College football is arguably a bigger part of the cultural geography of the South than any other region in the United States. Seven of the ten largest on-campus football stadium capacities are located in the South, making it an attraction that impacts both the university and the community. However, compared to other regions, Southern universities played a significant number of their football games away from home, either at other institutions or at neutral-site stadiums. Though the scheduling of neutral-site games occurred throughout the US, the rate was higher for Southern teams even as the scheduling of such games decreased nationally. This research examines the geography of neutral-site college football games between 1906 and 2019. Through this examination, it is demonstrated that Southern universities were far more likely to schedule neutral-site games than universities in other parts of the US, driven in part by better accessibility to larger cities, as well as better stadium facilities. As universities began to improve and expand their facilities, Southern teams moved away from neutral-site games and scheduled more games on campus. Auburn University’s football team is used as a case study of how such improvements helped the Auburn Tigers transition from a traveling team to a home team.


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pp. 8-30
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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