Ranking the Big 12 Stadiums for 2015

Athlon ranks and analyzes Big 12 stadiums and attendance numbers.

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 10 Big 12 experts Chip Brown, Blair Kerkhoff, Bill Connelly, Allen Kenney and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the Big 12.

 

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 Big 12 stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.

 

 
1. Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma

The top spot in the Big 12 to catch a game is regularly over capacity. Despite the worst home record of Bob Stoops' tenure (3-3), the Sooners still posted an impressive 103.7 percent capacity average while finishing 13th nationally and second in the league in attendance. Oklahoma is 373-84-15 all-time at Memorial Stadium and Stoops is still an impressive 90-8.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1925 82,112 (2nd) 85,162 (13th) 103.7% (3rd) 86,031 ('12)

 

2. Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, Texas

Plans to expand into the 115,000-125,000 range have been put on hold but Texas still boasts the biggest (100,119) stadium in the Big 12 and still leads the league in attendance (94,103). And the gaps between the Longhorns and Oklahoma in both of these categories are pretty wide. That said, Texas' building was only 93.3 percent full — ranking seventh in the league — and was one of only four schools in the Big 12 to see a drop from 2013 (down five percent).

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1924 100,119 (1st) 94,103 (8th) 93.9% (7th) 101,851 ('12)

 

 

3. Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State

The drop off in size after the top two buildings is noticeable. The Cowboys ranked 37th in attendance nationally and ninth in the Big 12 in average capacity (90.3 percent). Additionally, only Kansas' 10 percent drop in attendance was worse than the Pokes' eight percent decline from '13. It's still a brutal place to play for teams, however, as Mike Gundy is 21-4 at home over the last four years.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1920 60,218 (4th) 54,387 (37th) 90.3% (9th) 60,218 ('13)

 

4. Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech

Texas Tech boasts the third-largest building in the Big 12 and was third in attendance last year, ranking 29th nationally. The Red Raiders actually saw a growth of two percent over 2013 and were fifth in the league in average capacity (96.8 percent). Kliff Kingsbury is 6-6 at home in two years.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1947 60,862 (3rd) 58,934 (29th) 96.8% (5th) 61,836 ('13)

 

5. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State

It’s small on three sides and has some quirky lines, but Bill Snyder Family Stadium will rock when the Wildcats are rolling. At 106.2 percent capacity every Saturday, this building was the most packed of any stadium in the Big 12 last fall despite a one percent drop in overall attendance. Kansas State was 38th in attendance in 2014, even though it ranks ahead of only TCU and Baylor as the third-smallest venue in the  league. 

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1968 50,000 (8th) 53,081 (38th) 106.2% (1st) 53,811 ('00)

 

 

6. Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia

It's a heckuva party in Morgantown on Saturdays and 2014 proved that. West Virginia led the Big 12 last season with a seven percent hike in attendance compared to 2013. Milan Puskar finished 34th nationally in attendance despite finishing just seventh in the league at 94.5 percent full. Dana Holgorsen is just 15-11 at home in four years but has a win over a top-11 foe in each of the last two seasons.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1980 60,000 (5th) 56,686 (34th) 94.5% (7th) 70,222 ('93)

 

7. McLane Stadium, Baylor

McLane Stadium is Baylor's state-of-the-art building that ushered in a new era of Bears football with a Big 12 title last season. Baylor saw attendance go up by two percent and was one of three schools in the Big 12 to average over capacity (103.8 percent). The smallest building in the league finished just 49th nationally in attendance at 46,710 per game. For the time being, the Bears have never lost in McLane (6-0) and keep an eye on future expansion to host 55,000.
 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
2014 45,000 (9th) 46,710 (49th) 103.8% (2nd)

45,733 ('14)

 

 

8. Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State

Iowa State is home to one of the most underrated home atmospheres in the nation. Despite a horrible record and a six percent drop in attendance, Jack Trice Stadium still ranked 41st nationally in attendance — ahead of championship or division-winning programs like TCU, Baylor, Arizona and Georgia Tech. Paul Rhoads is 2-11 in the last two seasons at home.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1975 54,800 (6th) 52,197 (41st) 95.3% (6th) 56,800 ('12)

 

9. Amon Carter Stadium, TCU

TCU was fourth in the Big 12 in average capacity at 99.4 percent full last season. The Horned Frogs finished 52nd nationally in the league's smallest building despite a three percent growth in attendance. Like Baylor, TCU needs to sustain high-level success in the Big 12 to continue to grow its quaint home atmosphere.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1929 45,000 (9th) 44,719 (52nd) 99.4% (4th) 50,307 ('09)

 

 

10. Memorial Stadium, Kansas

A poor home win-loss record (256-231-16) has caused major trouble for Kansas. The 10 percent drop in attendance last fall was the worst in the Big 12. So were the 34,077 fans that showed up per game and the horrid 68.1 percent capacity. The Jayhawks have much to overcome both on the field and with their home venue.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1921 50,071 (7th) 34,077 (67th) 68.1% (10th) 52,530 ('09)

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