Football is the most popular sport in the United States, resulting in the biggest stadiums in the US being used by teams competing in the NCAA or NFL.
Let’s check out the largest stadiums in the United States by seating capacity, many of which started remarkably humble compared to the huge arenas they became.
1. Michigan Stadium
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Capacity: 107,601
Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the US by seating capacity and the third-largest stadium in the world as well. That’s why it is nicknamed “The Big House,” a reference to the enormous structure it has become. It’s the home venue of the Wolverines, the football team of the University of Michigan.
It’s one of the stadiums in Michigan that remarkably didn’t have the humble beginnings as most stadiums in this list as it already had a seating capacity of 72,000 when it was first constructed in 1927. It was briefly larger as well between 2010 and 2015 as it had a capacity of 109,901 back then.
2. Beaver Stadium
- Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
- Capacity: 106,572
Beaver Stadium is only slightly smaller than Michigan Stadium and is the 4th largest stadium in the world. It’s the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, the football team of the Pennsylvania State University, and has been since the year 1960.
The huge stadium in Pennsylvania had two predecessors and New Beaver Field was moved to its current location in 1960. The stadium had a capacity of just 46,284 seats back then and was expanded multiple times the following decades, resulting in a capacity of well over 100,000 seats today.
3. Ohio Stadium
- Location: Columbus, Ohio
- Capacity: 102,780
Ohio Stadium is located on the campus of the Ohio State University and is the home venue of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. It’s nicknamed ‘The Horseshoe” or “The House that Harley Built,” the first being a reference to its distinctive shape.
The original version of the stadium in Ohio was completed in the year 1922 and had a seating capacity of 66,210. The first of the many expansion phases that brought the capacity of the stadium to over 100,000 seats was completed in the early 21st century.
4. Kyle Field
- Location: College Station, Texas
- Capacity: 102,733
Kyle Field is located on the campus of Texas A&M University and is the home venue of the Texas A&M Aggies football team. The first stadium in this location has been present since 1904 but the first concrete stadium was only built in 1927 with a capacity of just 32,890 seats.
Two expansion phases completed in 2014 and 2015 raised the capacity of this magnificent sports temple in Texas to well over 100,000 spectators for the first time, a sheer contrast to the one meager stand that once occupied this space in the early 20th century.
5. Neyland Stadium
- Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
- Capacity: 102,455
Neyland Stadium is not only one of the biggest stadiums in the US but in our opinion also one of the most beautiful ones. It’s the home venue of the Tennessee Volunteers football team ad is situated right next to the Tennessee River in Knoxville.
The stadium in Tennessee was originally constructed in 1921 and was named the Shields–Watkins Field, a name that was subsequently given to the playing surface. It has been expanded an astounding 16 times throughout its history and eventually became the 5th-largest stadium in the US and 7th-largest in the world.
6. Tiger Stadium
- Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Capacity: 102,321
Tiger Stadium is located on the campus of the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and has been the home of the LSU Tigers football team since its completion in 1924. Back then, the stadium only had a capacity of 12,000 spectators, quite humble indeed.
This means that the stadium in Louisiana has undergone multiple expansion phases throughout its history, including one that was completed in 2014 to bring the capacity to an amazing 102,331 spectators. This makes it the 6th-largest stadium in the US and 8th-largest in the world.
7. Darryl K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Capacity: 100,119
The Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is located on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin and is the home venue of the Longhorns football team. It has been since the completion of the stadium in 1924, a time it only had a capacity of 27,000 spectators.
The stadium was quickly transformed into a horseshoe design in the year 1926 with a capacity of 40,500. It was expanded multiple times and a scheduled expansion in the south end-zone is bound to increase the capacity of the stadium further in 2021-2022.
8. Bryant-Denny Stadium
- Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Capacity: 100,077
Bryant-Denny Stadium is located on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It’s the home of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team and has been since its completion in the year 1929, a time it featured just 12,000 seats.
The stadium in Alabama was originally referred to as the Denny Stadium in honor of the school president between 1912 and 1932. It was changed to Bryant-Denny Stadium in honor of Paul “Bear” Bryant, a legendary football coach who still coached the team in a stadium bearing his name.
9. Sanford Stadium
- Location: Athens, Georgia
- Capacity: 95,723
Sanford Stadium is located on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. It’s the home of the Georgia Bulldogs football team and has been since its completion in the year 1930. The stadium originally had a seating capacity of just 30,000 spectators.
The stadium was only recently named the “Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium” in honor of Vince Dooley, a long-time Bulldogs head coach, and athletic director. Apart from the remarkable architectural design of the stadium, it’s also described as having the “best, loudest, and most intimidating atmosphere” during football games.
10. Cotton Bowl
- Location: Dallas, Texas
- Capacity: 92,100
The Cotton Bowl is the only stadium in this list with the biggest stadiums in the US that isn’t located on the campus of a university. It’s located in Fair Park, a recreational complex just east of downtown Dallas that is the venue of the yearly State Fair of Texas.
This is also the reason why the stadium officially opened as the Fair Park Stadium in the year 1930, a time it had a capacity of 45,507. It was renamed Cotton Bowl in the year 1936 and just like all the other stadiums on this list, was expanded several times throughout its history, even though it doesn’t have a permanent home team.