With the 2011 College Football season already on its way, it’s time to refresh this list. It’s been two years since we put this list out, and its still the same ten stadiums that have the largest capacity in College Football, with a few shifts. Most importantly, especially for Michigan fans – Michigan Stadium is back on top, as the top 3 spots are owned by Big Ten teams. The SEC has four venues, The Pac-12 with two and one from the Big 12. Those numbers, the conference names, are likely to change pretty soon.
Number 10 – Tiger Stadium, LSU – 92,542
We begin with the SEC West and Baton Rouge, where the LSU Tigers play their football at the originally named stadium… Tiger Stadium. It is the fourth largest stadium in the SEC, and has also gained the nickname – “Death Valley”, due to the high level of cheering and noise produced by the fans in the stadium. It was first nicknamed “deaf valley” but that has changed since, by popular mistake. It has been measured as the loudest stadium in the nation, with CBS recording 130 decibels. A reaction to a game winning touchdown back in 1988 was actually registered as an earthquake by the Louisiana Geological Survey office on campus.
Number 9 – Sanford Stadium, University of Georgia – 92,746
Still with the SEC, and we arrive at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. Sanford Stadium is beyond its 80th birthday, and like the Rose Bowl, took part in the Olympics, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Number 8 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC – 93,607
Heading West, and this time to Los Angeles – The Coliseum which is home to the USC (South California folks, not South Carolina… little Geography lesson) Trojans. Another 1920’s football stadium, the Coliseum took part in both the 1932 Olympics and the 1984 Olympics, the Super Bowl and a World Series. It was home for many teams, but the Trojans are the only ones still using it regularly. It’s nickname – not a fierce one – The Grand Old Lady…. very intimidating. Maybe that’s why USC are so good. Or used to be.
Number 7 – The Rose Bowl, UCLA – 94,392
Another stadium from the 1920’s, the Rose Bowl has a more national significance than probably any other stadium on this list – besides being the home to the UCLA Bruins football team since 1982, it also hosts the annual Rose Bowl game, which usually sees bitter rivals USC play as the PAC-10 champs. It was also used in the 1984 and 1932 Olympics, and it also hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup final. The stadium is a national historic landmark.
Number 6 – Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, University of Texas – 100,119
No longer the biggest stadium in the south, but it still is the biggest in the Big 12 conference. The stadium became a 100,000+ seater prior to the coming 2009 season, with the addition of 4000 seats.
Number 5 – Bryant-Denny Stadium, University of Alabama – 101,821
It was originally named Denny Stadium, in honor of former Alabama president George Hutchenson Denny. In 1975 it was changed into Bryant-Denny Stadium, honoring Alabama’s mythical head coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. It is the second largest stadium in the SEC.
Number 4 – Neyland Stadium, University of Tennessee – 102,455
We’ve now reached the big boys – It has reduced in size during recent years, peaking in 2000 with 104,000. It still is the biggest stadium in the SEC. The stadium is famous for the checkered end zones and also for the density of the seats, earning the nickname “One-Cheek Stadium”.
Number 3 – Ohio Stadium, Ohio State University – 102,329
A legendary venue with many names – The Horseshoe, The ‘shoe, the house that Harley Built, referring to Chic Harley who played for Ohio State in the late 1910’s. Strangely, the stadium does not have field lights, so on special occasions when night games do occur special lights must be installed, temporarily.
Number 2 – Beaver Stadium, Penn State University – 106,572
Named after former Pennsylvania Governer James A. Beaver, the stadium is the only one on this list to be opened in the 1960’s and has grown substantially since it’s initial capacity of 46,000. On game day it becomes the third most populated place in the state of Pennsylvania, following only Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Number 1 – Michigan Stadium, University of Michigan – 109,901
The big house is once again the biggest stadium in the United States, a The size of the crowd in the stadium on game days nearly matches the city’s (Ann Arbor) population of 114,000.