We've ranked their coaches, so why not their stadiums?
As Utah moves to the Pac-12, the first thing fans will notice is just how much larger the football stadiums will be.
In our old conference, the smallest stadium was the 33,500 War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyoming. Now, it's the 37,600 Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington - which is larger than two Mountain West stadiums and roughly the same size as New Mexico's.
The largest, of course, will be the Coliseum - which seats a staggering 93,607.
Quite the step up.
So not only will Utah be playing in front of larger crowds, they'll also be playing in more historic stadiums with histories that trump much of anything seen in the Mountain West.
What stadium is the best, though? It's hard to pick because I think there are some fine facilities in the conference all around. That's why I'm going to rate them all in a few categories instead of just one overall category and from there, hopefully we can extract the answer. The rankings after the jump...
- Fan quality - Is the stadium almost always packed? Are the fans loud?
- Stadium quality - Is the facility in need of repair or is it state-of-the-art?
- Student section - You've gotta have a good student section in college football, right?
- Stadium tradition - Has the stadium seen some of college football's greatest moments?
- Stadium surroundings - What's the area like surrounding the stadium? Is there a spectacular view?
So, the rankings...
|Stadium||Fan Quality||Stadium Quality||Student Section||Stadium Tradition||Stadium Surroundings||Average|
|Sun Devil Stadium||8||10||6||3||5||6.4|
Based on the average ranking, here's how the Pac-12 stadiums break down:
- Autzen Stadium
- Husky Stadium
- Folsom Field
- Rice-Eccles Stadium
- Arizona Stadium
- Sun Devil Stadium
- L.A. Coliseum
- Rose Bowl
- Reser Stadium
- Martin Stadium
- Stanford Stadium
Now obviously this is all subjective on my part and you may disagree with the placement of stadiums in their respective rankings. I should point out that while I might've ranked the Rose Bowl at 9th in fan quality, it's not necessarily because I think they're awful fans. In fact, I'd wager there is minimal difference between 6th and 9th.
What I do know is that the Rose Bowl has a lot of history and a great location, but the stadium itself is so massive and the Bruins rarely sell out (they averaged 60,376 in 2010 - 30,000 or so less than capacity) that as a Pac-12 stadium, and not as a Rose Bowl game stadium, it comes up short.
I feel like I was overly hard on Stanford. Maybe I was and I think they've definitely got the nicest stadium in the conference due to its relative youth, but their fans? Well let's just say they averaged 10,000-less than capacity during arguably the best season in school history.
I don't really think I need to defend the top-level stadiums, since we all knew Autzen would rank first due to its intimidating fans and overall quality of the stadium. Husky Stadium is one of my favorites in the conference with its great view of Lake Washington and though it's in dire need of renovation, the fans are some of the loudest and most impressive in the conference.
But I'd like to hear what you think. Am I way off on these rankings? Could be. Where would you rank each stadium?