The Best and Worst Thing About Every MW Football Stadium

Occasionally, a Monday Mailbag question requires too much research for me to include in the weekly feature, so I end up writing it separately as a “Mailbag leftover”. I received such a question this week from reader Damon Hirschensohn, who asked me the best and worst thing about each football stadium in Mountain West. Let’s break it down. (And we’ll include SDCCU Stadium for San Diego State and Aloha Stadium for Hawaii even though both teams are no longer playing there because those schools are building new stadiums).

Allegiant Stadium (UNLV)

Best thing: It’s a brand new NFL stadium with all the bells and whistles associated with it, plus it has a great view of the Strip behind the 92-foot-tall torch with an artificial flame to honor the old Raiders owner Al Davis.

Worst thing: It was funded with $750 million in public money – some call it Boondoll Stadium; in fact that’s me calling it that – and has a capacity of 65,000, which will undermine the game day atmosphere given that UNLV averages around 15,000 fans per game, which is less than a quarter of that capacity.

Aloha Stadium (Hawaii)

Best thing: You are in Hawaii. There is almost nothing better than that. (And tailgating is off the hook. Mountain West’s best hookers.) There’s also a bizarre Michael Jackson mural in the bowels of the stadium.

Worst thing: With a capacity of 50,000, this stadium was simply too big for the fans, which neutralized the atmosphere. The constant rain also wore the stadium down quite quickly. It was dull.

Bulldog Stadium (Fresno State)

Best thing: End zones. For some reason, I’ve always loved the red and white checkered look in the Bulldog Stadium end zones. The feel below the stadium is also cool.

Worst thing: I don’t know whether to rank the lighting as the best or the worst thing about the stadium. It’s as if a few transformers are coming out of the field. It’s unique for sure. Also, the neighborhood the stadium is in doesn’t seem particularly safe, at least for a journalist like me who has to leave a rental car there and hope for the best.

CEFCU Stadium (San Jose State)

Best thing: CEFCU Stadium is going through a big renovation so we’ll see what it will look like when it’s finished, but I love the architectural design of the seats in front of the press box. It is shaped like a soccer ball. The press box is also in the open, which is rare in the MW. Finally, it hosted two quarter-final matches in the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

Worst thing: Nobody goes to games, probably due to the quality of the home team usually on the pitch (but SJSU might actually be good now!).

Mackay Stadium (Nevada)

Best thing: The view of Peavine Peak from the stands is as the sun sets behind the Sierra Nevadas is hard to beat.

Worst thing: No end zone is closed off, giving Mackay Stadium a hectic feel. That, combined with the track around the field, gives it more of a high school feel than an FBS.

SDCCU Stadium (San Diego State)

Best thing: Tony Gwynn played baseball there for 20 years.

Worst thing: It was demolished last monthso no one will be able to visit it again.

Warm Memorial Stadium (Wyoming)

Best thing: They sing “In Heaven There is No Beer” every game, although I can’t confirm or deny where in heaven there is beer.

Worst thing: It was built in 1950, making it the oldest football stadium in MW, so there is considerable aging despite multiple renovations. There are also no seats in the two end areas, which is odd.

Albertsons Stadium (Boise State)

Best thing: The level of suites at Albertson Stadium is the best in MW among non-NFL stadiums. From up there there are fantastic views of the city of trees. In contrast, the press box is almost as far from the pitch as the moon would be.

Worst thing: The grass is blue.

Canvas Stadium (Colorado State)

Best thing: The New Belgium Porch beyond the north end zone might be the coolest place to watch a game from the MW. It has two premium bars and a drinks bar. The outdoor terrace offers a spacious meeting place on a beautiful fall evening.

Worst thing: It opened in 2017 and cost $220 million, so there really shouldn’t be anything wrong. And there aren’t any unless you count the media seats tucked into the corner near the south end zone, but no one wants to hear me complain about that since I just complained of this in the preview on Albertsons Stadium.

Dreamstyle Stadium (New Mexico)

Best thing: The lobby level of Dreamstyle Stadium makes it very easy to move around the stadium, which is actually quite rare in the MW. Last time I went there was also a bar in the press gallery.

Worst thing: The entire stadium is made up of bleachers. There are no fixed seats with chair backs, which doesn’t give fans many options other than where to sit on the bleacher.

Falcon Stadium (Air Force)

Best thing: There’s a hot chocolate machine in the press room. Also, the Wings of Blue parachute into the stadium to deliver the game ball, which is a cool tradition.

Worst thing: Your car is searched for bombs and other items as you enter the facility. Every game I’ve covered there has been super chill, too. That’s why I love hot chocolate.

Maverik Stadium (State of Utah)

Best thing: The 2015 renovation modernized the stadium, but it’s the landscape around the site and the Laub Athletics-Academics Complex (and the huge video board above it) which is attached to the North Zone that stand out as special. Parking is also as good as it gets in the MW.

Worst thing: They once had Ryan Radtke and Chris Vargas radio call a football game from this thing. I am not joking!

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight into northern Nevada sports. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

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