These stadiums have seen numerous world records in different sports.
There are a number of stunning stadiums in the world that are synonymous with a certain specific sport or team. However, it is difficult to find venues that can seamlessly host different sports, given the obvious differences in requirements and pre-requisite standards that need to be met for the same.
Having said that, there are a few venues that have gained prominence for being multi-faceted and for smoothly holding various sporting events. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the most spectacular multi-purpose stadiums in the world and learn more about their storied past:
10. Rungrado May Day Stadium
The Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea is the largest stadium in the world and is the physical manifestation of the term behemoth. It was inaugurated on May 1, 1989 and was used as the chief stadium for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in the same year.
It reportedly has a seating capacity of 150,000 and plays host to several athletic events and football matches, which includes the international fixtures of the North Korean national team. However, it’s major draw is the Arirang performances, also known as the Mass Games, that take place annually and have been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest performances of it’s nature. It also hosted the biggest professional wrestling pay-per-view event ever back in 1995.
9. Croke Park Stadium
Located in Dublin, Ireland, Croke Park acts as a home to Ireland’s largest sporting and cultural organization, the Gaelic Athletic Organization (GAA). The stadium is primarily being used for Gaelic games.
Nonetheless, the Ireland national rugby union team and their national football team have played a number of home games at the venue when the AVIVA Stadium was under construction. The stadium has hosted other notable events, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics.
8. AT&T Stadium
Home of the Dallas Cowboys, the AT&T Stadium, also known as the Cowboys Stadium is a majestic sporting arena that leaves it’s viewer awestruck. With a seating capacity of 80,000, extending to approximately 105,000 by taking the standing room into account, it comes as no surprise that the Cowboys hold the regular season game attendance record with a crowd of 105,121 turning up for their game against the New York Giants in 2009.
The stadium has also been used for basketball, football and boxing among other sports. Wrestlemania 32 also took place at the AT&T Stadium in 2016, whilst Spanish club FC Barcelona squared up against AS Roma in a pre-season friendly in front of a packed crowd ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
7. Ellis Park Stadium
Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Ellis Park Stadium, also known as the Emirates Airline Park is one of the historic stadiums that holds plenty of importance in the nationʼs sporting history.
The stadium is being used for association football and rugby union matches. It famously hosted the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which witnessed the Springboks clinching victory against New Zealand. The ground was also a venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Five group stage matches and a couple of knockout games took place at the stadium.
6. Commonwealth Stadium
The Commonwealth Stadium is another multi-purpose stadium, situated in Edmonton, Canada. A variety of sports such as Canadian football, athletics, soccer, and rugby matches have been held at the venue. It also hosted the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup, among the other important sporting competitions.
Interestingly, in the five qualification matches contested here for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Canada ended up victorious in four, with it proving to be a good hunting ground for the national team. The stadium is also listed as a possible venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is set to be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.
5. Johan Cruyff Arena
The Johan Cruyff Arena, previously known as the Amsterdam Arena serves as the home of the Dutch football club, Ajax. It is the largest stadium in the country, which also possesses a retractable roof and can accommodate 54,990 spectators. Apart from football, it has been used to host NFL games, music concerts and kickboxing events.
The stadium has played host to the 1998 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus and the 2013 Europa League final, where Chelsea triumphed 2-1 against Benfica. Moreover, the Dutch national side plays most of their matches at the Johan Cruff Arena, whilst the site was also chosen to host three group stage matches and a knockout game at the postponed UEFA Euro 2020.
4. Michigan Stadium
Nicknamed as ‘The Big House’, the Michigan Stadium is one of the most sumptuous stadiums. It is the home venue for the University of Michigan and is the third-largest stadium in the world, with an approximate seating capacity of 107,601. It has also hosted hockey games and garnered a record attendance during the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, in a match between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Furthermore, European giants Real Madrid and Manchester United faced each other in the 2014 International Champions Cup at the same venue, which resulted in a record-breaking 109,318 spectators attending the game, subsequently setting the mark for the highest attendance at a football game in the US.
3. Wembley Stadium
Home to the England national football team, the iconic Wembley Stadium is the largest football stadium in England and the second largest in Europe. Its predominantly used for football matches, but has also hosted boxing events, American football and rugby games. The venue was used during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where two pool matches took place at Wembley.
English club Tottenham Hotspur temporarily used the stadium when their own brand-new ground was being constructed. Wembley has previously played host to the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League finals and was about to act as a venue for seven games, including the semi-finals and the final for the UEFA Euro 2020 before it got postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Eden Park
Eden Park is a renowned venue and is the largest stadium in New Zealand. Known for its peculiar and distinctive dimensions, the site plays host to a number of sports. It usually witnesses ruby union games in winter and cricket action in the summer. In 2011, it became the first stadium to host two Rugby World Cup finals (1987 & 2011).
It is one of the most iconic stadiums and has witnessed a number of historic feats in New Zealand’s cricket history, which includes their first-ever test win and the Black Caps’ semi-final triumph against South Africa in the 2015 World Cup.
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is one of the grandest sporting venues situated in Melbourne, Victoria. It is the largest stadium in Australia and possesses an unmatchable aura which renders it one of the must-visited sporting destinations. Akin to itʼs neighbour, winters at the MCG are reserved for Australian football, whilst it is the scene of action for cricket during the summers.
It is a hallowed establishment with a glorious history and hence it is apt that the National Sports Museum can be found at the MCG. Earlier this year, the venue hosted the ICC Womenʼs T20 World Cup final, which saw an indomitable Aussie unit cement their unparalleled dominance by securing their fifth T20I title and defending their crown on home turf following a comfortable 85-run win over India.