The question of which stadium is the largest in the world in the football environment will hardly remain unanswered. Any fan will immediately name the Brazilian “Maracana”.
However, this is a delusion - after all, this stadium, popular in Rio de Janeiro, is not only not the very best, but is not even included in the twenty largest in the world. Once upon a time, “Maracana” at the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay really accommodated a record 200 thousand people.
However, this attendance was due to the standing seating at the stadium. Today everything is done for the benefit of the audience, after the reconstruction and installation of plastic seats, the capacity was only 89 thousand spectators, which threw Maracana from the leaders.
As we will see, in addition, not all of them are always used for European football in the list of the ten largest stadiums, and almost all of them are located outside the Old World. But you can't call them non-football either.
In America, for example, soccer matches are held at such venues. Similarly, rugby and other sports can sometimes be seen in European stadiums. A huge sports facility will always find its use.
So, the largest stadium in the world is the Rungnado 1st of May Stadium. It is located in the city of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. The building's capacity is 150 thousand people. The stadium was built back in 1989, it has all seating and individual seats, which is important for such a capacity. The stands are covered with a petal roof, which also covers the eight-story stadium building itself. Despite the volumes, the architecture is quite dynamic here. The stadium got its name from the name of the Rungra stadium, where it is located, as well as in honor of the Day of International Workers' Solidarity, familiar to us, May Day. It was on this day that the building was solemnly opened. In 1988, the Olympics were held in South Korea, in contrast to this competition, in the summer of next year, the North Koreans held the XIII World Festival of Youth and Students at the stadium. When the neighbors of the FIFA World Cup were held in Pyongyang in 2002, they decided to assert themselves against this background - choreographic records were being set with might and main. Nowadays gymnast shows are staged here regularly. Although the May Day stadium is formally listed as the home stadium of the DPRK national football team, it still plays in a different place. It is hard to talk about the demand for such a unique structure in terms of capacity. Usually the number of spectators does not reach even half of the number of seats. Often there are more participants than the audience at grandiose choreographic and gymnastic shows. Thus, the May Day stadium is the most striking example of gigantomania, inherent in both the socialist system in principle and the North Korean regime itself.
The second place in terms of capacity is occupied by the Indian Youth Stadium, which in Bengali is referred to as Yuba Bharati Krirangan. It is also known as Salt Lake Stadium. The building is located in Kolkata, India. Built in 1984, the stadium can accommodate 120,000 people, and the last reconstruction was carried out in 2001. The aluminum roof here does not completely cover the stands, but only 70%. Individual seating is mainly in the central stand, while the rest of the area is given to benches. The stadium is equipped with its own diesel generator and has its own water supply system. The most famous sporting event that took place here was the III South Asian Games. The stadium is home to the Indian national football team and three clubs: Mohammedan, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
The third largest in the world is Beaver Stadium in University Park, Center County, Pennsylvania, USA. The sports center has a capacity of 107,282 people. The stadium was built back in 1960, and the last time it was reconstructed quite recently - in 2008. The building is considered a university building. The direct translation of the name sounds like "Beaver Stadium", but this animal has nothing to do with it. The name of the stadium was given in honor of James Addams Beaver, who was the governor of Pennsylvania in 1887-1891. At the end of his political career, Beaver headed a local university. The stadium's attendance record was set in 2002, even before the last redesign. 110753 spectators gathered here. There are benches everywhere, except for the second and third tiers of the stands. American football is played at the stadium. Beaver Stadium is home to the Penn State Knightteny Lions, a member of the National Student Association (NCAA).
The next largest is Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Its capacity is 106201 people. The university stadium was built in 1927, with a capacity of 72 thousand then, but each subsequent reconstruction increased this figure. Most visited here in 2003, the stadium was once visited by 112,118 spectators. It fits only a thousand less than the Pennsylvania stadium. I must say that such a correspondence duel does not give the Michigan people peace of mind. In December 2007, a new reconstruction began, which plans to increase the capacity to 108 thousand, which will make it possible to bypass principal competitors. The planned cost of the work is 226 million, and the work is due to be completed in 2010. However, all the same, Michigan stadium is the first in the United States in terms of average attendance. There are no standing places here at all, though there are no individual seats either. The Michigan Woolverenis American Football Club of the NCAA plays here.
In fifth place is, without exaggeration, the legendary Azteca stadium (Estadio Azteca), in the city of Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. Its capacity is 105,064 people. The building was built in 1966 and was renovated before the 1986 FIFA World Cup. It hosted matches of all stages - the opening match, the group stages, the quarterfinals (it was in it that Maradona scored his famous goals to the Englishmen "The Hand of God" and "Goal of the Century"). The semi-finals and finals of that championship were played at the Aztec. The Mexicans have already had the experience of hosting the World Cup and just at this stadium. In 1970, matches of all stages were held here again. The Olympics also visited the Aztec, in 1968 football matches were held here. The legendary stadium also hosted the 1999 Confederations Cup. The name of the building is directly related to the Aztec past of the country. There was a time when the stadium was renamed Estadion Guillermo Canedo, as the Azteca name belonged to a television company that did not want to give a nice name. However, the fans did not like the new name, the stadium was still called "Aztec". As a result, the authorities were forced to officially return the name. The stadium consists of four tiers, divided into seven sections. The roof covers the stands by 70%, and not only the America football club plays here, but also the Mexican national team.
The next largest is the American Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Its official capacity is 102329 people. Owned by the state university stadium. The building was built in 1922, and the last time it was reconstructed in 2001. But sports events are held here only during the daytime, because there is no lighting here. All seats are seated, although there are benches in the stands everywhere, except for the five central sectors with individual seats for club members. The main entrance itself is designed as a rotunda. The stadium itself has an oval shape, this is due to the fact that initially there were treadmills and a track and field competition was held here. In those days there was no South Stand at all, the arena looked like a horseshoe, which was somewhat symbolic. The treadmills were removed only in 2000, when the field was lowered down a few meters. At the same time, the stands of the lower tier were completed so that the stadium became purely football. The South Stand did not appear immediately either. It is curious that the funds for the reconstruction were allocated exclusively by the club and at the expense of donations, neither the city nor the university allocated any funds for the reconstruction. The field is artificial here. The attendance record was set here in 2008, when 105,711 spectators gathered here. The Ohio stadium is famous for having the loudest crowd noise ever recorded in a stadium. But this achievement has already been surpassed by Liverpool's Anfield Road. This is the home of the Ohio State Backcase, an American football club in the NCAA. Until 1999, the Columbus Crew MLS soccer club also played here.
Next in terms of capacity is DKR Texas Memorial Stadium (Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium), Austin, Texas, USA. The sports complex has a capacity of 101096 people. And this stadium belongs to the university. It was built in 1924, and the last reconstruction took place here in 2009. However, upon completion of the work, new transformations were started, which should increase the capacity to 115 thousand. In the stands, in addition to individual seats, there are also benches. The western stand, which is no less than thirteen stories high, stands out. Most recently, the North Stand, located just outside the gate, was rebuilt, and a second tier was added, which looks like a continuation of the East Stand. The facade of the stadium has also changed significantly. At the moment, work is underway on the South Stand, which should become a symmetrical North Stand. Even with fully custom seating, the stadium is slated to become the largest in America and the third largest in the world. If we leave the shops altogether, then perhaps the Texas stadium will overtake the Indian, which is located in second place. The stadium was named after the legendary coach Darrell Royal in the state. The word “Memorial” in the name appeared thanks to the university committee of war veterans, which thus paid tribute to the memory of all graduates of the stadium who died in the battles. American Football Club Texess Longhorns from the NCAA plays at the stadium.
Eighth on the list is Melbourne Cricket Ground, located in Melbourne, Australia. The Australians themselves call their facility MCG, sometimes even shorter - G. The capacity of the stadium is 100012 spectators. It was built a very long time ago - back in 1854. Then, of course, the configuration and capacity were completely different. The last reconstruction was carried out here in 2006. The stadium is also known for having the world's tallest lighting towers. There is a visor above the stands, but it does not completely cover them. Owns the Melbourne Cricket Club complex. The stadium hosts the matches of the Australian national cricket and football teams. There are also a couple of local clubs and several Australian football teams (a local mixture of rugby and soccer) playing cricket here. In 1956, it was this stadium that hosted the Olympic Games, becoming their main arena. Then a large-scale reconstruction took place especially for this event. At that time, the capacity of the stadium was 120 thousand people, the record figure here is 130 thousand, which the stadium received in 1959. During the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the stadium hosted the matches of the football tournament. In January 2009, the stadium was recognized as one of the seven wonders of sports. MCG is located in the Olympic Park, with the main part of which is connected by crossings over the railway tracks. On the left, there is a rowing canal and many sports facilities, including the courts where the famous tennis Australian Open is held. By the way, these indoor courts were built here a long time ago, remaining unique in their kind for a long time.
The ninth place belongs to Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. It was built in 1921, and the last reconstruction took place here in 2009. As a result, its capacity has even decreased. Now it is 100011 instead of the previous 102037. This dropped the stadium from the previous seventh place in the rating to ninth. In general, the stadium is constantly being reconstructed, on average every 5-10 years. However, until 2006, all events led only to an increase in capacity, the highest indicator was reached in 2006, the level of 104,079 spectators. The stadium itself, as is customary in the United States, belongs to the university. There are benches in its stands. The stadium got its name in honor of the successful coach-innovator of the local team, General Robert Niiland. This stadium was included in the expanded list of 70 stadiums that qualify for the right to host matches of the 2018 or 2022 World Cup in the event that the United States is chosen as the host of the world championship. American football club Tennessee Volunteers, from the same NCAA league, plays here.
An honorable tenth place on the list is the famous Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. Accommodates the famous football giant 98,934 spectators. This is the largest stadium in Europe. It was built here in 1957, and its last reconstruction took place in 1998. According to the UEFA classification, the stadium has five stars - the highest rating, allowing for the highest level matches. As a result, it hosted two Cup Winners' Cup finals in 1972 and 1982, a 1989 Champions Cup final and a 1999 Champions League final. The Camp Nou hosted the 1964 European Football Championship and 1982 World Cup matches. At that World Cup, the stadium hosted six matches, including the opening match and the semi-final. By that time, the capacity of the structure was generally 120 thousand people. The name of the stadium is translated as Novoe Pole, as the stadium was new in relation to its predecessor. The official name sounds like Estadio del Club de Futbol Barcelona, but out of habit everyone continues to call it Camp Nou. As a result, in 2001 it was decided to give this name also officially. In 1998, according to UEFA requirements, all seats were equipped with individual seating, and therefore all benches were removed from the stadium. Therefore, to reduce the loss of seats, it was necessary to lower the field level and thereby lengthen the stands. Barcelona's management is hatching plans for a large-scale renovation worth 250 million euros. According to the projects, a roof will appear over the stands, and the capacity will increase to 106,000, which will allow to bypass the Aztec. The stadium itself belongs to the Barcelona football club, which plays on it.