From the new to the old, these stadiums are so cool they might even overshadow the events they host, from their glittering facades and soaring roof supports to their centuries-old arches and graceful stage backdrops. The Bird’s Nest in Beijing, the country’s capital, is among them, not the largest, but glittering. The biggest one, in case you can’t imagine.
If you’re interested in sports stadiums or the construction of sports arenas, check out more of our blog – Sports Arena.
This 71,000-seat bowl stadium is covered with 2,760 expanded aluminium foil panels, each of which can turn red, white or blue depending on the football team playing in it: Bayern Munich, TSV 1860 Munich or the German national team.
Pyongyang Ayala Island May Day Arena
Built in 1989 like a magnolia in full bloom, this stadium, the largest in the world, has been renovated over 25 years to accommodate 150,000 people for events such as football matches, professional wrestling and the annual mass sporting events which celebrate the lives of North Koreans through a variety of well-choreographed performances. This is arguably the world’s largest stadium, have you thought of it?
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The largest stadium of its time, almost 2000 years old, this 189m x 156m (620ft x 513ft) Roman Colosseum can hold up to 50,000 spectators who are sheltered by huge tents with retractable canopies over the arena. Water events can even be held here, as the Colosseum has been carefully designed to be flooded by heavy water with no problem.
The National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, Beijing, China
This was the main stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held. The stadium, also known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ because of its special shape, was imagined as a winged creature nesting in the 2008 Olympic Stadium, and resembles a bionic object with 80,000 seats in 110,000 tonnes of curved steel, often illuminated by colourful beams of light at night.
AT&T Park, San Francisco, USA
San Francisco is known as the ‘City by the Bay’, so it’s no surprise that it has a stadium right on the bay. The 42,000-seat venue sits right on the waterfront, with its famous McCovey Cove area so close to the water that home runs are often caught by passing boaters. In the outfield there is a 25 metre (82 foot long) Coca-Cola bottle that lights up when a team hits a home run.
Ericsson Globe Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden
The world’s largest spherical structure, inaugurated in 1989 as the home of the Swedish national hockey team, has since hosted the Hockey World Championships, hosted visits from foreign dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela and concerts by the likes of U2 and Lady Gaga, when it sold out and attracted 16,000 fans.
Danas Arena, Natal, Brazil
Inspired by the rolling sand dunes of the surrounding area, the 42,000-seat stadium hosted four matches during the 2014 World Cup.