It’s that time of year again where football fans across the nation start to get out their jerseys and prepare for yet another season of one of the nation’s favorite sports. The near future consists of tailgate-filled parking lots, big foam hands and maybe endless amounts of face paint. However, football stadiums can serve as more than just a space for a little friendly (or not-so-friendly) competition. Meeting planners can use the celebrated venues for events, too—either during, before or after the game begins. Here’s an all-star lineup of stadiums just waiting to host your next event.
1. Levi’s Stadium. The new home of the San Francisco 49ers officially opened on July 17 and is scheduled to host its first event—a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game—on Aug. 2. The $1.2 billion stadium, located in Santa Clara, Calif., can seat 68,500 fans and includes more than 110,000 sf feet of event space. The LEED Gold-certified stadium’s most interactive space is perhaps the 49ers Museum Presented by Sony. It features In the Game, an exhibit for attendees to play interactive games, test their skills as a sports broadcaster or even try on 49ers uniforms.
2. MetLife Stadium. The New York stadium opened in 2010 to provide a new home field for the New York Jets and New York Giants. To keep with the New York theme, each of the five stadium clubs are inspired by New York City venues designed by David Rockwell, the designer behind Nobu restaurants and Aloft Hotels. The Chase and Lexus clubs for instance total 30,000 sf each and feature martini and wine bars, lounge furniture and two very-New York pizza ovens with rustic chimneys
3. AT&T Stadium. Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that’s especially the case at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Home to the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium opened in 2009 with some of the NFL’s biggest video technologies. The 80,000-seat stadium features the world’s largest video screen (72 feet high by 160 feet wide), which can serve as the perfect device to greet attendees.
4. Lucas Oil Stadium. Lucas Oil Stadium, often referred to as “The House that Manning Built,” has served the Indianapolis Colts well with several home-team victories since opening in 2008. The 67,000-seat venue features quintessential views of the downtown Indianapolis skyline as well as several 30,000-sf Club Lounges. Ideal for events, the lounges feature full-service bars, flat-screen TVS and a video wall—guaranteeing that no play will be missed.
5. Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots have had similar winners luck at Gillette Stadium, which opened in Foxborough, Mass., in 2002 with more than 68,000 seats. In 2006, the Patriots then started construction on a $350 million lifestyle and entertainment center dubbed Patriot Place. Retail shops, a movie theater, a hotel and the Hall at Patriot Place surround the stadium, which already offers event space for up to 5,000 people.