Some college football stadiums hold more than 100,000 fans and are just as state-of-the-art as any you’ll find in the NFL. But others are tiny, run down, shoddy and/or decrepit. Which are the worst venues among BCS conference college football teams? We examine.
10. L.A. Coliseum (USC)
The Coliseum, which holds 93,607, is one of the country’s iconic sports venues. It has hosted two Olympic Games (1932, 1984), the Super Bowl and World Series. Currently, its primary use is as the home of the powerhouse USC Trojans. But for one of the nation’s premier programs, the Coliseum just lags behind. The stadium opened way back in 1923 and, despite a host of renovations, it’s still stuck in the past. Instead of young Hollywood, the venerable Coliseum is more like a silent film. We have slotted it at No. 10 because, well, it’s still the Coliseum.
9. California Memorial Stadium (California)
Cal’s stadium won’t be on this list once the stadium is done being renovated in time for the 2012 season, but for now, we’ll poke fun at it one last time. The stadium wasn’t just falling apart since it’s been up for nearly 90 years, it was literally crumbling because it was built on the Hayward Fault Line. Yikes. The renovation will upgrade the facility and give it more structural support, placing the Bears at AT&T Park this season (where the San Francisco Giants play). Still, Memorial Stadium is the last place you want to be in an earthquake. And up until the renovation, it was also pretty much the last place you wanted to be for a football game too.
8. BB&T Field (Wake Forest)
Wake Forest’s BB&T Field, which holds 31,500 fans, has the distinction of being the smallest venue in all the BCS conferences and feels more like a Texas high school field. In 2007, the stadium name was changed from Groves Field after the school and BB&T, an American investment bank, reached a 10-year deal. It makes sense – BB&T is located in Winston-Salem, NC, the home of the Demon Deacons. But the partnership reportedly is part of a larger deal, which seeks to generate funds to renovate the stadium.The school has just over 4,000 undergraduates – small in comparison to other behemoth BCS schools – so the stadium seems to scale for the school. Just not for the ACC.
7. Martin Stadium (Washington State)
The strangest thing about Martin Stadium has been the reduction in its capacity after a 2006 renovation. It now holds 35,117, more than 2,000 less seats than after a previous renovation in 1979. Needless to say, it’s the smallest stadium, capacity-wise, in the Pac-12. It’s probably better off that way. The Cougars are 5-32 in their last three seasons and haven’t been to a bowl game since 2003. But Martin Stadium certainly does nothing to inspire them. Most of the venue is filled with metal benches and doesn’t have a traditional upper deck.
6. Memorial Stadium (Kansas)
Kansas provides an example of football playing second fiddle to a storied basketball program. Something tells us that Phog Allen Fieldhouse could be triple its size and fans would still pack it to the rafters. The football stadium, on the other hand, holds just over 50,000 fans and doesn’t have the feel of a top-end Big 12 program, or any Big 12 program for that matter. Sure, the Jayhawks have struggled on the gridiron over the years and are trying to build under coach Turner Gill. But Memorial Stadium, a stadium from the 1920s with its open-air, horseshoe-style, needs a shot in the arm.
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