College Football: Ranking the 50 Loudest Stadiums
When the 2011 college football season is underway, fans will pour into stadiums and get ready for the return of college football.
Throughout the nation, some teams enjoy the luxury of an intimidating crowd that makes life difficult on the opposing teams. Teams can often find themselves in a situation when communication becomes impossible; they can feel like the crowd is bearing down on them, and that will ultimately lead to mistakes.
Here are 50 of the loudest stadiums you can find in the nation.
No. 50: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville
The Louisville program has gone through its ups and downs, but during the program's good times, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was a great place to be.
With new coach Charlie Strong leading the way, Louisville hopes to turn the stadium into one of the best homefield advantages in the conference.
No. 49: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati
Outside of West Virginia, it is hard to find a place in the Big East that can get louder then Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Nippert Stadium can hold around 35,000 fans, which does make it the smallest in the Big East.
While the size of the stadium may be small, the fans feel like they are right on top of you and can make life hard on a visiting team.
No. 48: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, ECU
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium can get pretty rowdy at times. With a nickname like the Pirates, 50,000 fans pile into the stadium and do their best to live up to the name and reputation of a pirate.
No. 47: Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State
Sun Devil Stadium is home to one of the loudest student sections in the nation. The stadium would be much higher up on the list if the support that the students show was matched by the rest of its 73,000 fans.
No. 46: Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, Kansas State
Another stadium that holds about 50,000 fans is Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Home to the Wildcats, the stadium can come alive and make an impact on the game.
When big time opponents or rival Kansas come in, things go to a whole new level.
No. 45: Heinz Field, Pitt
Home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field is also used by the Pitt Panthers. While the support is outstanding in a football crazed city like Pittsburgh, the design of the stadium kills any momentum that the crowd is able to put together.
No. 44: Carrier Dome, Syracuse
The benefit that the Orange faithful have is when they get revved up, there is nowhere for the sound to escape.
The Carrier Dome can hold 50,000 fans, and when times are good for the Orange, the noise levels are outstanding.
No. 43: Reser Stadium, Oregon State
Just a bit more then 45,000 people pack the stands of Reser Stadium, trying to cheer on the Oregon State Beavers to victory. The crowd can be loud, and with the expansions that have gone on, sound holds a lot better.
Reser is never louder then when the Oregon Ducks come to play the Civil War.
No. 42: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah
Rice-Eccles Stadium is another stadium in which the crowd makes enough noise that it makes it seem like a larger crowd then it actual is.
The stadium holds about 45,000 fans and will be a tough place for Pac-12 opponents to play.
No. 41: Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium is one of the best stadiums that money can buy, and that is exactly what Boone Pickens wanted. The stadium allows 60,000 Oklahoma State fans to pack the stands and watch the high flying Cowboys offense.
No. 40: LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU
LaVell Edwards Stadium is a gorgeous place to go and watch a football game, but if all you are going for is the sights, then the sounds will give you a huge surprise. Home to BYU, the fans have been watching good football for years and are not afraid to let all 63,000 of their voices be heard.
No. 39: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State
Bulldog Stadium may be one of the more underrated stadiums on this list. Fresno State's program has taken on the persona of its head coach Pat Hill and is willing to play anyone, and at anytime. The fans have grown to love this mentality and take it to heart when packing into the stadium.
No. 38: Ross–Ade Stadium, Purdue
The Big 10 is not short on loud venues, and one of those includes the home to the Purdue Boilermakers, Ross-Ade Stadium. These fans come out and do a great job of supporting their team and make their presence known throughout the game.
No. 37: Bobby Dodd Stadium-Georgia Tech
The surroundings of Bobby Dodd Stadium lends itself to a loud and enthusiastic crowd. The stadium has a great view of Atlanta and has plenty of gathering spots for fans to meet at before and after games.
When these 55,000 fans get cranked up, Bobby Dodd becomes one of the loudest places around.
No. 36: California Memorial Stadium-Cal
California Memorial Stadium is not short on loud and enthusiastic fans, but has a design to it that does it no favors. Despite the best efforts of the crowd, sound escapes to easily and does not match the effort being put in by the fans.
No. 35: Vaught–Hemingway Stadium, Mississippi
As is the case with a lot of stadiums, Vaught–Hemingway Stadium main function was not to retain noise, but still, the Ole Miss faithful do a good job, especially when up against top SEC teams and Mississippi State.
No. 34: Alumni Stadium, Boston College
In a sports rich area, Boston College can often be overlooked but do not tell that to their fans. 44,000 fans pack Alumni Stadium and create an amazing environment in the ACC.
No. 33: Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech
While it may not be the loudest stadium in the Big 12, Jones AT&T Stadium and the Texas Tech fans do a nice job. 66,000 fans can get into the stadium and can be a difference maker if the Red Raiders have a night game scheduled.
No. 32: Falcon Stadium, Air Force
While witnessing a game that puts two military academies up against each other is special, the fans at Falcon Stadium do a nice job all year round. The stadium can hold 52,000 people and is the loudest branch of the military.
No. 31: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Arkansas
72,000 people are able to come and cheer on the Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. While the fans are passionate and get involved with every game, the noise and its effect on the game are reduced by the open end on the stadium.
No. 30: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame
One thing that you cannot question is the passion of the Notre Dame faithful. While the stadium may not reach ear-busting levels, the Notre Dame fans pack the stadium week after week.
No. 29: Faurot Field, Missouri
Better known as "the Zou," Missouri's fans are some of the best when a big name opponent comes to town. No better example is needed then when the Tigers were able to upset Oklahoma last year.
No. 28: Arizona Stadium, Arizona
The fans at Arizona are great and are even more intimidating during a Thursday night game. Arizona Stadium holds around 55,000 fans who are all ready to charge the field, even if it may be a bit premature.
No. 27: Folsom Field, Colorado
54,000 Colorado fans pack into Folsom Field and are hoping to make this a tough place for Pac-12 teams to play.
In the early and mid 90's, Folsom Field was alive and loud, but the recent struggle of the team has taken some enthusiasm out of the crowd.
No. 26: Husky Stadium, Washington
Husky Stadium has some beautiful views to it and can hold over 72,000 fans inside. While it is not the loudest stadium in the Pac-12, the fans do not sit on their hands and do make their voices heard.
No. 25: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC
You would think that with the ability to put 90,000 Trojan fans into the Coliseum that you would find this one farther up the list, but despite the size, there are still many other stadiums around the nation that make it harder on an opponent than Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum does.
No. 24: Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina
Much like other schools in the south, the South Carolina fans get after you from the start of the game and go all 60 minutes.
Williams-Brice Stadium holds 80,000 people, and as the team gets better and better, so does the noise.
No. 23: Bronco Stadium, Boise State
One of the smaller stadiums on the list includes Bronco Stadium, which only holds 33,000 fans. Despite its small size, Bronco fans are loud and help create a great environment for their home team.
Not many big schools are looking to make a trip their any time soon.
No. 22: Bryant–Denny Stadium, Alabama
Bryant–Denny Stadium is another stadium in the SEC that is no longer a fun place for opponents to travel too. With the recent success of the program and the direction that Nick Saban has them continuing in, Crimson Tide fans are louder then ever.
No. 21: Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia
On a Saturday in West Viriginia, there are not many other places that people want to be than packing the stands of Milan Puskar Stadium.
60,000 fans are able to get up and help make this the best homefield in the Big East.
No. 20: Sanford Stadium, Georgia
Opponents who have road dates with Georgia know that when they are playing between the hedges, they are in for a battle. The SEC has a history of great atmospheres and loud crowds, and the people down in Georgia live up to that.
No. 19: Spartan Stadium, Michigan State
When playing at Spartan Stadium, you start to get the feeling that the 75,000 fans are all closing in on you. Spartan Stadium has a closed bowl design and two tiers to the sideline that helps trap in noise.
No. 18: Davis Wade Stadium, Mississippi State
When you think about Mississippi State, only one thing should come to mind: more cowbell. The cowbell has been rung at Davis Wade Stadium for awhile now, and the fans keep coming back for more.
No. 17: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
The only reason that Oklahoma and Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium does not find themselves higher up on this list is because the open end of the stadium does allow for noise to escape.
Regardless of the open endzone, Sooners fans are great and have the ability to turn up the noise when the Sooners are on defense and bring it back down when they are on offense.
No. 16: Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn
87,000 Tigers fans find themselves at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the fall, and they make sure the opposing team hears everyone of them.
With the recent expansion to the stadium in 2004, the stadium has reached noise levels like never before.
No. 15: Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State
What do you get when you combine great tailgating, a good party town and one of the better programs in the ACC? You get 83,000 fans packing the stands of Doak Campbell Stadium to cheer on the Seminoles.
No. 14: Michigan Stadium, Michigan
Michigan is home to the largest stadium in the United States, but not home to the loudest crowd. While the Michigan faithful can get loud at times, the crowd is rather tame when compared to their Big 10 rival, Ohio State.
No. 13: Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
81,000 fans make up the sea of red that comes and cheers on Nebraska during the fall. With the Huskers now moving to the Big 10, Memorial Stadium is going to be a tough place for conference opponents to come play.
No. 12: Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas
Texas Memorial Stadium is a beautiful stadium that houses one of the most legendary programs in the nation. It holds over 100,000 fans who always make sure that that house is packed to capacity every Saturday.
While the second tier to the stadium does a nice job reflecting sound, the open end allows just enough to escape and keep them out of the top 10.
No. 11: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
Many people out in Iowa live and die with the Hawkeyes, which makes it easy to pack the 70,000 seat stadium. Kinnick Stadium is one of the best venues in the Big 10, and the crowd noise can be relentless at times.
No. 10: Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
The fans that help fill Camp Randall Stadium are often part of one of the most unique and memorable sights. All of the fans in the stadium join when they begin to play "Jump Around." When this begins, the entire stadium feels like it is shaking and takes things to a new level.
No. 9: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
While many recognize the home of LSU as Death Valley, Memorial Stadium has also been known as Death Valley. Memorial Stadium sits in a valley, and the surrounding crowd and noise level feels like it is right on top of you all game long.
From the time the players run down the hill and kick the game off, these fans are making their presence known.
No. 8: Neyland Stadium, Tennessee
When you head into Neyland Stadium, you come face to face with 102,000 Vols fans that are ready to make noise all game long.
In the past, Neyland Stadium has been considered the loudest stadium in the nation, and as the program continues to build themselves back up, it could return to that spot in the future.
No. 7: Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
The title of loudest stadium in the ACC goes to Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium. Located in Blacksurg, Lane Stadium has a very quiet surrounding, but inside those doors, more then 66,000 Hokie fans are ready to send other teams running.
With a good design, noise is often trapped inside the stadium and makes audibles and communication almost impossible for the opposition.
No. 6: Kyle Field, Texas A&M
Kyle Field and Texas A&M is the "Home of the 12th Man." These fans take their part seriously as over 83,000 fans pack their way into Kyle Field and never use the seat they paid for.
For all 60 minutes, the Aggie faithful are standing and making life miserable on the road team.
No. 5: Ohio Stadium, Ohio State
In the city of Columbus, sports fans have one thing on their mind throughout the year, Ohio State football. When the calender brings the fall months, 102,000 fans come to the "Horseshoe" and create one of the loudest environments in the nation.
With the recent addition Ohio State made to the stadium, things have only continued to get louder and more difficult for opposing teams.
No. 4: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida
While some people may say that it feels like the fans are right on top of you, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, they practically are. Only feet from the sidelines, Gator fans have helped turn "The Swamp" into one of the most intimidating places to play.
Opposing teams know that when these 88,000 fans get worked up and start doing the gator chomp that they are in trouble.
No. 3: Beaver Stadium, Penn State
With the ability to hold over 107,000 fans, Beaver Stadium is an example of a large stadium that backs it up with deafening noise.
With an amazing student section and loyal fanbase, Penn State has also been a school that has perfected a "white-out," something that is often copied but never executed as well.
No. 2: Autzen Stadium, Oregon
Autzen Stadium is a place where your eardrums go to die. With over 57,000 fans in the stadium, the Oregon crowd does a better job then most other schools do with twice the capacity.
Many coaches and players have gone to Autzen and commented on the crowd and noise level. After a loss in 2003, a visiting reporter for Michigan's student paper wrote, “Autzen’s 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than any place I’ve ever been... Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.”
No. 1: Tiger Stadium, LSU
When your crowd registers on a seismograph, you come in at No. 1 on the list. LSU, the other Death Valley, is the most frightening place for a team to play, especially if your are unfortunate enough to be schedule for a night game.
The stadium holds over 92,000 screaming fans and is a guaranteed sellout no matter who LSU is playing that week.