Drew Cieszynski, Stadium Journey

Pac-12 Football Stadium Experience Rankings

Sep. 23 -- The football stadiums of the Pac-12 conference are among the most diverse in the country in terms of design, natural setting, climate and history. In a conference that stretches from our northern border to or southern border, the Pac-12 has membership in both large urban communities as well as more rural settings...

This ranking was done by Stadium Journey.

Many of these facilities were designed to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding them, with lakes, mountains and deserts forming the backdrop for fans to enjoy as a part of the stadium experience. The Pac-12 boasts a strong football heritage, as the conference has produced nine National Football champions, 11 Heisman Trophy winners, and sent numerous coaches and players on to careers in the NFL.

This diversity has made rating the stadiums of this 101 year old conference very difficult. To provide a fair evaluation, we utilize our FANFARE rating system, which looks at all the components of a quality fan experience. These elements include atmosphere, fan base and attitude, accessibility (traffic, parking, flow within the stadium), concessions quality and variety, return on investment, and extras… those little things that make that stadium unique compared to its peers. To read the full review for a stadium, simply click on the name of the stadium. We hope you enjoy your stadium journey to the Pac-12, and we hope you’ll share your opinions with us through the forums section.

#1 Oregon Ducks, Autzen Stadium

Oregon fans are among the elite in college football when it comes to passionate support. The stands are regularly filled with a sea of green to cheer on their feathered football flock. Autzen Stadium is also known for its almost futuristic design and its lovely setting in the Willamette Valley. A Ducks game in Eugene should be on every college football fan’s list of places to visit.

Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey

#2 Stanford Cardinal, Stanford Stadium

Stanford has had one of the most successful football programs in the NCAA over the past five years. The gameday experience at Stanford Stadium is also one of the best in the country. The stadium’s location, fan base and the overall aesthetics make for a remarkable experience in a very picturesque setting. It also disproves the theory that a top football program cannot exist hand in hand with a top notch academic environment.

#3 UCLA Bruins, Rose Bowl

Arguably the most storied stadium in all of college football, the Rose Bowl is an iconic structure to any football fan. The Rose Bowl has even been designated as a National Historic Landmark, a testament to its long and storied history. One of its few drawbacks as far as UCLA fans are concerned is that it is located more than 26 miles from the UCLA campus. Given the traffic issues in Los Angeles, it can be a long commute on a weekend afternoon. The silver lining is by arriving early you have longer to marvel in the beauty and the history of this structure.

Drew Cieszynski, Stadium Journey

#4 Colorado Buffaloes, Folsom Field

Folsom Field is nestled between Denver and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the beautiful city of Boulder. This setting is guaranteed to give you a Rocky Mountain high as it is one of the highest stadiums by elevation in the country at 5,440 feet above sea level. The architecture of the stadium will also take your breath away, as it is constructed of textured sandstone with red-tiled roofing.

Paul Donaldson, Stadium Journey

#5 USC Trojans, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has hosted the Olympics, a Super Bowl, and World Series. It is one of the oldest (1923) and most historic venues in the conference. In addition to serving as the home field for the very successful USC football program, the Coliseum has also hosted the athletic exploits of Jackie Robinson, Carl Lewis, and the Los Angeles Rams (now in their second residency at the stadium). The venue’s game day experience is also unique due the pageantry of the USC Trojan marching band and the Trojan warrior charging around the field on Traveler after a USC touchdown.

Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey

#6 Arizona Wildcats, Arizona Stadium

After a string of successful seasons on the field, new construction being completed off the field and an overall growth of excitement about the program, Arizona Stadium is becoming one of the more electric atmospheres in the Pac-12. Recent improvements have focused on improving access and flow within the stadium, upgrading the seating for greater comfort and improving game day messaging through the installation of two new video boards.

Jason Bartel, Stadium Journey

#7 Oregon State Beavers, Reser Stadium

Reser Stadium is one of the smaller venues in the Pac-12, yet it can be one of the most intimidating stadiums to play in. The Beavers have defeated a top ranked USC squad twice on visits to Corvallis and had a five game winning streak over their in-state rivals, the Oregon Ducks. The fans, known as the Beaver Nation, have played a major role in these upsets, as the volume of their cheers disrupted the visiting team’s play calling.

Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey

#8 Washington Huskies, Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium

Husky Stadium is one of the most picturesque stadiums in Division I football. Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the views are fantastic. Both the Cascade Mountains and Mt Rainier are visible from certain areas of the stadium on a clear day. Like their brethren over at CenturyLink Field, Husky fans play the role of the 12th man in generating deafening noise to disrupt the opposition’s communications.

#9 Utah Utes, Rice-Eccles Stadium

Rice-Eccles Stadium is the second Pac-12 facility that has hosted an Olympic Games. It served as the main outdoor facility for the 2002 Winter Games. One of the most unique aspects about the Ute football games is the impact MUSS has on a game’s outcome. MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section) is a student-led organization whose mission is to coordinate the student body’s support of the Ute sports teams. MUSS has been recognized as one of the top five student sections in the country by ESPN. One other unique extra following a Utes game is that anyone is allowed on the field. This allows the fans to have an unforgettable opportunity to take selfies on the field, as well as take their child out on the field for a game of pitch and catch. This small gesture really strengthens the bond between the Ute fans and their athletic teams.

#10 Cal Golden Bears, Memorial Stadium

The Bay area is known for some of the best weather in the nation and September afternoons are its specialty. Memorial Stadium offers a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay area below. It also has recently been retrofitted to withstand earthquakes, so if you feel the stadium shaking, it is due to a great play on the field, not the San Andreas Fault.

#11 Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Devil Stadium

Built in between the Tempe Buttes, Sun Devil Stadium is the perfect setting for college football in the Valley of the Sun. It also has quite the football pedigree, as it has hosted three college football National Championship Games and a Super Bowl.

#12 Washington State Cougars, Martin Stadium

Getting to Martin Stadium in Pullman can be quite a challenge due to its isolated location and ever changing weather conditions. Those who make the journey are rewarded by low ticket prices and a great party atmosphere. It is also only 10 miles from the University of Idaho, so a football double header is very doable depending on game times.

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