The 5 Biggest Sports Stadiums in the World
With advancements in technology, stadiums have come a long way from what they used to look like back in the days. Stadiums built now have huge crowd capacity to fit over 100,000+ people, world-class scoreboards, large viewing screens, private boxes, and a lot more expected from a state-of-the-art sporting venue. With the financial potential of having a large capacity and lucrative facilities, it is no surprise why are considered a good investment. While we are accustomed to them in major cities, the Middle East has only recently begun to open up to international sporting events.
Arabic websites like a7labet.com proudly writes about the new stadiums that are being built while international media is criticizing Qatar for trying to whitewash its global image through “sports-washing” before the World Cup. In addition to the Khalifa International Stadium, which has a capacity of 90,000 visitors, Qatar is building another 7 new stadiums to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and there is no doubt we will have to add more stadiums to this list. We will leave the discussion about sport-washing for another article and instead take a look at the top five largest stadiums in the world right now by their crowd capacity:
1. Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Formerly known as Rungrado May day stadium. It’s the largest stadium in the world, located on an Island of the same name in North Korea. It opened on 1st of May, 1989.
The stadium has an official crowd capacity of 150,000. The stadium’s roof features 16 arches arranged in a ring making it look like a magnolia blossom. It also looks like a parachute if you look at it from another angle, it was built to cover diverse sporting events. The field size includes the main pitch covering 25,000m², and a land area of over 207,000m².
The first major event that was hosted in the stadium was a World’s festival for Youth and Students. It is a site for the football matches played by the country’s team. It also hosts annual events like the Arirang festival and the Pyongyang marathon. There are also times when it is used for military parades, the Stadium hosted the collision in Korea wrestling event in 1995.
2. Narendra Modi Stadium
It was formerly called the Sardar Patel Stadium. The stadium primarily hosts cricket events in Gujarat, India. It is the largest Cricket Stadium in the world and second-largest sporting facility in the world with a crowd capacity of 132,000. It’s owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association and was opened in 1983. The Stadium was recently renamed in honor of the current prime minister, who’s also a Gujarat native on February 24, 2021.
The newly renovated Stadium occupies 63 acres of land, with three entry points, with a metro line at one of the entries. It also houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a clubhouse with 55 rooms. Also housed in the Narendra Modi Stadium are four dressing rooms, badminton, an indoor cricket academy, a squash arena, tennis courts, and a 3D projector theater are some of the facilities that the stadium can boast of. It also comes with a parking lot that can accommodate 3,000 cars and 10,000 two-wheelers. The Stadium also boasts of led lights on the roof instead of the normal flooding lights at Cricket grounds.
The sports venue has hosted events like the 23 ODI, 12 Test, and 1 T20I cricket match. The biggest event hosted by the Stadium was the Namaste Trump event on February 24, 2020.
3. Michigan Stadium
It is the largest Stadium in the USA and the third-largest in the world. It is fondly called ‘the big house’ by university students. The football stadium belongs to the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Stadium was opened in 1927 with an initial capacity of 72,000 until it was renovated in 2010. This renovation allowed the Stadium to be redesigned with footings to allow the capacity to be expanded beyond 100,000. It added permanent lighting in 2010, which was first used at the men’s hockey game.
The most common sport played at the stadium is the college football game. The Stadium is also used for the University of Michigan main graduation ceremonies. In 2014, it had an official record attendance of 105,491 for an NHL hockey game. It presently holds the record for the highest football match attendance in the United States for a friendly tournament between Manchester United and Real Madrid.
4. Beaver Stadium
Located in Pennsylvania State University Campus, the Beaver Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium. The Stadium opened in 1960 with an initial capacity of 46,284. The Stadium was expanded in 2011 to a crowd capacity of 106,572. Though its record attendance stands at 110,889. It serves as the home field of the Pennsylvania state’s football team.
In 2014, the scoreboards were changed and marquee boards were added. It is the fourth largest stadium in the world and the second-largest in the Western Hemisphere.
The Stadium was the first to have its interior included in Google Street view. It is widely known as the toughest venue for opposing teams in collegiate athletics. In 2006, the Stadium was voted the best college football venue in a poll conducted by USA Today.
5. Ohio Stadium
The Stadium is located in Columbus, Ohio, in the Ohio State University campus. It opened in 1922 and has an official crowd capacity of 102,760. It was nicknamed ‘the Horseshoe’, due to its unique shape.
It was expanded in 2015 and it had a record attendance of 110,045 on November 26, 2016, when it hosted a home game played by the Ohio State Buckeyes team against the Michigan team.
The Stadium mostly serves as the home venue for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. It also host’s the university’s spring commencement ceremony each May. The Stadium serves as a venue for music concerts performed by popular celebrities. It hosted the 2016 International champions cup match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain on July 27, 2016, with over 86,640 fans. This was the largest crowd to ever see a soccer game in Ohio.