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Bobby Dodd Stadium
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Davis Wade Stadium
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Ole Miss Rebels
Camp Randall Stadium
Boone Pickens Stadium
Oklahoma State Cowboys
David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium
Compared to the NFL, college football often distinguishes itself with its history and pageantry. Programs often try to define themselves by their tradition and history. One interesting byproduct of that is that so many of the top programs in the country have older stadiums that have been around for decades - if not more than a century - whereas most NFL teams are always trying to one-up each other with spectacular new stadiums.
But just how old are some of the college football stadiums in the country? We decided to take a deep dive into college football history to learn more about the 10 oldest college football stadiums still being used by teams at the FBS level.
The Rose Bowl is a bit of an outlier on this list because the UCLA Bruins have only used it as their home stadium since 1982 but the stadium has been an important part of college football far longer.
The venue has been the site of the Rose Bowl Game for all but two years since 1923. Its first Rose Bowl was on January 1, 1923, just a few months after it first opened. Since then, the Rose Bowl has been the site of many memorable college football games, not to mention a slew of other sporting events.
As long as it continues to host the Granddaddy of Them All every year, the Rose Bowl will remain an important venue in the college football landscape.
Recent history hasn’t been particularly kind to Kansas football. However, the Jayhawks still have a special place in college football history, in part because of their historic stadium.
Memorial Stadium hosted its first game on October 29, 1921, and had that name until 2017 when Kansas alum David Booth’s name was added after he spearheaded a fundraising effort to renovate the venue. While Memorial Stadium now has a more modern look and feel, it took some time.
For example, the stadium didn’t have permanent lights until 1997. However, Memorial Stadium is still filled with tons of history and plenty of character.
In September 1921, the Volunteers beat Emory & Henry in the first game played in what is now Neyland Stadium.
At the time, the stadium was known as Shields-Watkins Field and could only hold 3,200 people. More than a century later, the stadium is named after Robert Neyland, a longtime Tennessee coach and one of the great innovators in college football history.
More importantly, it holds over 101,000 fans and has become one of the best college football stadiums in the country for fans to visit.
While the Pacific Northwest is sometimes overlooked in college football, Husky Stadium in Seattle has been around for a long time and is one of the oldest stadiums West of the Mississippi.
The Washington Huskies have called the stadium home since November 1920. Despite being an older stadium, it was designed in a way that helps to trap crowd noise, making it one of the loudest stadiums in the country.
Husky Stadium is also situated on the shores of Union Bay, which is part of Lake Washington, giving fans some amazing views on top of being one of the few college stadiums that can be reached by boat.
For the record, T. Boone Pickens, the namesake of Oklahoma State’s football stadium, wasn’t alive when it opened in October 1920.
From 1920 to 2002, the stadium we now know as Boone Pickens Stadium was known as Lewis Field, who was an influential figure in Oklahoma State’s history as a university. When it first opened, the stadium had an 8,000-seat grandstand made of wood.
Today, the stadium welcomes more than 55,000 fans when the Cowboys play. Of course, thanks to some renovations since the turn of the century, you might not think Boone Pickens stadium is that old, especially since it has one of the biggest video boards in college football.
The site where Camp Randall sits in Madison, Wisconsin, was once used as a training ground during the Civil War; hence, it’s called Camp Randall.
As far back as 1895, the Wisconsin football team used this ground as a home with the stadium we know today first being used in November 1917. The Badgers have called in their home ever since, creating countless traditions, including the singing of “Jump Around” and the “Fifth Quarter,” which refers to a performance by the Wisconsin marching band.
It’s a truly historic stadium in an amazing college town that makes fans feel nostalgic about college football better than just about any other stadium in the country.
When the current Ole Miss football stadium opened its doors in October 1915, it was known simply as Hemingway Stadium, named for Judge William Hemingway, who taught law and oversaw the Ole Miss athletics committee.
In 1982, the name was changed to include the name of longtime coach Johnny Vaught. Thanks to a series of renovations and expansions, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has the look and feel of a more modern stadium. It even hosted its first-ever concert in April 2023, well over a century after the stadium first opened.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is also the biggest stadium in the state of Mississippi, holding 64,038 people, nearly triple its original capacity of 24,000 fans.
Most college football fans may not be familiar with Nippert Stadium, which has been hosting the Cincinnati Bearcats since 1915.
It’s a small and intimate stadium that’s nestled into the middle of the University of Cincinnati campus. In fact, there are parts of the campus where one can see almost the entire football field without needing a ticket and walking into the stadium.
Nevertheless, Nippert Stadium has withstood the test of time with help from frequent renovations and a loyal fanbase that keeps coming back.
Unfortunately for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and Ole Miss, they only have the second-oldest stadium in the state of Mississippi because Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville is even older, dating back to 1914.
Of course, for a few years, it was simply called New Athletic Field before being called Scott Field in honor of Donald Scott, an Olympian who also played for the Mississippi State football team. Eventually, the field retained the Scott name while the stadium was renamed Davis Wade Stadium in 2000 after fan and donor Floyd Davis Wade Sr. Like most older venues, Davis Wade Stadium is filled with current and former traditions, most notably the banging of cowbells, which was stopped in 2009.
Of course, with a giant video board, 50 sky boxes, and nearly 2,000 club seats, Davis Wade Stadium does a great job of having a long history while looking like a more modern venue.
Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium has the honor of being the oldest college football stadium in the country that’s still in use.
The site of the stadium has hosted football since 1905 with the stadium itself opening on September 27, 1913, when it was known as Grant Field. It wasn’t until 1988 when Bobby Dodd, the winningest football coach in Georgia Tech history, was honored by having the stadium named after him.
Regardless of its name, the stadium has been a fixture of the Atlanta skyline for well over a century. It’s also the only college football stadium that can claim that its original construction was done entirely by students of the school. After all, Georgia Tech is known as a great engineering school.
The fact that Bobby Dodd Stadium is still standing after all of this time and is still a great place to watch a college football game is proof of that.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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