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Full house: Comparing the world’s largest sporting venues

22 Feb | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Full house: Comparing the world’s largest sporting venues

Tottenham’s new stadium will be one of football's biggest when it finally opens, but how will its capacity compare to the world’s largest sporting venues?

It has taken longer than expected, but the new home of Tottenham – who are {ODDS:261603813:20/1} in the online betting to win the Premier League this season – is fast approaching.

With its capacity of 62,062, the stadium will be the second largest ground in the Premier League and the largest club football stadium in London.

But how does this number compare to the biggest venues across the world for other popular sports?

FOOTBALL

Venue: May Day Stadium

City: Pyongyang, North Korea

Capacity: 114,000

Opened: 1989

Football is the most popular sport in North Korea – a fact that is known despite it being the most secretive nation on the planet.

An even more surprising fact is that the country’s capital city, Pyongyang, is home to the largest stadium in the world.

The May Day Stadium was built in response to the 1988 summer Olympics being awarded to Seoul, South Korea, and has a capacity of 114,000.

While primarily used for football matches and other sporting events, this multi-use venue also plays host to huge artistic performances organised to pay homage to the state and its leaders both past and present.

Its striking design features a roof with 16 arches, which is said to resemble a magnolia blossom.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Venue: Michigan Stadium

Location: Ann Arbor, USA

Capacity: 107,601

Opened: 1927

American Football boasts eight of the 10 largest stadiums in the world, each with a capacity to host more than 100,000 people. The biggest of these is the Michigan Stadium.

Nicknamed ‘The Big House’, this venue has been the home of the University of Michigan football team since 1927 and has a current official capacity of 107,601 – putting it second only to the May Day Stadium in the list of the world’s largest stadiums. 

BASKETBALL

Venue: Philippine Arena

Location: Bulacan, Philippines

Capacity: 55,000

Opened: 2014

As the home of the NBA, it’d be easy to assume that the world’s largest basketball arena is in the USA. But you’d be wrong to do so.

The Philippine Arena in the Philippines tops that list and also holds the accolade of being the biggest indoor sporting arena in the world.

Although mainly used for basketball and other sporting events, this 55,000 capacity, multi-purpose arena also regularly hosts huge church gatherings and music shows. 

RUGBY

Venue: FNB Stadium

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Capacity: 94,736

Opened: 1989

Football fans will probably be more familiar with the name ‘Soccer City’, as that is what this stadium was referred to during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

With a capacity of 94,736, the First National Bank stadium – the official name it has held since it opened in 1989 – in Johannesburg is Africa’s largest stadium.

Regularly the host of international and club football games as well as rugby fixtures, the FNB Stadium has also had pop stars such as U2, Coldplay and Rhianna perform on its stage.

MOTOR RACING

Venue: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Location: Indianapolis, USA

Capacity: 257,327 (permanent seats) – 400,000 grand total

Opened: 1909

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway can host a staggering 400,000 spectators and has the largest capacity of any sporting venue in the world.

Formula One fans will recall this track being the host of eight United States Grand Prix races between 2000 and 2007, with Lewis Hamilton winning the final one in his debut season in the sport. 

HORSE RACING

Venue: Tokyo Racecourse

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Capacity: 223,000

Opened: 1933

Horse racing, much like motor racing, allows for the possibility of much larger spectator numbers than other sports that are confined to a single stadium or arena.

Famous horse racing events such as the Grand National and the Kentucky Derby can accommodate huge numbers of visitors, but it’s Japan that leads the way when it comes to having the highest capacity horse racing venues in the world.

The largest of them all is the Tokyo Racecourse, which can house 223,000 people during a single event. 

CRICKET

Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Capacity: 100,024

Opened: 1853

It’s often said that Australia’s Test cricket captain holds the second most important job in the country, after the prime minister.

It will probably come as no surprise then, that the largest stadium Down Under is a cricket ground.

Host of the first ever Test cricket match and One Day International, the MCG truly is a historical landmark and has been inducted into both the Victorian Heritage Register and the Australian National Heritage List.

During the 2017-18 Ashes, Alastair Cook became the highest scoring visiting batsman at the MCG in what was otherwise a disappointing series for England. 

BASEBALL

Venue: Dodger Stadium

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Capacity: 56,000

Opened: 1962

Home of the LA Dodgers, Dodger stadium is the largest baseball stadium in the world with a capacity of 56,000.

Built on the Chavez Ravine overlooking downtown Los Angeles, this historic venue has hosted 10 World Series games along with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game of 1980. 

TENNIS

Venue: Arthur Ashe Stadium

Location: New York City, USA

Capacity: 23,771

Opened: 1997

Named after the winner of the inaugural US Open, the Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis arena in the world with a capacity just shy of 24,000.

Since 1997, it has been the main venue of what is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the tennis calendar.

Following rain delays in each of the men’s singles finals between 2008 and 2012, the construction of a retractable roof was proposed, with the installation fully completed in 2016.

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