The Worst College Football Stadiums That Failed To Score With Fans

Football | 12/4/20

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

san jose state university football stadium
Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

memphis college football stadium
Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

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

Alabama v Vanderbilt
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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 washington
William Mancebo/Getty Images
William Mancebo/Getty Images

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

kansas football stadium in kansas
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Temple university at lincoln financial field
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

university of arkansas football stadium
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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

sdsu fotball stadium
Kent Horner/Getty Images
Kent Horner/Getty Images

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

folsom field colorado
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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

indiana football bloomington
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

aloha stadium hawaii
Douglas Peebles/Corbis via Getty Images
Douglas Peebles/Corbis via Getty Images

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

duke college football stadium
Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Michigan v Northwestern
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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

rose bowl in pasadena
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Minnesota at Maryland
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 boston
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

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

marshall football ncaa
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

dix stadium
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

yale bowl yale university
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Welcome Stadium dayton ohio
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

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

dreamstyle stadium new exico
Sam Wasson/Getty Images
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

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

ub stadium bulls
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

UNLV rebels home stadium
Stuart Walmsley/Getty Images
Stuart Walmsley/Getty Images

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

Boston College v Northern Illinois
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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

HA-Chapman-Stadium-Tulsa
Chippothenut/Wikimedia Commons
Chippothenut/Wikimedia Commons

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

Stadium2-4
MHarrison/Wikimedia Commons
MHarrison/Wikimedia Commons

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

Rice v Charlotte
Mike Comer/Getty Images
Mike Comer/Getty Images

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

scheumann stadium
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

infocision stadium in akron ohio
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Kibbiedome
Mailleman85/Wikimedia Commons
Mailleman85/Wikimedia Commons

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.”