The 15 Biggest Football Stadiums in the US Are All College Stadiums
We pick out some of the most impressive football stadiums in the US: unique traditions, hype songs and wild fans.
It’s almost been a whole month since a meaningful game of American Football was played, and although we are spoilt for choice with many other sports during the month of March, we’re already looking ahead to the next college football and NFL season.
With that in mind, we decided to do a little offseason gridiron research, and a few hours later we found ourselves in a deep hole of football stadium statistics, making a startling discovery; the 15 biggest football stadiums in the United States (by capacity), are all college stadiums:
|Michigan Stadium||107,601||Michigan Wolverines|
|Beaver Stadium||106,572||Penn State Nittany Lions|
|Ohio Stadium||104,944||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Kyle Field||102,733||Texas A&M Aggies|
|Neyland Stadium||102,455||Tennessee Volunteers|
|Tiger Stadium||102,321||LSU Tigers|
|Bryant–Denny Stadium||101,821||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium||100,119||Texas Longhorns|
|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||93,607||USC Trojans, Los Angeles Rams|
|Sanford Stadium||92,746||Georgia Bulldogs|
|Cotton Bowl||92,100||No home team. Hosts annual Bowl games and rivalry games.|
|Rose Bowl||90,888||UCLA Bruins, the Rose Bowl Game|
|Ben Hill Griffin Stadium||88,548||Florida Gators|
|Jordan–Hare Stadium||87,451||Auburn Tigers|
|Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium||86,112||Oklahoma Sooners|
What’s even more impressive is that these stadiums are often filled to capacity during the football season, with millions of Americans watching unpaid college athletes put their bodies on the line every Saturday.
Being so far away in Australia, it’s sometimes hard to fathom just how big college football really is, but considering that our biggest stadium, the MCG has a capacity of 100,024, and the next biggest (Stadium Australia in Sydney) can ‘only’ sit 83,500, the above list is very impressive.
After watching many YouTube videos from some of the those stadiums, we’ve put together a list of our favourites, along with some crazy traditions, hype songs and heroes.
Penn State - Beaver Stadium
The second largest stadium in North America, the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions was sold out for nearly every home game last year, and their team had a very solid season, finishing with an 11-2 record.
Despite the fact that it officially seats 106,572 people, the Lions managed to squeeze over 110,000 people in there for the game against Michigan this past October, where they dismantled the Wolverines with a 42 to 13 victory.
Their loyal fan base also had the privilege of watching the best running back in college football in 2017, Saquon Barkley. The 21 year old rushed for 18 touchdowns in both the 2016 and 2017 season, and is tipped to be a top five pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Along with the professionalism of the big leagues, one significant change he will experience about playing in the NFL is the smaller crowds. And he will no doubt miss the “White Out Game”.
It has only been around for 10 years, but the annual White Out Game is one of the most unique attractions in American sport. Over 106,000 Penn State fans dress in all-white, and bring white pom-poms and flags to the game to provide a unique, and intimidating atmosphere. They also don’t mind a good singalong either:
Texas Longhorns - Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium
They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that definitely applies to football, as the game is basically a religion in the Lone Star State. With a capacity of just over 100,000, the home of the Texas Longhorns is absolutely rocking throughout the college football season, and although they have endured a poor few years by Texas standards, Longhorns fans continue to pack out the Memorial Stadium.
Every home game is a party for the Austin-based Longhorns, with cries of “hook ‘em Horns” ringing out across the stadium throughout the whole day. It’s been a while since their last meaningful trophy, but their devoted fan base have been spoilt over the years, watching quarterbacks Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Chris Simms guide the Horns to many famous wins.
On top of star quarterbacks, the greatest attraction at Memorial Stadium is the authentic Texas experience, which is highlighted by an actual longhorn being paraded onto the field during every game. Although sometimes it can get a bit messy:
Ohio State Buckeyes - Ohio Stadium
The Buckeyes have grown into a college football powerhouse, and fill up their 104,000 seater stadium for every home game, with Ohio native LeBron James a regular visitor.
While LeBron is the most famous athlete to ever come out of Ohio, his presence at the Buckeyes home ground is just a footnote on college game day, as students and fans do the ‘Buckeye Bounce’ to 7 Nation Army:
Not only is the singing and dancing first class, the football is just as good, highlighted by a National Championship in 2014 and a Conference Championship last season. Head coach Urban Meyer is one of the best in the country, and has produced current NFL stars such as Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa and Marshon Lattimore. Meyer is often linked with NFL jobs, but how could he leave an atmosphere like Ohio Stadium?
Alabama Crimson Tide - Bryant-Denny Stadium
When you think college football, one team comes to mind more than any other - Alabama. If football is a religion in Texas, it’s an obsession in ‘Bama, and the Crimson Tide is the hottest ticket in town, attracting crowds of 100,000+ every game.
With 12 National Championships, they are the most successful team in College football history, and are coming off another triumphant season which culminated in a thrilling overtime win over Clemson, securing their latest National Title.
While the standard of football is always high quality at Alabama, the passion of their fans is just as impressive, with cries of “Roll Tide” ringing out all over the city throughout the football season. Even if you don’t know a thing about college football, Alabama’s wild fanbase is worth the price of admission alone. If you’re still not convinced, take a listen to this hilarious talkback radio call:
Michigan Wolverines, Michigan Stadium
The largest football stadium in the United States, and the second largest stadium in the world (bizarrely, the largest is in North Korea), Michigan Stadium is known as “The Big House”, simply because it is really big!
The Big House is usually filled to its 107,601 capacity regardless of the weather, and has played host to many snow-filled games since opening in 1927:
On top of being the biggest college football stadium in history, The Big House was also home to arguably the best NFL quarterback in history - Tom Brady. Believe it or not, Brady was just a backup quarterback for the first two years at Michigan, but eventually won the starting job to play every game in the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Despite the enormous crowds, It’s now been over 20 years since the Wolverines last won a National Championship, and the pressure is on coach Jim Harbaugh to bring success back to The Big House, as he is being paid a ridiculous USD $7 million per year. And that doesn’t include a nice $500,000 bonus if he does manage to land the National Title
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