As we begin the second half of the list, a noticeable trend is occurring. A lot of new world-class soccer-specific stadiums have been built for MLS teams, which is amazing for the league and shows how far it has come from the days of teams just playing mostly in NFL/College football stadiums. It also, admittedly, makes ranking the stadiums very hard – I’ll admit to changing the order in this ranking multiple times as a result as I honestly think the MLS today has some of the best-looking modern soccer stadiums in the world.
Read Part 1: Ranking the MLS stadiums – Part 1
13. DRV PNK Stadium – Inter Miami
For a temporary stadium, this stadium admittedly looks a lot better than it should. It’s hard to ignore the stands by the goals which give the stadium a real temporary look to it, but the colours throughout the stadium are beautiful. The wavy pink and black pattern is something not like anything else in the league. I’m sure their new permanent home will be great, but in the meantime, they could do a lot worse.
12. Children’s Mercy Park – Sporting Kansas City
With this stadium, the thing that jumps out to me the most is the all-blue roof, which combined with the rest of the stadium’s use of blue and dark blue looks excellent and perfectly encapsulates SKC’s colour. The stadium design also impresses me, it has the look of a modern stadium but is also designed creatively so as to not look like a copy and paste job. A solid stadium to start this list with.
11. Lumen Field – Seattle Sounders
One of the better dual MLS/NFL in the league, Lumen also features two imposing stands along its sideline that help to generate the stadium’s famously loud and intimidating atmosphere. Its colour scheme fits well with the Pacific North West region that it represents, and this year it had the honour of being the site for the Seattle Sounders’ CONCACAF Champions League final second-leg. The local MLS side triumphed in the CONCACAF Champions League, the first time an MLS side was crowned CONCACAF champions in the post-2008 rebrand era.
10. Banc of California Stadium – Los Angeles FC
It’s hard to go wrong with black and gold, and Banc of California is a beautiful-looking stadium from the inside. Its interior is mostly black with gold used to compliment it, which goes together perfectly, although I wish the gold could’ve been perhaps a bit bolder to contrast more against the black. But it’s certainly my favourite soccer stadium in California.
9. TQL Stadium – FC Cincinnati
Opened at the start of last season, TQL is the home to Cincinnati and even already hosted three U.S. national games, (two USMNT, and one USWNT). The stadium is two-tiered all around with the exception of a neutral-coloured standing section. The stadium has a navy blue design with some orange used to implement FC Cincinnati symbols such as a lion, and ‘FCC’, which helps to give the stadium more character and identity.
8. Audi Field – DC United
Opened in 2018, United left their longtime home RFK stadium to move to Audi Field and while RFK is iconic, Audi Field in itself is a fantastic-looking venue. Its two goal-end stands are the main standouts. The first one is black and grey with the words DC UNITED etched on them in red and white, the second one runs three-quarters the length of the pitch and has faded red and black colours. The stadium is also designed in a way that people outside the stadium can see it, helping to connect the team more with the fans in Washington DC.
7. Mercedes Benz Stadium
Opened in 2017, the 71,000 capacity Stadium is not only a world-class NFL stadium, but it was also designed to be able to fully accommodate soccer. Mercedes Benz Stadium has retractable lower bowl seats to widen the field which allows a soccer pitch to fit much more naturally within the stadium and for fans, the news gets even better. Mercedes Benz is famous in the U.S. for its cheap concessions, with beer as cheap as $5, almost unheard of in North American sports venues. The exterior is very futuristic looking with over-lapping metallic triangles and glass windows which provide natural lighting when the stadium’s roof is closed. Inside, the red and black seats, synonymous with Atlanta sports, give the stadium an intimidating look and even include a stand that’s designed to resemble the Atlanta Falcons logo. The main thing holding it back on this list is that it features a closed roof and I have a personal bias towards stadiums without closed roofs, plus I wanted to preference Soccer specific stadiums, not dual use (although admittedly this stadium is absolutely world-class by every metric).
6. Providence Park – Portland Timbers
The oldest soccer-specific stadium in MLS, Providence Park is 96 years old and with its unorthodox design and passionate fan base that spawns generations, it wears its history with pride. The main feature is its large curved stand by the goal that houses its loudest supporters, and really does look like it was built in another era. Its main stand with its many tiers is also a unique look. Whilst the opposite goal doesn’t have much of a stand to call its own, Providence Park shines (mostly in the rain) anyway, and is one of the best places in all of North America to watch a game.
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
5. Geodis Park – Nashville
One of the newest stadiums in the league, Geodis Park has both a great exterior and interior. Outside the stadium, it has a beautiful modern-looking design that also gives the stadium a welcoming design with its openness as well. Inside, the stadium has plenty of colour, with yellow and blue colours dotted all around the stadium in a collage style topped with a stand that proudly says NASHVILLE being the icing on the cake.
4. Lower.com Field – Columbus Crew
Home of the Crew, who it’s hard to believe we’re once in danger of being relocated now that you see their gorgeous new home. The stadium has a similar roof design to Geodis Stadium, and was built around the same time but for me, the reason it’s higher is the colour design. The dark grey on light grey stands with the wavy latter, combined with an imposing all-yellow stand go perfectly with the Crew aesthetic. Also, the dark metallic, down-sloping roof also looks great, and after years of uncertainty, it’s great to see The Crew have one of the finest venues in MLS.
3. Exploria Stadium – Orlando City
As you’ve probably gathered, I’m a sucker for colour, and to see a stadium in all dark purple is amazing. The little details look good also, such as despite one of the stands appearing to be separate, it is connected with seats near the bottom of the stand that wraps around the stadium whilst still giving the stadium an open feel. The neutral-coloured stand does stand out, but because it’s for a standing section (which is the best way to create an atmosphere in soccer) I’ll happily and shamelessly give it a pass.
2. Q2 Stadium – Austin FC
The second consecutive boldly coloured stadium, Q2 stadium uses the colour green extremely well blending different shades of green into the interior, even using the colour green to spell out ATX in a stand behind the goal. The raised roof is similar to BMO and Subaru in how it is raised and given the temperatures that can be reached in Texas, it helps to provide shading whilst not trapping the heat in the venue. For sure, it’s the best soccer stadium in the Lone Star State.
1. Allianz Field – Minnesota United
Quite simply a stunning interior, the stadium uses a collage design by scattering the colours black and light blue around the stadium. To top it off is the incredibly well-done incorporation of the club’s badge designed into some of the stands. The stadium itself was also built with a brewpub on site, which is certainly a plus. The roof dips down towards the stand where the ultras are housed and it works beautifully, plus, its white colour looks amazing. Although if you’re from Honduras and it’s January/February, you probably don’t want to be seeing this stadium again anytime soon.
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