It’s Thanksgiving in the United States, and just after turkey, pumpkin pie, and grandpa telling bad jokes, comes the tradition of watching NFL football games.
For nearly 100 years the Detroit Lions have played a game on Thanksgiving. Since 1966, the Cowboys have played on Thanksgiving as well. And in 2006, the NFL added a third game, played in prime time with different teams selected each year.
So, in order to learn more about the game, and maybe throw in a random fact during a timeout, let’s look at who will be taking the field today.
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
The Detroit Lions are one of the oldest teams in the league, and have been in Detroit since 1934. They moved to a new stadium, Ford Field, in 2002. Named after the Ford Motor Company, of course, the stadium can seat at least 70,000 football fans. It cost more than $500 million to build!
A unique stadium, Ford Field has a roof to keep out the cold Detroit winter, but also has huge skylights to allow for more natural light. In addition to NFL games, the stadium hosts college football bowl games, and the occasional college basketball game.
Jared Goff, Hidden Hills, CA
Jared Goff has been a successful quarterback his entire career, even taking the Los Angeles Rams to their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years. In 2021, he was traded to the Lions, but he hasn’t sold his gorgeous LA-area mansion yet.
He’s earning about $25 million this year, so he can afford to keep the California home, which set him back nearly $5 million. It has 5,000 square feet, five bedrooms, a pool, of course, and more. Neighbors include Drake, multiple Kardashians, and The Weeknd!
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
This year, the Lions are playing the Chicago Bears. At home, the Bears play at Soldier Field, in downtown Chicago. The Bears are one of the original NFL teams, and Soldier Field is the oldest stadium in use for NFL games.
Soldier Field first hosted the Bears in 1971, but has been around since 1924! Before then, the Bears played at Wrigley Field, but they have loved their new home, and even undertook massive renovations in 2002.
And it needed renovations. Originally, the stadium had plank seating! When demolition began immediately after a game in 2002, fans waited outside and took home individual seats and other items discarded for the renovations. Bears fans sure are dedicated, right?
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the oldest team in the league, but they are among the most famous. The team was formed in 1960, and shortly after, began playing a regular Thanksgiving home game. Part of the reason they decided to have an annual game was because there wasn’t a lot else on TV to watch that day!
AT&T Stadium is relatively new, having been completed in 2009. It has a retractable roof, a massive high-definition television, and many other bells and whistles that people love, and sometimes, mock.
It holds 80,000 fans, making it one of the biggest stadiums in the NFL. But it’s not just used for the Cowboys; college football plays several games here each year, and even important high school football games take place here. In Texas, football is king.
Dak Prescott, Prosper, TX
Drafted in 2016 by the Cowboys, Dak quickly became the starting QB after Tony Romo was injured in the preseason. He rightfully earned a reputation as a star player, now ranking as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Dak lives in a gorgeous, 9,000 square foot mansion in Prosper, Texas, a small suburb of Dallas. The mansion set him back $3.3 million, and has seven acres of land, an indoor “sports simulation theater”, game room, outdoor pool, and his very own practice field!
Allegiant Stadium, Los Vegas, NV
The famed Oakland Raiders moved to Los Vegas in 2020, and now play in the Allegiant Stadium. On Thanksgiving, they’ll suit up in Texas to play the Cowboys.
Allegiant Stadium was built specifically for the Raiders, and cost $1.9 billion! It is home to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team, as well. Because the Raiders prefer to play on grass, and UNLV prefers to play on astroturf, the stadium has a unique design to have Bermuda grass for the NFL games, and turf for college games. The grass is actually on a roll-tray, so the entire field can be moved in or out as needed, kind of like a cabinet drawer.
When you have a budget of $1.9 billion, you can do anything, it seems.
Superdome, New Orleans, LA
The final game of the day will be played in New Orleans, between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints. Now one of the most famous, or infamous, stadiums, the Superdome holds NFL games, NCAA basketball games, and college football bowl games as well.
It is famous for being the site of refuge for thousands of New Orleans residents who fled their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They stayed there for days in squalid conditions, with no food, power, security, or place to sleep.
The stadium was entirely renovated before it reopened in 2006, and serves as a symbol that the city is strong, resilient, and dedicated to surviving, and thriving.
Football is part of the American tradition, and plays an important role in many Thanksgiving holidays. Games will play all day, starting with the Lions-Bears at 12:30 eastern, then the Cowboys-Raiders at 4:30, and finally the Saints-Bills game at 7:30. So no matter where you are when you want to watch a bunch of guys throw an oddly-shaped ball, you’ll be able to get your fill of football.