These arenas boasts of having the facilities to host the largest number of people around the globe.
For all the stakeholders of the game, big football stadiums are necessary. For the club, it’s the chief source of revenue through ticket sales. For fans, the larger the seating capacity of the stadium, the better they can connect with the team in numbers. For the team, a big crowded stadium directly enhances their home game performances.
Barcelona at Camp Nou, Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, Liverpool at Anfield and many more such European giants at their home stadiums are a treat to watch and tough to be beaten. Hence, having a stadium with a very high seating capacity is always one of the primary goals of a football club.
We take a look at five football stadiums with the highest seating capacity in the world.
5. Rose Bowl, USA
Rose Bowl Stadium is located in Pasadena, California. The official seating capacity of the stadium is 92,542. It is primarily an American football stadium but has hosted some memorable moments of football or soccer as they say. Rose Bowl opened in October 1922 and since then, has established itself as one of the best-known stadiums of college football games.
It isn’t currently home to any MLS side, but it hosted the home games of Los Angeles Galaxy from 1996 to 2002. However, Rose Bowl has been home to many international football games and football games from various sporting events. It is one of the only two stadiums of the world to have hosted FIFA World Cup finals for both men and women.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup Final (men’s), the 1999 FIFA World Cup Final (women’s) and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match were all played at the Rose Bowl, making it the only stadium in the world to have hosted the three major football games.
4. FNB Stadium, South Africa
Soccer City or the FNB Stadium from Johannesburg comes next in our list. The official seating capacity of the stadium is 94,736. It hosts the home games of Kaizer Chiefs of the South African Premier League. South African national football team and South African national rugby team also play some of their matches at the stadium.
Soccer City is best known to have hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands. Apart from the final, the stadium was host to one quarterfinal match, one Round of 16 match and many other group games of the 2010 World Cup. It has also hosted the final, semifinal, quarterfinal and group games of the 1996 African Cup of Nations, thus serving as the main venue for the tournament. It also hosted the final of the 2013 edition of African Cup of Nations.
Football aside, the stadium is known to be the site of Nelson Mandela’s first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison in 1990. Nelson Mandela’s final public appearance was also at the FNB Stadium for the 2010 World Cup final game.
3. Camp Nou, Spain
Camp Nou is a very well documented and well-known place in the football fraternity. Home to FC Barcelona, it is here where, arguably, the best footballer of the planet plies his trade. Opened in 1957, the official seating capacity of the stadium is 99,354.
Except hosting the El Clasico and the games of the Blaugrana, the stadium also hosts the home games of Catalunia national football team. The most notable club football game played at the stadium, however, was the iconic Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Both the European giants were playing to win their first treble, and Manchester United came on top courtesy of injury time goals from Teddy Sheringham and current club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Camp Nou was one of the venues of the 1982 edition of the men’s FIFA World Cup and hosted the semifinal game between Italy and Poland. The stadium was, thus, the most used stadium of the tournament having hosted five games.
2. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia
Melbourne Cricket Ground is a multi-purpose stadium in Australia that primarily hosts international cricket games featuring Australian Cricket Team. The official seating capacity of the stadium is 100,024. Apart from hosting cricket games, the stadium hosts international football games, Australian rules games, Olympics, Commonwealth Games, rugby games, concerts and many cultural events of Australia.
The MCG, as it is commonly referred to as, has hosted several memorable games in the history of the Socceroos. Those games include friendlies against Argentina, the then European champions Greece, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers featuring Japan and many more.
In club football, the most recent notable game played at the MCG was a pre-season friendly between Real Madrid and Manchester City in 2015 International Champions Cup. The game drew a record crowd of 99,382.
1. Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, North Korea
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium or simply the May Day Stadium tops the list of the stadiums with highest seating capacity in the world. The stadium boasts a seating capacity of 114,000. Like MCG, May Day Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, having hosted many cultural and sporting events.
It is the home stadium for the North Korea national football team, North Korea women’s national team and April 25 Sports Club. The stadium also hosted the group games of 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualification.
Apart from football games, many important political events have happened at the stadium in the recent past. The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit aimed at bringing peace and cooperation between the two Korean countries and the Invincible Socialism, the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the North Korea-China relations happened at the May Day Stadium.