September 2, 2016
It’s my favorite time of the year: football season. Looking to catch a game this year at a stadium you’ve never been to? We are two weeks into the college football season, so I thought I would share some insight into the five best football stadiums I’ve visited. Maybe it will help you pick your next destination for a football road trip.
Disclaimer: I’m a huge Michigan fan. Now that we have that out of the way, this is hands down my favorite stadium in all of sports. There is nothing like sitting with more than 110,000 people at a sporting event. Up until Saturday, I was a part of the largest crowd in college football history. On September 7, 2013, I was one of the 115,109 at the first night game at the Big House against Notre Dame. There is no atmosphere like it in sports, and I highly suggest making the trip if your team travels to play Michigan.
Out of all of the stadiums on my list, this is the one I’ve only been to once. In 2006, I saw the Ohio State Buckeyes play the University of Texas in a regular season matchup of the top two ranked teams in the country. Texas is crazy about its football. The city of Austin basically stands still while the Longhorns are playing. The stadium itself was awesome, and the fans were crazy – from the tailgates, until the clock ran out in the fourth quarter. I think my favorite part of the entire trip was watching Matthew McConaughey run up and down the sidelines pumping up the crowd for his beloved team. If you’re looking for a spot in Big 12 country, I would suggest UT.
Notre Dame Stadium is a football icon. From “Touchdown Jesus” to the stadium’s tradition and Notre Dame’s historic program, you can’t keep South Bend, Indiana, off of the bucket list. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Notre Dame stadium multiple times throughout my life, and I never really appreciated the experience until I got older. Notre Dame is more than football – you go for the Irish Guard performance, you go for the team walk from the athletic complex to the stadium, you go for the tradition and the game-day experience.
Kinnick Stadium at the University of Iowa is one of the best around. People in Iowa love football, and they love their Hawkeyes. From the tailgating to the game itself, it’s truly among the best. My favorite part of Kinnick is its personal feel. When you are sitting in the stands, you feel like you’re on top of the field. It has to be one of the closest fan experiences in the country.
Growing up, I used to go to Badger games all the time. My grandpa is a huge Bucky fan, and would always make sure we went to a game or two each season. Camp Randall is fantastic. The best student section in the Big Ten, in my opinion. They must not sell tickets to the visiting team’s fans because all you see is red when you go to a game at Wisconsin. If you make the voyage to Madison, make sure you stay until the start of the fourth quarter. You don’t want to miss what is arguably one of the greatest student traditions in college football: “Jump Around.”
September 22, 2016