Power Ranking The 50 Loudest College Football StadiumsSeptember 24, 2010
Power Ranking The 50 Loudest College Football Stadiums
It's an argument that's never ending, one that nearly every fan in the country will have a different opinion about depending on where they're from, which stadiums they've visited, the opponent, and of course their personal bias.
What is the loudest stadium in college football?
Do we give the credit to LSU, the home of earthquakes? Or maybe a Whiteout at Penn State? Don't forget the Swamp, the Shoe, The Big House, or the home of the Ducks though.
But instead of just giving you the top five to 10 stadiums, we're giving you 50. With some in-house collaboration, we've come up with a list that any good college football fan should enjoy, and any diehard college football fan should find at least one or two issues with.
Unless your homefield is ranked No. 1, we'd expect no less from you.
50. Special Mention: Louisiana Superdome: The Bayou Classic
We'll start the backend of the list with a handful of exceptions. These are your annual neutral field games, but ones that carry such an intense atmosphere you can't make a list without them.
If you're ever spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans, you'll want to check out the Bayou Classic.
Now you might not think that Grambling State and Southern University make for the best of games, but the fans come out in the hundreds of thousands, packing Bourbon Street to the max.
Then 73,000 of them head over to the Superdome, where the noise can be ear shattering.
49. Special Mention: New Meadowlands Stadium: Notre Dame Vs. Navy
Notre Dame-Navy is a college football classic and while the venue changes, the atmosphere stays the same.
This year, the Fighting Irish and Midshipmen will be meeting in the New Meadowlands stadium, where the capacity of 82,566 is likely to be exceeded.
The fans love the matchup, the country loves the matchup, and based one the way this one has gone down the last couple of years, you can expect a monster environment in this one.
48. Special Mention: Lincoln Financial Field: The Army-Navy Game
There's nothing quite like the Army-Navy game in all of college football. Reserved for the last week of the season, the spotlight is only on this one as the rest of the country waits for conference championships and the postseason.
This year, the game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
When these boys of the Armed Service get together, they don't just march in formation to their seats, they cheer like soldier as well.
And if you don't know what that means, just picture some painful decibels.
47. Special Mention: EverBank Field: The Florida Vs. Georgia Football Classic
"The World's Largest Cocktail Party" is a college football icon, or maybe just a college football tailgaiting icon.
It's the pregame celebration for the Florida Vs. Georgia Football Classic, the annual matchup between the Gators and the Bulldogs.
It's classic SEC football at its best and it helps that half a million fans gather before the game for the tailgating action.
Played at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, the cite might be neutral, but the mixed Gator and Bulldog crowd is rowdy all game long.
46. Special Mention: Cotton Bowl: The Red River Rivalry
The Cotton Bowl is a college football landmark, a stadium that's played host to so many huge moments in the history of the game.
It's also the host of the infamous "Red-River Rivalry", also known as the annual Texas-Oklahoma game.
These two Big 12 rivals meet here in Dallas every year, with the stadium split in two down the fifty yard line as the two teams share tickets for the fans of both sides.
It might not have the capacity or luxury boxes of Texas' and Oklahoma's Memorial Stadiums, but it's something special and creates a deafening atmosphere.
45. Yale Bowl: Yale
Most college football fans don't even consider Yale when you're coming up with lists of the loudest football teams, but when you go deep into the list, Yale Bowl deserves consideration. With a capacity of just under 65,000, the stadium gets really, really loud when they're playing Harvard.
44. Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium: Kansas State
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium isn't one of the loudest stadiums, but the 50,000-seat venue can rock some pretty good noise for a Big 12 game, especially if it's the Kansas Jawhawks that are coming to town.
43. Sun Devil Stadium: Arizona State
Sun Devil Stadium isn't particularly known for the noise of their stadium, but the student section is one of best in the country and really gets the blood flowing with great energy. Now if the capacity crowd of 73,000 was able to match the enthusiasm of the students, you'd really have something.
42. Bulldog Stadium: Fresno State
Fresno State's Bulldog stadium is one of the smallest venues on the list, with a capacity of just over 41,000, but these fans can really get loud when any ranked opponent comes to town. Fresno State is notorious for its "play anyone" mentality and the fans embrace it.
41. Ross–Ade Stadium: Purdue
Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium is an underrated venue and believe it or not can pack quite a good punch a few times a year. The fans come out and support the team in rain or shine and with the program looking like one on the rise its louder than usual.
40. LaVell Edwards Stadium: Brigham Young
Out in the Utah Mountains, the scenery surrounding the stadium is what most college football fans will think of, but don't discount the noise BYU fans are capable of producing at LaVell Edwards Stadium. With a capacity of over 63,000, the Cougars' homefield can be a scary place to play on occasion.
39. Bobby Dodd Stadium: Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium sits with the Atlanta skyline all around it. "The Flatlands" seats 55,000 with bars and other entertainment all around it. It makes for an enthused crowd that can be intoxicatingly loud for a big game.
38. Alumni Stadium: Boston College
Boston College's Alumni Stadium is one of the overlooked venues, but in a town full of young college kids and some of the most diehard fans in the country, it doesn't matter much that the stadium seats only 44,000 and isn't designed to trap noise; just go to a game and you'll see how loud it can get.
37. California Memorial Stadium: California
California Memorial Stadium has a reputation for getting loud, but the reality is a little disappointing. A big part of that can be chalked up to the design, similar to that of Notre Dame Stadium; there's no way to keep sound enclosed.
36. Vaught–Hemingway Stadium: Mississippi
The Grove at Ole Miss is one of the top tailgating locations in the county. But when it comes time for the football game, the noise inside Vaught—Hemingway Stadium can be a bit disappointing most days; still, when Mississippi State comes to town it's a different story.
35. Jones AT&T Stadium: Texas Tech
The "Jones", Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium is known for having a lively atmosphere, but not necessarily a loud one. The Crowds of over 66,000 can get hectic for a rivalry game, but the Red Raiders don't make the noise of some other Big 12 fans.
34. Heinz Field: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh fans certainly love their Panthers, but Heinz Field a pro stadium and doesn't have the same design as many college venues. The stands are further from the field and while the open endzone is great for sightseeing, it's not great for noise.
33. Notre Dame Stadium: Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium, while it has been host to some of the greatest teams in the history of the sport, has never been known to be a very loud venue. Now of course that changes some when Michigan is in town, but even then the structure doesn't reflect sound either.
32. Bronco Stadium: Boise State
Bronco Stadium doesn't get nearly enough credit for how loud it can get and we're not exactly sure why. With a capacity of just over 33,000, its the smallest venue on the list, but rocks the field like some of the biggest venues in the country. Considering it has an open endzone as well, it's really impressive.
31. Falcon Stadium: Air Force
Falcon Stadium packs quite a punch with over 52,000 fans in the stands. There's something special about these crowds at the Air Force Academy and they really know how to raise the volume at the right times throughout a game; especially if they're playing another branch of the Armed Forces.
30. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium: Arkansas
Arkansas' Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, with it's capacity of 72,000, is a perfect example of an architectural oversight. Sure the fans are rowdy and the stadium is pretty, but the open endzone just sucks all the noise right out of the atmosphere.
29. Arizona Stadium: Arizona
To be fair to Arizona fans, if the stadium was bigger the Wildcats' homefield could be a lot higher up the list. WIth a capacity of just over 57,000, Arizona Stadium, even with a design that isn't optimal for trapping sound.
28. Faurot Field: Missouri
Faurot Field, "The Zou," is home to the Missouri Tigers and a crowd that's underrated in their ability to make noise. For big games, they get rowdy and there's never much space for the opponents to bring fans with them.
27. Husky Stadium: Washington
Husky Stadium can reach some pretty loud levels for a couple big Pac-10 games a year, but the atmosphere isn't quite what it used to be in Washington. For a stadium that has a capacity of over 72,000 you would expect a bit more here.
26. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: USC
USC fans will probably be livid to find their beloved Coliseum so low on the list, but we're not taking the history of this building into account, just the noise levels. Maybe it's the California mentality, but even with 90,000 fans, the Trojans don't make noise like Midwesterners and Southerners.
25. Folsom Field: Colorado
Colorado fans will be the first to tell you that Folsom Field can reach extreme decibels on occasion. For a stadium that seats under 54,000 the noise levels are really impressive.
Most people think of the view when you bring up the Buffaloes' homefield, but there's no denying that this is a top-25 stadium when it comes to damaging your ears.
24. Williams-Brice Stadium: South Carolina
Williams-Brice Stadium, "The Cockpit", can get really, really loud when all 80,000 fans start cheering. It doesn't always happen, but the Gamecocks get excited when they play an SEC team.
It's not a week-in and week-out atmosphere, but when the crowd is ready and the student yell-leader gets going, you can't hear anything on the visiting sideline.
23. Bryant–Denny Stadium: Alabama
Although Alabama's Bryant–Denny Stadium has a capacity of over 100,000, it's never been known as one of the loudest environments. That was until Nick Saban started bringing in the victories and the 2009 national championship.
It used to be the student section that stood out from the crowd, but there's been a rejuvenation of the crowd in the last year or so and for the time being it can get awfully loud at Bryant-Denny.
22. Milan Puskar Stadium: West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium, home of Mountaineer Field and West Virginia University, wasn't a stadium that many would consider amongst the loudest, but on September 18, the 60,000 fans in attendance reminded us what they're capable of.
The crowd was rocking and their sound bounced onto the field like few crowds are capable of doing. It isn't every week that the Mountaineers get roaring, but when they do it's quite a scene.
21. Sanford Stadium: Georgia
Sanford Stadium has long been considered one of the country's most beautiful and electrifying venues for college football.
WIth one of the best attendance rates and a crowd of Dawgs, they don't say there's nothing like being "Between the Hedges" for nothing.
20. Jordan–Hare Stadium: Auburn
What do you get when you combine one of the most excessive groups of tailgaters, passionate fans and the SEC?
Auburn's Jordan–Hare Stadium. With expansions in 2004 not only brining the total capacity to over 87,000, the changes have also made for an even louder event on the field.
19. Davis Wade Stadium: Mississippi State
When you're talking about Mississippi State, one of the first things that should come to mind is the Cowbell. A tradition of the school that dates way back, the Bulldogs love to ring their cowbells.
This season, for the first time in 36 years, the SEC is allowing cowbells at Mississippi games on a one-year deal; the noise levels are so high you can bet that arrangement won't be expended in 2011.
18. Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium: Oklahoma
Oklahoma's Memorial Stadium features a capacity crowd of 82,000 has has routinely been described as one of the toughest places to play in the country.
The Sooners can get really loud for big games and seem to know exactly when to bring it up a notch. The semi-open structure of the south endzone is the only thing holding down the noise levels from really getting out of control.
17. Spartan Stadium: Michigan State
Michigan State's Spartan Stadium is one of the most hostile environments to play in anywhere in the country.
With double-deck stands on each sideline, a fully enclosed bowl, and crowds in excess of 75,000 just feet from the field, opponents have often described the experience as being caged and confined.
16. Carrier Dome: Syracuse
The Carrier Dome at Syracuse is the largest on-campus domed stadium in the country and while it only seats a capacity crowd of just under 50,000, it gets very loud in there.
There's nowhere for the sound to escape and Orange fans will tell you that when there's a big game the noise just rattles all around you and makes it impossible to hear practically anything.
15. Doak Campbell Stadium: Florida State
Doak Campbell Stadium is a venue that can get overlooked in rankings like these as most observers tend to be drawn toward the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten. But this ACC stadium with a capacity of over 83,000 is no slouch.
The Seminoles are hardcore in a town where football and frat parties are king. That makes for quite an intoxicating atmosphere on Saturdays.
14. Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium: Texas
Texas Memorial Stadium seats over 100,000 Longhorns and you bet they fill out the stands on the regular.
With the upper level stands towering over the field and some of the rowdiest fans in the nation, Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium would be a lock for the top 10 if not for the open south endzone that take a bit of the air out of the balloon.
13. Kinnick Stadium: Iowa
Kinnick Stadium has a capacity of just over 70,000, but the way those Iowa Hawkeyes fans can yell makes it seem like twice that sometimes.
The unique design of the stadium makes for a swirling atmosphere of sound that's wholly in its own category. Combine that with a solid football team and diehard fans and it can get ear-shattering in there.
12. Memorial Stadium: Nebraska
Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, the Sea of Red, is home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers and reaches crowds above and beyond it's 81,000 capacity practically every game.
The sideline stands are towering and when The Alan Parsons Project comes pouring out of the stadiums speakers during the Tunnel Walk, there might not be a louder moment in college sports.
11. Camp Randall Stadium: Wisconsin
Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium is fully enclosed, funneling all the crowd noise onto the field. With 80,000 screaming fans, things get really out of hand when the Badgers to the "Jump Around."
It starts with the student section jumping in unison to the House of Pain song, but when the whole crowd gets involved the stadium doesn't just shake, the upper bowl will literally sway.
10. Michigan Stadium: Michigan
Michigan Stadium, "The Big House", is the largest stadium in the United States with an official capacity of 109,901.
There's almost no comparing the intensity of the crowd to anything in sports during kickoff against Ohio State.
In the past, the noise of the mammoth crowds was downplayed by the designed of the stadium, but with renovations now complete the new luxury boxes on each sideline make the sound 100,000-plus in attendance seem like a whole lot more.
9. Neyland Stadium: Tennessee
Neyland Staidum, known as "Rocky Top" is home to crowds over over 102,000, almost all of them orange-clad and yelling at the top of their lungs.
The Sporting News once ranked Neyland Stadium as the nation's No. 1 college football stadium.
In 2004, Sports Illustrated ranked Tennessee as "the best college football weekend experience." That's not all crowd noise, but it plays a huge role.
8. Memorial Stadium: Clemson
Clemson is home to the other "Death Valley", Memorial Stadium.
With a capacity of over 80,000, the stadium situated in a valley has earned its nickname not just from its location, but also for the fact that the university cemetery once overlooked the field before the upper decks were constructed.
The bright orange crowd is electric and always has been. Herschel Walker once credited the crowd and not the Tigers' defense for his poor play in a Georgia loss in 1981.
7. Kyle Field: Texas A&M
Kyle Field, "The Home of the 12th Man", has an official capacity of just over 83,000, but Texas A&M routinely packs in well over 88,000 fans into the stands.
The Aggie faithful, fans that have been described as a cult-like force, do not take their seats for the entire contest.
Maybe the best part, is the 40,000 or so diehards that show up at midnight before home games for "Yell Practice."
6. Lane Stadium: Virginia Tech
Lane Stadium isn't one of the biggest stadiums in the country, with a capacity of 66, 233, but that doesn't stop the fans from pouring in the noise with the best of them.
The South End Zone, holding more than 11,000 screaming Hokies, is designed to amplify noise levels and it does the job perfectly; opponents can't really bother with audibles down there.
With no major airport nearby, it's not often opponents bring many fans with them either. When you come to Blacksburg, you come alone.
5. Ohio Stadium: Ohio State
Ohio Stadium, "The Horseshoe", seats over 102,000 fans and even though it isn't fully enclosed, there's no denying the effect of the home crowd.
Former Iowa coach Hayden Fry once complained that the fans were too loud and suggested to the officials that they use sound meters and penalize the home team when it got too noisy. The Buckeyes responded by adding more seating to the stadium.
Former Texas quarterback Vince Young couldn't have said it better though when he was asked about the experience playing in the Rose Bowl back in 2006
“It wasn’t that bad. Ohio State, man, Ohio State was the loudest place I’ve ever played. Man, that was the toughest place I’ve ever played.”
4. Beaver Stadium: Penn State
With a capacity over over 107,000, Penn State's Beaver Stadium has the second largest capacity of any venue in America; coming only behind Michigan Stadium.
Beaver Stadium is widely considered one of the toughest environments for opposing teams, with a dauntingly large crowd that can shake the ground.
The stadium also is recognized for having the best student section in the country.
Add in stands that seem to rise into the sky and Penn State's infamous "Whiteout" and the atmosphere is as nerve-wrecking as any there is.
3. Autzen Stadium: Oregon
While other schools boast stadiums with capacities of 80,000 to over 100,000, Oregon's Autzen Stadium has an official capacity of only 57,000.
It is without a doubt, the loudest per capita college football stadium in the country. You'd think there were at least twice as many people packed into the stands for any big game.
In 2003 former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr called it the loudest stadium he'd ever been in. A Michigan Daily columnist had this to say about that same game:
“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.”
2. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Florida
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is best known as "The Swamp."
Popularized by former head coach Steve Spurrier in the 1990s, the nickname seems perfectly suited for the Gators and their home field that gets notoriously hot in early-season games.
With a capacity of over 88,000, the completely enclosed stadium is an opponent's nightmare.
With part of the structure below ground, stands just 10 to 15 feet away from the field, and an exuberant, youthful crowd, the fans are practically on top of opposing players.
1. Tiger Stadium: Louisiana State
Tiger Stadium, nicknamed "Death Valley," is as loud as they come, particularly for a night game.
With a seating capacity of over 92,000, it's the seventh largest on-campus college football stadium in the country. The nickname, originally "deaf valley," is in reference to the truly deafening sounds produced by the crowd.
Of course there's the legendary "Earthquake Game" where in 1988 the crowd noise during a game-winning touchdown against Auburn registered as a legitimate earthquake on the seismograph in the Louisiana Geological Survey office on campus.
Bear Bryant once said Tiger Stadium was the “worst place in the world to be a visiting team” because playing there “is like being inside a drum.”