sport in the United States,” Goldberg says. “The dedicated fan base in Portland, which supported the Timbers and the sport of soccer long before the club entered MLS, has set a new standard for how fans can support their teams.” Providence Park is a must on the bucket list of any soccer fan in the United States.
We’ve learned of the top three clubs as ranked by Goldberg, but you may be asking where does MAPFRE Stadium fall on her list?
MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus Crew SC)
Unfortunately the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States doesn’t rank highly amongst Goldberg’s rankings, coming in 19th place. Goldberg added, “MAPFRE Stadium was the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS. But despite its important history, MAPFRE Stadium now has the feeling of an old and worn-down venue that is in serious need of renovations. The stadium, which is north of downtown Columbus, is lacking in amenities and ambiance. The Crew have some dedicated fans, but the club has struggled to draw numbers to its stadium.”
Do you agree with Jamie Goldberg’s rankings? You can read the full list here.