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Ranking the ACC Stadiums for 2015

ACC Football

ACC Football

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 12 ACC experts like Wes Durham, Mark EnnisDavid Glenn and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the ACC.

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, here is how the voting shook out.

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to college football stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of ACC stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.


1. Memorial Stadium, Clemson

The fifth-oldest venue in the ACC, this college football cathedral — dubbed Death Valley — is rumored to have had the loudest crowd in college football history at 133 decibels. Dabo Swinney's stadium led the ACC in capacity percentage (100.3 percent) and finished in the top 15 nationally in attendance last fall. Swinney loves his home cooking, going 38-5 at Memorial Stadium during his six years as Clemson's head coach.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1942

81,500 (2nd)

81,752 (15th)

100.3% (1st)

86,092 ('99)


2. Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State

The Noles are 274-86-4 all-time in the largest stadium in the ACC and, interestingly enough, the gorgeous brick façade makes DCS the largest continuous brick building in the United States. Florida State led the ACC in attendance and finished 14th nationally with an ACC-best increase of nine percent. Jimbo Fisher's squad has won 14 straight at The Doak and are 31-4 in his five years in Tallahassee. The 99.9 percent capacity last fall was second only to Clemson.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1950

82,300 (1st)

82,211 (14th)

99.9% (2nd)

84,409 ('13)


3. Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech

The beautiful venue is the largest stadium in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Frank Beamer is 58-14 at home during his career in the ACC and 32-9 in Lane Stadium while a member of the Big East. Lane Stadium is one of just three ACC buildings to average more than 60,000 last year despite a 3-4 home record. Tech finished 27th nationally in attendance and fifth in the league in capacity percentage.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1965

65,632 (3rd)

61,157 (27th)

93.2% (5th)

66,233

4. Papa John’s Stadium, Louisville

The “Pizza Box” continues to grow seemingly every year after opening at just 42,000 seats with eyes on expansion to 80,000 in the near future. In just one season in the ACC, Louisville was third in the league in capacity percentage (96.3) and is just a few thousand fans per game away from being the third-largest average crowd in the ACC (was sixth in '14). This program, like its building, is soaring into Power 5 competition. 

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1998

55,000 (9th)

52,972 (39th)

96.3% (3rd)

55,428 ('14)

5. Carter-Finley Stadium, NC State

The crowds are right on top of the field with the closest seats in the ACC to the field. It led to the fifth-largest crowds in the league last fall despite coming off a winless ACC campaign in 2013. Carter-Finley also finished fourth in the league in percentage (94.5) each Saturday — one of just five programs in the league to average more than 90 percent.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1966

57,583 (8th)

54,398 (36th)

94.5% (4th)

57,583

6. Bobby Dodd Stadium, Georgia Tech

The ACC’s oldest venue was built for just $15,000 over a century ago and is the oldest in major college football (FBS). Tech finished 44th nationally in attendance, which ranked eighth in the ACC. Paul Johnson is 34-12 in his career at Georgia Tech.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1913

55,000 (9th)

48,519 (44th)

88.2% (6th)

60,316 ('73)

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7. Kenan Memorial Stadium, North Carolina

One of the most picturesque places to watch a football game, Kenan Stadium is the second-oldest football venue in the ACC. In 2014, North Carolina finished fourth in the ACC in attendance behind only Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech. In fact, Kenan saw a six percent spike in attendance last fall, which ranked second in the league behind only the Seminoles (9 percent). Larry Fedora is 14-6 at home and 7-11 away from Kenan.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1927

63,000 (6th)

54,667 (35th)

86.8% (7th)

62,000 ('97)

8. Scott Stadium, Virginia

It's one of the most historic and culturally rich campuses in the nation and has witnessed many memorable ACC moments. But despite showing major improvements as a team, the Cavs' home building produced poor numbers in 2014. Virginia's attendance finished 58th nationally and 11th in the ACC after a 15 percent drop from '13. It also ranked 13th in the ACC ahead of only Pitt in terms of capacity percentage at just 63.9 percent full each Saturday. Mike London is 18-18 at home.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1931

61,500 (7th)

39,320 (58th)

63.9% (13th)

64,947 ('08)

9. Carrier Dome, Syracuse

Nicknamed “The Loud House,” the Cuse’s home has a Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof that is one of the loudest in the nation. However, it's been a while since the Orange's home building was feared. The Carrier Dome ranked 10th in the ACC in attendance despite a nice six percent bump over 2013 and ranked ninth in the league in capacity percentage. Syracuse was 1-5 at home last season.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1980

49,262 (11th)

40,447 (57th)

82.1% (9th)

50,564 ('80)

10. Sun Life Stadium, Miami

The building is 25 minutes from campus and saw nearly 10,000 seats subtracted from its capacity this offseason — so the 80.3 percent capacity is more of a projection. That said, the 52,518 average attendance ranked Miami 40th in the nation and seventh in the ACC. Al Golden is 19-8 in four years at home but 11-3 over the last two years. This program needs a smaller, on-campus venue badly.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1987

65,326 (5th)

52,518 (40th)

80.3% (11th)

80,120 ('13)

11. Heinz Field, Pitt

From an amenities standpoint, few college stadiums can match the posh NFL home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, sharing a building with an NFL team has drawbacks as well. Pitt ranked dead last in the ACC at just 63.1 percent average capacity and saw a league-worst decline of 17 percent in attendance from 2013. The Panthers ranked 56th nationally in attendance last fall.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

2001

65,500 (4th)

41,315 (56th)

63.1% (14th)

66,731 ('02)

12. Alumni Stadium, Boston College

It's tough to draw large crowds to Chestnut Hill, as the Eagles have largely overachieved for the better part of the last two decades but routinely rank outside of the top 60 in attendance. Boston College is 12th in the ACC capacity, 12th in average capacity (77.0 percent) and 12th in average attendance — which ranks 64th nationally. Steve Addazio, like many before him, has done good work at BC but is just 8-5 at Alumni Stadium.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1957

44,500 (12th)

34,270 (64th)

77.0% (12th)

44,500

13. BB&T Field, Wake Forest

To Wake's fans' credit, there are typically never a ton of empty seats in BB&T and the recent round of upgrades have improved the gameday experience. However, the Deacs ranked last in the ACC in attendance last fall — 83rd nationally — and were only slightly better in average capacity (8th at 86.4 percent). All three of Wake Forest's wins last season came at home.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1968

31,500 (14th)

27,210 (83rd)

86.4% (8th)

37,623 ('04)

14. Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke

Attendance has gotten better under the David Cutcliffe regime due in large part to winning more games. However, the stadium still ranks at the bottom of the ACC in most attendance categories. Wallace Wade is 13th in capacity in the ACC, 10th in average capacity (80.4 percent) and was 13th in attendance last season — ranking just 82nd nationally. It makes Cutcliffe's 15-6 home record over the last three years incredibly impressive.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1929

33,941 (13th)

27,291 (82nd)

80.4% (10th)

57,500 ('49)