Games sold out from opening preseason game at LP Field in 1999.
That a stadium with a track record of shifty nomenclature -- three different names in its eight-year history -- should house fans with a "penchant for jumping on and off the bandwagon" is symbolically appropriate. But while devout Tennessee supporters acknowledge this "fair-weather" element and admit crowd support is "easily swayed by the play on the field," the general atmosphere at "the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL" is "spirited and electric" and "incredibly loud when a team has a legitimate shot to win throughout the season." Eight years after the Music City Miracle, the LP Field environment is "young and energetic" and "almost college-like" but remains "hospitable" and "respectful of opposing fans."
8 out of 10
FOOD & SOUVENIRS
Soda (16 oz.)
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The "generic" fare on the upper level includes "hot dogs and burgers" and "standard" fast-food options like "KFC and Papa John's." But fans looking for "the best food in the stadium" should venture downstairs to "Logan's Roadhouse," which offers "ginormous turkey legs for $6" at a pair of easy-to-find locations "in the north or south end zone." The swankiest accommodations are reserved for patrons on the club level: an "air-conditioned environment" with "dozens of tables" and an "amazing view of downtown Nashville just across the river."
6 out of 10
"Bottlenecks getting on and off the interstates" and the "extremely poor design of the area around the stadium" create "gridlock" and a generally "dreadful" traffic situation. With Nashville's public transportation "lacking" and the lots near LP Field "restricted to club and suite members," most fans recommend "parking on the opposite side of the river" and crossing "one of the two pedestrian bridges" to the stadium area. Everyone seems to agree the parking situation is "much improved" from previous years and "not too bad as long as you don't mind walking 10 blocks." Many regulars recommend the "satellite parking lots" located several miles from the field and the "shuttle bus service" which is "easy and worth the seven dollars," while non-drivers in search of something completely different can "cruise down the Cumberland River on The General Jackson Showboat" which "docks right next to the stadium."
5 out of 10
"Very little parking around the stadium" means tailgating "exists to some extent" but remains "decentralized," "very controlled" and "nothing special." Many regulars instead take advantage of the "pub crawl atmosphere" around Nashville's "downtown bar and restaurant scene" located "just across the river." But for those select fans with LP Field parking permits, tailgating is a "giant block party" with "lots of regulars" and "excellent food in varied styles." Staples in the "family setting" include "booze, burgers and BBQ" while "catfish for Miami, wings for Buffalo and steak for Indy" rank among the specialties.
Vince Young (QB), LenDale White (RB), Albert Haynesworth (DT)
8 out of 10
Many Tennessee supporters criticize their home field as a "sterile" and "fairly generic stadium" with "no character." But despite being "cookie cutter in the new style," natives offer near-universal praise for the stadium's "open end zones" which provide a "great view of the city and riverfront," as well as "brilliant" sightlines which are favorable "even from the cheap seats." Although this "average" stadium has "no remarkable feature," fans roundly praise LP Field as "clean," "comfortable" and "just the right size for the market."
7 out of 10
"Isolated by the Cumberland River on one side and an interstate highway on the other," the neighborhood directly surrounding the stadium is "barren," "industrial" and "unattractive" but "safe on game day." Visitors in search of action can "walk across one of the two pedestrian bridges over the Cumberland River" to experience "Nashville's Broadway" -- a bevy of "clubs" and "restaurants" and the "country music bars" which inspired the town's Music City moniker. The environment "can be electric after a win" and "unlike other tourist districts, you can have a good time and make a night of it without taking out a second mortgage."
4 out of 10
As the lone NFL franchise to be rooted in an SEC town, the LP Field experience has been subjected to unfavorable, apples-and-oranges comparisons with the area's entrenched, all-encompassing college-football culture since the team's 1999 inception. But while the collegiate game will always remain the undisputed king in the Volunteer State, these southerners love their football in any package, and Nashville carries its weight as an NFL city on Sundays. Sure, there are plenty more distinctive stadiums around the league and the fan atmosphere may be slightly more laid-back and less cutthroat than other pro sports towns -- but the friendly and welcoming atmosphere keeps LP Field among the league's more desirable road trips for visiting fans.
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