The 12 Worst College Football Stadiums In America

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College football evokes intense passion, loyalty, and pride. But not every game day experience is unforgettable for the right reasons. Amidst the glitz and glamour of college football, hidden behind the roars of passionate fans and thrilling touchdowns, lurk some stadiums that are, quite frankly, eyesores.

Whether it’s cramped seating, lackluster facilities, or simply unending lines for the bathroom, these stadiums have earned their unfortunate reputations.

Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, FL)

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Tropicana Field is an indoor stadium with artificial turf, which many fans argue detracts from the traditional college football experience. The fixed dome, an unusual feature for a football stadium, contributes to poor acoustics, stifling the crowd noise and making it challenging to energize the home team.

A TripAdvisor review mentioned, “The seats are cramped and not angled well for football viewing.” Tropicana Field ranked poorly in cleanliness, with several leaks and worn-out infrastructure creating a lackluster impression. While the venue may suffice for a baseball game, it sorely lacks the qualities needed to enhance the college football experience.

High Point Solutions Stadium (Piscataway, NJ)

Image provided by: Alex Green

Built in 1994, this 52,454-seat venue has often been criticized for its uninspiring atmosphere and outdated facilities. Many fans have reported discomfort due to cramped seating and poor sightlines, especially in the upper sections.

Moreover, restroom facilities are sparse and frequently described as unclean, which detracts significantly from the overall game day experience. Scarce crowd engagement and subdued stadium acoustics lead to a relatively flat and unexciting environment. In a CBS Sports ranking, Rutgers’ game day atmosphere was rated among the lowest in the Big Ten Conference.

Alamodome (University of Texas at San Antonio)

photo by Jose

Initially built in 1993 with a hefty budget of $186 million, this stadium was meant to be a multipurpose facility. However, it’s painfully evident that football was an afterthought. The Alamodome boasts a capacity of 64,000, but the stadium’s design includes vast expanses of seats far from the field, leaving fans squinting to follow the action.

While providing shelter from the elements, the dome structure has a noticeable downside: poor acoustics. Crowd noise dissipates quickly. Though it was once a state-of-the-art facility, fans often cite cleanliness and general maintenance issues, from sticky floors to worn-out seating.

Kelly/Shorts Stadium (Mount Pleasant, MI)

photo by Epicurious

Nestled in the heart of Mount Pleasant, Kelly/Shorts Stadium is home to the Central Michigan Chippewas. Built in 1972 and expanded just a few times since the facility doesn’t quite match its more modern counterparts. With a capacity of around 30,255, it’s one of the smaller stadiums in Division I football.

Many fans lament the uncomfortable bleacher-style seating that lacks backs, leading to a less-than-pleasant viewing experience, especially during longer games. Despite the die-hard nature of Central Michigan fans, the atmosphere at Kelly/Shorts Stadium can be somewhat underwhelming. Additionally, the track around the field distances fans from the action, which can make the game feel less immersive.

UB Stadium (Buffalo, NY)

Image credit: George Dolgikh/

Built in 1993, UB Stadium, nestled in the chilly confines of Buffalo, New York, boasts a seating capacity of approximately 25,000. However, the stadium’s concrete bleachers are notoriously uncomfortable, often necessitating seat cushions to endure a full game.

While the Bulls’ fans are certainly spirited, the acoustics are subpar, hindering crowd noise from making the powerful impact seen in other venues. Additionally, the largely uncovered seating makes for a miserable experience during Buffalo’s harsh winter months. For a more enjoyable game day, fans should consider bringing plenty of layers, extra seat cushions, and patience.

CEFCU Stadium (San Jose State University)

Image provided by: Alex Green

Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, one might expect a high-tech, modern facility, but unfortunately, that’s not the case here. With a capacity of just over 30,000, the benches lack the comfort and ergonomic design found in many other stadiums. Spectators in the higher sections often struggle with poor visibility due to the outdated layout and limited elevation.

The acoustics are less than ideal, and crowd engagement frequently falls flat, failing to generate the electrifying energy that defines great game day experiences. The stadium’s location in downtown San Jose means dealing with notorious traffic congestion. Parking is limited and often expensive, adding an extra layer of inconvenience for fans.

Aggie Memorial Stadium (New Mexico State University)

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With a seating capacity of 30,343, one might expect a more intimate and engaging atmosphere, but the reality falls short. Constructed in 1978, the stadium hasn’t aged well. The bleachers are hard metal seats, offering minimal comfort for fans who are there to support their team for an entire game. The lack of individual seating can make the experience even more uncomfortable during crowded games.

It doesn’t help that the food available is often described as lackluster, with basic choices that fail to thrill the palate. As of the 2021 season, the average attendance was 15,852, just about half the stadium’s capacity. The stadium’s location in Las Cruces might be picturesque, but it’s far from convenient for out-of-town travelers.

Rynearson Stadium (Ypsilanti, MI)

Image provided by: Alex Green

Located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Rynearson Stadium is home to the Eastern Michigan University Eagles. Built in 1969, Rynearson Stadium boasts a relatively large seating capacity of 30,200, but unfortunately, bigger doesn’t always mean better. The hard metal bleachers offer little comfort, and the layout ensures many spectators are stuck with less-than-ideal field views.

While the intention is there, the stadium suffers from sporadic attendance, averaging just over 15,000 attendees per game in recent years, according to official NCAA records. Peeling paint, worn-out signage, and outdated facilities create an environment that feels more neglected than nostalgic.

Scheumann Stadium (Muncie, IN)

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With a capacity of 22,500, this venue struggles to deliver a top-notch game-day experience, often falling short of fans’ expectations. While the stadium does boast some recent renovations, the bleacher-style seats (with the steep incline of the stands) remain notably uncomfortable for extended periods.

The most notable renovation took place in 2007, a $13.6 million overhaul that included the addition of a modern press box, premium seating options like luxury suites and club seats, and a state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface. Accessibility to amenities is still wanting, particularly for those in the upper sections.

Vanderbilt Stadium (Vanderbilt University)

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Built in 1922, the stadium’s capacity hasn’t been substantially upgraded, with a mere 40,550 seats. The compact seating arrangement often translates to cramped quarters and poor sightlines, especially from the upper tiers.

Vanderbilt’s selection is basic, unlike newer stadiums that offer many dining options, which can be a letdown for food enthusiasts. Leaky ceilings, chipped paint, and outdated structures are common complaints, suggesting that the stadium has not been kept up to modern standards.

Memorial Stadium (Indiana University)

photo by Jose

Despite its classic Midwest charm, fans frequently gripe about the uncomfortable and outdated seats, which can turn an exciting game into a physical endurance test. With a capacity of about 52,626, one might think the view from any seat would be decent. Unfortunately, the steep upper deck results in poor sightlines and makes it challenging for fans to get in and out of their seats.  

Reports indicate long lines for subpar food options and restroom facilities that are few and far between. Field conditions have also come under scrutiny. The turf has been inconsistent, hampering gameplay and increasing the risk of injuries. While some enthusiasts revel in the tight-knit community atmosphere, many lament the lack of effective crowd management and limited.

Glass Bowl (Toledo, OH)

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Initially built in 1936, the stadium has struggled to keep up with modern standards. Benches without backrests are common, making long games a test of endurance. Visibility is another issue, with some seats offering obstructed views that make you question why you even bothered to come.

The small crowd size and the dated PA system combine to create an underwhelming experience. Even the most spirited “Go Rockets!” cheer gets lost in the acoustics. Getting to and from the Glass Bowl is a hassle. According to a survey conducted by USA Today, fans rated their overall entry and exit experience at 2.5 out of 5, placing it in the bottom tier among college stadiums.

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