About 100 people attended the first-ever college football game. It was played at Rutgers University, and there was no spectacular stadium with events, no halftime shows, and no wild student section.

Nowadays, college football is considered by many to be an essential part of the college experience.

There’s a palpable energy in the best college football stadiums, as students shuffle in on Saturday mornings and afternoons to paint faces and watch their home team take on the opposition.

It brings together students, athletes, alumni, faculty, and staff of the university. And that's not to mention the thousands watching the game on TV at home!

Let’s take a look at the stadiums of the top 10 most popular college football teams, as well as the ways that those stadiums have been created to push the home teams to victory with a unique experience.

These teams love their stadiums, and we love them too. They're popular with good reason. Whether you’re in the stadium or just watching the game while wearing your favorite team’s gear, college football brings a vibe of its own.

beaver stadium

Honorable Mentions

Before we get into the top 10 most popular college football stadiums, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions:

  • Notre Dame Stadium: The nostalgic feel of the 94-year-old stadium creates a special atmosphere that can't be found at any other college football stadium, and has become part of Notre Dame's legacy throughout the years.
  • Beaver Stadium: Home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, this is one of the largest in college football, with a seating capacity of over 106,000, and has hosted some of the most epic games in NCAA history.
  • Camp Randall Stadium: This legendary home of the Wisconsin Badgers is one of the oldest college football stadiums in the United States (constructed in 1917).
  • Ohio Stadium: Famously known as "The Horseshoe" or "The Shoe," this is the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. Its unique shape creates an unforgettable atmosphere for fans of all ages.
  • Memorial Stadium (UNL): The "Sea of Red" has been home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers since 1923. Since 1962, Memorial Stadium has sold out for an NCAA record of 389 straight games.
  • Husky Stadium: The home of the University of Washington Huskies provides a stunning view of Seattle's skyline and Lake Washington.
  • Lane Stadium: Located in Blacksburg, Virginia, the home field of the Virginia Tech Hokies boasts a capacity of over 65,000 fans and has been ranked highly for atmosphere and fan engagement.
  • Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium: This state-of-the-art facility features modern amenities and seating for over 100,000 passionate fans, making it one of the biggest stadiums in college football.
  • Lavell Edwards Stadium: Found on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and featuring massive video boards, Lavell Edwards Stadium makes for an impressive sight.
  • Sanford Stadium: With a capacity of 92,746 seats and a unique hedged-in design, this field on the University of Georgia's campus in Athens has been home to some of the greatest games in college football history.

And now, here are the top 10 popular college stadiums that some of the most well-known NCAA football teams call home:

10. Neyland Stadium

In 2006, the University of Tennessee completed a huge $26 million renovation that increased its stadium capacity to 102,038. It’s the fourth-largest stadium in the whole country on top of being the largest football stadium in the entire South. (And you know that they’re more proud of being the largest in the South than they are of being the fourth largest in the whole country!)

In the 2007 season, UT unveiled the largest LED display in all of college football, right in the bowl of the stadium. Over the last 10 years, Neyland Stadium has replanted the grass and undertaken a colossal paint job.

It just goes to show that Tennessee cares about its popular football program a lot.


9. Folsom Field

You really have to see Folsom Field in Boulder, CO, right around sunset, to get the full experience. The Buffs may not be one of the top 10 most popular college football teams, but their stadium is a completely different story.

Affectionately, the stadium is called the “Hilltop.” The Buffs have been playing there for almost 100 years. While the capacity is only 50,183, this stadium built on a hill is full of amazing press boxes and rooftop terraces.

While watching a CU Boulder game, you’ll get a shot of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide, as well as a great view of the entire football experience. In fact, the stadium was renovated in 2014 to provide a better mountain view for die-hard fans.

What Folsom Field lacks in full capacity and the pure stadium experience, it makes up for in appearance. Most college football stadiums funnel their intensity onto the field and into the stands. This stadium, meanwhile, allows for a more peaceful, reflective experience through all four quarters.

The enormous Rockies pull you out of the game for just long enough to enjoy the beauty of nature before the sounds of pads hitting pads pull you back into the excitement of the game.

8. Albertsons Stadium

You know the one–it's the blue field. Boise State’s Albertsons Stadium, much like Folsom Field with its Rocky Mountain views, simply has to be seen to be believed. On the field as a player, Boise State’s blue jerseys blend into an all-blue field that is designed to intimidate and disorient players who have spent their entire lives running the pigskin with a green background.

Up in the stands, you see flashes of orange and white, making it look like Boise State has way more than 10 or 11 players out on the field at the same time.

Boise State is a small Idaho community that absolutely loves its football team. That's why college football fans always show up, always support, and (not quite always) win.

bryant-denny stadium

7. Bryant-Denny Stadium

Since taking over the Crimson Tide in 2007, Nick Saban is 189-27 as of 2022, with six national championships and eight conference titles under his belt. That's just a continuation of the true dynasty of college football.

With so many contentions for national titles, it's no surprise that Alabama continually draws people to Bryant-Denny Stadium. With its capacity of 101,821 getting packed out 45 times in the history of the largest iteration of the stadium, Bryant-Denny is truly a sight to behold.

Truly, the whole state shows up for Alabama football games. The top of the stadium is just as loud as the bottom.

6. Michigan Stadium

It’s simply called “The Big House.” And, ever since Jim Harbaugh showed up with his sideline facial expressions, enormous passion, and ref-shouting personality—it’s become a little bit bigger. With an official capacity of 107,601, it’s the biggest stadium in all of the United States.

That makes it not only the biggest college football stadium but the country's biggest stadium, period. That size alone makes Michigan Stadium an obvious pick for the top 10 college football stadiums.

LA memorial coliseum

5. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The USC Trojans showcase some of the most intimidating, memorable colors that you can wear to a game. Not to mention, they have the most famous fight chant in all of football, and a mascot Trojan rides a horse with a glimmering sword into the stadium with fire shooting up.

You might think the antics at LA Memorial Coliseum border on being too gimmicky to be intimidating, except for the fact that USC has a massive history of winning football games.

4. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

The Florida Gators are known for their bright colors, plus the legends surrounding the creation of Gatorade. Fittingly enough, their stadium is simply known as “The Swamp.” Ben Hill Griffin Stadium holds 88,548 people, putting it right in between the mid-level stadiums that hold 50,000, and the huge stadiums that push 100,000. 

So why is this mid-size playing field so high up on the list? Well, the way the stadium is structured makes it feel even fuller and more exciting than a 100,000 stadium. It’s a beast of a stadium and is one of the last places you want to play as the away team. When the Gators are rolling, their fans get those huge Gator chomp claps going on.

Autzen Stadium

3. Autzen Stadium

Nike legend Phil Knight loves Oregon. They’ve long had some of the best uniforms in all of college football, drawing many a young person to attend the school to play sports for them simply because of those savvy colors.

Autzen Stadium is an extension of the timeless sense of athletic cool that Oregon has embodied over the last couple of decades. Oregon has risen over the years to become one of the most popular college football teams in the country, and that’s largely because of the team culture culture.

2. Tiger Stadium

Solidified in its trickery and shifty legends by LSU’s “Mad Hatter” coach Les Miles, Tiger Stadium has seen a number of unexpected victories and intense upsets over the years. Show up to Tiger Stadium, and you can well expect to see trick plays, going for it on fourth down, and fake punts. Lots of fake punts.

This playing field is known as “Death Valley” and can pack 102,321 people into its huge bleachers alongside the massive sound systems. It gets loud, and it gets rowdy, especially because the Tigers usually win.

rose bowl

1. The Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl Stadium is iconic. Home to the always-competitive UCLA football teams, it’s a playing field entrenched in the community, from the parade to the bowl game.

Over 100 years ago, the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club was formed to help men and women spend more leisure time outdoors. They founded the Rose Parade, and the bowl game came later. 

Fast forward to 1973, and 106,869 people attended the Rose Bowl match-up between USC and Ohio State University. The huge capacity and incredible legends surrounding the stadium have made it a force in college football.

They once held a bowl game on January 2, because January 1 was a Sunday, and tradition stated that if they never played on Sunday, God would never let it rain on a bowl game.

Why is the Rose Bowl #1 on the list? Well, it’s home to the legendary UCLA football team, but it’s the only stadium on the list more popular than its football team. At the end of the day, the Rose Bowl belongs in a category all its own.

Final Thoughts

The awe-inspiring college football stadiums we’ve listed here offer a unique and exciting experience that you won't find anywhere else. From the Rocky Mountain views of Boise State to the intimidating atmosphere of Tiger Stadium, each stadium is special in its own way.

Whether you're there for an epic rivalry game or just for bragging rights, these are some of the best places to watch college football and cheer on your favorite team. So grab your tickets and head out to one of these amazing stadiums - you'll be glad you did!

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