In the 21st century, sports and recreation are some of the most significant scores in the world. Some of the world's mega-structures consist of dams and bridges, and the largest stadiums in the world have emerged.
The list of largest stadiums in the world comprises mostly those in the United States for college and university football leagues. Most African countries except South Africa and Nigeria have below-standard coliseums that cannot even feature among the top 1,000 in the world. Most of these arenas are owned by independent clubs, giving them the freedom to make any adjustments if needed.
Top 15 largest stadiums in the world
Stadiums are architectural marvels that offer enough space to conduct entertainment activities, theatre events, and even celebrations. Nevertheless, the world has seen the rise of mega arenas over the years. Here is a list of the biggest ones:
1. Narendra Modi Stadium
- Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
- Capacity: 132,000
- Area: 63 acres
This coliseum is the biggest in the world in terms of capacity. It is also popularly referred to as the Motera Cricket Stadium. It is the home ground of the Gujarat Cricket Association. The construction was a collaboration amongst prominent contracting firms in India, namely Larsen & Toubro.
It is erected on about 63 acres of land and was built to ensure all the sitting spectators have an unhindered view of whatever is happening on the pitch. Some of the facilities on this premise include a swimming pool, practice grounds, and dressing rooms.
2. Rungrado May Day Stadium
- Location: Pyongyang, North Korea
- Capacity: 114,000
- Area: 51 acres
What is the largest football stadium in the world? May Day stadium, also known as Rungrado, is one of the biggest coliseums in the world in terms of size and capacity. It is located in Pyongyang city of North Korea, and was officially opened to the public on 1st May 1989. The first event to be hosted in the arena was the World Festival of Youth and Students.
It occupies 51 acres of land and can accommodate 114,000 people. It is also the North Korea Women's national football team's home. Apart from its large size, it is located on an island with bridges connecting it to the rest of the mainland.
3. Michigan Stadium
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
- Capacity: 107,601
The United States is home to many of the largest arenas in the world. For example, the Michigan Stadium, also known as The Big House, is the home turf for the University of Michigan football team. It is the largest arena in the US today; it was built in 1927 for about $950,000.
Initially, the ground could accommodate about 72,000 people at a time but was amended in 2015, giving it the current sitting capacity of 107,601 people. Since its inception as the home of the Michigan University football team, the arena has recorded some of the largest crowds appearing for a football match, including September 2013’s 115,109 attendance.
4. Beaver Stadium
- Location: State College, Pennsylvania, United States
- Capacity: 106,572
Beaver is the second-largest pitch in the United States. It is the home arena for the University Park, Pennsylvania, football team. Its construction dates back to 1909 when some parts of the arena were erected. It was once voted one of the best grounds for college football in the US. The initial design of the arena could accommodate about 46,284 but expanded over the years to its current capacity of 106,572.
5. Ohio Stadium
- Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States
- Capacity: 104,944
- Area: 4 hectares
Ohio coliseum is the largest arena in the state of Ohio. It is also known as Horseshoe, the shoe or The House That Harley Built. The primary purpose for its construction was to be home turf for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. Still, it has since served other functions, including hosting Ohio State University's events and games. The largest ever attendance was on 26th November 2016, with 110,045 fans.
6. Kyle Field
- Location: College Station, Texas, United States
- Capacity: 102,733
Kyle Field is the largest football field in the southern hemisphere. Its construction dates back to 1904 and has remained the home for the Texas A&M Aggies football team. The capacity has changed from 32,890 people in 1927 to 102,733 in 2022, following a series of expansion works. It recorded the largest fan attendance of 110,633 people on 11th October 2014.
7. Neyland Stadium
- Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- Capacity: 102,455
Neyland is located in Knoxville, Tenessee, the US. It hosts several events in the state and is majorly known as a sports arena for football games. Primarily, it is the home of the Tennessee Volunteers football team. It boasts a capacity of 102,455. The largest ever recorded attendance was 109,061 fans on 18th September 2004.
8. Tiger Stadium
- Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
- Capacity: 102,321
- Area: 3 hectares
Tiger Stadium is the home ground for the Detroit Tigers. It is also known as Navin Field and Briggs Stadium. Its initial size was 23,000 but was increased to the current size of 102,321. However, following a series of redevelopments and changes of guard by teams, it was demolished on 30th June 2008 and reconstructed just a year later.
9. Bryant-Denny Stadium
- Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
- Capacity: 101,821
What are the top 10 biggest stadiums in the world? Bryant-Denny Stadium is one of them. It is an outdoor arena at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and more importantly, the Southeastern-based arena is home to the Crimson Tide football team that plays in the southeastern conference.
10. Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
- Location: Austin, Texas, United States
- Capacity: 100,119
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium has been the home turf for the Longhorns football team for a long time. Thanks to the humongous size of the arena, the football team has enjoyed massive support from the locals and nationwide. This far, it has had a record attendance of 103,507 people in the match Trojans vs Texas Longhorns held on 15th September 2018.
11. Melbourne Cricket Ground
- Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Capacity: 100,024
- Area: 4.05 hectares
Melbourne Cricket Stadium in Australia is the largest ground in Australia and by far the largest in the region. The cricket coliseum is one of the choicest locations for international tournaments and the southern hemisphere. The Melbourne Cricket Club manages the arena and hosts cricket leagues.
12. Camp Nou
- Location: Barcelona, Spain
- Capacity: 99,354
- Area: 5.5 hectares
This coliseum is the largest in Europe as it is located in Spain and is the home ground of FC Barcelona, a club renowned as one of the best globally. Three architects: Josep Soteras Mauri, Francesc Mitjans Miró and Lorenzo García Barbón, designed the edifice. The coliseum had an initial capacity of about 48,000 but has increased.
Some of the structures and facilities in the New Ground, as the name translates into, are television stations, Sports Medicine Center, FC Barcelona Club Museum, Operative Control Unit, VIP lounges, a presidential box, a chapel, and changing rooms.
13. FNB Stadium
- Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
- Capacity: 94,736
- Area: 24 hectares
This is undoubtedly the largest in Africa. Construction began on several acres of land between Johannesburg and Soweto in 1986 and was completed within three years, so it became operational in 1989. The initial capacity was 80,000 and was used to host national team games and become the home ground for the Kaizer Chiefs.
Fast forward to 2006, a total reconstruction began to meet up with the country's hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was completed in 2009, although it was later discovered that the accredited $440 million was inflated by colluding contractors. The current capacity is 94,736.
14. Sanford Stadium
- Location: Athens, Georgia, United States of America
- Capacity: 92,746
Unarguably one of the largest stadiums in college football, Sanford Stadium has existed for close to a century and has undergone tremendous changes in different decades. It is the home ground of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and the enormity of this ground can intimidate any team visiting for the first time.
Sanford coliseum was inaugurated on 12th October 1929. Some of its most important parts include a white bulldog, the institution's mascot, Sanford Field's famous hedges, and a mausoleum where any dead alumnus of the school is interred.
15. Cotton Bowl Stadium
- Location: Dallas, Texas, United States of America
- Capacity: 92,100
This may not have the title of the largest stadium capacity, but it is one to give most sports grounds across Europe a run for their money. In addition, it is the home ground for two clubs in the National Football League: the SMU Mustangs and The Cowboys.
Cotton Bowl Stadium was constructed in 1930 for about $328,000 and had an initial holding capacity of 45,000. But then, it underwent a $50 million renovation in 2008 and increased its capacity to about 92,000.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the biggest stadium in the world? The biggest stadium in the world is the Narendra Modi Stadium, also known as the Motera Cricket Stadium.
- What football stadium has the biggest capacity? Popularly known as Motera Cricket Stadium, Narendra Modi Stadium is the biggest; it can accommodate 132,000 people at a go.
- What are the top 20 largest stadiums in the world? The top 20 largest stadiums are the ones that can hold at least 80,000 spectators at a go.
- What is the largest stadium in Africa? The FNB Stadium, with almost 95,000 capacity, is the biggest in the continent of Africa.
- What is the largest stadium in the world of college football? The Sanford Stadium in Georgia holds this title.
- How big is the Cotton Bowl Stadium? It can accommodate up to 92,100, making it one of the biggest coliseums.
Most of the largest stadiums in the world were smaller initially. But, they upgraded them over time, and new facilities were added to their ground. Nonetheless, most of them are home grounds of popular football, soccer, and cricket teams around the globe.
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