Largest College Football Stadiums
The largest college football stadiums are where modern-day cleated warriors do battle on the gridiron - much like the gladiators of ancient Rome battled in epic fights to the death in the Coliseum. They regularly house over 100,000 faithful fans every time the home team takes the field of battle. I now give you the five largest college football stadiums in America in terms of seating capacity.
- Michigan Stadium. (109,901 seats, Ann Arbor, MI) “The Big House,” home of the Michigan Wolverines, is the current top dog as far as largest college football stadiums. Originally built in 1927, it can basically house the entire population of Ann Arbor inside of it. On September 4, 2010, 113,090 people attended a game between Michigan and the Connecticut Huskies, setting the modern attendance record in college football history.
- Beaver Stadium. (107,282 seats. State College, PA) The Big Ten Conference claims the top two spots as the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions takes the second spot on the list of largest college football stadiums. Beaver Stadium is the second largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. As far as the name of the stadium, it is not named after the furry nocturnal rodent, but is named after James Beaver, a governor of Pennsylvania in the late 1800’s. Most of the expansion has occurred since the success PSU football has enjoyed under legendary coach Joe Paterno, so you might say that Beaver Stadium is "the house that JoePa built."
- Neyland Stadium. (102,459 seats. Knoxville, TN) We travel down to the Volunteer State to find our third largest college football stadium. Home to the University of Tennessee’s football program, the stadium opened in 1921 with a single grandstand and a paltry capacity of 3,200. There have been 16 expansion projects since that have brought the stadium to its current capacity. Originally named Shields-Watkins Field, it was renamed Neyland Stadium in 1962 in honor of former coach Robert Neyland, who coached the team from 1926–1952.
- Ohio Stadium. (102,329 seats. Columbus, OH) “The Horseshoe” makes it three Big Ten Conference stadiums among the top four as the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes comes in at fourth, barely behind Neyland Stadium. Yet another oldie (completed in 1922), the stadium's original capacity was 66,212 and it was the largest poured concrete structure in the world at the time. As with the other stadiums on this list, Ohio Stadium has seen numerous renovations and expansions that have brought it up to its current seating capacity. It gets its nickname from originally having a horseshoe shape with the south end zone being completely open without seating. Currently, while permanent seating exists there, the southern end of the stadium remains partially open, thus allowing the stadium to maintain its famous horseshoe shape.
- Bryant-Denny Stadium. (101,821 seats. Tuscaloosa, AL) You better say “Roll Tide” since our fifth largest college football stadium hosts the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Opened in 1929 with a capacity of 12,000, the stadium was named after former Alabama president George Denny. In 1975, the name was revised to its current form to honor longtime fabled Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. While coach at Alabama, Bryant compiled an unreal 72–2 record in games played at the stadium. One very interesting fact about Bryant-Denny Stadium is that it wasn’t the team’s sole home stadium until fairly recently. Legion Field in Birmingham, AL held the more important Alabama football games while Bryant–Denny hosted only three or four lesser games a season. But, in 1998, after Bryant–Denny was expanded to a capacity that exceeded Legion Field, the more important home games started to move to Bryant–Denny. In 2003, Alabama played its final game at Legion Field and Bryant–Denny is now the sole home of Alabama football.