2018 ACC Football Stadium Fan Experience Ratings
The Atlantic Coast Conference used to be known as just a “basketball conference,” but league members Clemson University and Florida State University have put that notion to rest with a set of National Football Championships.
Now that the 2018 regular season has concluded, we are pleased to release our 2018 ACC Football Stadium Fan Experience Rankings. We had a very competitive year, with several schools earning identical scores. The ratings are determined by our FANFARE system, which score venues on seven fan experience-related factors. (* Notre Dame was not included in these rankings as it does not play a full ACC football schedule.)
We know these ratings will cause lots of discussion amongst the various ACC fan bases, and we invite you to use the Rate It button at the bottom of each full review to provide us with your ratings of each ACC stadium you have been to. Enjoy the off season !
In first place:
Doak Campbell Stadium takes our top spot with high scores for its many traditions including Warpaint delivering the spear into the 50-yard line, the Seminole War Chant and the statue of Chief Osceola outside of the stadium. Also adding to the high score are recent physical improvements to the stadium itself, and a stellar set of food offerings at its concession stands.
We had a three-way tie for second place:
Death Valley offers some of the most memorable football experiences in the country. Howard’s Rock and the “Run Down the Hill” make Memorial Stadium the place to be on a Saturday in the South. Clemson also scores well for its lovely college town environment just across the street from the stadium
Carter-Finley Stadium is an often-underrated venue in the ACC. The Wolfpack tend to enjoy that, as they often play the role of the “spoiler” by pulling off a major upset nearly every season. We know you will have one “howl” of a good time while visiting Raleigh!
The Panthers are one of two teams sharing a stadium with an NFL team. Pitt does a wonderful job of giving Heinz Field a college vibe, with a pre-game parade, alumni gatherings and an entire section of the Great Hall inside the stadium focused on the history of Panther football. It also scores highly for its dramatic views of the Three Rivers and downtown Pittsburgh.
We also had a two-way tie between the two Techs for fifth place:
There is nothing Hokie about Lane Stadium’s high rating. The home of the Hokies is one of the toughest venues in the country for visitors to come out of with a win. The fans are amongst the loudest in the ACC. Lane Stadium’s architecture blends in seamlessly with the Virginia Tech campus, as it is constructed of the same cut stone as the academic buildings surrounding it.
Bobby Dodd Stadium is one of the oldest college stadiums in the country, dating back more than a century. However, it has one of the most modern backdrops in the country in the Atlanta downtown skyline. Traditions such as the Ramblin’ Wreck, one of the best college fight songs ever and the highly regarded Buzz mascot earn the North Avenue Technical School a high grade
We have a two-way tie for our seventh slot:
Louisville is one of the newest members of the ACC, and their up-tempo offense is filling the stands at Cardinal Stadium. It has gone through two expansions since joining the conference. The stadium earns high marks for its proximity to many of the city of Louisville’s top attractions and dining attractions. Make sure you check out the Hot Brown while in town!
Wallace Wade Stadium recently went through its first major renovation/upgrade in 87 years. This has raised the fan experience rating considerably. The Blue Devils may not be big winners on the football field, but its’ facilities are now much more competitive with its Research Triangle neighbors
Coming in ninth is:
The atmosphere at games in Charlottesville is what sets UVA apart. Expect students at Mr. Jefferson’s university to dress up rather than down on game days as football is a social occasion of the highest order. The school is certainly not Cavalier about its traditions, as the band at the University is not your “traditional” college band, as it is noted for its unique halftime shows. The Good Ole Song after each UVA score has Scott Stadium swaying and singing in unison.
We had a two-way tie for the 10th position:
Kenan Stadium is noted for both its stunning architecture and its natural setting on the UNC campus. The trees surrounding the stadium give it a much more pastoral setting than its competitors. Downtown Chapel Hill is just across Franklin Street from the campus and is regarded as one of the top college towns in the nation.
The Canes are back on the upswing in the college football wars over the last few years, bringing back the school’s fan base. Hard Rock Stadium has also helped to improve the fan experience with its wide selection of Latin foods and the addition of a canopy at the top of the stadium to protect fans from the South Florida heat and frequent heavy rains. The one drawback to the arrangement is that the stadium is more than an hour’s drive from the school’s Coral Gables campus.
BB&T Stadium is the smallest football venue in the ACC, with a capacity of 40,000. The intimate setting means there is not a bad seat in the house. It raises its ratings with a superior food concessions program, beautiful architecture in its stadium design and lawn seating for fans on Deacon Hill.
And we finish with a tie for 13th place:
Boston College is the lone New England-based school in the ACC. The vibe is much more subdued than at the stadiums in the South. Being located near Boston puts BC in competition with the very successful professional sports teams in Beantown. Attendance at Eagles’ games is heavily dependent on who the opposition is.
The Orange are the northernmost outpost of the ACC. It is the only school in the conference that plays in a domed stadium, a necessity considering the often-harsh weather conditions in Upstate New York late in the season. This works to the home team’s advantage, as they are used to playing in the unique environment of playing in a dome environment, where fielding a punt or kickoff against the backdrop of a roof can be very different. The structure also traps in and amplifies the crowd noise, making the Carrier Dome a very loud place to play.
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