Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Big Ten has some of the most venerable venues in college football. From Beaver Stadium to the Big House, to the Horseshoe, you’d be hard-pressed to find a conference that has more iconic venues than what you see on a weekly basis in the Big Ten.

But aside from just being legendary because of the history, some have also gotten their perception and mystique for the amount of intimidating noise emanating from their confines.

There are 14 stadiums total in the conference, and some have a reputation for ear-piercing noise while others are easier to deal with for the opposition. As such, we decided to make a list of the noisiest stadiums in the Big Ten from least noisiest to most.

Off we go.

Memorial Stadium – Illinois Fighting Illini

Ohio State football vs. Illinois staff predictions - Buckeyes WireOhio State football vs. Illinois staff predictions - Buckeyes Wire

Ohio State football vs. Illinois staff predictions – Buckeyes Wire

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Why the Ranking?

It’s been so long since Illinois has been relevant that Memorial Stadium has become an outpost. It’s hard to fill, and the acoustics don’t translate well. Maybe Bret Bielema will change things.

SHI Stadium – Rutgers Scarlet Knights

PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 19: A Rutgers fan argues a call during the third quarter at SHI Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Minnesota defeated Rutgers 42-7. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

Why the Ranking?

SHI Stadium in Piscataway is a relatively new venue, but it’s not an imposing one and the team hasn’t excited the fans very much as of late. We’ll see if Greg Schiano can re-invigorate some energy inside.

Memorial Stadium – Indiana Hoosiers

Aug 31, 2017; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers fans walk to the stadium before the game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

The fact that many fans can be seen wearing basketball jerseys to football games tells you all you need to know about the excitement of the fanbase in Bloomington when it comes to the piskin. Things have turned around a bit under Tom Allen, but it’s going to take a lot for the stadium to be packed routinely, and a real home-field advantage in play.

Ryan Field – Northwestern Wildcats

Sep 21, 2019; Evanston, IL, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive tackle Raequan Williams (99) greets fans after the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

Win or lose, with Ryan Field in Evanston being the smallest venue in the Big Ten, it just doesn’t add much to the sound equation. Rarely is going to the shores of Lake Michigan a daunting task for visitors and sometimes they invade its confines.

Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium – Maryland Rutgers

Sep 7, 2019; College Park, MD, USA; Fans cheer during the first quarter of the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Syracuse Orange at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

If you can get a full stadium in College Park, Maryland, this baby can actually light up a bit. That’s a tall order though for a program still looking to be competitive. There’s a lot of work to do.

Ross-Ade Stadium – Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue fans attempt to stay warm during the third quarter of a NCAA football game, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

Ross-Ade has its moments but they are few and far between. We’ve seen it hopping when Purdue is good in a night atmosphere, but otherwise, it’s an average venue with decibels that are more than manageable.

TCF Bank Stadium – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Nov 9, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view from the tunnel of fans on the field after the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions at TCF Bank Stadium. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

Minnesota’s home stadium actually has a lot going for it. It’s the newest venue in the league and has some shine to it. Unfortunately, it’s not known as a very hostile environment. Even a big-game atmosphere is just OK. We’ll see what happens if and when the Gophers compete for more things on a regular basis.

Spartan Stadium – Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State fans watch during the spring football game on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

There was a bit of a renaissance with the environment in East Lansing when Mark Dantonio was competing for Big Ten Championships. Unfortunately, Michigan State is still a basketball school and it has to be doing some pretty special things for the football fans to show up. That’s not been the case the last couple of years. Still, we saw the potential for about a decade. It can awaken again if things get pointed in the right direction.

Michigan Stadium – Michigan Wolverines

Michigan fans pour onto the field after the Wolverines’ 40-34 victory over Ohio State at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

We’ve seen and heard Michigan Stadium be loud and imposing. Unfortunately, it’s been a long, long time because of the state of the program. The configuration of the stadium with a large bowl format doesn’t exactly trap the sound in, and the team hasn’t given its fan base much to be excited about. The sound level should be much, much louder as the biggest and so-called baddest stadium in all of college football.

Memorial Stadium – Nebraska

Nov 24, 2017; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers fans hold up signs during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Iowa won 56-14. Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

Back in the nineties, Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska was rockin’. With the program in disrepair and lost though, it isn’t quite as intimidating and loud as it once was. Still, Nebraska fans are loyal, and they still know how to bring it no matter what the situation is.

Kinnick Stadium – Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa Hawkeyes players carry the Floyd of Rosedale trophy through a swarm of fans after a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game, Saturday, Nov., 16, 2019, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota, 23-19. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

I always felt like Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City was an underrated venue. It sits into the ground and the fans are more rabid than you think in America’s heartland. Field a decent team against a quality opponent — especially at night — and there are many louder venues around.

Camp Randall Stadium – Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badger fans rush the field at Camp Randall following the Badger victory over Ohio State. The University of Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 31-18 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison WI Saturday October 16, 2010. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

There are times in which Camp Randall is as loud as it gets. There are other times though when the noise level is simply overrated. However, with the success of the program over the last couple of decades and the frenzied crowd, this is one of the loudest stadiums in the league hands down.

Ohio Stadium – Ohio State Buckeyes

Ranking the most intimidating Big Ten college football stadiumsRanking the most intimidating Big Ten college football stadiums

Ranking the most intimidating Big Ten college football stadiums

A full house welcomes the Ohio State Buckeyes as they come onto the field before a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 24, 2005. Ohio State won 31-6. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)

Why the Ranking?

While noon games early in the year against subpar competition can see stands sitting on their hands, there’s a big game atmosphere in the ‘Shoe that goes almost unmatched. Fans are about as passionate as they come and love to get things cranked up against a solid team. It can be downright imposing and very loud if there are some things on the line.

Beaver Stadium – Penn State Nittany Lions

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the Ranking?

There simply no other stadium that can get as loud as what Beaver Stadium can get — especially at night in whiteout conditions. The roar of the student section can be deafening, making it hard for the visiting team to get play calls off. Add that to over 100,000 fans, and the stadium had a lot to do with Penn State’s upset of Ohio State in 2016. It can be a hornet’s nest and you feel pretty good coming out of Happy Valley with a win. [listicle id=51368] Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion.