Embarking on a journey through the world of football, we unveil the grandeur of the largest stadiums ever built to host the beautiful game. From the iconic venues of Europe to the sprawling arenas of Asia and the Americas, these colossal structures stand as testaments to the global passion for football.
Join us as we delve into the top 10 largest football stadiums in the world that host remarkable matches and unforgettable events.
Below is the list of Top 10 largest Football stadiums in the World:
|Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
|FNB Stadium (Soccer City)
|Rose Bowl Stadium
|Bukit Jalil National Stadium
|Borg El Arab Stadium
|Salt Lake Stadium
Below are the details of the Top 10 Largest Football Stadiums in the World:
1. RUNGRADO 1ST OF MAY STADIUM – NORTH KOREA
In the 1990s, there was a claim that North Korea’s former Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-il, played golf for the first time at the opening of the Pyongyang Golf Complex.
Allegedly, he achieved an improbable score of 38 under par with 11 holes-in-one. This story, though questionable, added to the intrigue surrounding North Korea’s Rungrado 1st of May Stadium.
This stadium, with a claimed seating capacity of 150,000, is known for its use during events like football matches involving the North Korean national team and the Arirang Festival. It is one of the largest football stadiums in the world.
The stadium’s secretive nature makes it challenging to gather accurate information.
It is even rumoured that in the 1990s, individuals involved in a plot against Kim Jong-il were executed within the stadium.
While the capacity hasn’t changed since its opening, the stadium underwent renovations between 2013 and 2015. Additionally, it serves as the starting and finishing point for the Pyongyang Marathon.
2. Camp Nou – Spain:
Camp Nou has served as FC Barcelona’s home since September 24, 1957. Over the years, it has not only witnessed FC Barcelona’s matches but also hosted events like the Catalonia national team’s games and the 1992 Summer Olympics.
The stadium’s history includes hosting two Champions League finals and a 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final. Its capacity has seen fluctuations, starting from over 93,000 until it reached its present capacity of 99,354 in 2016. Plans are in motion to expand it further to accommodate 105,000 spectators by 2021.
Camp Nou is one of the largest football stadiums in the world. Beyond football, Camp Nou has showcased various events, including Pope John Paul II’s mass and concerts by renowned artists like Julio Iglesias, U2, and Bruce Springsteen.
3. FNB Stadium – South Africa:
The First National Bank Stadium, popularly known as FNB Stadium or Soccer City, serves as a significant venue for South Africa’s football and rugby games.
It witnessed remarkable moments, hosting the African Cup of Nations in 1996 and 2013, along with key matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium underwent upgrades for the World Cup, increasing its capacity to 94,736. Which makes it among the list of largest football stadiums in the world. It has also welcomed renowned musicians like U2, Lady Gaga, and Neil Diamond.
However, its most memorable event was Nelson Mandela’s historic speech in 1990, marking his release from prison.
4. Rose Bowl Stadium – United States:
Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Rose Bowl Stadium boasts a storied heritage in American Football. While it remains synonymous with American Football games, its significance extends to the realm of soccer as well.
The stadium played host to the climactic 1994 FIFA World Cup final, the captivating 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final, and numerous high-profile soccer clashes. Since its inauguration in 1922, the venue has been a witness to momentous occasions, including the memorable 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match.
Over time, the seating capacity, once at 104,091, experienced alterations. The Rose Bowl stands as an emblematic setting for events like the BSC National Championship, College Football Playoffs, and even Super Bowl extravaganzas.
Beyond its sports legacy, the stadium’s stage has been graced by legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, and Depeche Mode. Rose Bowl Stadium is among the list of largest football stadiums in the world.
5. Wembley Stadium – England:
The modern Wembley Stadium debuted in 2007, famously inaugurated for the 2007 FA Cup final, where Chelsea triumphed 1-0 over Manchester United. Serving as England’s national football team’s home ground, it has been a hub for numerous international matches since its reopening.
Beyond England games, the stadium hosts FA Cup semi-finals, finals, League Cup finals, and the FA Community Shield match annually.
It has witnessed the Champions League finals in 2011 and 2013, hosted the Gold Medal Match in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and accommodated Rugby League Challenge Cup finals, NFL matches, and vibrant concerts.
6. Estadio Azteca – México:
Nestled in Mexico City’s Santa Ursula suburb, Estadio Azteca is the revered home of the Mexican national team. It also welcomes Club America, a premier Mexican football club. Throughout its history, other teams such as Necaxa, Atlante, Universidad Nacional, Atletico Espanyol, and Cruz Azul have graced its grounds.
An iconic global stadium, it stands as the first to host two distinct FIFA World Cup finals: Brazil defeating Italy 4-1 in 1970, and Argentina prevailing 3-2 over West Germany in 1986.
The stadium gained notoriety among English fans during the 1986 quarter-final between England and Argentina when Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of God’ goal occurred.
Estadio Azteca’s night game debut occurred on June 5, 1966, as Necaxa took on Spain’s Valencia. In 1978 and 1990, it witnessed Copa Interamericana finals, the former between America and Boca Juniors, and the latter pitting America against Paraguay’s Club Olimpia.
7. Bukit Jalil National Stadium – Malaysia:
Constructed for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium has since served as the home for Malaysia’s national football team.
Praised as the finest stadium in Malaysia, it frequently hosts significant tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games, ASEAN University Games, and FESPIC Games.
The venue’s versatility extends to hosting music concerts for artists like Kelly Clarkson, Usher, The Corrs, and Linkin Park.
Hosting track and field events, the Malaysian FA Cup final, FA Premier League Asia Cup, and the Champions Youth Cup final, the stadium has also been a destination for pre-season tours of teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.
It underwent renovations in 1998, resulting in capacity expansion.
8. Borg El Arab Stadium – Egypt:
Despite being among the world’s ten largest stadiums in terms of capacity, the Borg El Arab Stadium remains shrouded in mystery. It features a parking space for up to 5,000 cars and an umbrella covering 35% of the stadium, yet essential details such as its highest attendance and construction cost remain unknown.
The stadium was constructed as part of Egypt’s bid for the 2010 World Cup and is one of the venues for Egypt’s international football matches, alongside the Cairo International Stadium and Mubarak Stadium in Giza. Despite a capacity of 80,000, the terrace and first-class stand occupy 35% of the seating.
It was selected for the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, primarily hosting the opening match between Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago.
While some found similarities with the Stade de France, FIFA’s then-President Sepp Blatter praised the stadium as ‘fantastic,’ creating a difference in opinions.
9. Salt Lake Stadium – India:
Formally known as the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India, was once the world’s largest football stadium. Through periodic renovations, its capacity has diminished while enhancing seating and facilities.
Apart from serving as the Indian National football team’s home, the stadium accommodates three clubs: ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Mohammedan. Occasional use for athletics events and concerts is also noted.
Not widely recognized in the Western world, it frequently hosts under-17 men’s and women’s World Cup matches, including fixtures involving well-known teams like Bayern Munich during Oliver Kahn’s farewell, as well as Argentina facing Venezuela in 2011.
10. MetLife Stadium – USA:
While housing the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, MetLife Stadium serves various purposes, including international football matches. The stadium’s inaugural international fixture was the 2010 game between Mexico and Ecuador.
It predominantly hosts friendlies and exhibition matches. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and the USA are among the teams that have played there.
The Copa America Centenario, a special competition marking Copa America’s centenary, saw its only competitive fixture at the stadium. The MetLife Stadium is renowned for its optimal sightlines from all seats.
Additionally, the innovative design enables swift pitch size adjustments by retracting some corner seating mechanically to meet FA regulations. With a substantial capacity, the stadium is an ideal venue for concerts.
A myriad of musical legends including Guns N’ Roses, Taylor Swift, U2, Beyoncé, Metallica, and Ed Sheeran have graced its stage, along with many others. Furthermore, the stadium is set to host the World Cup final in 2026.
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