1/ AndrewHorne // Wikimedia Commons
The 2017 college football season is humming right along, as most teams across the country have reached the halfway points of their regular season schedule. While the action on the field has been as captivating as ever — particularly for a rabid television-viewing audience — the in-stadium experience has continued its downward trend. The 2016 season marked the sixth consecutive year that home attendance at major college football games declined, as Football Bowl Subdivision crowds averaged 43,106 fans per game.
This has led schools to take desperate measures to keep fans in the seats for their games’ full 60 minutes. Compounding the issue of subpar attendance figures is the fact that major college football programs boast some of the largest venues in all of sports — and more empty seats create a bad perception.
When these massive stadiums do fill up, however, it makes for an incredibly raucous viewing experience that feels unique to college football. To celebrate the game’s most esteemed venues, Stacker has ranked the 50 largest college football stadiums based on seating capacity. We used data from College Gridirons to order each arena. Each stadium in the top 50 holds over 58,000 fans, and eight top the 100,000 mark.
2/ Robapalooza // Wikimedia Commons
College: Georgia Institute of Technology
Fast facts: Bobby Dodd Stadium is the oldest continually-used stadium in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Countless historic events have taken place at this site, including one of the most famous scores in college football history: Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0, in 1916.
Marquee game: Nov. 1, 2008 - Georgia Tech 31, Florida State 28
3/ Perthsider // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Louisville
Fast facts: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium gets its name from the Papa John’s Pizza franchise, which was founded by Louisville alumnus John Schnatter. The stadium features a statue of Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, who played at Louisville from 1951 to 1954.
Marquee game: Sept. 17, 2016 - Louisville 63, Florida State 20
4/ Wcarlisle4 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Arizona
Fast facts: Arizona Stadium held just 7,000 seats when it opened in 1928 but has gradually expanded over the years. The school’s student section — dubbed the “ZonaZoo” — takes up about 9,000 seats on the lower east sideline, creating a raucous environment when filled up. The Wildcats last went undefeated at home in 1989, posting a clean 6-0 record.
Marquee game: Nov. 22, 1986 - Arizona 34, Arizona State 17
5/ Clintus // Flickr
College: Arizona State University
Fast facts: Constructed between two mountain buttes, Sun Devil Stadium perfectly showcases the region’s desert landscape. The stadium’s field is named after legendary head coach Frank Kush, who led Arizona State’s football program from 1958 to 1979. Sun Devil Stadium is currently undergoing a $307 million renovation project, with an expected completion date of June 2019.
Marquee game: Sept. 21, 1996 - Arizona State 19, Nebraska 0
6/ Tstuddud // Wikimedia Commons
College: Purdue University
Fast facts: The site of Purdue’s home games for nearly a century, Ross-Ade Stadium is named after its two primary benefactors: David E. Ross, former president of the Board of Trustees, and George Ade, a playwright and columnist. The original capacity of the stadium was 12,500. Ross-Ade underwent a $75 million renovation from 2001 to 2003.
Marquee game: Oct. 28, 2000 - Purdue 31, Ohio State 27
7/ SMaloney // Wikimedia Commons
College: North Carolina State University
Fast facts: Prior to the opening of Carter-Finley Stadium, North Carolina State played its home games at Riddick Stadium, which was built in 1907 and never held more than 23,000 seats. Carter-Finley Stadium underwent expansion in 1992 and 2003, bringing its number of seats to its current total.
Marquee game: Nov. 1, 2003 - North Carolina State 51, Virginia 37
8/ Aparkswv // Wikimedia Commons
College: West Virginia University
Fast facts: Known officially as Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium (or simply Mountaineer Field), the current site of West Virginia’s home games originally seated 50,000. The Mountaineers have one of the coolest traditions in college football, as the team and fans sing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” after each home win.
Marquee game: Oct. 15, 2005 - West Virginia 46, Louisville 44 (3OT)
9/ Ashlux // Wikipedia
College: Oklahoma State University
Fast facts: Boone Pickens Stadium is named after business magnate and Oklahoma State alumnus T. Boone Pickens, who donated $165 million to the school’s athletic department. The money went toward massive advancements in the school’s athletic facilities, including an expansion to the football stadium that raised its capacity to 60,218 in 2009.
Marquee game: Dec. 3, 2011 - Oklahoma State 44, Oklahoma 10
10/ Asolsma1988 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Illinois
Fast facts: Named after the fallen soldiers of World War I, Illinois’ Memorial Stadium opened the same year “Red” Grange — widely considered among the greatest college football players of all time — first arrived on campus. On Oct. 18, 1924, the day of the stadium’s official dedication, Grange scored six touchdowns in a 39-14 win over Michigan. That mark remains the highest-scoring individual performance in Memorial Stadium history.
Marquee game: Oct. 18, 1924 - Illinois 39, Michigan 14
11/ Elred // Wikimedia Commons
College: Texas Tech University
Fast facts: Upon opening in 1947, Jones Stadium held 27,000 seats. That number jumped to 41,500 after an expansion in 1959, and several 21st-century expansions brought that figure to its present state. The stadium took on its current name in 2006 after SBC Communications, which donated over $25 million to the school, officially changed its name to AT&T.
Marquee game: Nov. 1, 2008 - Texas Tech 39, Texas 33
12/ Navin 75 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Kentucky
Fast facts: Kroger Field is the newest football stadium in the SEC. Until 2015, the playing surface fittingly featured Kentucky bluegrass, but has since been changed to a synthetic turf. The 2017 season is the first year the venue has gone by its current name, thanks to a 12-year naming rights deal.
Marquee game: Oct. 13, 2007 - Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3OT)
13/ Jfurlong // Wikipedia
College: Iowa State University
Fast facts: Jack Trice Stadium is named after the university’s first African-American student-athlete. Trice played for the Cyclones briefly during the 1923 season, and tragically died as a result of injuries sustained in a game. Iowa State dedicated its stadium in his honor in 1997, shortly after it underwent expansion.
Marquee game: Nov. 18, 2011 - Iowa State 37, Oklahoma State 31 (2OT)
14/ GooseMSU07 // Wikimedia Commons
College: Mississippi State University
Fast facts: If you were dropped into Davis Wade Stadium, and somehow all signage was completely removed and you had no idea where on Earth you were, all you would have to do to identify your location is close your eyes — the sound of 40,000 cowbells clanging in unison is unique only to Starkville, Mississippi. In addition to proving once and for all that you can never have enough cowbell, Davis Wade Stadium is notable for being the third-oldest college football stadium in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Marquee game: Nov. 25, 1999 - Mississippi State 23, Mississippi 20
15/ Mak7912 // Wikipedia
College: University of Virginia
Fast facts: Scott Stadium underwent a $25 million expansion project in 1997. It was completed in 2000, bringing the field’s capacity to its current figure. It is the fifth-oldest stadium in the ACC.
Marquee game: Nov. 2, 1995 - Virginia 33, Florida State 28
16/ Zorin09 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Memphis
Fast facts: In addition to serving as the home of the Tigers, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium also plays hosts to the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Memphis has played its games here since the stadium opened. Prior to 1965, the team played its home games at Crump Stadium.
Marquee game: Nov. 9, 1996 - Memphis 21, Tennessee 17
17/ Roman Fuchs // Wikimedia Commons
College: UC Berkeley
Fast facts: Memorial Stadium underwent a $321 million renovation project from 2010 to 2012. One of the most noteworthy features of the stadium is Tightwad Hill — the name given to the hill east of the stadium that offers fans a free view of on the field action. The spot is regularly occupied during Golden Bears games.
Marquee game: Nov. 20, 1982 - California 25, Stanford 20
18/ Yeungb // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of North Carolina
Fast facts: Kenan Stadium is surrounded by pines in all directions, making it among the most picturesque venues in college football. It is named after William R. Kenan Jr., a prominent businessman, and a 1894 UNC graduate. The Tar Heels went a perfect 7-0 at home during the 2015 season.
Marquee game: Sept. 22, 2001 - North Carolina 41, Florida State 9
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College: Brigham Young University
Fast facts: Named after the legendary BYU coach, LaVell Edwards Stadium was originally called Cougar Stadium. Edwards coached at BYU from 1972 to 2000, leading the Cougars to a national championship in 1984, and the venue was renamed in his honor upon his retirement.
Marquee game: Sept. 8, 1990 - BYU 28, Miami (FL) 21
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College: University of Mississippi
Fast facts: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is named after Judge William Hemingway, a professor and chairman of the university’s athletics committee, and Johnny Vaught, who coached Ole Miss from 1947 to 1970 and won three national titles. The venue underwent expansion in 2016 to make it the largest stadium in the state.
Marquee game: Sept. 17, 1977 - Mississippi 20, Notre Dame 13
21/ Nick81aku // Wikipedia
College: University of Texas at San Antonio
Fast facts: Upon opening in 1993, the Alamodome’s primary tenants were the San Antonio Spurs. When the franchise moved out in 2002, the venue was largely without a team. That changed in 2011 when the UTSA Roadrunners began using the stadium in 2011. In addition, the Alamodome has hosted the annual Alamo Bowl since 1993.
Marquee game: Jan. 2, 2016 - TCU 47, Oregon 41 (3OT)
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College: University of Miami
Fast facts: In addition to serving as the current home of the Miami Hurricanes, Hard Rock Stadium plays host to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The venue also is the home of the annual Orange Bowl, which is among the most prestigious bowl games in college football.
Marquee game: Jan. 3, 2006 - Penn State 26, Florida State 23 (3OT)
23/ cynthiacloskey // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Pittsburgh
Fast facts: Heinz Field was built as the new home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the University of Pittsburgh Panthers have also played their home games there since the stadium opened. Prior to Heinz Field’s construction, the Panthers played at Pitt Stadium from 1925 until 1999.
Marquee game: Dec. 5, 2009 - Cincinnati 45, Pittsburgh 44
24/ Raymond James Stadium // Wikipedia
College: University of South Florida
Fast facts: Similar to Heinz Field, Raymond James Stadium was built for an NFL team — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — but has also served as the home of South Florida since it opened. The school’s football program didn’t begin until 1997, and in its debut season, the team played at Tampa Stadium. Raymond James Stadium has hosted the Outback Bowl each season since 1999.
Marquee game: Jan 9, 2017 - Clemson 35, Alabama 31
25/ Clenz // Wikimedia Commons
College: Virginia Tech University
Fast facts: Lane Stadium is consistently ranked among the toughest places for visiting teams to play in college football. Among the stadium’s best traditions is the presence of “Skipper” — a cannon which is fired after each Virginia Tech score. Another is the team’s entrance, set to “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. One word: epic.
Marquee game: Sept. 23, 1995 - Virginia Tech 13, Miami (FL) 7
26/ Justin Wolfe // Flickr
College: Temple University
Fast facts: “The Linc” was built as the new home of the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Owls have played there since it opened in 2003. The program played its home games at Temple Stadium from 1928 to 1978 before moving to Veterans Stadium, where it played until Lincoln Financial Field was built.
Marquee game: Oct. 31, 2015 - Notre Dame 24, Temple 20
27/ Dllu // Wikipedia
College: University of Washington
Fast facts: Among many college football fans (not just those in the Pacific Northwest), Husky Stadium is known as the “greatest setting in college football.” It’s certainly earned that title, given its location remarkable views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. Husky fans are known to partake in “sailgating” before games on boats in the lake, making for a truly unique gameday experience.
Marquee game: Nov. 22, 1975 - Washington 28, Washington State 27
28/ BrokenSphere // Wikimedia Commons
College: San Diego State University
Fast facts: This venue has gone by a few names — most recently Qualcomm Stadium — until September 2017, when the naming rights became owned by SDCCU. Formerly the home of the San Diego Chargers, the Aztecs have played their home games here since 1967. SDCCU Stadium has also hosted the Holiday Bowl since 1978.
Marquee game: Dec. 19, 1980 - BYU 46, SMU 45
29/ Paul W. Brechler // Wikipedia
College: University of Iowa
Fast facts: Kinnick Stadium is named after Nile Kinnick, who is Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner in school history. Kinnick was killed in World War II in 1943 at the age of 24, and the stadium was named in his honor in 1973. During the 2017 season, fans at Kinnick Stadium began a new tradition in which they wave at the University of Iowa Children’s hospital — a newly-constructed building which overlooks the stadium — at the end of each first quarter.
Marquee game: Nov. 8, 2008 - Iowa 24, Penn State 23
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College: University of Missouri
Fast facts: Faurot Field is most identified by it rock “M” above the north end zone. The field is named after legendary Missouri coach Don Faurot, who coached the Tigers for 19 seasons and won three conference championships.
Marquee game: Nov. 8, 1969 - Missouri 44, Oklahoma 10
31/ Bobak // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Arkansas
Fast facts: Arkansas has had two home stadiums since 1948: Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Now, the Razorbacks only play one game a year at War Memorial Stadium, opting to primarily use the closer venue with a higher capacity.
Marquee game: Dec. 6, 1969 - Texas 15, Arkansas 14
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College: Michigan State University
Fast facts: Spartan Stadium originally opened as Macklin Field, named after former coach John Macklin, who coached the team from 1911 to 1915. The stadium was renamed Macklin Stadium in 1948, then given its current name in 1957, the same year it was expanded to 75,000 seats. Rain or shine, the Spartans’ PA announcer begins each game by exclaiming, “It’s a beautiful day for football!”
Marquee game: Oct. 22, 2011 - Michigan State 37, Wisconsin 31
33/ Bobak Ha’Eri // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Notre Dame
Fast facts: Notre Dame Stadium is perhaps best known for its view of the “Touchdown Jesus” mural, which is located on the campus’ Hesburgh Library and is officially named “The Word of Life.” The stadium did not host a night game from 1990 to 2011, snapping that streak during an Oct. 22, 2011 game against USC.
Marquee game: Oct. 15, 1988 - Notre Dame 31, Miami (FL) 30
34/ U.S. Department of Defense // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of South Carolina
Fast facts: South Carolina fans always get hyped as soon as they hear “Sandstorm” by Darude being played. The video board at Williams-Brice Stadium was added in 2012 and measures at 36 feet by 124 feet.
Marquee game: Oct. 9, 2010 - South Carolina 35, Alabama 21
35/ lbwings21 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Wisconsin
Fast facts: Camp Randall Stadium is the oldest football stadium in the Big Ten, beating Ohio Stadium by five years. It is among the loudest, most daunting venues in college football, and fans go nuts before the start of the fourth quarter to the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
Marquee game: Oct. 16, 2010 - Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 18
36/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
College: Clemson University
Fast facts: Throughout the years, “Death Valley” has been aptly named as one of the most impossible places to get a road win. Clemson has one of the most famous traditions in college football with the pregame “Running Down the Hill,” during which the team runs down a hill onto the field before the game. On the way down, the players all touch “Howard’s Rock” — a piece of white flint from the actual death valley in California that was given to legendary head coach Frank Howard. The tradition has been dubbed by former announcer Brent Musburger as, “The most exciting 25 seconds in college football.”
Marquee game: Oct. 1, 2016: - Clemson 42, Louisville 36
37/ Nmajdan // Wikipedia
College: University of Oklahoma
Fast facts: Memorial Stadium held just 16,000 seats when it opened in 1925. It is now the second-largest stadium in the Big 12. The stadium got its name after Christy Gaylord Everest donated $50 million to the university.
Marquee game: Oct. 28, 2000 - Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 14
38/ Melizabethi123 // Wikimedia Commons
College: Florida State University
Fast facts: The stadium is named after former university president Doak Campbell, who oversaw the venue’s construction. The field was dedicated to legendary coach Bobby Bowden in 2004.
Marquee game: Nov. 26, 1994 - Florida 31, Florida State 31
39/ Fds527 // Wikimedia Commons
College: Auburn University
Fast facts: Jordan-Hare Stadium is one of the most raucous, intimidating stadiums to play-in in college football. Auburn has sold over 75,000 season tickets for 18 consecutive seasons, and the field was named after legendary coach Pat Dye in 2005. The Tigers last went unbeaten at home in 2013.
Marquee game: Nov. 30, 2013 - Auburn 34, Alabama 28
40/ Pablo Corredor // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Florida
Fast facts: “The Swamp” has not been kind to visiting teams over the years. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium got its nickname from Steve Spurrier when he was the head coach in 1992. The “Head Ball Coach” famously declared “‘The Swamp’ is a place where only Gators get out alive.” At that point, Spurrier’s team was 12-0 in two seasons at home, and the Gators would eventually win the first 23 home games under Spurrier’s lead.
Marquee game: Nov. 22, 1997 - Florida 32, Florida State 29
41/ Sparrowman980 // Wikimedia Commons
Fast facts: Perhaps one of the most picturesque settings in college football, the Rose Bowl has played host to countless classic games throughout the years. The first college to call the Rose Bowl home was the CalTech Beavers, which dropped its football program in 1976. UCLA has played its home games here since 1982. The stadium is the site of the annual Rose Bowl Game, first held at the Rose Bowl stadium in 1923. The Rose Bowl Game — dubbed “The Granddaddy of Them All” — is the oldest of college football’s bowl games.
Marquee game: Jan. 4, 2006 - Texas 41, USC 38
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College: University of Nebraska
Fast facts: Entering the 2017 season, Nebraska had sold out an incredible 354 consecutive home games dating back to 1962. Few teams enter the stadium to a more thunderous applause than the Cornhuskers do during their traditional “Tunnel Walk,” set to “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project.
Marquee game: Nov. 11, 1978 - Nebraska 17, Oklahoma 14
43/ Pruddle // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Georgia
Fast facts: There aren’t many more iconic stadium sights than watching Georgia play “Between the Hedges.” Named after former university president Steadman Vincent Sanford, Sanford Stadium has undergone multiple renovations throughout the years but has maintained its core aesthetic. The presence of Georgia’s live bulldog mascot, Uga, makes the gameday experience that much more special.
Marquee game: Dec. 2, 1978 - Georgia 29, Georgia Tech 28
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Fast facts: Many teams have called the Coliseum home throughout the years — including the UCLA Bruins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Rams — but only the USC Trojans have been there from the beginning. In addition to hosting Trojans home games since 1923, the Coliseum has hosted the Summer Olympics twice (1932 and 1984) and will do so a third time when the Games returns to Los Angeles in 2024.
Marquee game: Nov. 18, 1967 - USC 21, UCLA 20
45/ Brint03 // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Texas at Austin
Fast facts: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium is named in honor of former coach Darrell Royal, who coached the Longhorns from 1957 to 1976. Among the traditions at Texas home games is the singing of “The Eyes of Texas,” as the world’s largest Texas state flag is displayed along the field. Roaming the sidelines at DRK is the Texas mascot Bevo, a live steer that gives rise to the team’s hand signal and motto, “Hook ‘em Horns.”
Marquee game: Nov. 27, 1998 - Texas 26, Texas A&M 24
46/ Matthew Tosh // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Alabama
Fast facts: Bryant-Denny Stadium was originally called Denny Stadium upon its opening in 1929, named after George H. Denny, the university president from 1912 to 1932. It was renamed in 1975 to honor legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. In 25 seasons under Bryant, the Crimson Tide went a remarkable 72-2 at home.
Marquee game: Nov. 5, 2011 - LSU 9, Alabama 6 (OT)
47/ Getawaypaul27 // Wikimedia Commons
Capacity: 102, 321
Fast facts: Known as Death Valley, Tiger Stadium has consistently been considered the most difficult place for visiting teams to win in, particularly in night games. The turf at Tiger Stadium is notable for having numbers on the field for each 5-yard line, whereas most fields only have numbers for every 10-yard line.
Marquee game: Oct. 6, 2007 - LSU 28, Florida 28
48/ Neomrbrungle // Wikimedia Commons
College: University of Tennessee
Fast facts: One of the most notable features of Neyland Stadium is its checkerboard end zones, which were added in 1964. The stadium is named after Robert Neyland, who served as the program’s head football coach for three stints between 1926 and 1952. Neyland Stadium is the second-largest venue in the SEC.
Marquee game: Sept. 19, 1998 - Tennessee 20, Florida 17 (OT)
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College: Texas A&M University
Fast facts: Known as, “The Home of the 12th Man,” Kyle Field is named after Edwin Jackson Kyle, a professor of horticulture who donated the land where Kyle Field was eventually built. Concrete stands were added in 1927, and the stadium’s most recent renovation project was completed in 2015.
Marquee game: Nov. 9, 2002 - Texas A&M 30, Oklahoma 26
50/ Ron Reiring // Flickr
College: Ohio State University
Fast facts: “The Horseshoe” stands as one of the most iconic venues in college football. Among the many Buckeyes traditions is the home crowd chanting “O-H-I-O,” as well as the iconic “dotting of the ‘I’” by the Ohio State marching band.
Marquee game: Nov. 23, 2002 - Ohio State 14, Michigan 9
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College: Penn State University
Fast facts: Beaver Stadium is on the short list of greatest atmospheres in college football. A 2016 fan poll by USA Today ranked it as the best stadium in the country, and it has consistently been considered among the loudest. This is particularly true during “White Out” games, which are reserved only for marquee opponents.
Marquee game: Sept. 25, 1982 - Penn State 27, Nebraska 24
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College: University of Michigan
Fast facts: “The Big House” — it’s simply one of the most recognizable venues in American sports. The stadium actually removed seats in 2009, but not enough to cost it the top spot on this list. Among the Wolverines’ best traditions is how the team takes the field — entering from the 50-yard line and jumping up to touch the M Club banner.
Marquee game: Nov. 22, 1969 - Michigan 24, Ohio State 12