Some people might say that stadiums lie at the heart of a culture. We’re not talking about ancient stadiums, like the Colosseum in Rome, we’re talking about stadiums which are still in use today. They are where people congregate, celebrate, or commiserate. For some, stadiums are a breath of fresh air, away from their Monday to Friday. For others, they are where dreams come true.
Without a doubt, stadiums are an integral part of culture. Whether you visit them to watch sports, or attend other events, they are a cultural lynchpin. Which is probably why some of them are so large. In fact, the biggest arena in the world can house over 114,000 people. Think about that. Can you imagine that many people in one place? It’s an incredibly large number, yet there’s one place on the planet where you’ll see that many people come together frequently (more about that soon).
So, for anyone looking to explore culture, you would have thought stadiums should be on the top of their list. For those people, Cez and Agness have put together a list of five of the biggest stadiums in the world, and where you’ll be able to find them.
1st – Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in North Korea
Yes, it might surprise you to learn that the biggest stadium in the world isn’t in the USA, or China, or any other country you might have thought of. It’s actually in North Korea. This arena is capable of hosting over 114,000 people at one time and is located in the country’s capital Pyongyang.
Heading into North Korea, you’ll need to make sure that you join one of many North Korea tours. There are a load of companies to choose from, just make sure you book up an Itinerary which includes the country’s colossal arena. An alternative way to visit is when, every year, there is a marathon in the city of Pyongyang. International guests are invited to take part. If you decide to join up, you’ll start and finish at the stadium.
2nd – Michigan Stadium in the USA
They’re known for making everything the biggest, but they didn’t quite manage to make the top spot this time. The USA comes in second with the Michigan Stadium located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The stadium is capable of housing over 107,000 people at one time. It’s use for American football games (of course) and the local University of Michigan’s graduation ceremonies. That’s a lot of people potentially coming to the city at the same moment, so if you’re planning to visit when there’s an event, start with booking hotel room.
Ann Arbor itself is a University town for the University of Michigan. Whilst parts of Michigan may have a bit of a bad rap (cough, Detroit, cough), many parts of this state are incredibly picturesque and offer anyone inclined towards going outdoors, a lot to do.
If you’re really into trekking back through forests and exploring the wild, head to Michigan during Autumn, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by Michigan’s 19 million acres of vibrant colors, including oranges, crimsons, and golds. You can then head into Michigan stadium and take part in a true American pastime: watching American football an eating a chilidog.
10th Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia
Because staying in the USA would be boring, we’re going to skip past numbers 3 to 9 (all of which are in the USA) and head straight to 10. Here you’ll find the MCG located in Australia. With a capacity of just over 100,000 (100,024 to be precise), the Australian cricket ground is the largest in the southern hemisphere. Built in 1853, it has been host to two cricket world cups, the 1956 Olympic games, and the 2006 commonwealth games.
The stadium is located in Melborne, the capital of Australia, a city with incredible views which don’t break the bank. There is also a lot of rich cultural history to see, going back before the country’s settlement by the British. Once you’ve have a look around through, don’t forget to show up to the Melborne Cricket Ground to watch a brilliant game of cricket, just like the locals.
11th Camp Nou in Barcelona
Spain, home to one of the best and biggest football clubs in the world… FC Barcelona. Whilst there may be some contention as to their claim to this throne, they are without a doubt a good football team. And a good team needs a good stadium, which is why Camp Nou was constructed. With the ability to host 99,354 people, the stadium is the largest in Europe.
Tram, metro, and bus lines operate frequently to and from the stadium, especially during match time. When it’s game on, you better either make sure you’re there to join the crowd, or you’re far away, because football in Barcelona is big.
12th Soccer City in South Africa
Soccer City in South Africa is home to the South African National football team, and their biggest local team, the Kaiser Chiefs FC. It’s 94,736 capacity arena is a few thousand shy of 100,000, but that might change in the future, as one upgrade already saw the stadium grow from 80,000 seats.
The stadium was home to the 2010 world cup, and the 2013 African cup of Nations. It’s also played host to a number of rugby games since 2010. Concerts have also been held here, with some big names coming from around the world to play to audiences.
South Africa itself is an incredible destination. One which you shouldn’t miss out on. The nation is home to some spectacular views and nature treks (or safaris). Whilst visiting the stadium, you’ll also be able to head towards places like the Kruger National park where you’ll be able to see Elephants in their native habitats. Johannesburg (the home of Soccer city) is a great transit point for heading anywhere in South Africa, so the options are endless.
Which stadium do you want to visit?