For many, college football is a sacred experience. Sitting in the stands, cheering for your team, storming the field when you win the big rivalry game… these moments are special, and they all start in the stadium stands. Not every stadium is made with the fan experience in mind, though. From the lack of upgrades to Vanderbilt’s stadium to Harvard’s questionable home, many college football stadiums failed to convert on 4th down. These are the worst college football stadiums still being used today!
CEFCU Stadium – San Jose State University
Every couple of seasons, San Jose State University makes a surprising splash during the college football season. The David Fales era led to a surprising resurgence for the team in the last decade but didn’t lead to an improved stadium experience.
The stadium has a capacity of around 30,000 and hasn’t received any major renovations since the 1980s. Being in Silicon Valley, you would think more money might be funneled into the school’s athletic programs, but that has not been the case.
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium – University Of Memphis
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium was built in 1965, and while it may have looked futuristic at the time, it now looks like a relic stuck in the past. Fans have been brutal reviewing the stadium on Google, with one writing, “This is a dangerous, understaffed facility, recklessly close to a very active major train line.”
Another fan wrote, “Fans were not allowed to go to their seats due to lightning and were forced to compact themselves in the concession areas. Emergency personnel were not able to freely move through the dense crowds of people.”
Vanderbilt Stadium – Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is one of the most expensive universities in the United States to attend. The fact that more of that money hasn’t gone to improving the team’s century-old stadium is shocking to us.
Built in 1922, one online reviewer wrote that it’s a “sad excuse for a stadium.” Another reviewer complained that major high school programs have more impressive stadiums than one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Martin Stadium – Washington State University
Martin Stadium is the home field for the Washington State University Cougars. It holds 33,000 fans and it’s the smallest stadium in the Pac 12 college football conference. Even after modern upgrades, the stadium still feels left behind.
More renovations are planned for Martin Stadium. Hopefully, those upgrades will fix this reviewer’s biggest issue as described on Trip Advisor: “The seating bowl is completely antiquated. Most of the seats are metal. Metal, in cold-weather stadiums? Sounds like a terrible idea.”
David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium – University Of Kansas
Located in Lawrence, Kansas and built in 1920, David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium is the house of the University of Kansas football team. As historic as the stadium might be, it could definitely use a major renovation.
When fans are complaining about how bad the bathrooms are, you know you have a problem, “Very old stadium that badly needs an upgrade. The bathrooms were not even air-conditioned. Uncomfortable bench seating.”
Lincoln Financial Field – Temple University
Why exactly does the home of the Philadelphia Eagles make our list of worst college stadiums? The answer is simple. Temple University could never fill the entire 70,000 seat stadium, making this one of the worst pairings between a college program and the stadium they play in.
Some fans have found the silver lining in the general emptiness, though, “What’s not to love? Watching Temple University football in an NFL stadium with a seating capacity of 70,000. Stretch out, occupy an entire section and grab some rays.”
War Memorial Stadium – University Of Arkansas
The only reason the University of Arkansas Razorbacks still occasionally play home games at War Memorial Stadium is because of its historical significance to the school. Most home games are played at the much more fan-friendly Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Described by fans as a “big high school stadium,” War Memorial Stadium is best left in the past at this point. And after 2024, it will be. The University’s deal to continue playing there ends then.
SDCCU Stadium – San Diego State University
The former home field of the San Diego Chargers, SDCCU Stadium is still the home for San Diego State University. The massive stadium, which was originally opened in 1967, can hold 70,000 screaming fans — just not very comfortably.
Noted for its lack of modern features, one reviewer on Yelp wrote, “Worst venue I’ve ever been to. Dated, run-down. Limited options at concessions — it’s laughable. RadioShack from 1982 provided the sound system and ‘jumbo’-tron.”
Folsom Field – University Of Colorado
Another stadium with complaints about the bathroom situation is Folsom Field, the home of the University of Colorado Buffaloes. As one reviewer notes, “you either had to cross 40 beer lines to get to the one men’s room on this side of the stadium or wait in a 30-minute line for four outhouses.”
Folsom Field was opened in 1924, and while it hasn’t fallen apart as badly as other stadiums we’ve listed, it is still considered “meh” by most fans. Not exactly an experience you would want to pay for.
Memorial Stadium – Indiana University
Memorial Stadium was given a big renovation in 2018 but still found a way on this list. The question is why? As nice as the stadium might be, the Hoosiers football program has been abysmal for years, turning the in-stadium experience into a dud.
If the team could manage to pack Memorial stadium, maybe it would be a more exciting venue. Instead, the best option is to tailgate in the parking lot, then go home and watch the game on your television.
Aloha Stadium – University Of Hawaii
Over 40-years-old, Aloha Stadium in Honolulu is long overdue for an upgrade. Even with a multi-million dollar renovation in 2016, fans complain they don’t see much improvement in the stands. Not even a winning season could soothe their upset souls.
University of Hawaii fans won’t have to stay angry much longer. The college is planning a full-on rebuild of the old stadium that should bring it, as well as the school’s college football program, into the modern era.
Brooks Field At Wallace Stadium – Duke University
A cavalcade of renovations to the home of Duke University football was just enough to lift Brooks Field at Wallace Stadium from a 90-year-old dump to passable. Upgrades included five stories of luxury suites as well as a brand new LED video board.
Sometimes all the upgrades in the world aren’t enough to hide what you really are. As one reviewer writes, “It looks and feels like an oversized high school stadium. I mean, it seemed nice and all, but it didn’t feel like college football.”
Ryan Field – Northwestern
The Northwestern University Wildcats play at Ryan Field, a 40,000 seat stadium that hasn’t seen a single renovation since 1996. Despite playing some high profile NCAA opponents, the stadium, it’s rarely featured on national television.
One of the biggest flaws with Ryan Field, unsurprisingly, is the lack of modern amenities. And food options, “concessions? Oh, they have anything you want to eat — as long as it’s a hot dog.”
Rose Bowl Stadium – UCLA
The Rose Bowl is one of the most iconic stadiums in all of college sports, making it a surprise entry on this list. Not only does UCLA play their games there, but the venue also hosts concerts and the Rose Bowl football game at the end of every season.
Built in 1922, the historic stadium desperately needs repairs and better parking for fans. If you plan to go to a game, you might as well plan to wake up before the crack of dawn to get in before kickoff!
Capital One Field – University Of Maryland
The University of Maryland has played in Capital One Field long enough that they need to decide whether it’s worth renovating or tearing down altogether. For the last two decades, the stadium has needed major repairs that it is yet to receive.
The situation is so bad that one reviewer wrote, “The field itself needed work as a number of players slipped and fell on the rubber crumb field-turf… This stadium needs a full renovation — or just better facility management.”
Harvard Stadium – Harvard University
Harvard Stadium opened in 1903 and has remained largely unchanged since. Considered a beauty back in the day, today the old stadium is falling apart while the university’s football team struggles to win games.
Reviewers on Yelp didn’t hold back their contempt, “This stadium is falling around itself, I’m sure Harvard realizes that 40,000 squeezed in there for the Yale game. I’m surprised it didn’t burst into tears and just give up and collapse.”
Joan C. Edwards Stadium – Marshall University
Another iconic NCAA football program in need of a stadium upgrade is Marshall. The team played at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, a 39,000 seat bare-bones stadium filled every Saturday with some of the nastiest fans in college football.
Bleacher Report didn’t hold back in their review of the venue, “You need to be a tough hombre wearing visiting gear coming into Edwards Stadium on fall Saturdays, as if you’re not with the Thundering Herd, chances are you are going to hear about it and then some.”
Dix Stadium – Kent State University
Built in 1960 using parts of older stadiums, there’s not a lot good to say about the modern version of Dix Stadium. Kent State isn’t known for their football program, so it’s not really surprising the stadium hasn’t seen a renovation recently. It’s still disappointing for the fans who show up to watch games, though.
For history majors, the stadium might be exciting to visit. At least that’s how one Google reviewer seems to feel, “The stadium is a very serviceable 1970s era stadium that undergoes constant revision.”
Yale Bowl – Yale University
Opened in 1914, the architect who designed Yale Bowl for Yale University was a graduate of the school’s class of 1871. The stadium was built without locker rooms for either team, and restrooms weren’t installed until 1930.
For fans, the stadium offers little more than historic significance. Food and concession options are limited, and bathroom facilities are questionable at best. As one optimistic reviewer wrote, “This place is a dump, but still worth a visit.”
Welcome Stadium – University Of Dayton
A true college stadium that feels like a high school stadium is the home of the University of Dayton — Welcome Stadium. Built in 1949, would you guess that it was originally built for Dayton’s many high school football teams?
The stadium, which only holds 11,000 fans, received a minor renovation in 2008 but still feels outdated to fans. If there is a plus it’s that Welcome Stadium is surrounded by parking lots, so getting to and from games is never an issue.
Dreamstyle Stadium – University Of New Mexico
Located a mile above sea level, Dreamstyle Stadium is the home to the University of New Mexico football program and was originally built in 1960. That decade was also one of the last the program was a “winner.”
Bench style seating and a lack of amenities are the major knocks against the stadium. If you do go, make sure you get a seat high up because the views of the surrounding area are incredible.
UB Stadium – University Of Buffalo
One of the newer stadiums on this list, UB Stadium was built under 30 years ago with a capacity of 30,000. Generally, the University of Buffalo doesn’t come close to filling that number as winning seasons have been few and far between.
It doesn’t help that the stands are separated from the field of play by a long track, “The track pushes the stands back pretty far, and with all the people the teams bring along to stand on the sidelines you can’t see much.”
Sam Boyd Stadium – University Of Las Vegas Nevada
A stadium located in Las Vegas should probably try harder to provide fans a great experience, but that didn’t happen with Sam Boyd Stadium. The home of the UNLV Rebels since 1971, the arena is anything but rebellious.
On Trip Advisor, one disgruntled reviewer complained, “The lines [for] food were 20-40 minutes, and for a cold $6 hot dog… I would never attend another event at this stadium unless I could arrive by helicopter and eat before I arrived.”
Huskie Stadium – University Of Northern Illinois
Thankfully for University of Northern Illinois football fans the team doesn’t stink, because the stadium does. A winning team means the stadium experience won’t be a total disaster, but it doesn’t mean it will be a great one either.
At the end of the day, Huskie Stadium is just outdated, “Has that old stadium feel. Concessions don’t take cards and the ATM was out of money… Overall a good time.” Was it really a “good time” though?
Skelly Field – University Of Tulsa
The best thing fans have to say about Skelly Field is that there is no bad seat in the house. With a max capacity of 30,000, it’s really hard to end up with a bad view of the field.
Everything else about the home of the University of Tulsa football program is not great. It’s too small and lacks decent amenities. More hopeful fans believe that it could be a hidden gem if the team could start winning more than three games a season.
Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium – University Of Massachusetts
Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium is small compared to other college football stadiums. Built in 1964, it can only hold 17,000 fans, which is still often more than enough seats for the University of Massachusetts gameday turnout.
Open to all weather conditions, this outdoor stadium could use some defenses for when the harsh winter on the East Coast starts. Even a 2014 renovation wasn’t enough to change fan’s minds. One reviewer simply wrote, “yuck.”
Jerry Richardson Stadium – University Of North Carolina At Charlotte
Opened in 2011, this 15,000 stadium is perfectly fine… for high school football. For the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, it leaves more than little to be desired. Unlike other stadiums, this one has renovation plans that should turn around its public perception.
The biggest improvement in the works for the stadium is a capacity expansion. Luxury boxes that could hold an extra 25,000 fans would increase overall capacity to 40,000 roaring fans.
Scheumann Stadium – Ball State
Opened in 1967 with a seating capacity of 22,000, Scheumann Stadium is the home of Ball State. Forty years after first opening, the stadium went through a thorough renovation, but the same can’t be said for the school’s football program.
As for now, Scheumann Stadium stands as one that could be good if more fans showed up on gameday. Parking is a real drag, too, “parking is far and walking [is] necessary… Could improve fan participating and hype.”
InfoCision Stadium – University Of Akron
The negativity around InfoCision Stadium by visitors is directed almost entirely at the University of Akron’s lack of fans. The school went through a brutal three-year stretch from 2010-12 where they only won three games.
A 4-8 record in 2018 didn’t improve anything either, “I would honestly love going there if they actually had a fan base. Almost every time I went there it was me and the marching band being the only people in the stands.”
Kibbie Dome – University Of Idaho
Kibbie Dome, the home of the University of Idaho football program, is not a pretty sight to behold. An opposing coach once called the stadium with a domed roof made of wood a “Campbell’s soup can cut in half.”
Fans aren’t much nicer in their reviews of the Kibbie Dome, “It’s a giant indoor football field. Very interesting both because of size, and the fact that they felt that our local college team needed this so they could practice.”
BEST – Lambeau Field (Packers)
Not only are the Green Bay Packers one of the most storied franchises in the history of the NFL, but they also play in one of the league’s most iconic stadiums. Lambeau Field originally opened in 1957, and in 2019 has a maximum capacity of 81,435.
Fans at Lambeau are relentless when it comes to creating a home-field advantage. That, along with the frigid cold of Wisconsin, make this stadium a nightmare for everyone except Packers’ fans.
WORST – Dignity Health Sports Park (Chargers)
When the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, they somehow managed to end up in a downgraded stadium that only holds 27,000. Built for soccer, Dignity Health Sports Park is not only small, but it’s not easy for fans to get to.
Because of this, Chargers’ games end up feeling more like away games for the team than home games. The good news is that in 2020 the Chargers will officially move into their shiny new shared stadium with the Rams.
BEST – Century Link Field (Seahawks)
When the Seahawks are playing winning football, few places are more exciting for a fan to be than Century Link Field. ‘Hawks fans are loud, and regularly disrupt the timing of opposing offenses. This is why their fans are known as the “12th Man”.
On top of the fan experience, Century Link Field is also architecturally stunning, with amazing views of downtown Seattle. Of course, when you’re at the game the only views you’re paying attention to are players dominating on the field.
WORST – Alameda County Coliseum (Raiders)
The Oakland Raiders were the last team in the NFL to share their stadium with a baseball team. In 2020, they moved out of their current coliseum into a shiny new home in Las Vegas. For now, they play in one of the worst stadiums in the league.
The “Black Hole” can get loud and the fans are loyal, but this not an ideal place to watch a game. Essentially a cement bowl, the Alameda County Coliseum lacks modern amenities that fans crave and, as you can see, is an eyesore to look at.
BEST – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Falcons)
Opened in 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the home of the Atlanta Falcons, and one of the most exciting stadiums ever built. On top of being an architectural beauty, the 71,000 seat stadium as innovative as it gets regarding the fan experience.
Before opening up, Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank proclaimed that hot dogs would cost two dollars, and beer would cost four. Since then he’s stuck to his word, and even dropped the prices of hots in 2019 to $1.50!
WORST – FedEx Field (Washington Football Team)
The Washington Football Team (then Redskins) opened FedEx Field in 1997, and now just over 20 years later, are already trying to move. The stadium itself is unspectacular, hard to get to, and lacks unique amenities.
When the team finally moves into a new stadium, it won’t be hard to impress fans. The team might not improve, but it will be hard to complain about high ticket prices at a brand new hot ticket venue.
BEST – U.S. Bank Stadium (Vikings)
Another new stadium, this time in Minnesota, and it couldn’t have come at a better moment for the franchise. After opening its doors in 2016, the Vikings became an NFL powerhouse, ensuring that all 66,000 seats would be filled.
Like Century Link Field, U.S. Bank Stadium features gorgeous views of downtown Minnesota. The dome roof is also retractable if the autumn winds decide to cooperate, too. Of course, when it stays closed, the fans sound extra loud to the opposition.
WORST – New Era Field (Bills)
More outdated than anything, New Era Field is a relic of an older NFL era. Built from cement, the stadium opened in 1973 and holds 71,000 screaming fans. For many, the tailgate outside is more exciting, though.
Inside, especially once winter hits, temperatures become frigid, making fans uninterested in going to games unless the team is winning. In more recent years, there have been rumors that the Bills were looking to leave Buffalo entirely, but so far nothing has happened.
BEST – Heinz Field (Steelers)
When the Steelers are winning at home, which they usually are, few stadium experiences are better than Heinz Field. Fans are so loud that opposing offenses usually have to rely on a silent snap count to start plays.
As for the stadium itself – it’s a state of the art facility with fantastic views. It’s just hard to focus on the views when the action on the field demands so much attention!
WORST – Paul Brown Stadium (Bengals)
When the Bengals are good, Paul Brown Stadium can be a fun place to watch a game. When they aren’t, which seems to happen more often than not, the stands sit empty, freezing over in the cold Cincinnati winter.
The stadium, which was opened in 2000, holds 66,000 fans and has decent views. Like Buffalo, though, it’s known more for the tailgating in the parking lot than the game being played on the field.
BEST – Gillette Stadium (Patriots)
The only problem we can think of with Gillette Stadium is that it can be hard for fans to get to. When your team has won six Super Bowls since the stadium opened in 2002, however, fans find a way.
New England always has a packed house thanks to what might be the greatest run in modern sports history. As long as Tom Brady is under center, fans will show up and they will be as loud as possible.
WORST – Levi’s Stadium (49ers)
Fans wish they could love Levi’s Stadium. It’s the most high tech stadium the NFL has ever seen and it looks amazing. Unfortunately, it’s located 40 miles south of San Francisco and reflects the heat of the sun onto the crowd.
If the 49ers had a better track record in recent years, it’s possible we could overlook these problems. The truth is, we don’t even know the last time San Francisco had a packed house.
BEST – MetLife Stadium (Jets/Giants)
The only stadium on this list shared by two teams, MetLife Stadium is the beautiful home of the New York Jets and New York Giants. Created and designed with the quick changeover in mind, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
If there is anything to complain about with MetLife, it’s the co-partnership between the two teams, making it hard to get a real home-field advantage. At the end of the day, who does the stadium really belong to?
WORST – Hard Rock Stadium (Dolphins)
While Hard Rock Stadium seems to improve every year, it’s still not up to par with the best in the league. Opened in 1987 as a multi-purpose stadium, several renovation projects have turned the Dolphins’ home into exactly that – a home.
One of the biggest knocks on the stadium is its vulnerability to weather. Florida heat and humidity can be brutal, so having an open-air stadium can make for an uncomfortable fan experience.
BEST – AT&T Stadium (Cowboys)
Opened in 2009 with a maximum capacity of 100,000 fans, AT&T Stadium cost over one billion dollars, and it’s easy to see why. The massive home of the Cowboys is packed with features and amenities.
When the Cowboys make the playoffs, not many stadiums get louder. Without question, this is a must-visit stadium for any sports or music fans. Just imagine watching The Rolling Stones play here!
WORST – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Another stadium that carries the Mercedes-Benz moniker, this one is the home of the Saints and has been in business since 1975. As one of the NFL’s older stadiums, it’s also one of the least interesting.
The good news is that with Drew Brees under center, Saints fans don’t seem to care about the condition of the stadium the game is being played. They show up, and they get loud!
BEST – Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs)
The best home-field advantage in the NFL belongs to the Kansas City Chiefs. No fans in the league are louder. No wonder the Chiefs are perennially in playoff contention. Having Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback helps, too!
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Arrowhead Stadium is just how old it is. Opened in 1972, it’s barely showing signs of age and is still considered a premier football destination for fans to watch games.
WORST – Ford Field (Lions)
If the Detroit Lions could find sustained success, it’s possible that Ford Field would a better place to enjoy a football game. As it stands, there’s nothing that sets the stadium apart from others, and space is limited in the parking lot for tailgating.
With a maximum capacity of 65,000, Ford Field somehow feels larger, especially with empty seats. Outside, despite limited space, the venue has helped rejuvenate the surrounding downtown Detroit area.
BEST – Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
Opened in 2003, Lincoln Financial wasn’t properly showcased until Doug Pedersen came to town and led the Eagles franchise to its first Super Bowl title. Of course, the fans always packed the stadium, now they just have that extra decibel of pride they’ve been seeking for so long.
The stadium itself has plenty of room for tailgating, is easy to get to, and is packed with amenities. The only reason you might not want to go is if you’re a visiting fan. Home fans can be brutal here!
WORST – Bank Of America Stadium (Panthers)
Just over 20-years-old, Bank of America Stadium used to be one of the best venues in the NFL. As the home of the Carolina Panthers, years of renovations have largely failed to keep it feeling like a modern facility.
With the team under new ownership, it is now the responsibility of David Tepper to either secure funding for a massive renovation, or develop a new state of the art stadium to be built nearby.