Biggest High School Football Stadiums
High school football is played in all corners of the United States. Every Friday night, stadiums fill up to cheer on local heroes who sometimes go on to become college and NFL standouts.
The variety in size of those stadiums ranges from the very small to the very, very big. We wanted to find the biggest high school football stadiums in the country. While it's an inexact science, we did have a few rules — only one stadium per state and only stadiums that were created primarily with high school football in mind.
These are the biggest high school football stadiums in the U.S.
30. Bobcat Stadium
Location: Rexburg, Idaho
High school: Madison High School
Year opened: 2019
Bottom line: Madison County didn't spare any expense when it built a state-of-the-art, $8.8 million stadium for Madison High School as part of a $27 million bond issue that was approved in 2017.
Bobcat Stadium's new press box features four separate rooms, and the turf was installed by the same company that has done several NFL fields. The really great touch here was an LED-lighting system that is something to behold. The University of Utah even approached the Madison County School District in hopes of incorporating the same lighting system at their stadium.
Madison has won seven state championships, including three consecutive titles from 1982 to 1984.
Note: Not all states are represented since capacity information isn't readily available for every high school football stadium.
29. Bismarck Bowl
Location: Bismarck, North Dakota
High schools: Bismarck High School, Century High School, St. Mary's Central High School, Legacy High School
Year opened: 1996
Bottom line: The Bismarck Community Bowl is putting in as much or more work as any high school football stadium. It's home to four high school football teams and two local small college football teams and adjacent to the campus of Bismarck State, which doesn't have a football team.
If you make it here for a game, try to catch Bismarck vs. Century. In the last decade, they've combined to win seven state titles, including four state championship games where they've faced each other.
28. Pete Cooper Stadium
Location: Fairfield, Maine
High school: Lawrence High School
Year opened: Unknown
Bottom line: Lawrence High School Hall of Famer Earle "Pete" Cooper coached the school's football team for 28 seasons, from 1968 to 1996, leading them to the first three state championships in school history in 1973, 1983 and 1984.
Lawrence High eventually named its stadium after Cooper, who also led the Bulldogs to a state runner-up finish a stunning seven more times. That means under Cooper, Lawrence played in the state championship game 10 times.
Lawrence won another state title in 2006 and has finished as runner-up three more times, in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
27. Darlington Memorial Stadium
Location: Hampton, Virginia
High schools: Hampton High School, Bethel High School, Kecoughtan High School, Phoebus High School
Year opened: 1929
Bottom line: While this stadium has existed in some form since 1929, the updated Darlington Memorial Stadium that opened in 1989 has seen as good a display of high school football in the last three decades as any stadium.
That begins with the great teams at Hampton High led by legendary coach Mike Smith, who won back-to-back national titles in 1997 and 1998. That being said, the best football player who ever called Darling Stadium home was Bethel High quarterback/defensive back/return specialist Allen Iverson.
Yes, that Allen Iverson.
26. Naranche Stadium
Location: Butte, Montana
High school: Butte High School
Year opened: 1937 (closed in 1973, reopened in 2011)
Bottom line: The fire that shut down Butte High Stadium in 1973 kept it closed until renovations in 2011 let it reopen in pretty grand fashion. It's a piece of architecture that now blends seamlessly with downtown Butte and seems like a perfect fit for the town.
The stadium, now named for World War II hero Eso Naranche, received a good enough makeover that it's able to host state championship games. The home team won a state title there in 2012 on a 46-yard field goal as time expired.
25. Burke Stadium
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
High school: Burke High School
Year opened: 1967
Bottom line: The biggest high school football stadium in Nebraska (we think) is actually more known for hosting the state championships in track and field each year, which can draw around 25,000 fans.
Harry A. Burke Stadium should consider a name change — as should the high school. Its namesake, the Omaha Public Schools superintendent from 1946 to 1962, used his power to prevent black teachers and principals from securing jobs in Omaha during his tenure.
"I would never want black people in a position of power, where white children would be educated," Burke once said.
That name has got to go — hopefully sooner than later.
24. Durham County Memorial Stadium
Location: Durham, North Carolina
High school: Northern High School
Year opened: 1960
Bottom line: Northern High's home field has been used for much more than high school football, including the NCAA Division II CIAA championship game for a decade, but it's the prep stars that have defined Durham County Stadium.
Northern High's greatest player of all time is probably cornerback Dewayne Washington, who went on to star at North Carolina State and was the No. 18 overall pick in the 1994 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
23. Santa Ana Stadium
Location: Santa Ana, California
High schools: Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana High School, Century High School, Cesar E. Chavez High School, Saddleback High School, Valley High School
Year opened: 1963
Bottom line: This one is blurring the lines we've set up a little bit. The stadium was created with both high school football and college football in mind in Santa Ana, with local community college Santa Ana College as one of its tenants.
We wanted to put it on the list because we couldn't leave out California, where they play some of the best high school football in the country, and especially not the home of one of the most dominant programs in the nation.
Mater Dei High School has won four USA Today national championships.
22. Spiegelberg Stadium
Location: Medford, Oregon
High schools: North Medford High School, South Medford High School
Year opened: 1936
Bottom line: Originally named Medford Stadium, the name changed to honor legendary Medford High head coach Fred Spiegelberg upon his retirement in 1983.
No story about Spiegelberg Stadium would be complete without telling about the split of Medford High into North Medford High and South Medford High and the contentious way they parted ways.
Despite the schools splitting into two whole new schools, North Medford has kept a claim on the state championships won before the split, including banners and trophies. Doesn't seem right.
21. Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium
Location: Miami, Florida
High schools: Miami Northwestern High School, Booker T. Washington High School
Location: Miami, Florida
Year opened: 1968
Bottom line: No stadium in the United States can say it was home to more future NFL talent than Miami's Traz-Powell Stadium. It's a virtual who's who of pro football talent cutting their teeth here.
Nike has played a role, too. Focused on leaving a legacy in the Miami community as Super LIV came to the city in early 2020, Nike decided it would spend $2 million to renovate Traz-Powell Stadium ahead of the big game — something the community needed dearly.
For the sheer amount of talent you can see here on any given Friday night, it's worth the price of admission.
20. Mitchell Stadium
Location: Bluefield, West Virginia
High school: Bluefield High School
Year opened: 1936
Bottom line: Built as part of the Works Progress Administration in the mid-1930s, Mitchell Stadium also serves as the home field for a team in another state — Virginia's Graham High School, which is the only high school in the nation that plays home games in a different state.
Mitchell Stadium was named "America's Best High School Football Stadium" in 2019 by USA Today via online voting. Mitchell Stadium has enough fame in the state that a Division I football game was once played there when West Virginia University faced Virginia Tech in 1953.
19. Howard Wood Field
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
High schools: Washington High School, Lincoln High School, Roosevelt High School, O'Gorman High School
Year opened: 1957
Bottom line: In an interesting piece of football history, the Minnesota Vikings actually played their first game (an exhibition) at Howard Wood Field against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 5, 1961.
If you're going to make it to just one game at Howard Wood Field in your lifetime, we recommend being there for the Bob Burns Dakota Bowl, which always features 11-time state champion O'Gorman High.
18. Union-Tuttle Stadium
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
High school: Union High School
Year opened: 1976
Bottom line: Few high school football gameday experiences can compare to what awaits fans at Union-Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a $35 million upgrade was completed before the 2021 season began.
Union-Tuttle Stadium's upgrade was part of a large $126.8 million bond issue passed in 2019.
Added to the crown jewel was a grand entrance on the west side, upper and lower decks on the home side, nine luxury suites, a refurbished visiting side, along with a weight room and new state-of-the-art turf.
"As each phase goes along, you start to realize 'Man, this is real,'" Union head coach Kirk Fridrich told The Tulsa World. "This is probably better than what we could have imagined, without a doubt."
17. Reitz Bowl
Location: Evansville, Indiana
High school: Reitz High School
Year opened: 1921
Bottom line: You're not just going to a high school football game at the Reitz Bowl in Evansville, Indiana — you're having an experience. Aerial views of the stadium show an odd twist of architecture. The "Bowl" side of the stadium isn't a straight wall line, but kind of a squiggly line.
This was a happy accident. The foundation of the stadium on the home side was originally meant to be a retaining wall for Reitz High School until a quick-thinking member of the school staff observed it could actually be the beginning of a football stadium.
So they made a football stadium, and they also made history.
16. Manual Stadium
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
High school: duPont Manual High School
Year opened: 1924 (re-opened in 1954)
Bottom line: After growing tired of sharing a field with rival school Male High, Manual High built its own stadium in 1924 with a massive seating capacity of 14,021.
The stadium was condemned and closed in 1952 before it was refurbished and reopened with its current seating capacity in 1954.
Manual has won six state championships in its history but none since 1966. The school also won two mythical high school national championships in 1925 and 1938.
15. John F. Kennedy Stadium
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
High school: Central High School
Year opened: 1964
Bottom line: Central High School opened its doors in 1964 alongside its brand-new stadium, which was named for the U.S. president who was assassinated one year earlier.
The stadium has been a staple of the community since it opened. It has hosted some of the biggest concerts to come to the region as well as playing home to the University of Bridgeport football team until it disbanded in 1975.
One thing that's never played at JFK Stadium? A state championship team.
14. Dutch Clark Stadium
Location: Pueblo, Colorado
High schools: Pueblo Central High School, Pueblo South High School, Pueblo East High School
Year opened: 1950
Bottom line: This stadium was renamed for legendary running back and Pueblo, Colorado, native Dutch Clark — "The Flying Dutchman" — in 1980.
Clark was so good he was part of the inaugural class for the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. It's fitting that one of the greatest high school football experiences in the country can be had at a stadium that bears his name.
And if you do go, make sure you're there for the Bell Game between Pueblo Centennial and Pueblo Central. The teams have played since 1898, and it's always a sellout.
13. Ray Stadium
Location: Meridian, Mississippi
High school: Meridian High School
Year opened: 1937
Bottom line: High school football in the South is just different. And Meridian High School's Ray Stadium in Meridian, Mississippi, is a great example of what we're talking about.
Meridian is one of the oldest schools in the South. It opened its doors in 1886 and maintains an enrollment of almost 2,000. Ray Stadium also has played home to some big-time talent over the years.
The most recent gridiron star was former University of Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, who is in his second season with the Miami Dolphins and helped lead the Crimson Tide to a college football national championship in 2020.
12. Stadium Bowl
Location: Tacoma, Washington
High schools: Stadium High School, Woodrow Wilson High School
Year opened: 1910
Bottom line: The steps of the Stadium Bowl were famously used by Academy Award-winning actor Heath Ledger during an epic song and dance in the movie "10 Things I Hate About You," which you can find right here.
The stadium is right below one of the two high schools that play there (Stadium High School) and has been there since the school was built in 1910, overlooking Puget Sound.
11. J. Birney Crum Stadium
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
High schools: William Allen High School, Dieruff High School, Allentown Central Catholic High School
Year opened: 1948
Bottom line: Originally known as Allentown High School Stadium, the facility underwent a name change to J. Birney Crum Stadium to honor Allentown High's legendary football coach.
While the Wikipedia page for the stadium says it's no longer the biggest in Pennsylvania following a renovation in 2002, we've yet to find one to top its capacity seating of 15,000.
It would be hard to beat the mid-to-late 1980s as the best time to watch football at J. Birney Crum. That's when future NFL star wide receivers Ed McCaffrey (Allentown Central Catholic) and Andre Reed (Dieruff) called it home.
10. Watson Memorial Stadium
Location: Hobbs, New Mexico
High school: Hobbs High School
Year opened: 1964
Bottom line: Watson Memorial Stadium was named for Hobbs High alum John Watson, a star football player for the Eagles who went on to play for the University of New Mexico before he returned home to Hobbs and spent decades as a businessman and civic leader.
Watson, a star running back for head coach Duane Fisher, helped run his family's trucking and supply business in Hobbs and was one of the driving forces behind the creation of New Mexico Junior College — at the time the only junior college in the state.
The football stadium isn't the only thing in Hobbs named after Watson. The student apartments at NMJC are also named after him.
9. Greenway Avenue Stadium
Location: Cumberland, Maryland
High schools: Allegany High School and Fort Hill High School
Year opened: 1937
Bottom line: Greenway Avenue Stadium was named Fort Hill Stadium until 1987, and by 1998, they'd upgraded to FieldTurf in order to host scrimmages for the Washington Football Team.
The two schools that share the field, Allegany High and Fort Hill High, have two of the best football traditions in the state.
Since Maryland began officially hosting state football playoffs in 1974, Allegany has eight state championships and Fort Hill has seven, although Fort Hill has won five state titles since 2013.
8. Kingston Stadium
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
High schools: Jefferson High School, Washington High School, Kennedy High School
Year opened: 1952
Bottom line: Kingston Stadium was a pretty swingin' place in the two decades after it opened in 1952, with Canadian Football League exhibition games in 1961 and NFL exhibition games in 1961, 1962 and 1963.
In the 1970s, three semi-pro football teams called Kingston Stadium home. In 2019, the stadium got a $2 million upgrade that included smashing the bleachers on the north side of the stadium and replacing it with a grassy hillside.
7. Quigley Stadium
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
High School: Little Rock Central High School
Year opened: 1936
Bottom line: The home stadium for Little Rock Central High School (formerly known as Little Rock High) is named after former head coach Earl Quigley, who went 149-56-11 in 22 years as football coach and won 18 consecutive state championships as the head coach of the track and field team.
The stadium was the largest in the state for over a decade after it opened and played host to several University of Arkansas football games until 1948.
6. Cavalier Stadium
Location: Roebuck, South Carolina
High school: Dorman High School
Year opened: 1967
Bottom line: In South Carolina, they'll know you're talking about Dorman High's football stadium if you call it by any of its nicknames as well — Taj Mahal, The Palace or The University of Dorman.
If you'd like to know about what kind of show they're running here, we'll reference the stadium's 3,000 box seats and chairback seats available to boosters, which bring in a reported $300,000 each year.
5. James R. Hallford Stadium
Location: Clarkston, Georgia
High schools: Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Stephenson High School
Year opened: 1968
Bottom line: James R. Hallford Stadium soared past its 50th birthday in 2018 and remains the largest high school football stadium in the state of Georgia.
Home to two high school football teams full time and all DeKalb County playoff games, it's one of five stadiums owned by the DeKalb County School District and used to go by Memorial Stadium.
It's also been the site of five state championship games — three in the 1970s and two in the 1990s. The last state championship game was held at the site in 1995, a 14-7 win by Southwest DeKalb High School behind future NFL quarterback Quincy Carter.
4. Mesquite Memorial Stadium
Location: Mesquite, Texas
High School: West Mesquite High School
Year opened: 1976
Bottom line: There are nicer football stadiums in Texas, where the best high school football in the country is played, but there just aren't any bigger ones than Mesquite's Memorial Stadium.
Opened in 1976, the stadium underwent an $11 million renovation that was completed in 2015 and added elevators, a refurbished concourse area, new locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands.
3. BREC Memorial Stadium
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
High schools: Baton Rouge Public Schools
Year opened: 1952
Bottom line: Sitting in the shade of the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge, BREC Memorial Stadium has been home to area high school football teams since the 1950s and remains one of the largest high school football stadiums in the nation.
Most famously, BREC Memorial Stadium was the home of the Grantland Rice Bowl from 1969 to 1973. The bowl game was named for one of the greatest sportswriters of all time and featured what would become known as the best NCAA Division II and Division III teams in the country.
2. Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Location: Canton, Ohio
High school: Canton McKinley High School
Year opened: 1938 (reopened in 2016)
Bottom line: Formerly named Fawcett Stadium and renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in honor of the late owner of the New Orleans Saints, the 22,400 capacity is a perfect fit for its long-standing home team at Canton McKinley High School.
While NCAA Division III school Walsh University also plays its home games there, McKinley and the annual Hall of Fame Game are the real draws. Benson donated $11 million dollars to expand the stadium from 15,000 to 22,400 seats in 2015.
1. War Memorial Stadium
Location: Wailuku, Hawaii
High school: Baldwin High School, Hana High School, Kihei Charter School, King Kekaulike High School, Lahainaluna High School, Lanai High School, Maui High School, Moloka'i High School, St. Anthony High School
Year opened: 1969
Bottom line: War Memorial Stadium only had a capacity of just less than 7,000 when it first opened in 1969. It expanded to 23,000 in order to host the Hula Bowl, a college football All-Star game that was held there from 1998 to 2005.
War Memorial hosts schools from the Maui Interscholastic League for high school football and still has a natural grass surface. It hosted a college football game once, in 2001, when the University of Hawaii defeated the University of Montana in front of a crowd of just 12,863 fans.