FOXBORO (CBS) — The road to the Super Bowl has often gone through Foxboro’s Gillette’s Stadium since it opened in 2002. But ESPN doesn’t think much of the New England Patriots’ home, according to a new ranking on its website.
Gillette is ranked just a few spots from the bottom – No. 23 – on ESPN’s ranking of all 28 NFL stadiums. Only the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Washington’s football team have lower-ranked home fields.
The ranking takes into account atmosphere, features, traditions, prices, tailgating, location and history. The World Wide Leader says Gillette’s cost and traffic flow are mostly responsible for the ranking.
With the NFL opening two new stadiums this season, we ranked the other 28 venues on everything from tailgating to tradition. https://t.co/5Pn9Q7Bxqh
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 16, 2020
“While the Patriots’ success makes high prices understandable, the typical game-day cost is more than $200 more than the next-most expensive team,” ESPN’s ranking states. “That will likely come down now that Tom Brady is gone, but the pricing is ridiculous.”
ESPN says the cost of a ticket, parking, hot dog and beer at Gillette averages over $534.
Patriots fans will probably agree that driving to the stadium is no picnic.
“Getting to and from Gillette is also a nightmare, as the limited options in and out of the stadium cause gridlock,” ESPN said. “The remote Foxborough location isn’t great, but the Patriot Place complex somewhat makes up for that.”
So what does ESPN like about Gillette? The ranking does note that New England’s incredible success in the past two decades gives “Gillette an aura of invincibility that gets the home fans going pretty quickly.” The fog horn and minutemen firing muskets are also “cool traditions,” the network acknowledges.
ESPN ranked Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field No. 1, followed by the home stadiums of the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings. See the full ranking here.