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50 largest college football stadiums

  • 50 largest college football stadiums

    The Rose Bowl, the most famous college football game of the year, will take place Jan. 1 in an empty stadium without fans, event organizers announced on Dec. 4. The announcement signals yet another blow to the league, which has been dealt setback after setback due to the coronavirus pandemic and cancellations or postponements at every conference.

    While college football has enjoyed reaching a broader audience in the last several years, the average in-person attendance at college football games had slumped seven times in the eight years leading up to 2020. Those slumps at the time led some schools to take desperate measures to keep fans in their seats, such as the University of Pittsburgh offering a free beverage to any student who stayed for the entire game.

    With vaccines on the horizon, fans and players alike are hopeful for a rapid return to packed stadiums. The top-10 schools all boast a seating capacity greater than 89,000, with the largest capacity exceeding 107,000 seats. To find out with teams can cram the most fans into their stadiums—and to celebrate the game’s most esteemed venues—Stacker ranked the 50 largest college football stadiums by seating capacity. We used data from College Gridirons to order each arena. Each stadium in the top 50 holds over 58,000 fans, and eight top the 100,000-mark. Each stadium’s marquee game is also provided.

    Keep reading to find out where your favorite team falls on the list.

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  • #50. Autzen Stadium

    - College: Oregon
    - Conference: Pac 12
    - Capacity: 54,000
    - Opened: 1967

    Fast facts: Autzen Stadium was named after Thomas J. Autzen, a 1943 University of Oregon graduate whose Autzen Foundation donated $250,000 in the 1960s for the construction of a new stadium at the school. The stadium was used in the 1978 film "National Lampoon's Animal House" as Faber College Football Stadium.

    Marquee game: Oct. 15, 2011 - Oregon 41, Arizona State 27

  • #49. Bobby Dodd Stadium

    - College: Georgia Tech
    - Conference: ACC
    - Capacity: 55,000
    - Opened: 1913

    Fast facts: Bobby Dodd Stadium was called Grant Field until 1988. While games were played there as early as 1905, it wasn't until 1913 that grandstands were put in—mostly by Georgia Tech students.

    Marquee game: Oct. 7, 1916 - Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland College 0

  • #48. Boone Pickens Stadium

    - College: Oklahoma State
    - Conference: Big 12
    - Capacity: 55,509
    - Opened: 1920

    Fast facts: Boone Pickens Stadium is named after business magnate and Oklahoma State alumnus T. Boone Pickens, who donated $165 million to the school’s athletic department. The money went toward massive advancements in the school’s athletic facilities, including an expansion to the football stadium that raised its capacity to 60,218 in 2009.

    Marquee game: Dec. 3, 2011 - Oklahoma State 44, Oklahoma 10

  • #47. Ross-Ade Stadium

    - College: Purdue
    - Conference: Big Ten
    - Capacity: 57,282
    - Opened: 1924

    Fast facts: The site of Purdue’s home games for nearly a century, Ross-Ade Stadium is named after its two primary benefactors: David E. Ross, former president of the Board of Trustees, and George Ade, a playwright and columnist. The original capacity of the stadium was 12,500. Ross-Ade underwent a $75 million renovation from 2001 to 2003.

    Marquee game: Oct. 28, 2000 - Purdue 31, Ohio State 27

  • #46. Carter Finley Stadium

    - College: North Carolina State
    - Conference: ACC
    - Capacity: 58,000
    - Opened: 1966

    Fast facts: Prior to the opening of Carter-Finley Stadium, North Carolina State played its home games at Riddick Stadium, which was built in 1907 and never held over 23,000 seats. Carter-Finley Stadium underwent expansion in 1992 and 2003, bringing its number of seats to its current total.

    Marquee game: Nov. 1, 2003 - North Carolina State 51, Virginia 37

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  • #45. Liberty Bowl

    - College: Memphis
    - Conference: AAC
    - Capacity: 58,325
    - Opened: 1965

    Fast facts: Besides serving as the home of the Tigers, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium also plays hosts to the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Memphis has played its games here since the stadium opened. Prior to 1965, the team played its home games at Crump Stadium.

    Marquee game: Nov. 9, 1996 - Memphis 21, Tennessee 17

  • #44. Mountaineer Field

    - College: West Virginia
    - Conference: Big 12
    - Capacity: 60,000
    - Opened: 1980

    Fast facts: Known officially as Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium (or simply Mountaineer Field), the current site of West Virginia’s home games originally seated 50,000. The Mountaineers have one of the coolest traditions in college football, as the team and fans sing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” after each home win.

    Marquee game: Oct. 15, 2005 - West Virginia 46, Louisville 44 (3OT)

  • #43. Jones AT&T Stadium

    - College: Texas Tech
    - Conference: Big 12
    - Capacity: 60,454
    - Opened: 1947

    Fast facts: Upon the opening in 1947, Jones Stadium held 27,000 seats. That number jumped to 41,500 after an expansion in 1959, and several 21st-century expansions brought that figure to its present state. The stadium took on its current name in 2006 after SBC Communications, which donated more than $25 million to the school, officially changed its name to AT&T.

    Marquee game: Nov. 1, 2008 - Texas Tech 39, Texas 33

  • #42. Memorial Stadium

    - College: Illinois
    - Conference: Big Ten
    - Capacity: 60,670
    - Opened: 1923

    Fast facts: Named after the fallen soldiers of World War I, Illinois’ Memorial Stadium opened the same year “Red” Grange—widely considered among the greatest college football players of all time—first arrived on campus. On Oct. 18, 1924, the day of the stadium’s official dedication, Grange scored six touchdowns in a 39-14 win over Michigan. That mark remains the highest-scoring individual performance in Memorial Stadium history.

    Marquee game: Oct. 18, 1924 - Illinois 39, Michigan 14

  • #41. Cardinal Stadium

    - College: Louisville
    - Conference: ACC
    - Capacity: 60,800
    - Opened: 1998

    Fast facts: Ahead of the 2020 season, the state of Kentucky approved Cardinal Stadium for 12,000 fans to be in attendance for games. The University of Louisville took additional precautions that became commonplace at stadiums around the country, such as one-way foot traffic lanes in bathrooms and mask requirements.

    Marquee game: Nov. 2, 2006 - Louisville 44, West Virginia 34

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