Pick 6: Signature images of NFL stadiums

Updated at: 05/14/2013 6:06 PM
By DAVE CAMPBELL

(AP) MINNEAPOLIS - When the Minnesota Vikings unveiled the design of their new stadium, they introduced another attention-grabbing image to the NFL’s stadium collection: The see-through roof.

With a translucent material covering the south half of the asymmetrical facility, plus five 95-foot high pivoting glass doors on the front of the building, the Vikings will get as close as they can to the great outdoors while still playing in a controlled climate.

The $975 million project will be completed in time for the 2016 season. Until then, here are six other prominent signature stadium designs around the NFL.

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THE SEATTLE SOUND: CenturyLink Field has given the Seahawks one of the most distinct home-field advantages in the league since it opened in 2001. That’s driven largely by the steep canopies that extend out over the field to cover nearly three-quarters of the seats -- and, as a bonus for the team, trapped crowd noise to create a deafening background for opponents to try to run their offense.

The rainbow-like trellises on each flap help frame a bridge-style look that makes it immediately obvious to television viewers that the game is being played in Seattle, whenever a wide shot of the stadium is shown on the screen. Even if the TV is on mute.

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STEEL CITY SKYLINE: The Steelers used to play in cookie-cutter Three Rivers Stadium. While the old place was a simple forgettable circle, typical of sports architecture of the 1960s and 1970s, where it was built was the important part.

So Heinz Field, which opened in 2001, used a horseshoe design to reveal vivid views of the city skyline at the edge of the Allegheny River, one of the three rolling bodies of water that converge to literally help put Pittsburgh on the American map. Spiral-shaped ramps at the corners of the stadium’s open end round out the familiar portrait.

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ON BOARD WITH THE BUCS: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took their name to heart when Raymond James Stadium was put together for the 1998 season, placing a 103-foot-long replica of an early 1800s pirate ship on the plaza behind the north end zone, an area called Buccaneer Cove.

Cannon shots are fired to celebrate scores by the Bucs.

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EVERYTHING’S BIGGER IN TEXAS: The Dallas Cowboys took luxury to a new level with their new stadium, most notably with the world’s largest video board that hovers over the middle of the field.

The screens are so big at Cowboys Stadium that a punt bounced off the video board in a preseason game in 2009 when the $1 billion showplace first opened, prompting criticism of the largesse engineered by owner Jerry Jones.

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WINDOW-ANAPOLIS: Lucas Oil Stadium was constructed for the Indianapolis Colts in 2008 with a retractable roof to let the fresh air and natural light in when the weather is cooperative enough to open it.

For an even better view, the brick building came complete with a picture window on the front to frame the city’s skyline.

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LANDED BY THE LAKE: Soldier Field underwent a dramatic renovation a decade ago, designed to keep the Greek columns of the 1924 building but modernize it with a sleek new steel-and-glass case.

After playing at the University of Illinois for one year, the Bears returned to their home by Lake Michigan in 2003. The project was pilloried by many Chicagoans for looking like a giant spaceship plopped down on top of the old stadium, making the original features barely recognizable.

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