The Best Arenas and Stadiums in America - Rolling Stone
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The Best Arenas and Stadiums in America

For the last installment in a five-part series on great music venues, Rolling Stone polled 26 insiders and musicians – from top managers to Miranda Lambert – and came up with a list of the nation's coolest arenas and stadiums. Read on for our expert panel's picks, and visit our Venues that Rock page for an interactive map and much more.

By Steve Knopper





Corin Tucker (Corin Tucker Band, Sleater-Kinney)
Thomas Mars (Phoenix)
Britt Daniel (Spoon)
Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy)
Miranda Lambert
Talib Kweli
DJ Harvey
Sharon Osbourne (manager, Ozzy Osbourne)
Scott Rodger (manager, Paul McCartney and Arcade Fire)
Dennis Arfa (agent, Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart)
Jim Guerinot (manager, Nine Inch Nails and No Doubt)
Tom Windish (agent, numerous indie-rock acts)
Andy Cirzan (promoter, Jam Productions in Chicago)
John Scher (promoter in New York City, manager of Art Garfunkel)
Kelly Curtis (manager, Pearl Jam)
Daniel Glass (head of Glassnote Records)
Michael Rapino (Live Nation)
David T. Viecelli (agent, Arcade Fire, David Byrne/St. Vincent, many others)
Brian Ahern (agent, William Morris Endeavor)
Bob McLynn (manager, Fall Out Boy, Courtney Love, many others)
Bertis Downs (manager, R.E.M.)
Jake Schneider (manager, Bassnectar)
Andrew Cook (manager, Deadmau5)
Rob Light

Wrigley Field, Chicago

CC Image courtesy of astroot on Flickr


Wrigley Field, Chicago

The famous vine-covered baseball stadium in the heart of Chicago's North Side finally allowed rock shows in 2005, when longtime Cubs fan Jimmy Buffett took the stage in center field. Since then, acts like the Police, Elton John and Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney  and, this summer, Pearl Jam, have followed Buffett's lead. "It's where Ed [Vedder] used to go see the Cubs play when he was a young boy," says Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready. "We're all stoked about that."

Capacity: 41,000


Fun fact: Buffett, Vedder, Billy Corgan, Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are among the people who have sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch at home Cubs games.

Madison Square Garden, New York

CC Image courtesy of sheane87 on Flickr


Madison Square Garden, New York

"There aren't many venues that make a difference, but the Garden does," says top agent Dennis Arfa, who reps Billy Joel and Metallica. With its prime Manhattan location and a surprisingly intimate vibe, it's no wonder Bruce Springsteen has played here 44 times since 1978. Other stars who have touched down here include Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, James Brown, Madonna and Swedish House Mafia, among many – basically everyone who's anyone. "The public pays to go there," adds Arfa. "I tell my artists: 'MSG may be more expensive, but in return you get back more tickets at a higher price.'"

Capacity: 20,000


Fun fact: The current building, in midtown Manhattan, is the fourth to be called "Madison Square Garden." It opened in 1968 with an event starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

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