10 best stadiums in college football
College football is steeped in tradition, and much of that tradition stems from the gorgeous stadiums around the country that the game is played in. From ancient facilities that predate just about every living fan to sparkling buildings just recently renovated, stadiums come in all shapes and sizes.
Which venues around the country are the cream of the crop?
Just missed the cut: Michigan Stadium (Michigan), Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn), Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame), Memorial Stadium (Clemson), Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Florida)
10.Camp Randall Stadium
Location: Madison, Wis.
One of the oldest stadiums in the nation, originally built in 1917, Camp Randall has been expanded more than a dozen times to keep pace with the rest of the top venues in the country. The Badgers have one of the best game day atmospheres in the nation, with fans going crazy to “Jump Around,” which gets the stadium shaking.
9. Autzen Stadium
Location: Eugene, Ore.
Autzen is by far the smallest stadium to make the list, but that’s part of its appeal. Despite its relative lack of size in the world of big-time college football, Ducks fans still make this place one of the most deafening venues in the nation, and it looks as if the fans are right on top of the field. On top of that, the light and dark green alternating turf is as good looking as any field in the country.
8. Kyle Field
School: Texas A&M
Location: College Station, Texas
After two years of renovations, Kyle Field is set to re-open this fall as one of the most stunning stadiums in the nation. Kept in the renovations are the swaying stands that help make the 12th man incredibly intimidating. Kyle Field is now the biggest stadium in the SEC and in the state of Texas, two major accomplishments. Now, the Aggies just need to start winning some SEC home games to do their gorgeous digs justice.
7. Sanford Stadium
Location: Athens, Ga.
Sanford is a huge stadium, the 10th-largest in the nation, and it’s as loud as any in the country. The stadium’s setting helps set it apart, nestled right in the middle of Athens. The field is beautiful as well, with natural grass ringed by the famed privet hedges.
6. Neyland Stadium
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
While it’s no longer the biggest in the SEC, Neyland is still one of the most impressive football cathedrals you’ll ever see. With the Vol Navy lining the Tennessee River just outside the stadium, the double-decker stands make Neyland an intimidating place to play when it’s packed. The checkerboard effect the crowd pulled off last year was glorious and will hopefully be brought back in 2015.
5. Rose Bowl
Location: Pasadena, Calif.
The history behind the Rose Bowl is what puts it high up on this list. The host of five Super Bowls, the annual Rose Bowl, the 1984 Olympics, two world cups and countless memorable college football games, no stadium has a richer resume than this one. The bright green grass (it’s real and it’s spectacular) makes watching a game here, whether in person or on television, a pleasure.
4. Bryant-Denny Stadium
Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Few places in the country have the same kind of intimidation factor that Bryant-Denny Stadium offers. More than 100,000 pack into the Crimson Tide’s home digs every Saturday since it was expanded to seat six figures, and they make ear drum-splitting noise in support of their team. While not seen on the field, the visiting locker room is named “The Fail Room” in honor of donor James Fail, which is too perfect.
3. Beaver Stadium
School: Penn State
Location: University Park, Pa.
There’s something special about the home of the Nittany Lions. “We are!” and “Penn State!” echo back from the nearby mountains as fans cheer their team every week without fail; attendance remained in the 90,000s even amidst NCAA sanctions earlier this decade. On top of the history behind the second-largest stadium in the country, Penn State pulls off the “white out” better than any school in the country.
2. Ohio Stadium
School: Ohio State
Location: Columbus, Ohio
The home of the reigning national champions is an ideal place to watch a game, and it’s the loudest stadium in a Big Ten filled with 100,000-seat stadiums. The Horseshoe has some of the best traditions in the game, from The Best Damn Band in the Land to fans decked out in scarlet and screaming “O-H-I-O!”
1. Tiger Stadium
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
There’s no place like Death Valley at night. The most raucous crowd in the country makes Tiger Stadium a near impossible place to play, giving LSU a chance to win every home game it plays. Bear Bryant described playing here as being inside a drum, and with the extra 10,000 seats added last year, pushing capacity over 100,000, that drum has been amplified.