When the Yale Bowl first opened in 1914, it was the largest stadium in the world. Today, that's not the case. But the historic venue still stands as one of the largest capacity stadiums in FCS football.
Nissan Stadium (69,143) leads the list of primary home stadiums, as of now, after Tennessee State played all four of its home games in 2021-22 at the multi-purpose stadium, with on-campus Hale Stadium under renovation. Tennessee State will return to Hale Stadium for its 2022 home opener, but has not determined how many other games will be played there this upcoming season. TSU will play at least two of its other four home games at Nissan Stadium.
MORE STADIUM HISTORY: The 25 biggest FBS college football stadiums in the nation | 10 oldest venues
Below are the 25 biggest stadiums that serve as primary settings for FCS football teams in the 2023-24 season. Capacity numbers were taken here from NCAA.org.
|1||Tennessee State^||Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)||68,798|
|2||Yale||Yale Bowl (New Haven, Conn.)||61,446|
|3||Jackson State^||Mississippi Memorial Stadium (Jackson, Miss.)||60,492|
|4||Pennsylvania||Franklin Field (Philadelphia, Pa.)||52,953|
|5||Harvard||Harvard Stadium (Boston, Mass.)||30,323|
|6||Norfolk State||William Dick Price Stadium (Norfolk, Va.)||30,000|
|7||Southern U.||A.W. Mumford Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)||28,500|
|8||Princeton||Powers Field at Princeton Stadium (Princeton, N.J.)||27,800|
|9||Alabama State||New ASU Stadium (Montgomery, Ala.)||26,500|
|10||Montana||Washington-Grizzly Stadium (Missoula, Mont.)||25,200|
|11||Florida A&M||Bragg Memorial Stadium (Tallahassee, Fla.)||25,500|
|12||Tarleton State||Memorial Stadium (Stephenville, Texas)||25,200|
|13||Holy Cross||Fitton Field (Worcester, Mass.)||23,500|
|14||Alcorn State||Jack Spinks Field (Lorman, Miss.)||22,500|
|15||Texas Southern||Shell Energy Stadium (Houston, Texas)||22,039|
|16||South Carolina State||Oliver C. Dawson Stadium (Orangeburg, S.C.)||22,000|
|T-17||Cornell||Schoellkopf Field (Ithaca, N.Y.)||21,500|
|T-17||North Carolina A&T||Truist Stadium (Greensboro, N.C.)||21,500|
|19||Sacramento State||Hornet Stadium (Sacramento, Calif.)||21,195|
|T-20||Alabama A&M||Louis Crews Stadium (Normal, Ala.)||21,000|
|21||Montana State||Bobcat Stadium (Bozeman, Mont.)||20,767|
|22||Chattanooga||Finley Stadium-Davenport Field (Chattanooga, Tenn.)||20,668|
|23||Youngstown State||Stambaugh Stadium (Youngstown, Ohio)||20,650|
|T-24||Brown||Brown Stadium (Providence, RI)||20,000|
|T-24||Eastern Kentucky||Roy Kidd Stadium (Richmond, Kentucky)||20,000|
4 FCS stadium facts worth knowing:
- The Yale Bowl was the first-ever bowl-shaped football stadium with seating completely around the field, paving way for the designs of the Rose Bowl and other classic stadiums. The largest recorded attendance at the Yale Bowl is 80,000, coming on Nov. 3, 1923 against Army.
- Nissan Stadium has the largest seat capacity among primary and secondary FCS home venues. Tennessee State usually plays two home games here, sharing the facility with the NFL's Tennessee Titans, and the four remaining home games at Hale Stadium (15,000). Nissan Stadium was Tennessee State's primary home in 2021, however, with Hale Stadium under renovation.
- One particular program's absence stands out among the 20K group. North Dakota State, winner of seven of the last eight FCS titles and owner of one the best home field advantages, has a capacity of approximately 18,700 at the Fargodome. NDSU finished fifth in the FCS with an average 2019 home attendance of 17,440.
- Toyota Stadium, in Frisco, Texas, has hosted the FCS championship every year since 2010. The main home of MLS' FC Dallas fits 20,500 for the FCS national championship game.