The word ‘stadium’ comes from the Greek word ‘stadion,’ a unit for length measurement that equals 600 feet. Dating back to almost 776 BC, stadiums have remained a common sight for a little less than three millennia now. Greece and Rome’s original stadiums were U-shaped, with tracks intended for four-horse chariot races or plain old races. Today’s stadiums have evolved tremendously. Today, stadiums are massive engineering marvels that hold outdoor sports, concerts, and other events. From the modern-day Old Trafford (U.K.) and Madison Square Garden (U.S.) to the 8th-century stadium at Olympia in Greece. Quite a few stadiums are a sight to behold around the world. There are many grand stadiums worldwide worth visiting, let’s talk about the ones that are a cut above the rest.
Facts Verse Presents Most Impressive Stadiums in the World. If you like our content, don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel, as well as hit the bell icon to stay updated on our upcoming videos.
The Flavian Amphitheatre
The most impressive and the ‘original’ stadium is, of course, the magnificent Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Just east of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum was a sign of absolute splendor back in the days. Construction on the Colosseum began in AD 72 and the structure was the biggest arena of its time. It could seat a whopping 50,000-80,000 spectators, who were typically present to watch stuff far more violent than your average sports and other events.
Having seen Sir Ridley Scott’s phenomenal feature film Gladiator, most of us are aware of the Colosseum’s bloody history. Gladiator contests, hunts, executions, and dramas were common sights at the Colosseum back then. In fact, 9,000 wild animals were massacred during the Flavian Amphitheater’s inaugural games in around 80 AD and 81 AD.
A close second on the list of the most impressive stadiums in the world is Berlin’s Olympiastadion. Spread over approx. 55,000 sq. m, the 74,475-seater stadium was originally constructed for the 1926 Summer Olympics, the first games that were broadcasted live.
Olympiastadion is a part of Olympiapark Berlin, a sports and entertainment complex located in Berlin. The park was previously known as Deutsches Sportforum and the Reichssportfeld. Werner March and Albert Speer were the original architects for the stadium, and Friedrich Wilhelm Krahe oversaw the renovations of 1972-1973. The structure suffered massive damage in World War II and was restored post-war. It was later renovated for the 1974 World Cup.
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The Panathenaic Stadium is a stadium located in Athens, Greece — it is the only stadium in the world made entirely out of marble. The present-day Panathenaic Stadium stands over a 330 BC racecourse. This racecourse was rebuilt in 144 AD by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, and its seating capacity was increased to 50,000. However, the Panathenaic Stadium eventually stopped being used. In the 1870s, it was chosen to host the Zappas Olympics before being renovated to host the opening and closing ceremony of the first modern Olympics in 1896. Today, the Panathenaic Stadium has a seating capacity of 80,000.
On April 6, 1896, during the inaugural ceremony of the modern Olympic games, James Connolly of the United States won the triple jump, becoming the first champion of the modern Olympics. Connolly was a Harvard student who dropped out of Harvard only to be able to participate in the games.
Built in 2007, Bird’s Nest, or Beijing National Stadium, is a 91,000-seater engineering marvel. It was designed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics as well as the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The stadium is considered one of the most complex ones ever to be constructed, and its iconic 42,000-ton steel frame exterior makes it extremely memorable.
Apart from the steel frame exterior, then massive stadium exhibits several other extraordinary features. It is built to last a century and designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8 on the Richter scale. From a design perspective, the stadium was a collaborative venture between Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from Switzerland’s Herzog & de Meuron, Stefan Marbach, Ai Weiwei, and CADG.
The Olympic Stadium, located in Montreal, Canada, can hold up to 66,000 people and is the biggest stadium in Canada. It is also often referred to as The Big-O, primarily due to its ring-shaped roof design. The stadium was constructed to host the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Roger Taillibert, who had also designed the Parc des Princes in Paris, was chosen as the lead architect for the stadium. The original estimate calculated the total cost to be $134 million Canadian dollars. However, by the time of its completion, the total cost incurred had almost become twice. The government of Quebec, therefore, decided to levy an extra tax on cigarettes and tobacco products to recover the cost of the stadium. These taxes were able to cover the cost of the Olympic Stadium after almost three decades of its completion.
Michigan Stadium, also known as The Big House is the largest stadium in the United States and the third-largest stadium in the world. The stadium opened to the public in 1927 and has undergone massive changes over the years. Though officially the stadium has a seating capacity of 107,601, it can easily accommodate up to 115,000 people.
Every year, the Michigan Stadium serves as the venue for Michigan’s graduation ceremonies. That apart, it has also served as the venue for several important political events, including President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 commencement ceremonies. It has also served as home to the Michigan Wolverines Lacrosse and Hockey teams in the past.
The football stadium Camp Nou (meaning ‘the new ground’) was completed in 1957, and it has been home to FC Barcelona ever since. The massive stadium could fit a little less than a whopping 100,000 spectators back when it opened and was later expanded for the 1982 FIFA World Cup to accommodate more than 121,000. Camp Nou, designed by architects Francesc Mitjans and Josep Soteras, along with Lorenzo García-Barbón, is Europe’s largest stadium.
The Water Cube
The design of the Beijing National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, was decided based on the results of an international architectural competition. A total of ten proposals were submitted and from these ten proposals, the government chose the Water Cube design as the winner. Construction on the stadium began in 2003 and ended in 2008, just in time for the Olympics. In July 2009, the Water Cube was opened to the public. However, people could visit the stadium only on certain days of the week. In 2009, the stadium closed for renovations and it reopened in 2010 as a water park featuring various fun rides.
FNB Stadium/Soccer City
The FNB Stadium (First National Bank Stadium) or the Soccer City of Nasrec, Johannesburg (South Africa) hosts football and rugby matches. Opened in 1989 and renovated and expanded in 2009, the stadium is home to FC Kaizer Chiefs. The FNB Stadium is the largest in Africa and can seat almost 95,000 spectators.
The stadium is an iconic site for many reasons. It was where Nelson Mandela gave his first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison, and it was later held a memorial for Mandela about 23 years later. The funeral of Chris Hani, the South African Communist Party’s leader, was held in the stadium. The FNB Stadium also hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between the Netherlands and Spain.
Kaohsiung National Stadium
Kaohsiung National Stadium was formerly known as the World Games Stadium. With a seating capacity of 55,000, it is Taiwan’s largest stadium. Its construction began in 2007 and the stadium was opened to the public in 2009 — Japanese architect Toyo Hiro came up with the design of the Kaohsiung National Stadium. Most importantly, the Kaohsiung National Stadium uses solar power technology. Solar panels cover the roof of the stadium and produce enough energy to not only light the stadium but also the neighboring areas. Since the stadium looks like a dragon when seen from the top, it is also often referred to as the ‘Dragon’s tail’.
Located in Wembley, London, the Wembley stadium was opened in 2007. It can seat up to 90,000 spectators and is the largest stadium in the UK and the second-largest in Europe. Wembley Stadium has hosted much notable football and many rugby matches as well as musical concerts. The artists who have performed here have made the stadium a holy ground for music lovers. From Madonna and Metallica to Beyoncé, Adele, and Coldplay, Wembley has seen some truly impressive performances.
Located in Stockholm, Sweden, the Ericsson Globe, originally known as Stockholm Globe, was opened to the public in 1989. The name of the stadium was changed to Ericsson Globe after the Swedish telecommunication giant acquired the building in 2009. The stadium has a seating capacity of 16,000. Ericsson Globe’s most distinctive feature is its design — shaped like a massive white ball, the stadium is the biggest hemispherical building in the world. You can go to the top of the stadium with Skyview gondolas to enjoy panoramic views of the city of Stockholm. The two gondolas depart at a gap of every ten minutes and the ticket costs 160 Krona or approximately $18.
Allianz Arena is located in Munich, Germany, and has a seating capacity of 70,000. The stadium was opened to the public in 2005 and is known world-over for its distinctive plastic panels that light up in shades of red, white, and blue. However, these panels have also led to some controversy in the past, with local authorities demanding that they light up in only a single shade to appear less distracting to drivers. Allianz Arena has led to the emergence of many partner stadiums around the world. More importantly, the stadium welcomes 4 million visitors every year who have finished over 8 million liters of drinks since its opening. Funny, isn’t it?
The Float at Marina Bay
The Float at Marina Bay, also known as Marina Bay Floating Platform, is the world’s largest floating stadium. It is located in Singapore and garners attention from a variety of events, from the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics to the Singapore Grand Prix of 2008. The stadium was opened in 2007 and can seat up to 27,000 spectators. The float is the largest floating stage worldwide and measures 120 m in length and 83 m in breadth.
Once known as the Cowboys stadium, the AT&T stadium of Arlington, Texas (US), is one of the most expensive sports stadiums in the world. Construction began in 2005 and lasted till 2009 and amounted to a whopping $1.3 billion back then. HKS, Inc. was the architectural firm that undertook the project with Jack Hill as the Project Manager.
So, did you enjoy this video on some of the most impressive stadiums of the world? Have you been to any? If yes, how was the experience? Please share it with us in the comments section.
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