The Best Sports Venues for Live Music

Sports stadia often double as great music venues. It’s not so surprising really when you think about the design and the acoustic requirements for both activities. Today, as a fun way to look at some of the most notable examples in the field, we’ve put together a little podium for the winning venues….

2018.06.17 Over the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA USA 0039

#1. Rose Bowl Stadium

Taking the top spot on our podium is Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California. Apart from being a national historic landmark (completed in 1922), Rose Bowl takes the gold for one very important reason: Super Bowl XXVII. The year was 1993, the teams were the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys, but the main attraction for many was not this great clash of the titans but a performance by one Michael Jackson. Today, you can place bets on halftime performances, finding sites to do so on

This was the first year that such an epic musical artist had performed during the halftime show and the miniature concert was exceptionally well received. Those sports fans usually more concerned with the progress of the game and the betting trends were momentarily taken out of themselves and, as it goes without saying, the music fans were thrilled. The NFL franchises were overjoyed too as Jackson’s five-song set brought about an increase in TV ratings for the first time ever between the two halves. The rest, as they say, is history!

#2. Yankee Stadium

Taking the silver is Yankee Stadium, New York City. Paul McCartney, Jay Z, Metallica and Madonna are just a few of the stars who have performed in this New York venue, which tells you almost all you need to know. Of course, its main use is as a ballpark for the New York Yankees, but it has also proved itself a phenomenal venue for music concerts time and time again in recent years.  

Just one block away from the original stadium, this version completed in 2009 can claim to be the most expensive stadium ever built at a cost of 2.3 billion USD! A fun fact about this venue is that as well as having hosted the big names such as Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, in 2009, this stadium also hosted a New York University graduation ceremony.

Up close

#3.Bridgestone Arena

With third place on our podium, taking the bronze, is Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee. The day job of the Bridgestone Arena is to look after the Nashville Predators. This NHL team certainly keeps cool here on the ice, but when the boys go home this arena becomes an awesome music venue with a 20 000 capacity.

The likes of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Buffett have performed here, an arena that has undergone numerous name changes over the years, in spite of only being opened in 1996. As well as fantastic sound quality, one of the best features of this venue is the immense JumboTron that makes for some truly remarkable moments.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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