When you think college football, you think the SEC. When you think rabid fans, you think the SEC. And when you think of big stadiums, you think the SEC.
Despite the constant bashing of the SEC from other conferences around the country, it’s hard to dispute the SEC’s dominance during the past decade. That dominance has led to more attention, which has led to more money being put into programs, which has led to bigger and better stadiums.
And when one team decides to expand its stadium, it becomes a never-ending train of everyone playing catch-up while they try to keep up with the Joneses. With all that being said, let’s take a look at how many fans each SEC school can squeeze into its stadium this fall.
14. Vanderbilt Stadium – 40,550
It’s not the biggest, most intimidating place to play a game, but when Vanderbilt gets rolling, the Commodores can have a nice atmosphere at Vanderbilt Stadium. Although Vanderbilt should be improved this fall, it remains to be seen how many fans will pack the stadium throughout the season.
13. Commonwealth Stadium – 61,000
Though some schools have been obsessed with adding more and more seats, Kentucky actually has reduced the size of Commonwealth Stadium. The Wildcats’ focus has been on making game days as fan friendly as possible, and part of that plan meant taking out some seats to make the overall experience better for loyal fans.
12. Davis Wade Stadium – 61,337
It hasn’t been long since Mississippi State bowled in one end zone, and the addition has made quite a difference in keeping in the noise that comes from upward of 50,000 cowbells clanging back and forth. That key advantage makes the stadium one of the loudest in the SEC despite being one of the smallest.
11. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – 64,038
After spending two seasons without the biggest stadium in Mississippi, Ole Miss will take back that crown this fall, as Vaught-Hemingway Stadium finally will have a complete bowl. The expansion project is ongoing and should help improve the overall experience of watching a game at Ole Miss.
10. Faurot Field – 71,168
Although things have not gone quite like Missouri had hoped lately, the Tigers are still known for putting consistent crowds together – no matter the opponent. It’s not typically thought of as the best place to watch a game, but when Missouri fans get rowdy, it’s easy to see why Faurot Field fits into the wild-and-crazy SEC.
9. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium – 72,000
Arkansas may have the most underrated stadium in the SEC, and things will only improve in the future. The Razorbacks have plans to bowl in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, and when that project is completed in the next few years, the atmosphere in Fayetteville will certainly be a sight to see.
8. Williams-Brice Stadium – 80,250
South Carolina is also among underrated environments, but, unfortunately, the Gamecocks likely won’t have a ton to cheer for in 2016. But if Will Muschamp can build a consistent winner in Columbia, fans jumping up and down to the beat of Sandstorm will shake Williams-Brice Stadium once again.
7. Jordan-Hare Stadium – 87,451
Although it’s not the biggest stadium in the conference, Jordan-Hare Stadium is still among the loudest venues in college football. Auburn’s success definitely impacts how good of an environment it is on Saturdays in the fall, but no matter the school’s record, it’s always a solid place to catch an SEC football game.
6. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – 88,548
Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is among the most unique venues in college football, and when the Gators are on a roll, it’s one of the toughest stadiums to play in. The overall pageantry of “The Swamp” makes visiting Florida high on many college football fans’ bucket list of places to see.
5. Sanford Stadium – 92,746
Speaking of tradition, seeing two SEC teams clash “Between the Hedges” is among the best sights in college football, and it’s what makes Sanford Stadium one of the country’s favorite venues. Although it’s not typically among the loudest stadiums, it’s a tough place to play for any opponent facing the Bulldogs.
4. Bryant-Denny Stadium – 101,821
Thanks to Alabama’s success during the past decade, Bryant-Denny Stadium is easily one of college football’s most iconic stadiums. Whether it’s seeing the Crimson Tide dominate an opponent or hearing Sweet Home Alabama at least 10 times in three hours, a game day in Tuscaloosa is a must for any fan.
3. Tiger Stadium – 102,321
When you think college football, it’s hard not to think of LSU’s Tiger Stadium. Everything from the old-school coliseum look you’ll see as you approach the stadium to the loud roars you’ll hear when LSU makes a big play, there’s nothing quite like catching a game in Baton Rouge. If you like loud stadiums, you’ll like Tiger Stadium.
2. Neyland Stadium – 102,455
Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium has been among the largest in college football for decades, and with the Vols picked to win the SEC East in 2016, it should be the home of one of the best atmospheres you can experience. If you’re visiting Knoxville this fall, get ready to see lots of orange and get Rocky Top stuck in your head.
1. Kyle Field – 102,733
With Texas A&M’s huge stadium renovation complete, Kyle Field became the largest SEC stadium entering 2015. Kevin Sumlin is hoping the stadium can provide a home-field advantage for his Aggies this fall and show the rest of the conference why Kyle Field is known for being the “Home of the 12th Man.”