As in years past, NFL Live stream with full HD coverage will be available on NFL Game Pass. You can also watch NFL live streaming games through each NFL broadcaster’s cable TV channel. That includes FOX, CBS, and NBC, as well as ESPN’s Monday Night Football. It all starts Thursday night, September 9, 2021 with an 8:00 pm EST game on NBC between the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.
There are many ways to watch NFL live stream games. The most popular NFL live streaming option in the United States is the NFL Sunday Ticket. This allows fans to watch any Sunday game they want, instead of being forced to watch what local programmers show. It makes for a perfect football weekend.
NFL Live Stream: Official Channels
Every radio and television company who successfully bids for rights to broadcast games in the United States also has the rights to stream or market those games internationally. If these North American companies broadcast to your country, you can find NFL live stream games on their streaming services, or live on their regular channels.
- NBC Sports broadcasts one game every Sunday night. They will also broadcast the season-opening Thursday night game on September 6 and the Thanksgiving holiday night game.
- CBS Sports owns the rights to broadcast all Sunday afternoon games played at the home stadiums of American Football Conference (AFC) teams.
- Fox Sports owns the rights to all National Conference home games on Sundays, as well as 11 Thursday Night Football games.
- ESPN broadcasts the weekly Monday Night Football contests.
- NFL Network holds exclusive rights to some of the Thursday night games and two Saturday games. They also re-broadcast some games during the week and can stream the broadcasts of all the other networks internationally and into areas of the USA that might not be able to see certain games.
- Telemundo uses the camera feeds of the other stations to broadcast most games with their own Spanish-speaking announcers.
Since they can market their broadcasts internationally, you might find the games on a tertiary channel when overseas. For instance, Fox Sports broadcasts all non-ESPN games using the feeds from the contracted American stations. For this reason, you might watch a game on Fox in Mexico and hear promotions for CBS or NBC programs.
Ways to Watch NFL Season 2021 for free
If you can not find NFL games on regular television, there are ways you might be able to watch the games for free.
Verizon has opened their free NFL Mobile app to all smartphone users, regardless of carrier, in 2021. The service is limited to local market broadcast, including playoffs. There are other NFL-related perks and apps available, too. These work on tablets and computers, as well.
As you might imagine, the NFL is not interested in providing their content to broadcasters or streaming companies for free. However, there are several streaming sites available that still offer the games at no cost to you.
NFL2Go and Batman Stream are two examples where a free registration gives you access to multiple sports events, including the NFL. Both offer high definition broadcasts to your computer until the NFL manages to shut them down.
Free Streaming Guide
Free is a relative term here. Some of these internet-based, or “over-the-top”, television sites are fee-driven but include NFL games at no additional costs. Some are restricted by location and others offer limited selections.
- WatchESPN is available to anyone who has a television or internet provider on their approved The app broadcasts most ESPN standards, including Monday Night Football. They have not updated their programming list, but the Thursday Night Football games will probably be available, too.
- FuboTV subscribers have all games played on CBS, Fox, and NBC available in their regional market. In other words, if you live in Chicago, you probably can’t watch Miami unless they are a national game or if they happen to play the Bears. ESPN is not available on FuboTV and per NFL rules, no games can be watched on a smartphone.
- Sling TV offers packages that could include Fox, NBC, and ESPN. NFL Network is also an option. You would have to make sure the package you buy includes games you want. CBS is not available on Sling, meaning you can not get most AFC games.
- PlayStation Vue is another streaming television site, often cited as a top-performer. Because of a recent decision to drop local channels owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, there are some markets that no longer include CBS or NBC. All markets show ESPN and Fox. Most major markets still have a full slate of sports stations. Despite its name, you do not need PlayStation to use the PS-Vue.
- beIn Sports is a global sports network with English and Spanish broadcasts in the United States, BeIN broadcasts live international events, but only highlights of NFL games. If you are in Europe or Africa, you might be able to catch some NFL games on this Al-Jazeera-owned network.
- Hulu Live Package offers NBC, CBS, and Fox in more than half of the country. You also get free access to WatchESPN. Their coverage selections doubled since they came on the scene last year and should continue to gain local market coverage rapidly.
- DirectTV Now is Direct TV’s streaming, no dish required, service. While local channels are largely available, DirecTV Now does not offer their NFL Game Day package to subscribers.
- YouTube TV is one of the latest arrivals and considered one of the best, technologically and customer-service-wise. It offers access to every channel carrying NFL games, as well as many local channels with sports content.
NFL Live Streaming Options
The NFL offers a few options to stream NFL games. NFL Live Sunday Ticket gives viewers access to every game in any market as it happens. You can switch between games and play a screen-in-screen. This service is often called the DirecTV Sunday Ticket because a satellite dish and DirecTV subscription are required.
To address coverage concerns, the NFL started NFLSundayTicket.TV for people who can’t access DirecTV. It is not nationally available, but it is growing each season.
NFL Live Sunday Ticket Max adds real-time highlights, the RedZone Channels, DirecTV Fantasy Zone channel, and NFL.com fantasy to any computer or device.
NFL Game Pass is another option that allows subscribers to view every game from every market the next day. If you are content to watch your local market game and wait to see other games, this is a less expensive option.
Subscriptions to any of the NFL live stream programs gives you on-demand access to a full game or a condensed version of any game from the season. The condensed version airs without commercials and minimal downtime for about a 30-minute show.
NFL Game Pass offers live NFL games, plus all the other features, internationally. If you are out of the country, you can pay for a season-long subscription or buy one month of service for live coverage.
NFL Live Streaming using a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a device touted to add speed and security to your computer by tying you into a larger server network.
One other reason to use a VPN is to make it appear you are somewhere other than where you are. This could come in handy if a game is blacked out or if a streaming service is not available where you are. With a VPN, you can be in Boston and look like you are in Los Angeles or even another country.
NFL security, like many other sites, have developed technology to detect many VPNs and block computers from using them. But there are some workarounds available. Here is the basic “How to”:
- Secure a VPN, available for a few dollars per month. Express VPN or NORD seem to be the most popular.
- Turn on your computer and activate the VPN by choosing a server location. Pick one in Europe as they have the most reliable internet.
- Go to NFL Game Pass. If you get an American page, try accessing the site in a private browser. (Look for the option to open an incognito window in your settings.) Then access NFL Game Pass again to find the international site.
- Make an international account. It is okay to use a US-based credit card to pay for an international account.
- The page will give you a local currency price. There is a drop-down menu to see the US dollar cost, which should be $125 for 2018.
- Sign up and you’re all set.
- When you want to use your Game Pass, remember to reactivate your VPN first.
If the quality of the feed is not good enough, try different servers from your VPN offerings.As long as it is outside the United States, you will be alright.
If you can not get through to NFL Game Pass for NFL live stream online, contact the VPN’s customer service to be walked through any available fix. Both Express and NORD have highly-rated customer service departments. They also have 30-day money-back guarantees if you can not make the system work for you.
Note that Game Pass does run a little slow, possibly trailing as much as several minutes behind the live event over time. If you do not want a spoiler, turn off scores. You can also hit the “live” option occasionally to bring you back to real-time.
The best news for mobile users is that Verizon will make its NFL Mobile app available to all users, regardless of provider or smartphone type. You can also use the Yahoo Sports app or the Go90 app, which is Verizon’s sports service.
Most game streaming services can be viewed on today’s smartphones and tablets, too.
If you don’t want to watch the whole game, but you still want to know what is happening, there are multiple NFL update apps. Almost every broadcaster or streaming service offers an update apps that are adaptable to note scores, finals, injuries, and more.
ESPN and CBS Sports Network among the most popular. TheScore and NFLNation are two non-broadcaster apps that are among the highest rated by multiple geek-type publications.
All of these are free and easy to download from either your Apple or Android app store.
When you are trying to increase your popularity and fan base, it’s a must to have an active social media presence. The NFL and its contracted broadcast or streaming partners are not different.
If you have a need to know in real time, the highlight apps mentioned earlier are speed-driven and as accurate.
For the rest of us, social media can satisfy our needs. Follow the NFL, your favorite team, CBS/Fox/NBC/ESPN sports, or any number of fan pages to keep highlights and updates coming from Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
They may be a minute or two behind the mobile apps, but you will get what you need. You can also monitor any sports streaming service’s home page for live scores and statistics, including NFL.com. Most stream the information in a banner or sidebar while offering written or video updates from on-site reporters.
What is the game about?
There are various ways to score points in NFL football, but the main objective is to reach the end zone being guarded by the opposing team’s defenders. A score is called a touchdown and is worth six points. The team with the ball can pass it to another player on their team, or they can run with it.
The offense gets four opportunities to advance the ball, called downs. Every time they move the ball ten yards closer to the goal, they start over with a new set of four downs. This is called “getting a first down.” The team can take as much time as they need to score a touchdown as long as they have enough downs.
On fourth down, they can decide whether they believe they can score or move the ball enough to get another first down. If they do not like their odds, they can kick (punt) the ball to the other team.
The advantage of this is to move the other team farther away from their end zone, thus making it less likely they will score. If a team tries to move the ball on fourth down and fails to get the ten yards required or score, the other team gets the ball right there.
If a team is close enough, they can also try to kick the ball through or over a goal post. That is worth half a much as a touchdown.
If a defender steals the ball by intercepting a throw or recovering a dropped ball (fumble), he can try to run it into the other end zone for a touchdown. Defenders can also score by tackling the offensive player with the ball in the wrong end zone for a two-point safety.
After a touchdown, teams decide to try for a one-point extra point by kicking the ball from the 25-yard line or “going for two.” Teams get two points for running or catching a ball in the end zone from the two-yard line after a touchdown. This is a relatively new option and changed the strategy of some games.
There are always 11 players on the field from each team. Five-to-seven men line up where the ball is, otherwise known as the line of scrimmage. This includes one player- the center- designated to take the ball from the ground and get it to his quarterback.
The quarterback controls the offense. He decides whether he will hand the ball to a runner or throw a pass. One or more players might line up behind the center with the quarterback. These are running backs who can take the ball and run, stay and help protect the quarterback as he tries to throw, or run to another spot to catch a pass.
There are also players on the end of the scrimmage line who can catch a pass. Tight ends, who usually line up right next to the other five plays and can also block, can run to a spot a catch a pass. There are also wideouts (or wide receivers) who usually start farther away from the main line.
The defense consists primarily of linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs. Linemen start close to the offensive line and usually are charged with pushing the offensive players back and preventing either a runner from getting through or a quarterback from passing.
Defensive backs are primarily responsible for the offensive players trying to catch passes. They line up behind everyone else or opposite the wide receivers.
Linebackers are in the middle and react to the play. They will pursue a runner and can also help prevent passes from being caught by either staying close to receivers or trying to knock the quarterback down before he can throw.
Kickoffs and punt plays have specialist in blocking and tackling as well as receiving and running with kicks.
|AFC EAST||NFC EAST|
|Buffalo Bills||Dallas Cowboys|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Giants|
|New England Patriots||Philadelphia Eagles|
|New York Jet||Washington Redskins|
|AFC WEST||NFC WEST|
|Denver Broncos||Arizona Cardinals|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Los Angeles Rams|
|Los Angeles Chargers||San Francisco 49ers|
|Oakland Raiders||Seattle Seahawks|
|AFC NORTH||NFC NORTH|
|Baltimore Ravens||Chicago Bears (Preview & Predictions)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions (Preview & Predictions)|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers (Preview & Predictions)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings (Preview & Predictions)|
|AFC SOUTH||NFC SOUTH|
|Houston Texans||Atlanta Falcons|
|Indianapolis Colts||Carolina Panthers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||New Orleans Saints|
|Tennessee Titans||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Almost every player in the National Football League first played for a college or university. If they want to play in the NFL. They can declare themselves eligible for the draft and get their names placed in a pool of available players for the 32 NFL teams to choose from. A new player does not get to decide what team he plays for.
When the pool of players is established, teams do their research on them and decide who they would like to join their team. This could be based on needs, such as if your quarterback is injured or retiring, or sheer skill, such as picking a new running back because he is the best athlete available, even though you don’t really need a new one.
The selection order is based on the previous year’s results. The NFL team who won the fewest games picks first and the league champion goes last. There are seven rounds. Anyone not selected can be added to any team afterward as an “undrafted free agent.” The seven orderly rounds assure no single team can sign all the top players.
The NFL Draft used to be a mundane affair held on a Saturday in a conference room in New York. With the advent of sports networks and internet sites, including the NFL Network stream and NFL.com, there has been a need to create programming.
The draft is now a three-day event, with the first-round broadcast on a Thursday night, two more rounds on Friday, and the rest on Saturday. Players expected to be drafted in the first round are invited to the draft site. The commissioner of the league announces each choice and the players are presented to the audience, congratulated, and photographed with a team jersey and cap.
Besides the television show, the league has begun accepting bids from cities who want to host the event. The host city creates a party atmosphere, with fan participation events, concerts, player meet-and-greets, and much more. The 2019 draft will be held in Nashville, Tn.
Every team plays four exhibitions, or preseason, games. The only exception each year are the two teams chosen to play in the first game, the Hall of Fame game. Those teams will have five exhibitions. The Hall of Fame Game is part of the festivities revolving around the annual enshrinement of new members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The pre-season games have no bearings on the regular season. The statistics don’t count. Few people remember that the 1972 Miami Dolphins lost three exhibition games. They are still considered the only “perfect team” after completing the regular season and playoffs without a loss.
These games help coaches realize which new players are ready for bigger roles in the regular season and help established players get into “game shape.” Some coaches and players believe there are not enough games to develop new players, whiles others think there are too many because of the injury risk.
Television and radio coverage of preseason games is not part of the regular television contract. ESPN, CBS, and Fox are not required to broadcast them. Local channels tend to pick up the games, the fees for which are negotiated directly with the teams. Profits from those deals is not shared with the players.
NFL Game Pass and NFL Ticket, as well as most of the general streaming sites mentioned earlier, will also make the preseason games available.
Regular Season Schedule
With 32 teams, scheduling is relatively easy. Teams know they will face the other three teams in their division twice, once in each home stadium.
Besides the six intra-divisional games, a team plays each team from one division within its conference. As a result, teams from the same conference play each other every three years.
Each team also plays a game against each team from a division of the other conference. Every team plays against each opposite conference team every four years.
The remaining two games of the 16-game schedule will be played against teams from the other two divisions in a team’s conference, based on their place-finish of the previous season. In other words, the third-place team from one division plays two other third-place teams.
When some critics observe that top teams play each other every year, that is why. Perennial powerhouses tend to see each other more often.
Once the matchups are set, the league determines who plays where and at what time, including the primetime games.
NFL Regular Season
By the end of the preseason, teams have to decide on a 53-man roster they will go to battle with. Each team plays 16 games over 17 weeks. The week off, called the bye week, is staggered to assure fans can watch games each week. The bye weeks start in Week 4 and end after Week 11.
The first game of the regular season is held on Thursday preceding the second weekend of September. There is no rule, but it has become a tradition to have the defending champions play in that game. Schedule makers seem to look for a matchup with a rival or another playoff team from the previous year.
Philadelphia’s Eagles will host the Atlanta Falcons this season on September 6. Atlanta was eliminated by the Eagles in the second round of playoff games last year.
Most games are played in two time slots on Sundays. On the East Coast of the US, the games begin at 1:00 pm and about 4:00 pm. There are some nationally televised games that are held until 4:25 in case an early game goes into overtime.
Monday Night Football
In 1970, the NFL was convinced to play a nationally televised game every Monday night. This would allow people who were watching the same team each week to see more of the other teams.
ABC won the rights to broadcast the games and Roone Arledge made sure it was worthy of prime time. His innovations included the three-man announcer booth that kept the banter going all game, even if the game was a dud. He also added cameras to the standard configuration.
Today, Monday night football is an American institution. Schedules are planned around it and businesses use it as a promotional night around the country.
Sunday Night Football
ESPN broke onto the NFL scene by convincing the league to let it broadcast another national game each Sunday night. Chris Berman spearheaded the announcing crew that gave the fledgling all-sports network a huge credibility boost when it needed it.
In 2007, ESPN lost the Sunday night rights to NBC, but it wasn’t upset since it now covers the Monday Night football games.
Thursday Night Football
When the NFL Network debuted, there was an obvious irony to their name. No one watched football games there. Thursday Night Football was born, albeit with a limited schedule.
In 2021, there is a full slate of Thursday night games, as well as several late-season Saturday evening games that will be simulcast on the NFL Network.
Twelve teams will continue to play in a single-elimination playoff tournament after the regular season ends. This includes the eight division winners and the two non-division winners with the best won-loss record in each conference. The non-division winners are called wild card teams.
Among each conference division winners, the two teams with the best won-lost records are awarded a bye, meaning they get a week to rest. The wild-card team with the better record plays at the stadium of the fourth-best division winner, while the third best hosts the lesser of the two wild cards.
The top two division winners will host the winner of the two first round (or wild-card round) winners. The surviving team with the lesser record takes on the top team and the other takes on the second-best division winner. This is called the second, or divisional round.
The two surviving teams meet in the conference championship game, held at the stadium of the team with the best record. The two conference champions will get a week off before the Super Bowl, held at a neutral site.
The NFL Pro Bowl is the league’s All-Star Game. It is held in Hawaii in the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Players participating in the Super Bowl cannot play in the Pro Bowl. Injured players are also able to decline invitations, watering down the event somewhat.
It is still a fun weekend for the fans and the players. There is usually little defense played as no one wants to get hurt or hurt anyone else in what is only another exhibition.
The championship game of the NFL is called the Super Bowl. It is one of the most-watched and most-expensive extravaganzas in the world. It has become a week-long event with interactive fan events, concerts, and exhibitions. Cities bid for the right to host the game because of the prestige and money it can bring.
At the end of the festivities comes the big game. It is often the most-watched television show of the year in the United States, not including an international audience of hundreds of millions. Not everyone who watches is an NFL football fan. The halftime show has become a major viewing event with stars like Justin Timber lake and Katy Perry headlining recent games.
Private companies pay up to $4 million for 30-seconds of time to air commercials and announcements. The game is such a financial boon that the four major over-the-air networks take turns hosting it regardless of whether they broadcast any other games all season.
The game itself pits the top team from the NFC against the top team from the AFC. Last season’s matchup featured the Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots. The Eagles had never won a Super Bowl, while the Patriots have won and played more than any other recent team.
It was a game for the ages, with each team scoring on almost every possession. There was only one punt and one turnover. The teams set records for total yards in a game with more than a quarter left to play. The Patriots took a lead early in the second half, but the Eagles came right back.
Finally, it was the Philadelphia defense rising up, stopping the Patriots twice in the final minutes, and giving the Eagles their first ever NFL Super Bowl Championship.
The Lombardi Trophy
Winning the Super Bowl earns a team the right to own a Lombardi Trophy. The trophy has been made by Tiffany and Co. since its 1967 inception. Green Bay won the first ever in what was then called the AFC-NFC Championship. The trophy was inscribed with the words “World Champion” before being renamed the Lombardi Trophy after the Packers head coach.
Teams are now awarded the trophy on the field immediately after the game. It is another made-for-television NFL moment. Tiffany makes a new Lombardi Trophy every year, so the winning teams gain permanent possession of the award.
Besides the trophy, teams usually order specially designed, and very large, Super Bowl Champion rings. Each player and coach gets one. Teams have been known to sanction a ring for other long-time personnel or players, as well. It is completely up to the team to decide who gets a ring.
NFL Prize Money
There is virtually no incentive for teams to make the playoffs other than the pride of owning the Lombardi Trophy. The players get bonuses for each playoff game they play because their contracts only cover the regular season. Each player on the Eagles and Patriots received less than $200,000 for their playoff run.
But the NFL is unique in that gate receipts go to the league who allow a small portion of money for the operation of the stadium. Teams get to keep parking and concession money. New England can gain about $2 million that way. Atlanta only gains about $500,000 because of their contracts with the City of Atlanta.
Money is made through the television contracts. The amount is pre-determined before the season. There is no extra money given to the playoff teams besides the stipend to cover game operations. It is a unique situation in American sports.
Who wins the Super Bowl this year?
With the risk of injuries and the role of emotion, aging, and other factors, it is impossible to say who will win the next Super Bowl. That won’t stop almost everyone from trying, though. Betting on NFL games is big business and Las Vegas has already published odds to base bets on for 2021.
New England and Philadelphia as among the best bests to play in the big game again. Other teams like Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcon, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are among the NFC favorites.
Besides New England, the Jacksonville Jaguars enjoy the best odds, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers near the head of the AFC pack. Even the experts can’t narrow it down any better than that.
NFL Game Simulators
In this day and age, there are many computer simulators that can predict anything, including the outcome of each football game. NFL Game Sim is one such simulator.
Sports sites, such as CBS and ESPN, use a simulator program to play a full season multiple times, sometimes hundreds of times, to predict how a season will go. There are already articles written predicting the 2021 Super Bowl winner.
Information from each week’s games is added on the fly. Simulations are usually re-run every time there is new information. Many sites offer their simulated predictions every week.
The simulators are far from perfect. One injury, a bad officiating call, or run of luck can completely change a game. For that reason, every simulator site carries a disclaimer about the risks of betting on games.
NFL coaching staffs usually include a head coach and two or three coordinators. There is an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and sometimes the special teams coach is called a coordinator. There are a few head coaches who double as one of their team’s coordinators. There are also a slew of position coaches and other specialists like strength coaches.
Head coaches rarely become famous outside their own community unless they win championships. Iconic coaching legends like Lombardi, Paul Brown, Tom Landry, and Chuck Noll are icons because they won the biggest game more than once.
The coaches with the most respect in the game today largely follow that pattern. Bill Belichick of New England is widely regarded as the smartest and best-prepared coach in the league. The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl eight times with Belichick at the helm, winning five of them. Both marks are records for coaches.
Only seven other active coaches have Super Bowl rings, and not always as head coaches. Coaches that are perennially in the playoffs, like Mike Tomlin, Andy Reid and Pete Carroll enjoy some celebrated status. John Gruden won a Super Bowl a generation ago and returns to coach Oakland this year.
Several young coaches like Doug Marrone in Jacksonville and Doug Pederson in Philadelphia are enjoying early respect for turning around franchises. We have to see if they keep it up. Time will tell if anyone other than Belichick becomes an icon.
NFL Team Mascots
Most teams have adopted a mascot to help entertain home crowds and attend offseason team events. Mascots are largely based on the team logo or name. There is a dolphin character in Miami, a pirate (buccaneer) in Tampa Bay, and a raven in Baltimore.
Baltimore also has a pair of live ravens who fly around the stadium. The Broncos have a white Arabian horse, and the Browns have both a fake dog, Chomp, and a real bull mastiff named Swagger.
Four teams, the Packers, Giants, Jets, and Redskins do not have mascots. All but six teams, including the Packers and Giants, also have cheerleaders on the sidelines during games.
NFL teams sport a variety of uniforms week-to-week. For starters, there is their basic home and away uniform. The home uniform predominantly features their official team colors, while the away uniforms are mostly white and trimmed with team colors. This assures that two teams can be easily distinguished not only by the other players but by the television audiences.
Teams are allowed to have one alternate uniform. It might use black as a background or add a different color to the basic design. Not every team utilizes this option.
There are also throwback games, for which the team will wear a uniform designed to look like one from the team’s history.
Several years ago, Nike introduced “Color Rush” uniforms to celebrate the 50th year of color television. The special uniforms were to be used on Thursday Night games. They were practically single-colored outfits.
Nike and the League famously failed to consider fans who are color-blind. A controversy emerged from a Jets-Bills game when people with a green-red color blindness effectively got to watch 22 grey-uniformed players go at it.
The situation was corrected by allowing white color rush uniforms the following season. In 2018, teams may use their color rush uniforms as their alternate uniforms.
Teams are also recognized by their helmets. Team logos are emblazoned on many helmets. Other teams have recently gone for stark, single-colored helmets. Despite the uniform choice, teams must use the same styled helmet every game.
Color Rush uniforms are available at any Nike store or via their website. All other official merchandise, including official uniform jerseys, are available at NFL Shops located in most NFL cities, as well as their online store, NFLShops.com.
Older NFL stadiums were designed simply for football games unless the team was asked to share a field with a baseball team. Early season games often had to deal with an infield cut into the playing surface.
Now that the NFL became a money-making behemoth and watching NFL live stream online and cable TV is easier than before, there are few teams that need to share stadiums. The growth of the league also created other changes.
As new stadiums popped up, we saw larger stadiums with perfect sight-lines from every angle. We saw seats closer to the sidelines, but much higher. There are no “bad seats” allowed.
Then teams realized with only eight home games each year, fans were willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money to attend a game. Luxury boxes and VIP sections became the norm.
More recently, stadiums became tourist destinations or activity centers. Vendor services included year-round restaurants and clubs. Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium is an architectural marvel and includes beautiful art exhibits and green areas.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, wanted to have the biggest stadium. It is highlighted by the largest scoreboard or visual screen in the league. Players entering for the first time gasp at the dimensions, which Jones says gives his team a home-field advantage.
His stadium will never feel the same as Memorial Coliseum, Chicago’s Soldier Field or the third oldest, and longest consecutive running NFL stadium. That would be Lambeau Field and its famous frozen tundra. Lambeau is a tourist destination for football purists because of its history and simplicity.
Here is a list of NFL stadiums from the oldest to the newest:
- Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles Rams) 1923
- Soldier Field (Chicago Bears) 1924
- Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers) 1957
- Oakland-Alameda County Stadium (Oakland Raiders) 1966
- Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs 1972
- New Era Field (Buffalo Bills) 1973
- Mercedes Benz Superdome (New Orleans Saints) 1975
- Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins) 1987
- TIAA Stadium (Jacksonville Jaguars) 1995
- Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers) 1996
- FedEx Field (Washington Redskins) 1997
- M & T Stadium (Baltimore Ravens) 1998
- Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 1998
- First Energy Stadium (Cleveland Browns) 1999
- Nissan Stadium (Tennessee Titans (1999)
- Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals (2000)
- Broncos Stadium at Mile High (Denver Broncos) 2001
- Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers) 2001
- Century Link Field (Seattle Seahawks) 2002
- Ford Field (Detroit Lions) 2002
- Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) 2002
- NRG Stadium (Houston Texans) 2002
- Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles) 2003
- StubHub Center (Los Angeles Chargers) 2003
- University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals (2006)
- Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts) 2008
- AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) 2009
- MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets) 2010
- Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers) 2014
- US Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings) 2916
- Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons) 2017
Want to see a game? How to get tickets
Because there are only eight games a year per stadium, it can be extremely difficult and expensive to see a live NFL game. Some teams, like the New York Giants, fill all their seats with season ticket holders, who pay thousands of dollars for the rights to buy the seats before paying hundreds more per game. Despite that arrangement, common throughout the league, there is a waiting list several years long to buy Giants season tickets.
Other teams make some tickets available on a per-game basis. You can buy them through the team’s website. NFL.com offers links to each team’s website and ticket sales.
Re-purchase or ticket-exchange sites such as Stub-Hub.com, Ticket Master, e-tickets, and Seat Geeks buy and sell NFL tickets at a premium. The official NFL website, NFL.com, offers a league-run ticket exchange site.
Be sure to use a reputable site like those listed here. NFL teams send thousands of people home each week who arrived at the game with fake tickets.
Getting 2021 started
Players report for preseason training camps in July. For most fans, it will be the Hall of Fame Game on September 9 that signals the beginning of 2021’s football season. The Baltimore Ravens will play the Chicago Bears in this year’s tilt.
Former Raven, Ray Lewis, and former Bear, Brian Urlacher, are among the seven individuals who will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame the following Saturday.
Football’s regular season kicks of on September 9th, with a Thursday night game pitting the Atlanta Falcons against the defending champion Eagles. This is a rematch of one of last season’s divisional round games.
Atlanta lost the Super Bowl the season before the Eagles’ win. They have big hopes of becoming the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium at the end of this season.
Philadelphia returns 19 of its 22 starters from a year ago. There is no reason to think they won’t be in the hunt, as well.
255 more games will follow that season opener. Each one offers the opportunity to see a record-breaking performance, highlight-reel plays, and life-long memories for fans.
People will rearrange work schedules, call in sick, miss appointments, and forget to call mom as they get wrapped up in their favorite team’s season.
The NFL will trend on all social media websites every week, peaking as playoffs draw near, as well as after any controversial plays or mind-boggling performances.
Diehard fans will recite player statistics faster than their own phone numbers because it is that important. Each 60-minute game will result in thousands of lost work hours related to post-game conversations.
And that’s what makes the NFL great.