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Ranking the SEC Stadiums

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Volunteers

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 12 SEC experts like Tim Brando, Dan Wolken, Steven Godfrey and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the SEC.

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


1. Tiger Stadium, LSU

Baton Rouge at night is an experience. After renovations, Tiger Stadium became the third biggest in the SEC, and finished fourth nationally at 101,723 per game last fall. While the 99.4 percent capacity rate was only eighth in the SEC, the 11 percent jump in attendance in 2014 was second only to Texas A&M.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1924

102,321 (3rd)

101,723 (4th)

99.4% (8th)

102,321 ('14)

2. Kyle Field, Texas A&M

The move to the SEC and the massive $450 million renovations are essentially complete and it gives Texas A&M the biggest stadium in the SEC. The 102.5 percent capacity led the SEC in 2014, as did the 21 percent jump in attendance from 2013. At 105,123 per game, the Aggies trailed only Ohio State nationally in attendance. Kevin Sumlin is just 13-7 at home, but his new building should only get more difficult to play in for opposing teams.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1927

102,512 (1st)

105,123 (2nd)

102.5% (1st)

110,633 ('14)


3. Sanford Stadium, Georgia

The Bulldogs sold every ticket in 2014, finishing with an average attendance (92,746) that matched its capacity. The fifth-biggest stadium in the SEC finished ninth nationally in attendance and only four other schools in the conference matched or surpassed Georgia's 100 percent capacity mark. Mark Richt is 74-15 “Between the Hedges” in his time at Georgia.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1929

92,746 (5th)

92,746 (9th)

100% (4th)

92,746 ('14)

4. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee

The Big Orange brick cathedral is one of the loudest places to watch football in the nation and the crowds finally started coming back in 2014. The second-biggest venue in the SEC finished seventh nationally in attendance at 99,754 per game — a four percent jump from 2013 — as Neyland was 97.4 percent full. Butch Jones is 12-13 in two years at Tennessee, but 8-6 at home, including the biggest win of his tenure over No. 11 South Carolina two years ago.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1921

102,455 (2nd)

99,754 (7th)

97.4% (9th)

109,061 ('04)

5. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama

Alabama is 238-52-3 since opening the building in 1929, and Nick Saban is 43-6 at home during his tenure. The Crimson Tide finished sixth nationally in attendance last fall in the fourth-largest building in the SEC. The 99.7 percent capacity ranked sixth in the SEC as well.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1929

101,821 (4th)

101,534 (6th)

99.7% (6th)

101,821 ('14)

6. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida

"The Swamp" was one of just four SEC stadiums to see a small dip in attendance last fall. The two percent drop still netted Florida 85,834 fans per game, good for 12th nationally. The 96.9 percent capacity average was just 10th in the SEC and one reason why Will Muschamp is now coaching Auburn's defense. Muschamp was 18-8 overall at home but just 3-6 in his last nine games at The Swamp.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (RK)

% (Rk)

Record

1930

88,548 (6th)

85,834 (12th)

96.9% (10th)

90,907 ('09)

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7. Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn

Just like Georgia, Auburn finished with exactly 100 percent attendance in 2014 — just one of five in the league to do so. At 87,451 per game, Auburn ranked 11th in the nation in total attendance in the seventh-largest building in the SEC. Gus Malzahn is 14-1 at home in two years as the head Tiger.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1939

87,451 (7th)

87,451 (11th)

100% (4th)

87,451 ('14)

8. Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina

For a team that lost six times last year, South Carolina fans still packed their home venue. The Gamecocks finished third in the SEC in average attendance and was one of five schools in the conference that drew above capacity. The 101.4 percent average ranked behind only Texas A&M and Ole Miss in '14. The Cocks ranked 16th nationally in attendance, even though their stadium is among the bottom half (eighth) in the SEC when it comes to size.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1934

80,250 (8th)

81,381 (16th)

101.4% (3rd)

85,199 ('12)


9. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Arkansas

Arkansas’ all-time record at its home stadium is a solid but uninspiring 171-82-2 but the Razorbacks were 5-1 last year with the only loss coming to SEC champ Alabama. In fact, the eight percent growth in attendance from '13 finished behind only Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State in the SEC — all three of which saw major renovations increase capacity last season. The 92.4 percent capacity average was just 11th in the SEC, but the 66,521 average was 23rd nationally.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1938

72,000 (9th)

66,521 (23rd)

92.4% (11th)

76,808 ('10)

10. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Ole Miss

The second-oldest venue in the SEC isn't very big — ranking 13th in the league in size — but was packed to the gills last season. The 101.6 percent average capacity was second only to Texas A&M and one of just five in the league above 100. The Rebels were 11th in attendance in the SEC last fall but still ranked 26th nationally, well ahead of programs like Oregon, Miami and Baylor. Capacity will actually drop to 58,580 this fall before moving to 64,038 in 2016.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1915

60,580 (13th)

61,547 (26th)

101.6 (2nd)

62,657 ('09)


11. Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, Missouri

Mizzou finished in the top 25 in attendance in college football last fall at 65,285 per game. Unfortunately, the 10th-biggest building in the SEC produced the conference's 10th-largest crowd on average. Such is life in the SEC. The 91.7 percent capacity was ahead of only Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Missouri is 14-7 at home since joining the SEC, but 11-3 the last two seasons.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1927

71,168 (10th)

65,285 (24th)

91.7% (12th)

75,298 ('80)

12. Davis Wade Stadium, Mississippi State

Expansion gave Mississippi State its largest home crowd in history last season when 62,945 poured into Davis Wade Stadium to watch the Auburn game. The Bulldogs finished 12th in the SEC in attendance (28th nationally) but it still was the most successful year in school history. Despite finishing below 100 percent capacity on average (99.6), Mississippi State ranked third in the SEC with a 10 percent jump in average attendance, trailing only Texas A&M and LSU.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1914

61,337 (12th)

61,127 (28th)

99.6% (7th)

62,945 ('14)


13. Commonwealth Stadium, Kentucky

Despite winning just two games in 2013, this team drew 59,472 fans per game. With a slightly improved team, Kentucky finished 30th in the nation (57,572) last season. At 85.2 percent full each weekend, Kentucky was one of two SEC teams (Vanderbilt) to post a sub-90 percent average capacity. All seven of Mark Stoops' wins at Kentucky have come at home.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1973

67,606 (11th)

57,572 (30th)

85.2% (13th)

71,024 ('07)

14. Vanderbilt Stadium, Vanderbilt

It's the smallest building in the league and generally the quietest as well. The Dores ranked last in the SEC in attendance, average capacity and were last in the league with a four percent drop from 2013.

Opened

Capacity (Rk)

'14 Avg. (Rk)

% (Rk)

Record (Yr)

1922

40,550 (14th)

34,258 (66th)

84.5% (14th)

41,448 ('98)