B1G Stadium Rankings (AthlonSports.com)

Submitted by Ron_Lippitt on June 13th, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about Athlon Sports, or their ability to credibly rank anything college football related. However, I find it hilarious that any reasonable sports magazine could compile a list of the top stadiums to watch a football game in the country -- let alone the B1G -- and position Michigan Stadium at Number Five, behind both Nebraska and Penn St. This cannot be serious.


My unbiased ranking factoring in fan total experience is:

1. Michigan Stadium

2. Ohio Stadium

3. Camp Randall Stadium

4. Beaver Stadium

5. Kinnick Stadium

6. Spartan Stadium

7. Memorial Stadium (Nebraska)

8. Ross-Ade Stadium

9. TCF Bank Stadium

10. Memorial Stadium (Indiana)

11. Ryan Field

12. Memorial Stadium (Illinois)

Btw -- for those of you who have the opportunity to choose between attending a game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, or go with your wife to shop for linens at Bed, Bath & Beyond -- that's seriously a toss-up.



June 13th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

Sorry to burst your bubble but it is possible that there are better stadiums than Michigan's. We may have the most fans but we aren't as loud, and aren't as intimidating and imposing as Penn State's multi-leveled bowl where the sound just lingers on the field.


June 13th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

True. But having a loud and intimidating stadium with a decent-to-good team makes the experience that much better. If you can see the opponent being obviously distracted by you, it fires the crowd up.


June 13th, 2013 at 4:14 PM ^

Ok I see the difference there. When it comes down to it, rankings are all subjective. People look for different things in a stadium. For me, it's whether it's easy to have walk around the concourse, if it's not a shithole and I have a good time even if I'm sitting in a crappy seat. Other people may put different things ahead of my criteria

Darth Wolverine

June 13th, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

I agree with mzerbib. Granted, the only college stadiums I have seen a football game in are Michigan Statdium and BGSU's stadium, but I can guarantee there are some stadiums that are more fun than Michigan's experience.

I hate how quiet the stadium is compared to others and there is nothing worse than the infamous "down in front" comment from the assholes who want to sit on their butts the whole game. Halftime is for sitting/resting, not standing. Most people in the stadium do the opposite, which is also the opposite of most other crazy stadiums.


June 13th, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

The problem with that is that they put the Horseshoe at number one and the reasons listed were all things that Michigan has as well, such as tradition, cool nickname, fan support, attendence (seriously?), success...  At the very least, with those criteria we should be number 2.

Monocle Smile

June 13th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

Typical click journalism.

Yeah, the "awesome tradition" at the Horseshoe of running into a nasty-ass lake that is no doubt rife with syphilis and ringworm by the thousands. Sounds like a great time.

I've heard Camp Randall is amazing, however.


June 13th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

Does anyone have the story about the amount of urine that is in the lake saved on their computer?  

Great tradition there Buckeyes... wallow in your own, and thousands of others', excrement to support the team!  Honestly, their fans and students appear to be a living link to our hominid ancestors.  So primal and brutish.


June 13th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

I'm with you on the dotting the I.  The Athlon writer is clearly from Ohio if he thinks that's something you must see before you die.  Clearly has not had much experience outside small town USA.  It is literally just a guy taking a bow...

The Geek

June 13th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

Concur with your observations... I'd have Memorial Stadium (Nebraska) a little higher. I'd probably flip-flop ohio stadium and Camp Randall.

Your comments about the Illinois Memorial Stadium is spot on!! Appropriately at the bottom of this list. I understand they wanted to include the old structure, but the stands seem like 10 pounds of shit stuffed in a 5 pound bag.

I haven't been to TCF Bank or Ross-Ade.



June 13th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

I went to the Illinois vs Michigan in 2007 in Champaign.  It was a night game, game was hyped, sat in the student section, got heckled like crazy but had fun dishing it back, it was a hell of a game, amazing atmosphere.  Went back in 2009....lame.  It just depends on how the game is I think.

Space Coyote

June 13th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

For how much I hate Nebraska, that stadium has a crazy game day experience (likely because that's all people from Nebraska have to do).

The reality is, 1-5 in the Athlon rankings are close, small drop off to Iowa, huge drop off from Iowa (at least when they were good) to your typical game at Spartan stadium, and then another large drop off to whatever is below that.

I love Michigan Stadium, get the chills every time I walk in there, but my opinion is clearly biased. Michigan stadium doesn't get quite as loud as the multi-level stadiums, the sight lines aren't necessarily as good either. I think the entrance of touching the banner and the tradition move it higher than it is on the Athlon list, but I can see the debate.

Also, Beaver stadium will continue to make their game day suffer as it has the past couple years if they don't reduce ticket prices. That stadium is a shell of its former self.


June 13th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

I've been to Penn State 3 times, including 2006, which is the most fun I've ever had at an away game. The noise and the spectacle the students produce is impressive, and the tailgating set up is good (as long as it doesn't rain and you know to bring everything you need b/c it's a long walk to get any supplies) but everything else feels chintzy, from the piped in lion roars, to the lack of band, to the erector set exterior. There are also some really bad seats there in the end zone upper decks.

I far prefer Iowa, which has no bad seats, really loud fans, great tailgating but also the option to walk downtown to bars and food carts (a particularly good postgame option). As an enjoyable away game experience (admittedly different than best stadium), I'd put it up there as best in the conference. Wisconsin is similar but has more angry drunks. OSU is better than it used to be but still has an edge like someone might sucker punch you at any moment.  I haven't been to Nebraska which everyone says is great. 


June 13th, 2013 at 6:51 PM ^

I'm born and raised in Omaha and have been to several games. I'm not saying Memorial Stadium doesn't have a very good atmosphere, but the experience at the Big House is much bigger and better than at Memorial Stadium. I've been to The Big House, Camp Randall, and Memorial Staium, and Memorial Stadium is the worst (but still very good) of the three.

Section 1

June 13th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

Michigan's game-day experience may be overrated, and may be deteriorating.

OSU and MSU have superior surrounding land for tailgating.

Michigan has the Blue Lot, and the golf courses, weather permitting.

They have degraded the atmosphere of the Blue Lot, by dedicating so much of it to luxury box occupants who park and then go up to the Stadium Club.

Michigan needs to do a much better job on parking/tailgating.

Monocle Smile

June 13th, 2013 at 3:59 PM ^

For locals and students, the tailgating near the stadium is amazing.

For everyone else (who doesn't know someone local), I can see how it might be an issue. I haven't experienced game day in this category, so my opinion probably counts for little.

I'd be all for a separate parking lot just for luxury box occupants so the Blue Lot is strictly for tailgaters.


June 13th, 2013 at 10:45 PM ^

occupants actually tailgate, DB should build a multi level parking ramp solely for the purpose of parking these folks and turn the blue lot into a party scene. I hate to say it, but the SEC knows how to accomodate tailgating much better than we do. They put the party up front near their stadiums and create an event. Another thought is putting a huge screen in the champions lot (or blue lot) so that you could have thousands watching games all day right outside and also the Michigan game for those who don't/ can't get a ticket. It would have been better than the stupid video board advertising sign he put along Stadium Blvd.

Section 1

June 14th, 2013 at 10:04 AM ^

I mentioned that exact problem to Bill Martin before they even began construction. Before Dave Brandon was considered for the job.

Martin was genuinely concerned about it. Not enough to turn down suite money, of course. ;-)
But enough to admit to somebody like me that it was a big problem.
btw: Brandon would like that parking structure. What he will say is that if you've got $20 million (he might be thinking of some private property), he'd love to meet with you so that they can spell your name correctly on the gifting documents.


June 13th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

Can we stop discussing subjective rankings of things from publications that are just trying to drive clicks?  How many times has a sports site ranking the B1G stadiums over the last 5 years?  How many times have they ranked the helmets?  The uniforms?  The bands?  The straightness of the lines on the field?

Darth Wolverine

June 13th, 2013 at 4:24 PM ^

Dude, it's the off season and there isn't much to talk about. These types of articles/rankings are posted annually, sure, but it's just to get the fans excited and talking about football. We are only seventy-seven days from the start of the season and I, for one, welcome football talk instead of the copious amount of off topic and lame ass "what are you drinking" threads.


June 13th, 2013 at 3:55 PM ^

I've been to 9 of 12 so far.  I would put Purdue below Indiana and Illinois.  TCF Bank as a stadium is great, but the atmosphere doesn't warrant moving up above Sparty sadly.  I cannot argue with OSU and PSU being 1 and 2.    


June 13th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

False.  I know what BR is.  Athlon Sports???  Why don't we just start linking to the Bloomington, Indiana newspaper when they rank the stadiums.  Then we can do West Lafayette!  Then State College next!  Oh my, we'll really show those third-year sports management/journalism majors who REALLY knows where the best stadium is!


June 13th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

Being from PA, I have been to games at Penn State since the '70's.  It is not better than Michigan.

They make a lot of hay on their night game white-out environment, which is great, but go to a Penn State game at noon against a MAC team and you will not be overly impressed.

It's still a excellent place to watch college football, but every game there is not 2006 Penn State-Michigan.  If the only game you ever saw at Michigan was UTL, you would rank it much higher than if you've gone to other games.




June 13th, 2013 at 5:25 PM ^

True. I've been to so many games in the Big House. I've only been to PSU for the 2010 night game white out against M and I was blown away. I thought it was amazing how big it was but also that it was an NFL style stadium. Vendors, an upper deck, etc. It was like an NFL stadium that seats 100k. 


June 14th, 2013 at 1:20 AM ^

Frankly, noon game atmospheres stink everywhere. Remember last-year's hand-wringing about the empty stands at noon at the Swamp, of all places? The only early games I've ever been to with any punch are the big matchups (which, these days, means UM-OSU. Nationwide you can also include OU-Tx) and a Texas Tech-A&M matchup 11 years ago that was a classic but not televised.

The only way noon games get live atmospheres now is if there are surprisingly high stakes, but those games are becoming increasingly rare as the networks recognize the appeal and ratings potential of night games.


June 13th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

I dont know, I have a hard time disagreeing with those rankings. But I also dont care that they've listed UM 5th either.

The Big House has never really delivered the intense, loud home crowds of PSU and Braska. Plus, those environs get a notoriety bump because everyone wears the same color every game (which, I don't know, I'm glad we all aren't decked out in the same color at our games) and the sense that there isn't anything else to do, so their game days have a little extra pizzazz. I don't know how that's measured, but I think that's what partly drives their higher rankings and stadium perception.

Wisco just always looks like one big party. Hard to top that atmosphere and I think they get graded out with extra points for the Jump Around tradish they do at the 3rd Q break. Every TV game, they either stay longer or come back from break early so viewers can see it. It's now considered a top-10 type of gameday tradition, worthy or not, through that kind of pub.

As for OSU, this is going hurt, ladies and gents. But if I put on an unbiased hat, I'd take their top-3 gameday, in-stadium traditions over ours. Script Ohio, the Hang On Sloopy at the 3rdQ break and the Carmen Ohio (I think the best alma mater song in all of football) serenade at the end of the game, all are pretty cool, to say the least. Everybody wants to see those.

Does UM even have 3 in game stadium traditions? Our players run out and touch the banner, that's cool; we have The Victors played eleventy billion times by a marching band, that both fairly and unfairly gets dinged for only knowing one song; an alma mater that nobody in the stadium even knows, except for one word in the middle. What's our 3rd in stadium tradition, anyway? Slippery Rock scores? Crappy and over reaching attempts at RAWK musak? Screaming down in front to people who dare stand?

But I don't go to UM games for the band, the banner or to forget the words of the alma mater. I go to watch my favorite football team. That's all I need and there is still no place I'd rather be on a Saturday.

Nebraska can keep the balloon flying tradition to themselves....

Chuck Norris

June 13th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

Indiana needs to be on the bottem. I went to the Iowa game last year, and the stadium was half empty. No atmosphere or anything, and the PA announcer was annoying.


June 13th, 2013 at 4:59 PM ^

I've been to the other stadiums in the big ten and Michigan Stadium and our stadium isn't too much quieter than the other stadiums.  Kinnick Stadium in 2011 sounded a lot quieter than the Big house for a noon game at Michigan against a top 25 team.  The 2011 MSU-Wisconsin hail mary game was loud but paled in comparison to UTL.  Before 2010 our stadium was quieter, but now we are top 3 IMO.