Dome casings

Is there a domed field advantage in the NFL?

In 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders moved to a new domed stadium, Allegiant Stadium, during their first season in Paradise, Nevada. The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers made a similar transition, as they began playing home games inside the newly constructed and fully enclosed SoFi Stadium.

How did these franchises behave during the 2020 season? The Chargers endured a 7-9 season but went 4-4 at home, the Raiders went 8-8 and won just two of eight games at home, and the Rams reached the playoffs and won. six of eight home games.

All three have completed at least half of their matches under a roof, as opposed to outdoors, but have seen very different results.

Still, some NFL fans have long argued that playing inside a domed stadium offers a distinct advantage.

It might be, but not in the way you might think.

Let’s explore the concept of the dome advantage and determine which teams or players benefit the most from competing in an enclosed stadium.

Arizona Cardinals

State Farm Stadium

Retractable

Glendale, Arizona

2006

Atlanta Falcons

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Retractable

Atlanta, Georgia

2017

Baltimore Ravens

M&T Bank Stadium

Open

Baltimore, Maryland

1998

Bison Tickets

Highmark Stadium

Open

Orchard Park, New York

1973

Carolina Panthers

Bank of America Stadium

Open

Charlotte, North Carolina

1996

Chicago Bear

Soldier field

Open

Chicago, Illinois

1924

Cincinnati Bengals

Paul-Brown Stadium

Open

Cincinnati, Ohio

2000

Cleveland browns

FirstEnergy Stadium

Open

Cleveland, Ohio

1999

Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium

Retractable

Arlington, Texas

2009

Denver Broncos

Empower Field at Mile High

Open

Denver, Colorado

2001

Detroit Lions

Ford Field

Dome

Detroit, Michigan

2002

Green Bay Packers

Lambeau field

Open

Green Bay, Wisconsin

1957

Houston Texans

NRG Stadium

Retractable

Houston, texas

2002

Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium

Retractable

Indianapolis, Indiana

2008

Jacksonville Jaguars

TIAA Bank field

Open

Jacksonville, Florida

1995

Kansas City Chiefs

Arrowhead stage

Open

Kansas City, Missouri

1972

Las Vegas Adventurers

Allegiant Stadium

Dome

Paradise, Nevada

2020

Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers

SoFi Stadium

Dome

Inglewood, California

2020

Miami dolphins

Hard Rock Stadium

Open

Miami Gardens, Florida

1987

Minnesota Vikings

American Bank Stadium

Dome

Minneapolis, Minnesota

2016

New England Patriots

Gillette Stadium

Open

Foxborough, Massachusetts

2002

Saints of New Orleans

Superdome of the Caesars

Dome

New Orleans, Louisiana

1975

New York Giants, New York Jets

MetLife Stadium

Open

East Rutherford, New Jersey

2010

Philadelphia Eagles

Lincoln Financial Sector

Open

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2003

Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Field

Open

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

2001

San Francisco 49ers

Levi’s stadium

Open

Santa Clara, California

2014

Seattle Seahawks

Lumen field

Open

Seattle, Washington

2002

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Raymond James Stadium

Open

Tampa, Florida

1998

Titans of Tennessee

Nissan Stadium

Open

Nashville, Tennessee

1999

Washington football team

FedEx field

Open

Landover, Maryland

1997

Percentage of team wins with domed stadiums vs. open stadiums

In 1968, the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) became the first NFL franchise to host their home games in a domed building. That year, the Oilers finished 7-7 and lost their first four home games.

The following season, Houston finished 6-6-2, then experienced a four-year decline, with, at best, a four-game winning season in 1971 and, at worst, a pair of records of 1-13 in 1972 and 1973.

It’s safe to say that the domed field advantage didn’t exist for the Oilers in the early ’70s, but what about the other teams that eventually built dome-shaped stadiums?

In 2013, an NFL fan shared this statistical research on Reddit, in which he analyzed the difference in winning percentages for teams that played home games in open-top stadiums, compared to teams that played home games under a roof or retractable dome.

At the time of his research, the franchises that at one point used a closed stadium for home games were the Oilers, Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts. , the Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints, and the Seattle Seahawks.

His statistical analysis concluded that the away home teams had a winning percentage of 0.583, while the dome / retractable roof teams had a winning percentage of 0.545.

The data showed a minimal difference, but on the road the difference was more noticeable.

Away teams won 43.3% of their away games, while dome / retractable roof teams won 38.8% on the road.

In the playoffs, away teams won 67.5% of home games, versus 66.7% for dome / retractable teams, and in road playoffs, away teams won 38.2% of the time . Dome / retractable teams won just 24.4% of those clashes.

On the contrary, playing at home inside a dome created a downside, as teams used to this environment did not adapt well when visiting outdoor venues.

Teams used to an open outdoor stadium, where weather changes are usually frequent, seemed to perform better on the road, when they had to adjust to a new stadium and other unfamiliar elements.

What does the Super Bowl say about dome stadiums versus open stadiums?

As of 2010, the Saints have been the only franchise with a domed stadium that has won a Super Bowl. They secured that title inside the open Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and defeated the Colts, whose home games were held in a retractable-roof stadium.

Since the New Orleans Championship in 2010, only one team from the Dome, the Atlanta Falcons, have reached the Super Bowl. This team lost to an open field opponent, the New England Patriots, in one of the biggest wins in Super Bowl history.

How does player performance change inside a dome?

While the Dome teams have struggled in the playoffs, especially on the road, the closed-top venues appear to serve players in an interesting way.

Looking at quarterbacks whose original stadiums were domes, most saw a noticeable increase in enclosed pass production.

Matthew Stafford – who lived in Ford Field for 12 seasons – performed 63.46% of his passes inside a dome and 63.11% under a retractable roof. When he competed in an open stadium, his completion percentage dropped to 61.08%. His quarterback rating also went from 91.3 in a dome to 87.4 outside.

Drew Brees, the all-time leader in assists completed (7,142) and the single-season leader in completion percentage (74.4%), also appeared to benefit from games inside a dome.

Brees’ completion percentage was 69.76% in this frame, but 65.33% when passing in an outdoor stadium.

You can find a similar statistical pattern with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​and Falcons shooter Matt Ryan.

What is the advantage of playing in a dome?

While those quarterbacks have been more accurate under a closed roof, their teams haven’t necessarily seen an increase in overall performance or a boost in the win column.

Perhaps the reason is that other quarterbacks who have played home games in open venues also statistically improved when visiting a dome.

Tom Brady spent his 22-year career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two outdoor stadium franchises), but his completion percentage inside a dome is nearly five percentage points higher than outside (68.59% against 63.66%). His passer rating is also 111.8 in a dome and 96.4 outside.

The same goes for Aaron Rodgers (67.03% in a dome vs. 64.6% outside, 108.4 in the dome vs. 102.8 outside) and Ben Roethlisberger (69.75% against 63.55%, 105 in the dome versus 93.1 outside).

So what can you rely on to be true when two teams meet in an enclosed stadium?

A study conducted over games from 2003 to 2015 revealed that the total points per game scored at outdoor venues was 42.4, while games played in a domed or retractable-roof stadium totaled 46.2 points per game.

An indoor stadium may not give a team an advantage, but it can help predict if a game will be scored.

So the advantage here goes to the sports bettor who is looking to make an Over / Under bet more than any team or player.

Going forward, more franchises may choose to innovate on dome and retractable-roof venues, but data indicates it’s not in their best interests, unless every team is on an equal footing. . Until then, teams with open stadiums seem in the best position to march to victory, especially when games matter the most.



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