Earlier this week Washington and Michigan met for the national championship. Coincidentally, they also ended up as Stadium Journey's choices for the best game day experience in all of college football. This time, the Huskies took home the title. Not a bad consolation prize...
Stadium Journey's team of correspondents have visited all 133 Football Bowl Subdivision stadiums, criss-crossing the continent to give you, our readers, the information about what a game day looks like at each and every college football stadium in the country.
Stadiums are ranked according to Stadium Journey's patented FANFARE rating scale, which takes into account a venue's food and beverage options, game day atmosphere, surrounding neighborhood, fan support, access (both inside and outside the stadium), return on investment and an extra category for anything that doesn't fall in the other categories. When two or more stadiums receive the same score, a Stadium Journey Council of Elders is consulted to break the ties. To view the complete review, just click on the link below the photos of each stadium.
The resulting list is sure to produce some discussion among college football diehards. That's OK, we can take it. We actually encourage you to visit our social media channels to take part in the discussion.
Without further ado, we're proud to present our 2023 ranking of the 25 best game day experiences in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Aaron Terry - There are lots of college football stadiums, but a trip to Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA should definitely be on every fan’s bucket list. It is hard to top the setting and the energy here.
Paul Swaney - There is no doubt that a trip to Michigan Stadium belongs in any list of the best stadium experiences in college football, the United States, North America, or worldwide. Come to Ann Arbor and see what the Big House is all about.
Aaron Terry - The renovations to Williams Stadium are long since complete, and the team has really proven itself since moving to FBS. Tthe experience here is pretty close to top notch and should only get better with time.
David Welch - While the primary draw to Alabama football certainly is the championship level of play, the overall experience is bolstered by everything associated with the game-day experience. You do not have to be an Alabama football fan to realize how special the Alabama Crimson Tide football experience is.
Sean MacDonald - Ohio Stadium is doubtless one of the top experiences for a sports traveler. College football home games are truly events and if you haven’t been to one of the football stadiums in the Big Ten, consider Ohio State as the perfect place to start.
Aaron Terry - The chance to see Power 5 college football, at a budget-friendly facility like Autzen Stadium, and one that is so easy to move around, should not be missed. In addition, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to visit, and you can find plenty to do in Eugene while you are here.
Gregory Koch - James Madison was one of the top venues in all of FCS. This has always been an FBS-quality stadium, and since the move to the next level, it has gotten the chance to show why. The Dukes have one of the best atmospheres in the country and some of the best fans.
David Welch - Clemson is one of the top game-day atmospheres in college football. Even in years when a championship season might not be realized, the passion from fans and the electricity that builds up inside the stadium leading to kickoff creates a one-of-a-kind college football experience.
David Welsh - The amount of tradition connected to University of Georgia football goes such a long way in making the game experience one of the best in the county.
Eric Moreno - Being a proud, native Texan, I freely admit I have a predisposition to all things orange – especially those of the burnt orange variety. However, I think any college football fan will admit upon their visit to Austin and Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium that it is truly one of the great palaces of the sport.
Aaron Terry - Watching an OU football game at Gaylord Family–Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening; this is college football at its finest. Come join 80,000 of your closest friends for a game here, and make time to check out the town of Norman; I guarantee you it will be good time.
Will Halpern - Kidd Brewer Stadium is the place to be on Saturday in Western North Carolina; the stadium embodies what makes Boone and Appalachian State such a great place to visit: great food, beautiful views, and passionate fans decked out in black and gold.
Chris Green - While many may not think of UCF when it comes to the best college experiences in Florida, the team has quickly turned that opinion around for fans who have entered the gates at FBC Mortgage Stadium. A growing and expanding program like UCF warrants increased interest from fans.
Michael Davis - There are many reasons that LSU is voted one of the best atmospheres in college football to watch a game, but the biggest reason is that LSU is more than a football game – for fans, students, and alumni, Death Valley on a Saturday (night) becomes a way of life.
Joseph Oakes - Lane Stadium has a great sight line no matter where you sit within the stadium and can be one of the loudest stadiums in the country at times. We wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Lane Stadium to watch the Hokies, especially a night game.
Andy Mantsch - This is a venue that you don’t want to miss. The experience is unique, memorable and full of tradition. It embodies everything that makes college football great.
Paul Hilchen - Corvallis was selected as the Best College Town In The PAC-12. There’s a lot at Reser Stadium for the avid football fan and it’s a top notch experience; good fans, good atmosphere, it is the total package.
Paul Baker - Watching an Army football game at Michie Stadium is more than just a game. It is part history lesson, part sporting event, part Fourth of July. Simply put, this is the greatest game day experience in America.
Aaron Terry - Football teams in the American Athletic Conference often get overlooked, since they aren’t in the more prestigious Group of 5. However, passing on these schools means you will miss out on some really great college football venues like this one.
Aaron Terry - Be sure to take a walk around the stadium before or after the game to see the breathtaking architecture, complete with plenty of greenery, so much so that it is easy to forget you are high in the Rocky Mountains. Also be sure to stop by the Hall of Champions to see the many trophies and other items on display.
Patricia Beninato - Yes, Acrisure Stadium is primarily associated with the Steelers, but it’s the royal blue-and-gold home of the Panthers on Pitt game days. With easy access, reasonable prices, and fun fans, those who want to experience a big-time Division 1 college football game with all it entails would do well to see a Pitt game.
Aaron Terry - Hard Rock Stadium for a Miami (FL) Hurricanes football game is a trip worth the time and expense – you will be treated to lots of great food in the stadium, a wonderful crowd, and a high-quality venue with shade from the elements.
Tamara Dooley - Unique in all of football is The Blue, the world’s first blue AstroTurf field. First installed in 1986 basically as a way to make Boise State stand out during their days in Division 2, it has transformed into a rallying point for the Boise State team and fans.
Chris Green - If you’re looking for a high quality, high class, high excitement, and high value college football experience, look no further than Stanford Stadium. It will be hard to find a more beautiful and relaxing site for which to catch college football, and Stanford’s fans make the event even more enjoyable.
Chris Green - Though nearly every stadium in the FBS division of college football features a larger capacity for its home crowds, this is by far one of the best stadium experiences in the NCAA. Perhaps no stadium features 360-degree views that are all stunning in their way.