Dienhart: My Big Ten stadium rankings

Nebraska at Ohio State

Athlon Sports has another awesome list. This time, the Nashville-based company ranks the Big Ten stadiums.

Yes, it’s a highly subjective list. No shock to see Ohio Stadium on top, followed by Penn State’s Beaver Stadium and Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. And it was good to see Wisconsin’s Camp Randall No. 4 over Michigan Stadium. But there are a few things I would tweak.

Here are my Big Ten stadium rankings:

1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State: Loud, proud and crammed in. No place like it.
2. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska: No fan base has more passion or dedication.
3. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin: The most raucous venue in the league.
4. Beaver Stadium, Penn State: Not a pretty structure but huge.
5. Michigan Stadium, Michigan: An unrivaled sea of people, but not a lot of volume.
6. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa: No edifice packs as much noise in as tight of a stadium.
7. Spartan Stadium, Michigan State: The double-deck configuration can be intimidating.
8. Ross-Ade Stadium, Purdue. Great sight lines—and can be surprisingly loud.
9. Memorial Stadium, Illinois: Recent renovations have made this a much better venue.
10. TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota: A sparkling on-campus stadium—with room to grow.
11. Ryan Field, Northwestern: As the Wildcats have gotten better, this place has gotten more intimidating—at least a bit.
12. Memorial Stadium, Indiana: The school has invested in the stadium—and it shows.

How would you rank the stadiums? Feel free to post your list in the comment section below.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (27 Comments)
Jonathan on 6/17/2013 @ 11:38am EDT Said:

1) Ohio Stadium 2) Nebraska Memorial Stadium 3) Camp Randall 4) Michigan Stadium 5) Beaver Stadium

Doug on 6/17/2013 @ 12:31pm EDT Said:

Tom hit the nail on the head. Michigan Stadium might be the biggest, but is sure isn’t the loudest. I’ve been told that by several visiting teams fans. I like the order of your stadiums Tom, nice job.

cheddardavis on 6/17/2013 @ 12:45pm EDT Said:

Indiana may not have the best football team or even the biggest stadium, but the stadium is absolutely beautiful. It’s carved from limestone, the front has amazing-looking glass and stone towers and it’s an amazing stadium. I’ve attended games at both Ross-Ade and Ryan field and Indiana easily has a better stadium. I’ve never been to TCF Bank or Illinois Memorial stadium, but from pictures and things I’ve seen, IU’s looks much nicer

shookwriter27 on 6/17/2013 @ 1:07pm EDT Said:

Illinois’ Memorial Stadium isn’t finished yet.

common Sense on 6/17/2013 @ 2:31pm EDT Said:

Doug you need to appreciate the big house a lot more than that if you want to share the view with Brandstatter from the box. Show more respect for the big house if you want to watch a game there.

Doug on 6/17/2013 @ 4:11pm EDT Said:

Dhani, it’s not my fault over 100,000 people can be so amazingly quiet…

I can’t stand Brandstatter the Spartan traitor, why on earth would I want to sit next to him?

K. John on 6/17/2013 @ 4:27pm EDT Said:

#1, Beaver Stadium, period. Anyone that says anything else is biased, delusional, a liar or simply hasn’t been there (or has been told not to rank Penn State tops in anything by their boss). No Big Ten Stadium can compete. End of story.

common Sense on 6/17/2013 @ 4:55pm EDT Said:

Because you also get to sit next to Beckman, Beckman hates Sparty for the game that was stolen by the clockkeeper in 2001, he still tells everyone how that game was stolen.

Hans67 on 6/17/2013 @ 10:24pm EDT Said:

Beckmann says a lot of things that aren’t true, but Spartan fans will be forever grateful for his “Thievery, Jim, thievery.”

Paul on 6/17/2013 @ 10:28pm EDT Said:

Hey K. John, enough with the crazy conspiracy stuff, you Penn state folk never shut up about how much everyone is out to get you guys. Give it a rest. Makes you look weak

Bryant on 6/18/2013 @ 7:45am EDT Said:

Beaver Stadium = erector set
Who designed that thing anyway?!

John on 6/18/2013 @ 8:35am EDT Said:

1 I think psu is number 2 in the bigten behind osu. An Paul if u look at the last few months u would understand y we feel like we’re hated. I live in Chicago and when I wear my psu shirt I get the dirtiest looks. Also diehard hates on psu all the time, I think this is the first time I seem him put psu in his top 5 anything

turney333 on 6/18/2013 @ 12:19pm EDT Said:

Beaver Stadium is the Elephant Man of stadiums…

David on 6/18/2013 @ 12:20pm EDT Said:

Why is the loudest stadium considered the best one. I’ve been to the Horseshoe, Beaver Stadium and Camp Randall. Those are not friendly destinations for visiting fans. Michigan Stadium and Memorial Stadium (UNL’s) are not like that at all. Noise is, sad to say imperishably, overrated. Brotherhood, knowledgeability, uniquity, pomp, and tradition are eminently underrated. If you aren’t a Badger or Nittany Lion, there’s zero chance visiting Camp Randall or Beaver Stadium yields a better experience than visiting Michigan Stadium.

Otis Pit on 6/18/2013 @ 12:21pm EDT Said:

Last year I attended the Horseshoe and UNL Memorial on consecutive weeks. I was awed by the OSU spectacle…..and OMG, that Band!!! The size, the shape. What I didn’t expect was to have the same feelings in Lincoln the next week….its a fabulous place, gorgeous really……and OMG, that Band as well. And that crowd!!! And those colors.
All of these stadiums are wonderful in some way, but there is a magic in those two that is hard to match.

David on 6/18/2013 @ 12:21pm EDT Said:

There’s no way three of the four best stadiums in this conference are ones you wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing your child to.

letsgost8 on 6/18/2013 @ 12:29pm EDT Said:

After reading enough of these rankings I finally figured out Dienhart’s methodology for ranking Penn State. Take where they should be and bump them down 2-3 spots.

Badger Dave on 6/18/2013 @ 1:15pm EDT Said:

I’ve been to them all and you can make some minor changes, but Tom’s top 4 are the top 4. The next 3 are the next 3 and bottom 4 are the bottom 4. Sorry Michigan fans but your number 5 at best. My top 4

Wisconsin (Homer vote)
Penn State

John D. on 6/18/2013 @ 1:36pm EDT Said:

Penn State fans are the worst. More conspiracy than Sparty.

Jason on 6/18/2013 @ 2:02pm EDT Said:

#1 PSU by far. It is huge and you can see every inch of the field.
I went to a NEB game last year and sat on the 40 yard line on the first level. Because of the second level, I could only see 2/3 of the field. They make you watch a tv monitor attached under the upper level…what a waste!

doug moore on 6/18/2013 @ 2:21pm EDT Said:

Tom is Tom..such a “man-crush” on Taylor or anything with Corn..Oh well! Tom is also so persceptive he can differentiate a passionate Badger or Cornhusker fan from a Lion, Buckeye or any other fan. And the “left-handed” compliment to huge Beaver Stadium (ignore the 25,000 students). Were all fanatics who, like our teams, are ready to “defend our house”..I would expect nothing less! Cheddar wants points for pretty..cool! Ill defer to a B1G QB great (Kurt Cousins) who got to experience these “cathedrals” from the most challenging perspective & agree..BEAVER STADIUM is #1!

Doug on 6/18/2013 @ 4:10pm EDT Said:

Beckman and Brandstatter, the 2 worst announcers in the history of college fooball


Mike on 6/18/2013 @ 5:46pm EDT Said:

TCF is clearly one of the top four stadiums in the conference. Camp Randall looks like a hideous erector set and absolutely does not belong in the top half of the conference. This is a terrible list. Very disappointed in Dienhart

Brutus on 6/19/2013 @ 12:12am EDT Said:

I worked at Ohio Stadium for six seasons and got to see some big games from the field level (USC in 09, Miami in 10, Wisconsin in 11, Michigan every other year, even when they weren’t very good). In that stadium, especially during those big games. To be fair, I have never seen a game in any of the other Big Ten stadiums, but being in the ‘Shoe is quite an experience. I may be biased (and by that, I mean i’m insanely biased), but Ohio Stadium is quite amazing. When the big renovation happened back in 1999-2001, they really enhanced the stadium, yet kept so much of the original style. For example, all of the columns that used to be the outer wall of the stadium are still clearly seen inside the concourse. The rotunda at the North end was kept completely intact. Rant over.

Ace on 6/19/2013 @ 2:15am EDT Said:

1. Beaver Stadium (PSU) 2. The Big House (UM) 3. The Horse shoe (OSU) 4. Memorial Stadium (NEB) 5. Camp Randall (WISC)

doug moore on 6/21/2013 @ 7:29pm EDT Said:

to Paul….when ever you stand-up to the irrational, illogical, misguided, small-minded who care little about facts & of justice you are never weak! your comment appears to be about more than stadiums…fine! Yes, Lions need to continue to roar in the classroom as well as the field of play….11 conference titles (8 B!G) out of 31 teams, only OSU & M also field 30+…very high grad rates…Learfield top 5…! NC (Wrestling)…THATS NOT WEAK…GO LIONS!

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