For thousands of years, people have gathered in huge stadiums to watch sports. From the 50,000 Romans in the Colosseum watching the brutal gladiatorial games to the 173,850 who crammed into the Maracanã in Rio to watch Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1 in the 1950 World Cup Final (some say the actual number was over 200,000).
Read on to find out which is the biggest stadium in the world.
What are the Largest Stadiums in the World?
First, a little housekeeping. This article is about the largest stadiums in the world, not the largest sports venues. While all stadiums are sports venues, not all sports venues are stadiums.
For example, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in America has a capacity of over 257,000. Japan’s Tokyo Racecourse can hold 223,000 and the Shanghai International Circuit in China welcomes 200,000 for F1 races. All sports venues, but none stadiums.
So here are some of the biggest, but which is the world’s biggest stadium?
Location: Wembley, London, UK | Capacity: 90,000 | Sport: Football
One of the biggest stadiums in the world, the new Wembley opened in 2007 at a staggering cost of £789m and is crowned by the 134-metre high Wembley Arch.
The home ground of the England football team and the host of the world-famous FA Cup Final, there are 2,618 toilets and 35 miles of power cabling. While that sounds like a lot, it’s actually small fry compared to the Borei Class submarine of the Russian Navy, one of the biggest submarines in the world, with a quite remarkable 373 miles of wiring!
Location: Barcelona, Spain | Capacity: 99,354 | Sport: Football
Camp Nou is the home of – at time of writing – the 26-time La Liga winners FC Barcelona, one of the most widely supported teams in the world.
The ‘new ground’ – is one of the world’s most famous football stadiums. It is the largest stadium in Spain and the fourth-largest football stadium in the world.
Showcase: How to Build a Stadium
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Location: Yarra Park, Victoria, Australia | Capacity: 100,024 | Sport: Cricket
The MCG is not quite the largest stadium in the world, but it’s close. It is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s second-largest cricket stadium.
Built in 1853, the MCG also hosts football World Cup qualifiers, national and international rugby, Australian Rules football as well as music and cultural events.
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA | Capacity: 102,780 | Sport: American Football
‘The Horseshoe’ opened in 1922 with a capacity of 66,210 (at the time, the largest poured concrete structure in the world) but today is the fifth biggest stadium in the world.
It’s on the campus of Ohio State University and is the home field of the Ohio State Buckeyes American football team. As well as football, it’s a world-class music venue and has hosted some of the greatest stadium musicians in the world including Pink Floyd, U2, Metallica, Billy Joel, Elton John and One Direction.
Location: Ann Arbour, Michigan, USA | Capacity: 107,601 | Sport: American Football
Built in 1927, ‘The Big House’ is home to the University of Michigan’s ‘Wolverines’. It is the largest stadium in the USA and the third largest in the world.
In 2014, an ice hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs set an NHL attendance record of 105,491.
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Location: Pyongyang, North Korea | Capacity: 114,000 | Sports: Football & Athletics
The second biggest stadium in the world by seating capacity, the multi-purpose stadium has a 16-arch scalloped roof resembling a magnolia blossom.
In 2007, the Arirang Mass Games at the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium featured the world’s largest gymnastics display with a staggering 100,090 participants.
Narendra Modi Stadium
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India | Capacity: 132,000 | Sport: Cricket
Home to the Indian national cricket team, the world’s biggest stadium was renamed in February 2021 after India’s Prime Minister, a Gujarat native and former President of the Gujarat Cricket Association.
It opened in 1983 with a capacity of 49,000 but was increased in 2006 to 54,000 and then to a staggering 132,000 in 2020. Cricket is a global sport but in India, it is more than just a game. It is a sport that brings people together like nothing else and the players who represent India are hero-worshipped by hundreds of millions of hardcore fans.
An Amazing Experience
Live sports brings people together like no other events can and if you’ve ever been lucky enough to watch sports in one of the biggest stadiums in the world, you’ll know what an amazing experience it is!