Explore the most historic, most intimidating and greenest college football stadiums in the U.S. We examined the stadiums where Football Bowl Subdivision teams play their home games and compared them across a variety of factors, including capacity, updates, environmental considerations, history and individuality. These are the 10 best stadiums in the U.S.
1. Tiger Stadium
Louisiana State University
- When it’s filled, it’s the eighth-largest “city” in Louisiana, making it an extremely intimidating place for opposing teams. An expansion in 2014 will push capacity over 100,000.
- In 1988, LSU quarterback Tommy Hodson completed a touchdown pass to running back Eddie Fuller, causing an enormous crowd reaction that registered on an earthquake seismograph in the Louisiana Geological Survey office on campus.
- Until the 1980s, the stadium contained dorm rooms underneath the stands. The rooms are now used for offices and storage.
2. Bryant–Denny Stadium
- Much of Alabama “home” football history occurred at Birmingham’s Legion Field, where until the 1990s, the Iron Bowl was played.
- Alabama has won about 60% of the games it has played in Bryant-Denny.
- The visiting team’s locker room is named “The Fail Room,” after alumnus and donor James M. Fail.
3. Ohio Stadium
Ohio State University
- World’s largest stadium to implement a zero-waste program, which aims to divert 90% of trash from the landfill through recycling and composting.
- Home of The Best Damn Band in the Land, the university’s award-winning marching band, which has the honor of marching in the inaugural parades of six presidents: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
- After a rousing chant of “O-H-I-O,” against rivals like Michigan, students in one end of the stadium shout “Rip his f*cking head off,” which is often audible on TV. The university has tried to get the students to simply shout “Go Bucks,” but that hasn’t worked.
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4. Neyland Stadium
- The Vols have won more than 3 in 4 of the games they’ve played at Neyland Stadium, and they’ve never had more than four straight losses there.
- In 1970, the stadium hosted the Billy Graham Crusade with President Richard Nixon guest-speaking. The event took place just three weeks after the fatal shootings on the campus of Kent State University, and several anti-war protestors were arrested trying to get into Neyland Stadium.
- The Pride of the Southland Band performs a memorable formation called the “circle drill,” which is intended to take viewers on musical trip across the state, with stops in Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville.
5. Michigan Stadium
Nickname: The Big House
- Hosted the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, a professional hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Third largest stadium in the world.
- Fans recycled about 130 tons of trash in the 2013 season.
6. Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium
- Heralded as the largest sports facility of its kind in the Southwest when it completed in 1924.
- Stadium’s 7,370-square-foot high-definition scoreboard is nicknamed Godzillatron.
- The Longhorns have won nearly 80% of their games in the stadium.
7. Beaver Stadium
The second largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere and the first to have its interior included in Google Street View, Beaver Stadium in Pennsylvania has recently started an initiative to improve attendee experience. Engineering students have partnered with the stadium to address common issues, such as concession stand efficiency and restroom line wait times.
The stadium also has an enduring tradition in which the marching band’s drum major attempts a flip at the 50-yard line, though the style of flip has varied over the years. Local legend states that the team will win if the drum major completes the flip cleanly.
8. Rose Bowl
Built: 1922 (UCLA has played there since 1982)
- Hosted events during two Olympics, 1932 and 1984.
- Has been named a National Historic Landmark.
- Hosted five Super Bowls and several FIFA World Cup and Women’s World Cup matches.
9. Jordan–Hare Stadium
- The band plays “Eye of the Tiger” before the defense takes the field and “Crazy Train” on a third-down stop.
- The Tigers have won 79% of their games at Jordan-Hare.
- On football Saturdays, the stadium becomes Alabama’s fifth largest city.
10. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
- Declared a National Historic Landmark a day before the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
- The Olympic Cauldron is lit during the fourth quarter of Trojans games.
- USC pays $1 million a year in rent to the state of California to play games in the stadium.