In my time with The Daily Pennsylvanian, I was able to cover three Ivy League football seasons, and received the rare opportunity to visit all eight of the conference's football stadiums. Now, with my final season as a student in the books, it feels only fitting to rank the stadiums from best to worst. In my rankings, I will focus on how well-suited they are to host college football games in the present day, with a reduced emphasis on historic aspects.
8. Schoellkopf Field - Cornell Big Red
Coming in last on a list in the Ivy League is nothing new for Cornell. The vast majority of this stadium's 21,500 seats are located on one sideline, giving it a lopsided, aesthetically displeasing look. Additionally, the stadium lacks barriers behind the end zones, giving it a very open feel. On the plus side, it is located conveniently on campus.
7. Wien Stadium - Columbia Lions
Located at the northern tip of Manhattan, the Lions' home since 1984 takes the seventh spot. Featuring a surprisingly scenic view from the top stands, the stadium is by no means a bad spot to take in a game, but the concrete feel of its facade is not particularly appealing to the eyes. That and its long distance from Columbia's campus and the rest of New York City keep it towards the bottom of this list.
6. Harvard Stadium - Harvard Crimson
The U-shaped arena where the Crimson have hosted games for nearly 120 years makes the casual stroller feel they have been transported from Cambridge to ancient Athens in just five minutes — for better and for worse. While certainly boasting a classical feel, the amenities are also reminiscent of antiquity, as the stadium has seemingly not been upgraded since the forward pass. For all its downfalls (not to mention the unheated, wet press box), 30,000 fans still squeeze in every other year for the Yale game.
5. Memorial Field - Dartmouth Big Green
Dartmouth is in the opposite situation of Harvard; the stadium has been greatly renovated and feels very sleek and modern, but lacks the historical feel that is so typical of the conference. It is similar to the massive high school football stadiums that are so popular in Texas. Overall, it’s a great place to watch a game, but something seems missing.
4. Yale Bowl - Yale Bulldogs
Taking in a game at the Yale Bowl is certainly a unique experience. A well-kept relic of the past, 60,000 can fit into just one level of seating, with dozens of tunnels serving as entrances and exits. The slanted grass ring that encloses only adds to its mystique. Being over a mile from the university is certainly a downside, but it's worth the trip from campus and much farther.
3. Brown Stadium - Brown Bears
Although boasting architecture similar to its counterparts at Cornell and Columbia, Brown Stadium beats them out with its gameday atmosphere — easily the best in the Ivy League. From an array of food trucks to a beer garden and several tailgates, the environment here feels how college football should. Unfortunately, because of its spot 25 minutes away from campus and the student body’s overall athletic apathy, few students attend. However, those in the stands seem to have a great time.
2. Franklin Field - Penn Quakers
While the stadium does have by far the most history in the Ivy League, Franklin Field sometimes feels too proud of its own history to remember that it’s in the present. Additionally, its NFL capacity is far too much for the audience it regularly draws, and the empty seats leave a defeating aura at Penn games. With that said, it is a beautiful structure that well represents Penn and Philadelphia as a whole, and its prime location next to the Palestra cements its status. Bonus points for the toast-throwing.
1. Princeton Stadium - Princeton Tigers
The newest stadium in the Ivy League, it wouldn’t be hard to mistake it for a miniature NFL arena. Decked out from top to bottom, the building stands as a bright symbol of Princeton’s overall incredible athletic facilities. The press box almost feels more like an elegant casino viewing room. But despite this modernity, the stadium’s architecture still feels timeless. It was built on the location of its predecessor, Palmer Stadium, and more than does it justice. Located right on campus, there isn’t much more you can ask for from an Ivy League football stadium.
BRANDON PRIDE is a Wharton senior studying finance from Morgan Hill, Calif. who served as Sports Editor for the 137th Board. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.