Football fans may filter into the Alamodome to root on the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners, but they're probably not cheering for the stadium itself.
Based in part on online reviews, the Alamodome ranks as the third worst stadium in college football, according to a new list from personal finance website MoneyWise. The website weighed other factors, such as gameday attendance, to rate college football stadiums in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
MoneyWise flags the 64,000-seat Alamodome for the vast number of empty seats at many UTSA home football games and for poor views of the field from numerous vantage points. “I probably would have been better off watching the game at home,” quotes MoneyWise of one Roadrunners fan.
The only venues that scored lower rankings than the Alamodome on MoneyWise’s list are the University of Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium in Honolulu (No. 2) and Vanderbilt University’s Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville (No. 1).
In 2010, when the City of San Antonio approved a contract for UTSA to play football at the Alamodome, the university’s athletics director praised it as “one of the best football stadiums in the country.” UTSA’s football team debuted in 2011.
MoneyWise isn’t alone in its critique of the Alamodome. News website MSN.com grades the 26-year-old venue as the worst football stadium in Texas, and the Bleacher Report sports website cites it as one of the 25 “dumbest” stadiums ever built. The City of San Antonio built the stadium, which opened in 1993, at a cost of $186 million.
UTSA can take some solace in the fact that it’s not the only college football stadium in Texas to be penalized by MoneyWise. The website also tackles Rice University’s Rice Stadium in Houston and the University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium in Denton as two of the 40 worst stadiums in college football.
On MoneyWise’s scoreboard of shame, Rice Stadium lands at No. 7. The website notes that the Owls play in a 47,000-seat stadium that’s often half-empty, making for a less-than-thrilling gameday experience.
“The stadium dates back to 1950, and its upper bowl, in particular, has been poorly maintained. Fans say upgrades are long overdue,” MoneyWise says of the home of the Rice Owls.
Meanwhile, MoneyWise isn’t so nice to Apogee Stadium, home of UNT’s Mean Green. The stadium fields a No. 31 ranking among the worst stadiums in college football.
The stadium, which opened in 2011, suffers from lackluster attendance and frustrating gameday parking, according to MoneyWise. UNT “has struggled to find its footing in the venue,” the website says.