Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Named after the neighbourhood in Rio, the Maracana opened in 1950 for the World Cup of that year, hosting the final where the attendance was an incredible 199,854. Today the seated capacity is 82,238; the largest in South America, the capacity will grow further to 90,000 for the 2014 world cup where it will become only the second stadium to host two world cup finals.
Yankee Stadium (1923), New York City, USA
Located in the Bronx, constructed in 1923, the Yankee Stadium was home to the New York Yankees before it played its final game in 2008 and moved across the road to a new stadium. The stadium was known as “The House That Ruth Built”, after being home to the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth.
Rungnado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea
The flower shaped stadium has a capacity of 150,000, making it the largest non-auto racing stadium in the world. Whilst usually used for sporting events, the stadium may be most famous for hosting massive choreographed performances and shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and the North Korean nation where participants exceed 100,000 people
Wembley (1923 & 2007), London, England
The original Wembley, built in 1923 famed for its iconic twin towers, and for being home to the English National team, hosting FA Cup Finals and The 1966 World Cup. Replaced in 2007 with a new stadium, sporting a similarly iconic 134 metre Wembley Arch. Wembley is the second largest capacity stadium in Europe at 90,000 and is also the most expensive ever built.
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Construction started between 70 and 72 A, the largest ever colesseum was large enough for 50,000 spectators and was used primarily for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, finishing as a public entertainment venue in the medieval times. Today a popular tourist attraction, partially ruined from earthquakes and stone robbers
Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany
The first incarnation known as the Deutsches Stadion was built for the aborted 1916 Summer Olympics, the Nazis then using the 1936 Summer Olympics for propaganda purposes built a completely new stadium and complex from 1934 to 1936. As well as hosting the 1936 Olympics, the stadium survived the Second World War untouched, hosted World Cups in 1974 and 2006 and at one point held the world record for attendance at a baseball game of 110,000.
Panathenaic Stadium, Greece
Originally constructed in 566 BC and remade in marble in 329 BC (the only in the world to be made from entirely marble) the capacity started at 50,000 increasing to 80,000 before today’s 45,000 capacity. Panathenaic Stadium hosted the 1st Olympic Games of the modern era, in 1896 and holds the record for highest attendance at a basketball game 60,000 spectators for the European Basketball Cup. Built long before any standardisation in athletics resulted in an ancient hairpin track. In the 2004 Olympic Games, the Panathinaiko Stadium hosted the archery competition, and the finish of the Marathon.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA
Built in 1909 and home to the IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500-Mile Race with a seating capacity for more than 257,000 and an interior temporary seating that raises capacity to approximately 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in the world
Madison Square Garden, New York USA
Known as The Garden, it is a multi-purpose indoor arena built in 1968, the longest active major sporting facility in the New York Metropolitan area and the oldest arena in the NHL, and the second oldest in the NBA. The Garden has a capacity of 19,763 capacity and, plays home to ice hockey and basketball famous for hosting the New York Rangers and the Knicks
Lords Cricket Ground, London, UK
“the home of cricket” was established in 1814 and has a 28,000 capacity. Home to the world’s oldest sporting museum Lord’s hosts Test matches, one-day Internationals, some Middlesex home matches.
FNB Stadium (Soccer City), Soweto, South Africa
Built in 1989 on the site of Nelson Mandela’s first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison. The stadium was renovated as the main stadium for the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the largest Stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94,700. However maximum capacity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup was 84,490 due to reserved seating for the press and other VIP’s, controversially resulting in empty seats for many games