The college football stadium experience is unlike any other live sporting event venue. The crowds are immersed in school spirit, and the atmosphere can’t be replicated anywhere else. From the students to the alumni, to future recruits, and just regular fans, there is something special about a college football atmosphere.
All the stadiums you will see on this list are rich in football history. Some of the greatest college football players ever have graced these historic fields. The sheer size and capacity of these stadiums and the school’s ability to fill them every weekend is remarkable.
College football Saturday in some parts of the country rivals NFL Sunday. The stadiums in the NFL are made to be luxurious and appease the corporate sponsors, but college football stadiums are steeped in tradition and look to provide a raucous home crowd that is as hostile as possible to the opposing team.
Let’s not forget the tailgating. Oh, the college football tailgating experience is second to none. Keg stands, drugs, girls, and football. What more could you ask for?
These rankings take into effect the whole gameday atmosphere. From the tailgating to the traditions, and of course the stadium itself. If you haven’t had a chance to visit these architectural marvels, put them on your bucket list. All have their own beautifully crazy scene that needs to be enjoyed.
10. Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn Tigers
Location: Auburn, Alabama
Year Built: 1939
Jordan-Hare is home to the Auburn Tigers and the largest video board in all of college football. The price tag on the video board came in at $13.9 million and provides window-rattling sound. Jordan-Hare Stadium is the 13th largest stadium in college football, but just 7th in the SEC. Goes to show you how serious college football is taken in the south. Auburn is continually upgrading their fan experience by providing some of the best accommodations in the country. War Eagle!
9. Bryant-Denny Stadium – Alabama Crimson Tide
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Year Built: 1929
No college football list of any kind that includes the word “best” is complete without Alabama. The Crimson Tide have one of the most storied histories in all of college athletics. Year after year the Tide roll out the best players in the country, and Bryant-Denny Stadium is where they call home. Bryant-Denny is where arguably the two most accomplished coaches in history, Bear Bryant, and Nick Saban have manned the sidelines. Statues and memorials are on display all around the stadium commemorating the great football history. It was even home to Saban’s daughter’s wedding in 2015. Bryant-Denny has multiple decks that seemingly hang over the field for a unique viewing pleasure. Roll Tide!
8. Ohio Stadium – Ohio State Buckeyes
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Year Built: 1922
The Horseshoe of Columbus, Ohio is one of the most iconic stadiums in college football. The unique design of the stadium makes it one of the best in the country. Ohio Stadium opened up with capacity for 66,000 fans and now has seating for over 104,000. The Buckeye faithful fill their stadium every home game, and even for spring games, the school gets in excess of 100,000 fans. “The Shoe” is a must-see stadium for any football fan.
7. Rose Bowl – UCLA Bruins
Location: Pasadena, California
Year Built: 1921
Is there a more famous stadium in college football than the Rose Bowl. It carries a particular type of weight when you hear it’s name that is unmatched by any other stadium. The Rose Bowl has been home to the UCLA Bruins since 1982, but the mark it’s left on college football runs 90+ years deep. “The Granddaddy of Them All” is located in beautiful Southern California and when the sunsets on the stadium it provides a majestic feeling that can’t be felt anywhere else in the country. The stadium has a simple oval design that creates a great view of the action no matter if you’re in the front row or the last row. The iconic stadium would be higher on the list, but UCLA football fans have not been doing their part in recent years to match the Rose Bowl’s mystique for the whole gameday experience.
6. Michigan Stadium – Michigan Wolverines
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Year Built: 1927
The “Big House” and when we say big, we mean BIG. Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in all of college football. It seats 109,000+ and at some points has crammed in nearly 115,000 people. The largest crowd ever at the Big House was in 2013 when 115,103 fans showed up to watch the Wolverines take on Notre Dame. Few schools can match the enthusiasm and overall fan experience that occurs on Saturdays in Ann Arbor. With two enormous press boxes on either side of the oval stadium, it is a sight to be seen. When in attendance the sea of fans seems endless. On game day you will only witness people around campus donning the maize and blue.
5. Beaver Stadium – Penn State Nittany Lions
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
Year Built: 1960
The experience at Beaver Stadium is quite something. There is one word to describe it, and it’s LOUD. The stadium is designed perfectly for intimidating visiting teams. The student section is one of the craziest in college football and seems to take up nearly half of Beaver Stadium. Whiteout games provide an even more unique feel to the gameday experience. The massive stadium resembles a skyscraper that was plopped in the middle of farm fields and forest. The tailgating is large and vast in Happy Valley and when everyone pours into Beaver Stadium one of the loudest moments in college football occurs.
4. Kyle Field – Texas A&M Aggies
Location: College Station, Texas
Year Built: 1927
When your stadium is known throughout all of college football as the “12th Man”, you know it’s gotta be one of the loudest and best in the country. So, of course, the Texas A&M Aggies Kyle Field is in our top 5 of best college football stadiums. College Station on football Saturdays is buzzing. Kyle Field consistently averages 100,000+ fans in attendance, and the place is primarily in a state of standing room only. Gamedays at Kyle Field are steeped in their traditions including the famous Aggie War Hymn, yell leaders coordinating chants and the largest military marching band in the United States.
3. Memorial Stadium – Clemson Tigers
Location: Clemson, South Carolina
Year Built: 1942
The rise of on-field success that the Clemson Tigers have enjoyed has coincided with their stadium shooting up the rankings as of one of the best in college football. Enjoying a game at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium has many unique features. There is the “Tiger Walk” that leads to the rubbing of Howard’s Rock and the stadium also features ‘CLEMSON’ spelled out on the upper concourse. Dabo Swinney continues to push the narrative that Clemson is the real “Death Valley”, but that title belongs to the next stadium on our list.
2. Tiger Stadium – LSU Tigers
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Year Built: 1924
Tiger Stadium or as it’s known, “Death Valley”, might just be the loudest stadium in the country. It has gotten so incredibly loud at Tiger Stadium there have been multiple reports of the entire structure shaking. The fans excitement has reached a level so thundering it recorded on the Richter scale. The “Earthquake Game” occurred in 1988, and after the games winning touchdown the stadium roared so powerfully it registered as an earthquake on the Louisiana Geological Survey. Former coach Les Miles described it as the place where opponents’ “dreams go to die”. Sorry Clemson, but this is the REAL “Death Valley”.
1. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Florida Gators
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Year Built: 1930
Finally, we have reached the No. 1 spot on our list of best college football stadiums. The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida home of the Gators is everything you want on game day. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was dubbed “The Swamp” by former iconic head coach Steve Spurrier when he famously uttered the phrase, “The ‘Swamp’ is a place where only Gators get out alive.” If you make your way to Ben Hill Griffin, you will notice the unique construct of the stadium that is unlike any other in college football. Outside the stadium features three statues of their Heisman winning quarterbacks Tim Tebow, Steve Spurrier, and Danny Wuerffel. Also right outside the entrance, the famous Tim Tebow speech is immortalized on a plaque. The stadium is positioned perfectly on the Florida campus that gives it one of the best tailgating experiences in all of college football. “I said it’s great to be a Florida Gator”.