Colossal sports stadiums around the world are truly modern marvels, and they are some of the largest man-made structures on the planet. The first known stadium was the one used for the first Olympic games in Ancient Greece back in 776 BC. Since then, modern machinery has revolutionised how we construct these massive venues, and today they are bigger and more elaborate than ever.
This list of stadiums will not include racetracks (auto or horse racing), because they are not true stadiums. Racetracks are the largest sports facilities in the world, though, with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway being the largest – this place can hold nearly 400,000 people for one race! Here’s a list of the biggest sports stadiums in the world, and just how big they are.
Strahov Stadium, Czech Republic
Strahov Stadium: Construction began on this massive stadium back in 1926, and when it was completed, this behemoth could seat up to 250,000 people. The playing field alone is 63,500 square meters in size! Strahov Stadium is located in Prague, Czech Republic, and it has been used for a variety of sporting events as well as large political events.This stadium has also hosted some of the biggest concerts ever. Some of the bands that have played here included Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Genesis. The future of Strahov Stadium is up-in-the-air at this point, but many people would like to see it turned into a large commercial zone with hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. There has also been talk of converting it into an Olympic village if Prague were to win a future bid to host the Olympics.
Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang
Rungrado May Day Stadium: The Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea is considered to be one of the biggest stadiums in the world – based upon capacity. This stadium will seat 150,000 people during sporting events, parades, and celebrations. May Day stadium has even held as many as 190,000 people for a 1995 professional wrestling match – the largest crowd ever for this type of event. Rungrado May Day Stadium covers an astonishing 2.2 million square feet of floor space, and the roof peaks at about 200ft into the air. May Day Stadium also features some great architecture with the roof consisting of 16 arches that resemble a parachute or flower.
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is located in Delhi, India, and it was built back in 1982. This massive stadium will seat up to 130,000 people for sporting events or concerts. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is used mostly for football matches, but there have also been lots of large-scale concerts and even some cricket matches hosted here. In 2010 the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will be the site of the Commonwealth Games.
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
Salt Lake Stadium: This multipurpose stadium in Kolkata, India was opened in 1984 and while it is used mostly for football matches, it has seen its fair share of emotional, and sometimes violent, fanfare. Salt Lake Stadium is built on over 76 acres of land and will seat approximately 120,000 people in its 3-tier stadium designed seating.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Eden Gardens: This gigantic stadium, like the Salt Lake Stadium, is located in Kolkata, India. This stadium is primarily used to play cricket, and it is one of the largest cricketing facilities in the world. Originally, this stadium could hold 120,000 people, but after some recent renovations it can now only hold about 88,000 – although it is still capable of holding over 100,000 for larger events.
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Estadio Azteca: This huge football stadium in Mexico City was opened in 1966, and then renovated in 1985. This stadium will seat approximately 115,000 people for a football match, and it has also hosted many of the most famous singers/bands of all-time including Michael Jackson, U2, Elton John, Robbie Williams, and many others. This stadium has also hosted the FIFA World Cup twice, as well as the 1968 Summer Olympics. The playing field at Estadio Azteca is situated 31 feet below ground level, and it’s surrounded by three big rings of seating which tower above the playing field – it’s quite a site!
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
Michigan Stadium: Home of the University of Michigan Wolverines football (American) team, Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the United States. This stadium, nicknamed ‘the big house’, has an official capacity of 107,501, but attendance frequently surpasses that amount. Michigan Stadium has College football’s highest attendance record of 112,118 in 2003 against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
This huge stadium is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and on game days the population of the city nearly doubles with well-over 100,000 fans flocking to Michigan Stadium to cheer-on their Wolverines.
Beaver Stadium, Pennsylvania
Beaver Stadium: Slightly smaller than Michigan Stadium is Beaver Stadium, which is located on the campus of Penn State University in Pennsylvania. This stadium is home to the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. The seating capacity at Beaver Stadium is an astounding 107,282 with the largest crowd to ever see a football game at Beaver Stadium being 110,753 back in 2002, against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Beaver Stadium is the third largest stadium in North America, and the sixth largest in the world.
Ohio Stadium, Columbus
Ohio Stadium: Ohio Stadium is the home of the Ohio State Buckeye’s college football team, and it’s located in Columbus, Ohio. Nicknamed ‘The Horseshoe’, because the stadium is in the shape of a horseshoe, this mammoth stadium is able to seat over 100,000 people for a college football game – 102,329 to be exact. Ohio Stadium is 919 feet in length and 679 feet wide, and it sits upon a 14.5 acre lot.
Ohio Stadium is also a popular concert venue that has hosted acts including U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Metallica. During a concert, this huge stadium can pack-in about 110,000 people – making it one of the top 10 biggest stadiums in the world.
Neyland Stadium, Knoxville
Neyland Stadium: The next largest stadium in the world is yet again another college football stadium in the United States. This monstrous stadium is located in Knoxville, Tennessee and is the home of the Tennessee Volunteers football team. Neyland Stadium is the third largest in the USA with a capacity of 102,037. The largest crowd ever to attend a game here was 109,061 back in 2004. The natural grass field is famous for the orange and white checkerboard pattern in the end zones, which originated back in 1964.
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Cairo International Stadium: This multipurpose stadium in Cairo, Egypt is considered to be the top Olympic training facility in both the Middle East and Africa. Cairo International Stadium currently has a capacity of 100,500, but there have been close to 120,000 people in this stadium at any one time for big football matches. Because of the immense size, it has been used as the location of the African Cup in 1986 and 2006.
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium: This gigantic stadium, located in Central Jakarta, Indonesia, was completed in 1960 and is used mostly for football matches. This $12.5 million stadium has a capacity of approximately 100,000, although some recent renovations will lower this number to about 88,000 but it will still be one of the biggest stadiums in the world.
The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium features an enormous steel roof that forms a huge ring over the spectators, and thus protects them from the extremely hot weather conditions. This large stadium has been the site for many big events including the Asian Games (twice), SEA Games, and the Tiger Cup (twice).
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Melbourne Cricket Ground: This historic stadium in Melbourne, Australia is the largest in the country, and it also features the record for the world’s tallest light light towers at a sporting venue with each of the 6 light towers standing taller than a 24 storey building! The MCG’s massive size is large enough to seat about 100,000 fans, although there has been well-over 120,000 people squeezed into this place at any one time. Just in case you needed reminding of the sheer scale of the MCG, it has an overall volume of 1.7 million cubic meters.
The MCG Stadium is used for cricket, football, rugby, and concerts throughout the year with the most famous event held at this huge stadium being the 1956 Olympic games, where it served as the main stadium.
Camp Nou, Barcelona
Camp Nou: This is the largest stadium in Europe, and it’s located in Barcelona, Spain. This gigantic Camp Nou is primarily the home of the FC Barcelona football team, but it also serves as a venue for concerts and other big events. Some of the singers who have performed at Camp Nou include Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2, Frank Sinatra, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and many others. This huge stadium has a capacity of 98,772, but Camp Nou has accommodated much more than that during certain events. When the Pope celebrated mass at Camp Nou in 1982, for example, a crowd of over 120,000 squeezed in.
Recent plans to restructure the design of Camp Nou Stadium will include an additional 10,000 seats, putting the capacity of this stadium within the top 10 biggest stadiums in the world.
Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Estadio do Maracana: This is the largest stadium in Brazil, and one of the largest in the world as well. This Estadio do Maracana stadium was originally built in Rio de Janeiro to host the FIFA World Cup in 1950 with the final match attracting an estimated 210,000 people! Although Esatadio do Maracana is capable of holding such a high amount of fans, it’s official capacity today is 95,000.
This stadium will be one of the only venues ever to host the FIFA World Cup twice, when it hosts the tournament again in 2014. Aside from football matches, this mammoth stadium has been the site of plenty of huge concerts including Paul McCartney, Rush, Madonna, Kiss, and The Rolling Stones to name a few.
Sanford Stadium, Athens
Sanford Stadium: This large American football stadium is the home to the University of Georgia Bulldogs and was also the site of the 1996 Summer Olympic football matches. Sanford stadium was originally constructed back in 1929, and since then has undergone a slew of expansions which now put the capacity of this stadium at 92,746. (For our UK readers we should point out that Sanford Stadium is located in Athens, Georgia and not Athens, Greece.)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Slightly smaller than Georgia’s Sanford Stadium is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum near the campus of the University of Southern California and is located on 17 acres in Exposition Park, which also houses museums, gardens, and the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
This historic stadium currently boasts an attendance capacity of 92,516 with the USC Trojans American football team primary tenant. This colossal stadium has been home to the Summer Olympics twice (1932, 1984), a number of different professional sports teams, and countless large-scale concerts.
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge
Tiger Stadium: Tiger Stadium is the primary residence of the Louisiana State University American football team, and it’s located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This stadium gets extremely loud and rowdy on game days, especially when all of its 92,400 seats are filled. Tiger Stadium is considered to be not only one of the largest stadiums in the USA, but also one of the loudest during football games. ESPN recorded decibel levels of 119 during an LSU game in 2003 – that’s like sitting front row at a Metallica concert! For this reason, Tiger Stadium is nicknamed ‘Death Valley’.
At an LSU game in 1988, the LSU Geology Department actually registered the crowd reaction to the winning play of the game as a legitimate earthquake – this game against Auburn is, of course, nicknamed the ‘Earthquake Game’. Now that’s a rocking stadium!
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
Bryant-Denny Stadium: Home to the University of Alabama American football team, this spectalular stadium is the seventh largest of its kind in the United States. Bryant-Denny Stadium is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and its current attendance capacity is 92,138. Construction on this huge structure began back in 1929, and when it was first completed, it only had a capacity of 12,000 but has come a long way since then.
Many expansions have been added on to this stadium, including the most recent expansion, a $47 million addition that was finished in 2006. There are 123 skyboxes, a natural grass field, and more tradition than almost any other stadium in America.
FedEx Field, Landover
FedEx Field: Opened in 1997 for $250 million, FedEx Field (Jack Kent Cooke Stadium at that time) became the largest stadium in the National Football League. FedEx Field is the home of the Washington Redskins, who actually play at this Landover, Maryland stadium. There are 5 separate levels in FedEx Field: lower, club, lower suites, upper suites, and the upper level. With a maximum capacity of 91,704, FedEx Field is one of the top 20 largest stadiums in the world.
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Rose Bowl: Located in the sunny Southern California city of Pasadena, the Rose Bowl is an official national historic landmark, and also the site of college football’s famous Rose Bowl game. The Rose Bowl is also the home field for the UCLA Bruins football team. This historic stadium regularly holds 91,136 for Bruin’s games, and 92,542 for the annual Rose Bowl game.
The Rose Bowl measures about 695 feet long by 880 feet wide with the highest point of the stadium soaring 100 feet into the air. The FIFA World Cup finals, 1984 Summer Olympic football matches and the Super Bowl have all been hosted here as well as numerous concerts and events.
Wembley Stadium, London
Wembley Stadium: Situated in the London Borough of Brent, Wembley Stadium is the primary home to the England National Football Team. This awesome stadium has a capacity of 90,000, making it the second largest stadium in Europe. Wembley Stadium is the largest covered stadium in the world (based on capacity), and it’s also the most expensive stadium ever built, at roughly $1.57 billion.
One of the most notable features of this huge stadium is the large arch that reaches 459 feet toward the sky: not only does this feature look cool, but it also supports the majority of the roof. The immense size and awesome architecture of Wembley Stadium make it one of the most popular sport and music venues in the world.
Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Azadi Stadium: This large complex is Iran’s national stadium and also their largest. The Azadi will seat about 90,000, making it about as large as Wembley Stadium. Azadi is used mostly for football matches and was originally built to host the 1974 Asian Games: at that time it had a capacity of around 100,000. This stadium also features one of the largest jumbotrons in the world, a giant screen with an area of about 300 square meters.