Living in the lap of luxury: America's most extravagant stadiums
Sure, going to a professional game is fun, and everything, but nothing can beat the comfort of watching a game in your own home. Nothing, that is, except some of the fanciest, most luxuriest stadiums in America. These arenas have so many fancy features and amenities that you'd be hard-pressed to come up with good reasons not to live there all the time (you're not allowed to do that, though). We've rounded up the best boxes and suites for you to lust after:
Levi’s Stadium - Santa Clara, California
Modern stadiums include ultra-modern amenities and suites of all kinds, and no NFL arena is more modern than Levi’s Stadium. Club-level amenities have fans on the field, and the 49ers dedicated an entire tower and side of the HNTB-designed stadium to suites. At the top of the tower rests a rooftop deck—at the same level as the stadium lighting—with views of Silicon Valley, a glimpse of San Francisco, green roof trimmings and outdoor party-deck space, all with a view of the field. For space a little harder to get into, owner Jed York has a suite large enough to host parties in an off-the-50-yard-line-location amidst his California wood- and wine-filled suite. If York wants some privacy, his suite partitions off, creating a more intimate space.
AT&T Stadium - Arlington, Texas
If you can’t get in Jerry Jones’ personal suite at the HKS-designed AT&T Stadium, at least visit the Hall of Fame Luxury Suites, especially The Owner’s Club, on the same level. Here, as Scott Spencer, president of Suite Experience Group, tells Extra Mustard, the experience starts with valet parking beneath the stadium only a short elevator ride away from fine china, televisions built into mirrors, custom artwork and all the food and beverages you’d expect. Whether in The Owner’s Club or down at the field level suites, you'll undoubtedly be staring at the video board running from one 20 yard line to the other 20, which is a great place to watch football replays but probably a better place to watch Interstellar. I'll write a letter and see if we can get that set up.
Memorial Stadium - Berkeley, California
Football luxury or wedding luxury? The University of California hopes for both in its new University Club at the top of a new HNTB-designed press box at Memorial Stadium. Spanning the entire top of the new press box structure in Berkeley, the club offers unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay area. Memorial Stadium's penthouse has glass windows wrapping a glass-deck balcony and modern design if you venture inside.
Barclays Center - Brooklyn, New York
As with nearly everything we hear about relating to the Brooklyn Nets, Jay-Z had a hand in inspiring The Vault at the AECOM-designed Barclays Center, an area within the Brooklyn arena comprised of 11 suites, each with its own private entry, multiple TVs, and access to the behind-the-scenes Armand de Brignac champagne bar. If you get lucky enough, take a peak into Mikhail Prokhorov’s owner’s suite at Barclays, designed by the same firm that designed the owner’s private yacht.
McLane Stadium - Waco, Texas
One of the newest venues in college football, the Populous-designed McLane Stadium, upped the luxury for the folks that made building Baylor’s new home possible. Eight new Founders Suites opened with the stadium this year, each 800 square feet and fully customizable by the owner, from the marble countertops to the hardwood floors. The space has fine-dining kitchen space, a private garage, leather chairs to watch the game and plenty of flat screen TVs in each lounge.
Arrowhead Stadium - Kansas City, Missouri
When you get a look at an owner’s suite, you take that opportunity. And if you get a choice, Lamar Hunt's two-story suite in Arrowhead Stadium is the one to pick. The suite looks more like a home, with living spaces, a fireplace, wood-paneled lofts, stained glass, Roman busts and more. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t look like any home we've ever lived in, but if Hunt is looking for a roommate, the entire Mustard staff is definitely interested.
AT&T Park - San Francisco, California
Plan on spending thousands of dollars for a ticket into a Lexus Batter’s Box seat at AT&T Park (not to be confused with AT&T stadium, mentioned earlier). While most ballparks have high-end seats directly behind home plate, the Giants have some of the nicest club seats around. You can get food delivered to your seat, which is sunk to dugout level, and an entire in-stadium club is tucked into the tunnel. If you want to get a little closer to the water, you can experience the loft suite located in the outfield wall.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.