Ranking the Pac-12 Stadiums for 2015

Athlon ranks and analyzes Pac-12 stadiums and attendance numbers.

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 10 Pac-12 experts like Rick Neuheisel, Dan Hawkins, Chris HustonRyan Nece and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the Pac-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 Pac-12 stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.



 

1. Autzen Stadium, Oregon

Oregon isn't the biggest stadium in the land, ranked 31st nationally in attendance and seventh in the Pac-12 in capacity, but it's the fullest. The Ducks led the league at 106.3 percent average capacity in 2014. Smooth design lines, a beautiful setting, signature, two-tone green field turf, a brand new digital scoreboard and outrageously loud fans make Autzen Stadium one of the nation’s top venues.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1967 54,000 (7th) 57,422 (31st) 106.3% (1st)

60,055 ('11)


2. Husky Stadium, Washington

With a breath-taking view of Lake Washington, new Husky Stadium is one of the finest facilities in the nation. The trademark cantilever roofs trap sound and make the venue one of the Pac-12’s loudest. The Huskies finished behind only UCLA and USC in attendance last fall, ranking 25th nationally.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1920 70,138 (3rd) 64,508 (25th) 91.9% (6th) 76,125 ('95)

 

 

3. Rose Bowl, UCLA

There may not be more hallowed ground in college football than the Rose Bowl. The building is 30 minutes from campus, but that didn't keep the Bruins from leading the Pac-12 in attendance last year at 76,650 per game (19th nationally) — up a Pac-12-leading nine percent from 2013. Strangely enough, Jim Mora has lost four of his last seven at home and his home record (13-6) is worse than his road mark (16-5) while at UCLA. The Rose Bowl also holds the current Pac-12 single-game attendance record — even if it was USC and Ohio State.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1921 92,542 (2nd) 76,650 (19th) 82.8% (9th) 106,869 ('73)

 

4. Folsom Field, Colorado

When the Buffs are good, this is one of the greatest places to watch a game in the nation. Unfortunately, the Buffs weren't good last year, finishing 61st in attendance nationally and last in the league at just 70.5 percent full. This building, like the team, is all potential right now and needs lots of work.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1924 53,613 (8th) 37,778 (61st) 70.5% (12th) 54,972 ('05)

 

 

5. Los Angeles Coliseum, USC

The biggest venue in the Pac-12 is home to the Men of Troy and can almost be too massive at times. USC finished behind only UCLA in attendance last year (21st nationally) but was just 10th in the league at 78.3 percent full. Much-needed, newer end zone seating has brought fans closer to the action.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1923 93,607 (1st) 73,272 (21st) 78.3% (10th) 105,236 ('47)

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6. Memorial Stadium, Cal

This venue was in dire need of an upgrade and the administration has done a great job refurbishing one of the more unique stadiums in the Pac-12. The $321 million renovation took two years but was hailed as a rousing success. The fifth-biggest building in the league has been home to bad teams but it still managed to draw nearly 50,000 per game. As this team improves, look for Cal to move up in attendance rankings.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1923 62,467 (5th) 47,675 (47th) 76.3% (11th) 83,000 ('47/'52)

 


7. Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah

There is work to be done to make this place competitive in the league from a facilities standpoint despite being the newest venue in the league, but that hasn't kept the fans away. Utah was one of only two teams in the league to average over capacity (101.4 percent full) last fall.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1998 45,807 (10th) 46,437 (50th) 101.4% (2nd) 46,768 ('03)

 

8. Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State

The crowd is one of the most beautiful in the nation and climbing nearby Tempe Butte is a rite of passage for many. Arizona State claims the fourth-largest venue in the league and routinely led the Pac-12 in attendance during the 1980s. In 2014, ASU was fourth in the league in attendance and 32nd nationally. Renovations are underway. Its league-leading nine percent drop in attendance in 2014 was due in part to a drop in capacity.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1958 65,870 (4th) 57,179 (32nd) 86.8% (8th) 74,963 ('96)
 
9. Arizona Stadium, Arizona

The recent $378 million renovation project added a new video board, upgraded team facilities and football offices while expanding seating in the north end zone. In fact, Arizona Stadium might be a bit underrated, ranking seventh or better in the league in capacity, attendance and percentage. It trailed only UCLA (+9 percent) with a growth of six percent from '13.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1928 56,029 (6th) 50,710 (42nd) 90.5% (7th) 59,920 ('96)

 


10. Stanford Stadium, Stanford

The Farm's amenities are second-to-none and the state-of-the-art building is located on one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. It's not the loudest of places but the quality football team has kept the venue full, placing Stanford third in the league at 94.9 percent of capacity last fall. The second-oldest building in the league is ninth in capacity but sixth in attendance. Its six percent drop in attendance was second-worst in the league last year (Arizona State).

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1921 50,424 (9th) 47,862 (46th) 94.9% (3rd) 51,607 ('10)

 

11. Reser Stadium, Oregon State

Quaint Reser Stadium ranked fifth in the Pac-12 at 92.3 percent full last season despite an average team while also being the second-smallest venue in the league. Recent renovations gave Oregon State faithful one of the biggest video boards in the nation, expanded seating in the end zones, hip upgrades to the East Grandstand and improved amenities. Future plans also call for more growth, targeting a 55,000 seat capacity by 2016.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1953 45,674 (11th) 42,176 (53rd) 92.3% (5th) 46,469 ('10)

 

12. Martin Stadium, Washington State

During a big game, Martin Stadium will pop to life and make fans forget the building is the smallest in the league. Or that it’s located in the Pac-12’s most distant outpost. Wazzu did finish fourth in the league last fall at 93.5 percent full on average, despite finishing last in total attendance.

 

Opened Capacity (Rk) '14 Avg. (Rk) % (Rk) Record (Yr)
1972 32,952 (12th) 30,794 (72nd) 93.5% (4th) 40,306 ('97)

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