25 Largest College Football Stadiums

February 24, 2024

largest football stadiums

I recently wrote a few other college football-related articles for College Transitions, one on the biggest college football rivalries, one on the college football teams with the most championships, and another on the highest paid college football coaches. I’ve ingested more college football history and lore in the past few months than I did over the course of my entire life. So when it comes to this article on the 25 largest college football stadiums, I can say with the backing of all my newfound knowledge that college football stadiums are a big deal. They’re historical monuments, they embody legacy and tradition, they’re reminders of past triumphs and promises of a better future.

In 1869, when college football first kicked off, just about 100 spectators gathered around the sidelines to watch Rutgers and Princeton duke it out. Now it’s not all that extraordinary when college football game attendances eclipse the 100,000 mark. These stadiums—old, new, and recently renovated—have nicknames, too. There’s Death Valley (LSU), The Swamp (University of Florida), The Big House (University of Michigan), the House that Rockne Built (Notre Dame).  Here are the 25 largest college football stadiums in the country.

25 Largest College Football Stadiums

#25. Temple – Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA) – 68,532

Kicking off our list of the 25 largest college football stadiums is Temple’s home field, Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, with a capacity just shy of 69,000. That might not sound like a lot in comparison to some of the behemoths in the Big 10. But just to put it in perspective—the capacity of Lincoln Financial Field dwarfs the highest-capacity Major League Baseball Stadium by about 20,000 heads (the A’s Oakland Coliseum holds just about 57,000).

#24. Iowa – Kinnick Stadium (Iowa City, Iowa) – 69,250

#23. Washington – Husky Stadium (Seattle, Wash.) – 70,138

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#22. Arkansas – Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Fayetteville, Ark.) – 72,000

#21. Michigan State – Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Mich.) – 74,866

Spartan Stadium, AKA “The Woodshed”, is home to the Michigan State Spartans, those perpetual underdogs to the University of Michigan Wolverines. The Woodshed was built in 1923, and it’s been the site of two national championship seasons for the Spartans, first in 1952 and then again in 1965. And by the way—the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry is not as one-sided as you might think, at least in terms of overall championships. The Spartans have won it all twice; the Wolverines, just three times.

#20. Wisconsin – Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, Wisc.) – 75,822

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#19. University of Southern California – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles, CA) – 77,500

There’s a lot of history at the LA Coliseum. It was commissioned in 1921 as a memorial to Los Angeles World War I vets and was completed in 1923. It’s the home of the USC Trojans, and as such, it’s seen its fair share of college football greatness: the Trojans are seven-time national champions. The Coliseum also served as the home of the LA Rams from 1946 to 1979, and then again from 2016 to 2019.

Major renovations to the Coliseum were completed in 2019. A $315 million project, it was the most significant renovation on the stadium in 20 years. With the improvements and added amenities, though, came a reduction in overall capacity, from around 92,000 to 77,500.

#18. South Carolina – Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC) – 77,559

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#17. Florida State University – Doak Campbell Stadium (Tallahassee, FL) – 79,560

Florida State University in Tallahassee was established 173 years ago, in 1851, which makes it Florida’s oldest university. Almost 100 years after the school’s founding, Doak Campbell Stadium—named after FSU’s first president—opened its doors. Florida State has won three national championships since then, in 1993, 1999, and 2013.

In 2020, a petition sought to change the name of the stadium on the grounds that Doak Campbell, during his tenure as FSU president, resisted racial integration. In my estimation, those are pretty solid grounds for a name-change, but as of yet, FSU’s home field is still officially called Doak Campbell Stadium.

#16. Notre Dame – Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, Ind.) – 80,795

Head coach Knute Rockne, godfather of Notre Dame football, oversaw the construction of Notre Dame Stadium in 1930. He then went on to lead Notre Dame to its first national championship and become its first 100-win head coach. Which is why the stadium’s nickname—“the House that Rockne Built”—has both a literal and figurative ring.

While Notre Dame hasn’t won a national championship in the past three decades, they’re one of the most storied football programs in the sport’s history. Their reign of dominance stretches from the 1930s to the late 1980s, and it includes eight AP Poll era national championships.

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#15. Clemson – Clemson Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC) – 81,500

#14. Nebraska – Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE) – 85,458

Memorial Stadium, home of the Cornhuskers, was built in 1923. Back then, it had a capacity of 31,000. Expansions and renovations over the years have upped that number to a whopping 85,459. The Huskers are the owners of an NCAA-record 396 consecutive sold-out games at Memorial Stadium. That streak dates back to 1962.   

The Nebraska Huskers of the 1990s, led by head coach Tom Osborne, are one of the sport’s true dynasties. They won it all in 1994, 1995, and 1997, and were in the top 25 AP Poll every year between 1973 and 1997.

#13. Oklahoma – Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK) – 86,112

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

12. Auburn – Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn, AL) – 87,451

#11. University of Florida – Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville, FL) – 88,548

Actually, it’s the Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. But really, it’s The Swamp. The Gators’ home field was built in 1930 with an original capacity of 22,000. Now, with its capacity of 88,548, it’s the 12th largest stadium in the entire US, the 18th largest in the world, and the largest stadium in the state of Florida by a healthy margin.

The Gators are currently struggling under head coach Billy Napier, but Steve Spurrier made them a powerhouse in the 1990s, and Urban Meyer led them to national championships in 2006 and 2008.

#10. UCLA – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) – 91,136

The Rose Bowl, home of college football’s annual Rose Bowl game and the UCLA Bruins, opened in 1922. Designed by architect Myron Hunt, it’s since been recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark.

The Rose Bowl has hosted five Super Bowl games, the 1994 FIFA World Cup Men’s Final, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Soccer Gold Medal Match.

#9. Georgia – Sanford Stadium (Athens, GA) – 92,746

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#8. Texas – Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX) – 100,119

From here on out in the list of the 25 largest college football stadiums, the numbers start to get shocking. These stadiums are not only the largest college football stadiums in the country, they’re among the highest-capacity stadiums in the entire world.

The Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium is home of the Texas Longhorns. It was opened in 1924 and has been expanded nine times since then. It’s the seventh-biggest stadium in the US and the ninth-largest in the world. In September 2022, a record 105,213 spectators were in attendance to watch the Longhorns take on the University of Alabama—Texas would end up losing, 19-20. Overall, the Longhorns enjoy a decisive homefield advantage at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium: from the stadium’s inaugural year through 2018, the Longhorns boast a home record of 275-117-10, a winning percentage of .764.

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#7. University of Alabama – Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL) – 101,821

Bryant-Denny Stadium is the home field of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Built all the way back in 1929, it was first known as Denny Stadium, after George H. Denny, University of Alabama’s president from 1912 to 1932. The Bryant namesake was added in 1975 in tribute to Alabama alum and longtime Crimson Tide head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who, over the course of his tenure, amassed an astounding 6 national championships.

#6. University of Tennessee – Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN) – 101,915

Another stadium named after a legacy head coach, the mammoth Neyland Stadium is the home field of the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team. Built in 1921, it’s got a capacity of 101,915, but in 2004 an attendance of 109,061 was recorded for the Vols’ matchup against the Florida Gators.

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

 #5. Louisiana State University – Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, LA) – 102,321

Both Clemson’s Memorial Stadium and LSU’s Tiger Stadium have worn the nickname “Death Valley.” According to Clemson’s athletics website, Memorial Stadium took on the moniker after a 1948 win over Presbyterian College. In 1959, though, after LSU defeated Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, the Tigers’ home field took over the rights to the “Death Valley” nickname. We can leave the spat to the rivals, but in terms of the raw numbers, Tiger Stadium has the distinctive edge. With its capacity of 102,321, it’s the fifth-largest college football stadium and the seventh-largest stadium in the world.

#4. Texas A&M – Kyle Field (College Station, TX) – 102,733

#3. Ohio State – Ohio Stadium (Columbus, OH) – 102,780

25 Largest College Football Stadiums (Continued)

#2. Penn State – Beaver Stadium (University Park, PA) – 106,572

At this point in the list of the 25 largest college stadiums, we’re reaching small-to-medium-sized city territory. The town I grew up in has a population of around 20,000. The city I currently live in has a population of 80,000. And to pick two places out of a hat—the population of Santa Monica, California currently sits around 91,000, and the population of Albany, New York—which is New York’s state capital, by the way—hovers just below 99,000.

Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, has an official capacity of 106,572, and it maxed out in 2018 for a game against Ohio State with a record-setting 110,889 in attendance. It’s been the official home field of the Lions since 1960, though some vestiges of earlier iterations of the stadium remain—some of which date to 1909.

#1. University of Michigan – Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, MI) – 107,601

Topping the list of the 25 largest college football stadiums is The Big House, Michigan Stadium, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines. Its official capacity is a few hundred shy of 108,000, which makes it the largest college football stadium, the largest stadium in the US, and the third-largest stadium in the world (the largest stadium in the world, by the way, is Narendra Modi Stadium, a cricket stadium in Gujarat, India).

Unlike a lot of the other stadiums on this list, when Michigan Stadium was built in 1927, it already had an impressive capacity of 72,000. In 2013, a record 115,109 were recorded in attendance for a game between the Wolverines and Notre Dame.

25 Largest College Football Stadiums – Additional Resources

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