Ranking of the Greatest Stadiums of the World

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The largest stadiums in the world, scattered around the world, offer exceptional capacity and a variety of different designs and styles. From Australia to the United States, from India to England, these huge facilities host different sports such as American football, cricket and our best known football, but also events of various kinds such as musical concerts by world-famous artists like Madonna, Spice Girls and Pink Floyd. Some are more famous than others for hosting historic World Cup finals, others for being home to some of the most amazing goals in football history. Precisely for these reasons it is worth visiting them and admiring them in all their splendor! So here it is the ranking of the 20 largest stadiums in the world.

20 - Salt Lake Stadium, Calcutta - 85.000

Also known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), it is the largest stadium in all of India. It possesses an elliptical shaped structure with three rings and was built in 1984 to host not only football matches and athletics competitions, but also music concerts, ballets and other sporting events such as those of amateur and professional climbers (on the north side of the stage). However, the most popular sport is football, as the facility hosts the home games of the following local Indian teams: Mohun Bagan AC. Kingfischer East Bengal FC, Prayag United SC and Mohammedan SC.

During the derbies the atmosphere gets really hot, the wait is incredible and in some circumstances there have also been episodes of violence between fans. The most important international football event was held in 2011 with the FIFA match between Argentina and Venezuela.

  • Year of construction: 1982
  • Hosted teams: Mohun Bagan AC. Kingfischer East Bengal FC, Prayag United SC and Mohammedan SC. (football)

19 - Borg El Arab, Alexandria, Egypt - 86.000

A modern stadium recently built for the 20 Under 2009 World Cup, ed it is the largest in all of Egypt. The home team of Al Ittihad plays in the Borg El Arab; famous for hosting the inaugural match of their own Under 20 World Cup, was originally commissioned in 2006 with an ambitious international-level project to aim to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which unfortunately failed.
It was therefore decided to use the stadium as home of the Egyptian National team together with the international stadium in Cairo. In addition to the national team, Smoutha, the team from Alexandria also plays. Small curiosity: the stadium was designed and built entirely by the Corps of Engineers of the Egyptian armed forces.

  • Year of construction: 2006
  • Hosted teams: Egyptian national football team, Smoutha

18 - Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur - 87.411

The stadium came built for the Commonwealth Games in 1998. In addition to these, the South East Asian Games in 2001, some matches of the national football team of Malaysia and for the Asian Nations Cup in 2007. It was inaugurated on 11 July 1998 by the 4th Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, on the occasion of the Commonwealth Games.
In addition to sporting events, it also hosts national and international football matches such as the Malaysia FA Cup and Malaysia Cup, as well as musical concerts.

  • Year of construction: 1995
  • Hosted teams: National football team of Malaysia

17 - Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta - 88.083

It is aboutlargest stadium in Southeast Asia: it was inaugurated in 1962 and cost about 20 million dollars. It is named after Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, and is mainly used for football matches, especially those of the National team of Indonesia.
The first games that were hosted were those of the 1962 Asian Games; the other most famous matches were those of the AFC Asian Cup in 2007 between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, those of the Asian Games of 2018 and the Para Asian Games. Other competitions include the Tiger Cup and National Cup finals.

  • Year of construction: 1960
  • Hosted teams: Indonesia national football team, Persija Jakarta

16 - Wembley, London - 90.000

The new Wembley replaced the old one (which was demolished) in 2007. The facility hosts both football, rugby and athletics matches. Symbol of the new stadium isthe steel arch built over the North Stand (main grandstand) while the previous one were considered twin towers. Thanks to its dimensions, 133 meters by 315 meters, it plays a fundamental role in shaping the new London skyline.

The most important football matches played at Wembley include those of the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2011 UEFA Champions League finals between Barcelona and Manchester United and the 2013 match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich; for rugby matches we mention those of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Wembley also often hosts concerts of global importance: George Michael, Muse, Madonna, Live Earth, Take That, Ed Sheeran and, recently, the Spice Girls with the their latest SpiceWorld tour 2019.

  • Year of construction: 2003
  • Hosted teams: England national football team

15 - The Rose Bowl, Pasadena - 92.542

The largest American football stadium in the United States, famous for hosting the World Cup final lost on penalties by Italy against Brazil. Officially recognized as a historic monument, the stadium hosts the games of the Pac-12 Conference (which brings together 12 universities in the western United States), the bowl game, the university football also called the Rose Bowl Game, and the matches of the UCLA University Bruins.

The facility was also used for football matches until 2003; among the most important matches played are those of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the 1994 World Cup with the final final and the one for 3rd place between Bulgaria and Sweden, and the 1999 women's World Cup final between the USA and China. Major non-sporting events include major concerts held by Depeche Mode, The Cure and Pink Floyd.

  • Year of construction: 1922
  • Hosted teams: Rose Bowl Game, UCLA Bruins (American football)

14 - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, 94.736

The First National Bank Stadium, known more simply as FNB Stadium, Soccer City or even "The Calabash" due to its shape that recalls a typical African pot. It was built in 1987 and renovated and enlarged in 2009 on the occasion of the World Cup 2010: it hosted the first match between South Africa and Mexico and the final between Spain and the Netherlands.

The facility hosts Kaizer Chiefs Football Club home football matches, South Africa national football team matches and South Africa 15-a-side rugby team matches. The stadium has a very important historical value: here, in fact, Nelson Mandela gave his first speech in 1990 after his release from captivity and appeared for the last time in public before his disappearance for the final ceremony of the 2010 World Cup. In 2013 there was his commemoration.

  • Year of construction: 1986
  • Hosted teams: South Africa national football team, Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, South Africa 15-a-side rugby team

13 - Azadi Stadium, Tehran - 95.225

The official stadium of Tehran in Iran was inaugurated in 1971 to host the 1974 Asian Games. The attendance record was recorded for the France 1998 World Cup play-off for the match between Iran and Australia with 120 thousand people. Stadium it is located in the city center and is part of the large Azadi sports complex, used for football, swimming, volleyball, weight lifting and even rowing (the center also includes a river). It is used to host the matches of the Iranian national football team, Esteghlal FC and Persepolis FC, both in the top division of the Iranian football championship.

In 2005, unfortunately, there was a tragic accident during the match between Iran and Japan that cost the lives of 5 people and injured another 40 due to the overcrowding of fans in the stands. Furthermore, since 1982, access to the stadium has been decreed for women: in 2018, on the occasion of the World Championship match between Iran and Spain, their entry was granted exceptionally to watch the match for the first time after the 1979 revolution.

  • Year of construction: 1971
  • Hosted teams: Persepolis FC, Esteghlal FC Iranian national football team

12 - Estadio Azteca, Mexico City - 99.500

It hosts the home matches of Club Amèrica and often those of the Mexican national football team. The stadium is also known as Santa Ursula, from the neighborhood of the same name in which it stands, but also as Guillermo Cañedo; however, its official name was given in honor of the Aztec civilization. A unique stadium of its kind given that hosted two finals of the soccer World Cup, one in 1970 and one in 1986 and, moreover, it is the stadium that has hosted the most games ever in the final phase of a World Cup.

The stadium also held the final of the Olympic football tournament in 1968, that of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the semifinal of the 1970 World Cup between Italy and West Germany, which Italy won and went down in history as the "Match of the Century". It was made even more famous by the goals scored by Diego Maradona, one with a hand to England and the other a few minutes, which is considered the "goal of the century".

  • Year of construction: 1963
  • Hosted teams: Club Amèrica, Mexico National Team (football)

11 - Camp Nou, Barcelona - 99.354

The stadium where the Barcelona team has played its games since 1957. It is the most capacious stadium as well as in Spain, in all of Europe. Until 2001 it was officially called Estadio de Futbol Club Barcelona, ​​then simply as Camp Nou through a referendum between club members. It hosted two Uefa Champions League finals, in 1989 between Milan and Steua Bucharest and in 1999 between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, numerous finals of the Copa del Re and finals of the 1982 World Cup and 1964 European.

Among the most famous and important concerts we find those of Michael Jackson, Julio Iglesias, U2, Bruce Springsteen, the benefit concert organized by Amnesty International and the Concert for the Three Tenors Josep Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. The Camp Nou also hosted a Mass by John Paul II for the honorary citizenship of Barcelona in 1982 and a Dirk Bikkermbergs fashion show.

  • Year of construction: 1954
  • Hosted teams: FC Barcelona (football)

10 - Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne - 100.024

Opened in 1853,hosts cricket and Australian football matches, the most practiced sport in Australia; the field is oval in shape and there are two teams of 18 players. Over the years, the stadium has also hosted world-class events such as the Rolling Stones, U2, Michael Jackson and Madonna concerts, rugby and national football matches, and official visits by Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. In 1959 there was the true record of spectators, when the religious ceremony of the preacher Billy Graham was held, with 143 thousand people. The stadium, in 1869 and 1878, also hosted tennis matches and cycling competitions.

  • Year of construction: 1853
  • Hosted teams: Richmond Tigers, Melbourne Demons, Hawthorn Hawks, Collingwood Football Club, Essendon Bombers (Australian football) - Victoria and melbourne Renegades (cricket)

9 - Darrell K Royal, Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin - 100.199

In addition to being one of the largest stadiums in the world, also has an incredible size board, 25x41 meters and, for this reason, nicknamed Godzillatron: in 2014, the year in which it was installed, it was the largest HD screen in the world which was then surpassed by another screen in Tokyo. The story of Godzillatron does not end there: he was harshly criticized by his fans for being too loud and full of publicity, so he was renamed ADzillatron. The stadium opened in 1924 but was originally built by Theo Bellmont, athletic director of the home football team, the Texas Longhorns, and was funded by students for a total cost of $ 275. The game with the most spectators was played in 2016 with the game between Texas Longhorns and Notre Dame.

  • Year of construction: 1924
  • Hosted teams: Texas Longhorns (American football)

8 - Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa - 101.821

Inaugurated in 1929, it was dedicated to the memory of George H. Denny, president for twenty years at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (from 1912 to 1932). In 1975 he also chose to offer recognition to Paul "Bear" Bryant, historic coach of Alabama Crimson Tide, a home team that plays in this very stadium. In addition to the American football team, the stadium is also home to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the state's athletics team. A refurbishment with new sports facilities and displays is planned in 2020.

  • Year of construction: 1928
  • Hosted teams: Alabama Crimson Tide (American football) - Alabama High School Athletic Association (athletics)

7 - Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge - 102.321

It was inaugurated in 1924 and today mainly hosts football games: here the LSU Tigers play their home games. It is called Death Valley due to the noise from the stands during sporting events. Famous was this phrase of Bear Bryant, the famous college football player and coach: "Baton Rouge is the worst place in the world for a visiting team: it's like being inside a drum", a phrase that sums up the many victories in the stadium. home team and fear of opponents towards them. The word WIN has been painted on a crossbar, and it is traditional for players to touch it before starting the game. The stadium also has the peculiarity of having H-shaped doors and not Y-shaped like most of the other stadiums.

  • Year of construction: 1924
  • Hosted teams: LSU Tigers (American football)

6 - Neyland Stadium, Knoxville - 102.455

It mostly hosts college football games. In 2004 he had the most appearances with 109.061 people during the game between the Tennessee Volunteers, home team, and the Florida. Among the most important historical events we find the Bily Graham Crusade in 1970 where President Nixon also took part. The Crusade was characterized by thousands of pacifists who tried to stop the demonstration. Renovation works are expected shortly (announced in 2017) to increase the capacity of the upper plant up to 10.000 seats.

  • Year of construction: 1921
  • Hosted teams: Tennessee Volunteers (American football)

5 - Kyle Field, College Station - 102.733

It is also known as "House of the 12th man" and hosts the Aggies home games. A stadium that in the past (the nineties) proved to be a very lucky playing ground given the high victory rate of college football, 93.2%. In the past, a small cemetery had also been set up for the team's mascot dogs, the Reveille. Today the mascot in charge is Reveille IX: in addition, all the mascots, in order to fill this prestigious role, must be rough collie females.

  • Year of construction: 1927
  • Hosted teams: Texas A&M Aggies football (American football)

4 - Ohio Stadium, Columbus - 104.944

Also known as "The Horseshoe" or "the Horseshoe", it was inaugurated in 1922. Before 2014 it did not have a permanent lighting system, which is why the games played at night were very few. Stadium hosts the Ohio State Buskeyes home games; in the past, however, it was the playground for MLS matches (American football league) even if, due to lack of lighting and the reduced size of the facility, it was forced to change fields a few years later. Among the most famous events in the world that took place at Ohio Stadium we find the concerts of Pink Floyd in 1988 and 1994, of the Rolling Stones in 1997 and 2015, of Genesis, U2 and Metallica.

  • Year of construction: 1921
  • Hosted teams: Ohio State Buskeyes

3 - Beaver Stadium, University Park - 106.572

The first stadium ever to have been photographed inside for Google Street View in 2010. Its attendance record was recorded in 2017 with the match between Penn State and Michigan with 110.823 people. Since 1960 hosts the Lions of the Penn State Big Ten Conference and is named after James A. Beaver, former governor of Pennsylvania and chairman of his university's board of trustees. What characterizes it most is the practice of "tailgating", that is, eating and drinking near the stadium before the start of any sporting event, very often even with real barbecues set up along the road.

  • Year of construction: 1959
  • Hosted teams: Penn State Nittany Lions (American football)

2 - Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor - 106.601

Stadium hosts University of Michigan football games; its works began in 1927 and over the years it was modernized several times. the attendance record was during the Michigan-Notre Dame match in 2013 with 115.109 people. The facility was nicknamed "The Big House" due to its size and capacity. Stadium is on the side of protecting the environment: everything that can be sold inside can in fact be recycled or composted. It is the home stadium of the Michigan Wolverines, the University of Michigan football team.

  • Year of construction: 1926
  • Hosted teams: Michigan Wolverines (American football)

1 - Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang - 150.000

Also known only as May Day Stadium, it is the largest stadium in the world with its 150 thousand seats, an area of ​​270 thousand square meters, with 16 arches representing almost a magnolia, 80 entrances, an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and many other rooms also used as a relaxation center for players.
It was built in about 2 years on Rungra Island, on the Taedong River and was inaugurated on May 1st 1980.

The most important show that hosts the stadium is the Arirang Festival, where thousands and thousands of people converge: it is also known as Guinness World Records, the largest event in the world of this type, organized every year by the North Korean regime. Other than that, the stadium it is also used for football, especially for the North Korean national team and for athletics events. Other very important and historical events were the PPV Collision in Korea in 1995 (wrestling matches) and the meeting between Kim Jog II and Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State of the United States.

  • Year of construction: 1987
  • Hosted teams: National of North Korea

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