MLS stadiums ranked: why Orlando City’s new home comes out on top

Almost three-quarters of squads in the conference now have soccer-specific stadia. Simon Veness moves down the great and the not-so-good

The MLS commissioner, Don Garber, lately inspected the new Orlando City stadium and hailed it as a blueprint for the future. That blueprint may not last for long, nonetheless, as a stream of new MLS franchises are rapidly queuing up to make it obsolete.

The Orlando venue will be officially opened on Friday, but Atlanta, Minnesota, DC United and Los Angeles FC will all unveil their own stadia in the next 12 months, and it commemorates a watershed in its preparation of American soccer, a high tide for soccer-specific arenas.

Go back but 11 times, and onlyfour of the 12 squads played in a stadium specifically designed for their boast. This time, it will be 15 of the 22 squads and, in 2018, 18 of 23.

Now, with 73% of squads committed to soccer-specific stadia it raises the question: who has the best MLS venue?

Well do it on a qualities basis, with labels out of 30 for how enjoyable it is from the fan perspective, five bonus qualities for a soccer-specific venue and minus-five for having artificial turf. That represents the largest possible rating is 35, and the lowest -5. Let the countdown begin.

22) New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium

Capacity 66,829

Average attendance 2016 20,185

The lowdown From the neutral perspective, theres not too much to like about a team playing in a two-thirds empty football stadium on artificial turf that numerous players abhor. With all the Patriots signage, youd be forgiven for not realizing another team plays here.

Points( out of 25 ) 8P TAGEND

21) New York City FC, Yankee Stadium

Capacity 54,251

Average attendance 2016 27,196

The lowdown Fans have come out in consistently high numbers for the blue half of the citys soccer fandom, but that doesnt mask the baseball stadiums odd configuration, absurdly restricted arena and horribly patchy grass.

Points 12

18= DC United, RFK Stadium

Capacity 45,596

Average attendance 2016 17,081

The lowdown Theres plenty of record on offer in this 56 -year-old venue that used to house the Redskins and Senators, but exclusively 20 of those belong to the soccer holders. Its baseball-configured room is merely a place-holder until 20,000 -capacity Audi Field opens next year.

Points 13

18= Colorado Rapids, Dicks Sporting Goods Park

Capacity 18.061

Average attendance 2016 16,278

The lowdown The decidedly prefab impression of DSGP( the working day they will come back and finished yet) is a huge visual downer, along with the fact it sits in a larger sport composite. The overall impression is of a temporary stadium purported more at playing than watching.

Points 13

18= Minnesota United, TCF Bank Stadium

Capacity 50,805

Average attendance 2016 n/ a

The lowdown Im going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say their inaugural time ardor will make up for the limits of playing on turf in a college football stadium. They have the manager in Adrian Heath to ignite the devotees fire until their own digs are accomplish next year.

Points 13

17) FC Dallas, Toyota Stadium

Capacity 20,500

Average attendance 2016 14,094

The lowdown Despite the stadia delighting aspects and consistent conference conducts plus great Texas support for the US national area Dallas remains a team looking for a fan identity as attendances have declined alarmingly in the last two years.

Points 14

16) Columbus Crew, Mapfre Stadium

Blue and yellow at Mapfre Stadium. Previously known as Columbus Crew Stadium, Mapfre was MLSs first soccer-specific arena. Photograph: Trevor Ruszkowski/ USA Today Sports

Capacity 19,968

Average attendance 2016 17,125

The lowdown Having a stadium identified like a bad hand at Scrabble is a impediment, as is the prominent north purpose theatre that continues to impinge on the sightlines. The raucous Nordecke fan zone helps to redress the balance in the tournaments first soccer-specific arena.

Points 15

15) Chicago Fire, Toyota Park

Capacity 20,000

Average attendance 2016 15,602

The lowdown The prescribing bulk of the west stand commits Toyota Park real substance, despite another incomplete purpose to the soil( at the south ), while the Segment 8 devotees in the north stand provide the heart and soul. Now, if people could just get to Bridgeview easily

Points 16

13= Montreal Impact, Stade Saputo

Capacity 20,801

Average attendance 2016 20,669

The lowdown The curiously incomplete intend, with the north areas left open, is the only visual impediment to the Impacts consistently impassioned residence. The other three backs feel like a continual adjunct to the action, maintaining devotees close to the field.

Points 17

13= Philadelphia, Talen Energy Stadium

Capacity 18,500

Average attendance 2016 17,519

The lowdown Another stadium that looks like the constructors arent quite finished with a U-shaped design, this can feel positively utilitarian when the devotees arent engaged. But, when the Sons of Ben are in full voice at the River End, its easy to overlook.

Points 17

12) Toronto FC, BMO Field

Capacity 30,000

Average attendance 2016 26,583

The lowdown If it wasnt for the preferably open nature of the north stand, the large-hearted 2016 translation of the stadium would be a 100 per cent of the members success. The reality the original 2007 -built arena was frequently compared to an IKEA construction is now largely forgotten.

Points 18

10= Vancouver Whitecaps, BC Place

Capacity 54,500

Average attendance 2016 22,330

The lowdown A shared residence( with the Canadian Football Leagues BC Lions) and the turf arena are the inhibitors to higher labels for the Whitecaps home. Otherwise, this is an MLS hotbed thanks to its rabid devotees in what can be a surprisingly intimate soccer configuration.

Points 19

10= Portland Timbers, Providence Park

Portlands elaborated, colorful flags, or tifos, are a vision to see. Photograph: Steve Dyjkes/ Getty Images

Capacity 21,144

Average attendance 2016 21,144

The lowdown A stadium that has come together in fits and starts built in 1926, renovated in 1956 and 2001, and reconfigured for the Timbers in 2011 is now a genuine soccer stronghold that thrills residence devotees and visitors alike. Even the artificial turf is as good as it gets.

Points 19

9) Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium

Capacity 20,213

Average attendance 2016 19,759

The lowdown A superb setting, overlooked by the Wasatch Mountains, commits Rio Tinto an nearly ethereal feel with its flowing pipelines. The contiguous nature of the arena likewise keeps the devotees engaged, and inspecting squads often find it hard sledding here, the ultimate residence stadium test

Points 20

8) New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena

Capacity 25,000

Average attendance 2016 20,620

The lowdown An indication of how far MLS stadia have come in the last few years is shown by the fact a venue that is barely seven years old is already looking slightly ho-hum. The complete bowl intend provides as a great soccer setting and devotees find genuinely on top of the action.

Points 21.

7) Los Angeles Galaxy, StubHub Center

Capacity 27,000

Average attendance 2016 25,147

The lowdown A compact, streamlined modern masterpiece that has great sightlines from anywhere in the venue, it was the tournaments second soccer-specific stadium in 2003. Ironically, it will likewise be home to the NFLs LA Chargers in 2017. How the rotation turns.

Points 22

6) San Jose Earthquakes, Avaya Stadium

Capacity 18,000

Average attendance 2016 19,930

The lowdown While other stadia exited more for size, in 2015 the Quakes opted for chill, as in hi-tech posh that likewise offered one of the best fan features in the conference a 3,647 sq ft bar along the north area boasting 45 enlist beers. The three echo-extensive roofed stands are also serious interference generators.

Points 23

5) Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Capacity 71,000

Average attendance 2016 n/ a

The lowdown Ill go out on a limb and say that Uniteds 28,000 -plus season ticket marketings will ensure the stadia debut in July obliges this a must-see venue, despite its football-first configuration and turf arena. All signs point to a soccer blowup in the very heart of Georgia.

Points 24

4) Seattle Sounders, CenturyLink Field

Capacity 69,000

Average attendance 2016 42,636

The lowdown The tournaments best-supported association the potential benefits of top-notch albeit football-specific quarters that have ensured the name of the Pacific north-wests soccer HQ. Unique pre-game events and in-game action( supporters often associate arms at key times) elevate this beyond merely fandom.

Points 25

3) Houston Dynamo, BBVA Compass Stadium

Capacity 22,039

Average attendance 2016 19,021

The lowdown Soccer purists were smitten with this cozily-styled venue from the onset in 2012, a sleek, uncluttered and effective intend that is as atmospheric as it gets when full. If it seems European in notion, thats because architects Populous likewise developed the new Wembley and Emirates stadia in London.

Points 26

2) Sporting Kansas City, Childrens Mercy Park

Sporting KCs residence stadium is usually jam-pack. Photograph: Jill Toyoshiba/ AP

Capacity 18,467

Average attendance 2016 19,597

The lowdown Like Seattle but in a soccer-specific stadium, Boasting have recreated the blueprint for fan engagement in a lively, usually jam-pack setting that peculiarity arguably the best play make crew in the conference. The Blue Hell devotees in the north stand amply deserve their rep, and the barbecue is pretty good, too.

Points 28

1) Orlando City, Orlando City Stadium

Capacity 25,500

Average attendance 2016 31,324( at Camping World Stadium)

The lowdown Take the Houston and Kansas City examples, contribute a sprint of European savoir faire, paint it violet and, voila, the new standard in MLS experiences. Featuring the first standing-only segment in Northern america( like Borussia Dortmunds Yellow Wall ), Orlando promises to provide the most concentrated soccer theatre in the US( for now ).

Points 30

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