The Biggest Stadiums in the World
The biggest football stadium in the world is an exciting topic for any fan! Stadiums all over the world have at one point or another been the biggest only to be eclipsed in recent years by bigger and more expensive stadiums. We are sure that the top stadium will be a surprise to many. But we want to be clear, the biggest stadium in the world criteria is simple. The stadium must hold football (or soccer for those of you who dare to call it that) games. It does not have to be its primary purpose but it must hold these games.
You will see in the list of the biggest football stadiums in the world, that many are in fact built for the beautiful game while some are for a range of sports. Ok the rules are clear. Enjoy the list and try and guess the top 5 before you get there. We guarantee you will be surprised. Enjoy.
Please note the National Sports Stadium of Zimbabwe does not feature on this list as it has conflicting information about the capacity being 60,000 rather than 80,000
25. Beijing National Stadium, Capacity 80,000
Location: Beijing, China
Year opened: 2008
Home team: China national football team
Reason built: 2008 Olympic Games
Cost to build: CN¥2.3 billion ($428 million)
Estimated at around $428 million dollars to build the Beijing National Stadium is the 25th largest football stadium in the world. The stadium was built for the 2008 Olympic Games which China hosted. The stadium opened in 2008 and has been home to China’s national football team ever since.
The stadium also known as the Bird’s Nest is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, with an official capacity of 80,000. The stadium has hosted the likes, of Manchester City and Arsenal over the years for various competitions such as the China Cup. The reason for the Bird’s Nest design – chief architect Li Xinggang – “In China, a bird’s nest is very expensive, something you eat on special occasions.”
25. AT&T Stadium, (formerly Cowboys Stadium), Capacity 80,000
Location: Arlington, Texas, United States
Year opened: 2009
Home team: Dallas Cowboys (not primarily a football stadium)
Reason built: For the Dallas Cowboys
Cost to build: $1.55 billion
More widely known as Cowboys Stadium, AT&T Stadium, is the 24th biggest football stadium in the world. Although built primarily for NFL games, the stadium has played host to a number of football games throughout its history. Teams such as Chelsea, Barcelona and Roma, as well as multiple international games. Home of American Football’s Dallas Cowboys, the AT&T Stadium is a 80,000 seater but can get to 105,000 with standing, located in Texas. The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, but it has something that we find far more interesting. The stadium has the largest high def television in the world that hangs in the middle of the stadium. Imagine watching Netflix on that.
The stadium opened in 2009, at a cost of $1.55 billion. A hefty price indeed that was helped funded by the Arlington voters who voted to increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5%, the hotel occupancy tax by 2%, and car rental tax by 5%.
23. Stade des Martyrs, Capacity 80,000
Location: DR Congo, Kinshasa
Year opened: 1994
Home team: Congo DR national football team and AS Vita Club
Reason Built: National Football Stadium
Cost to build: $38 million
The full name of the stadium is The Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte, but is known simply as Stade des Martyrs. It is the 23rd largest stadium in the world, and tie with 2 other at a capacity of 80,000. The reason why it edges out the others, is that although for international football matches is 80,000 for other matches the stadium capacity can go up to 125,000.
The stadium is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the capital city Kinshasa. Stade des Martyrs is home to the Congo DR national football team and AS Vita Club. The name of the stadium means, Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium and was named in memory of 4 ministers who were hanged on the site of the stadium in 1966. It is a very sad story if you would like to read up more on it.
22. Guangdong Olympic Stadium, Capacity 80,012
Location: China, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Year opened: 2001
Home team: Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C.
Reason Built: Multi-sports
Cost to build: 1.23 billion RMB
Officially known as Aoti Main Stadium, the Guangdong Olympic Stadium, is the largest stadium in China. Originally built as a multi sports stadium but is now primarily used as a football stadium with Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C. calling the stadium home.
Originally built with the plan of hosting the 2008 Olympics here, before the it was decided to build the National Stadium in Beijing. The stadium has been designed to represent the petals of a flower, taking Guangzhou’s nickname, the Flower City. The stadium has a capacity of 80,012 and cost an estimated 1.23 billion RMB to build, or $185 million equivalent.
21. San Siro, Capacity 80,018
Location: Italy, Milan
Year opened: 1926
Home team: A.C. Milan and Inter Milan
Reason Built: For AC Milan
Cost to build: €510 million (estimated)
The San Siro, is the 21st largest football stadium in the world, but is certainly one of the most well known globally. Officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, the San Siro is in Milan, Italy and is home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan (Internazionale), both Inter and AC are in the ranks with the richest football clubs in the world.
The Stadium was originally home only to AC Milan with Inter only becoming joint residents in 1947. Since then both teams, which are both in the list for the most supported and biggest clubs in the world, have seen great periods of success. With AC Milan in particular seeing a golden era in European dominance. The stadium has hosted world cup matches both in 1934 and in 1990 as well as the Euros in 1980. The San Siro has a capacity of 80,018 and cost an estimated €510 million to build.
20. Shah Alam Stadium, Capacity 80,372
Location: Malaysia, Shah Alam
Year opened: 1994
Home team: Selangor F.C (Selangor FA)
Reason Built: Football
Cost to build: RM480 million
The 20th biggest football stadium in the world is the Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia. It is the one of two Malaysian stadiums to feature on this list. With a capacity of 80,372, the stadium is primarily used for football matches and is the home of the club Selangor FA, now known as Selangor F.C.
The stadium was inspired by the Hajduk Split stadium, Poljud in Split, Croatia and hosted its first football game in 1994 when Selangor FA played Dundee United in a 1-1 draw. The frame structure is the longest free-standing arc in the world. Selangor F.C is the most successful football club in Malaysia, with a passionate fanbase.
19. Luzhniki Stadium, Capacity 81,000
Location: Russia, Moscow
Year opened: 1956
Home team: Russian National Football Team
Reason Built: Multisport complex
Cost to build: €350 million
Luzhniki Stadium is the 19th biggest stadium in the world. It is the national stadium of Russia, and is in Moscow. The stadium is one with a fascinating history. Constructed during the Soviet Era, the stadium was to be a beacon of soviet might in sport. The stadium is the home of the Russian National Football team and was one of the stadiums used in the 2018 FIFA World Cup including the final! We can all agree the 2018 finals was a great event.
The full name of the stadium is Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, but that is a mouthful so we will stick to using the Luzhniki Stadium, if that is ok with you. The stadium was repaired for the first time for the 1980 Olympic Games, which saw the stadium boosted to hold 103,000 spectators at the time. The stadium also played home to one of the biggest sporting cover-ups when a stampede resulted in the death of 66 people in 1982 during a UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem.
18. Santiago Bernabeu, Capacity 81,044
Location: Spain, Madrid
Year opened: 1947
Home team: Real Madrid
Reason Built: Home of Real Madrid
Cost to build: €1,732,943
Is there a bigger football team than Real Madrid, well that is a question for another day. But what we do know is that the Santiago Bernabeu is one of the most iconic and famous stadiums in the world. It is also the 18th biggest football stadium in the world.
The home of Spanish football giants Real Madrid, and although the capacity is 81,044 in 1956 in a game against Milan it recorded a record attendance of 129,690. Opened in 1947 the stadium cost €1,732,943 at the time.
The Bernabeu was the first stadium in Europe to host the EURO final and the FIFA World Cup Final in 1964 and 1982 respectively. The club is one of the most supported football clubs in the world. The stadium has been home to some of the worlds best players over the years including Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo, and David Beckham.
17. Stade de France, Capacity 81,338
Location: France, Saint-Denis
Year opened: 1998
Home team: France National Team Football and Rugby
Reason Built: 1998 FIFA World Cup
Cost to build: €290 million
The Stade de France is the home of the French National team and is one of the worlds most well known football stadiums. It is the 17th biggest football stadium in the world and the biggest football stadium in France. It was built for the FIFA 1998 World Cup, where France beat Brazil to become world champions. It is now home to the France National Football and Rugby teams.
The stadium as also hosted two Champions League Finals, and two Rugby World Cups. If you are every in around Paris be sure to try and catch a game at the stadium. It plays host to many international games and is one we know you will love.
16. Signal Iduna Park, Capacity 81,365
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Year opened: 1974
Home team: Borussia Dortmund
Reason Built: Home of Borussia Dortmund
Cost to build: €200 million
More commonly known as Westfalenstadion, Signal Iduna Park is ranked 16th of the list. Football fans will know the stadium well as the home of German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
We may be a little bias as are big fans of the stadium and it’s world famous atmosphere. The stadium officially seats 81,365 people and has the iconic Yellow Wall. The South Bank or Südtribüne is the largest terrace for standing spectators in European football with a capacity of 24,454 and is known to vibrate as the passionate fans jump and sing during games. Dortmund, is one of the biggest football teams in the world and is currently the only German Bundesliga side to be listed on the stock market.
The stadium has played host to a number of internationals as well, including FIFA World Cup matches in 1974 and 2006.
15. FedExField, Capacity 82 000
Location: United States, Landover, Maryland
Year opened: 1997
Home team: Washington Football Team (not primarily a football (soccer) stadium)
Reason Built: American Football
Cost to build: $399 million
FedExField or maybe you know it originally as Jack Kent Cooke Stadium is the 15th biggest football stadium in the world. As for 2015 they have upped their capacity to 82,000 to move up from 23rd on the list to 15th.
FedExField has played host to a number of football games including international games for the USA and for exhibition games such as Real Madrid vs Juventus in 2019. The stadium is currently being considered for a FIFA World Cup 2026 venue.
14. Croke Park, Capacity 82,300
Location: Ireland, Dublin
Year opened: 1884
Home team: Gaelic Athletic Association
Reason Built: Gaelic games
Cost to build: £250million (renovation)
Croke Park is the 14th biggest football stadium in the world. But once again this is not the primary function of the stadium. It is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Pretty cool if you ask us. The record attendance of the stadium is 90,556, but it’s official capacity is 82,300.
The most impressive thing for us is that it opened 137 years ago! Yeah that’s right, its old. The stadium was also used for football games up until the Gaelic Athletic Association took ownership of the stadium, hosting games for the Republic of Ireland.
13. MetLife Stadium, Capacity 82,500
Location: USA, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Year opened: 2010
Home team: New York Giants and Jets (American football, not real football😉)
Reason Built: For NFL – Go Giants
Cost to build: $1.88 billion
Coming in 13th on the list of the biggest football stadiums in the world is the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey USA. The stadium was built to replace the Giants Stadium and opened in 2010. The stadium like most in the US are not built primarily for what we call football, but rather American Football or NFL. The stadium is one of only two that plays home to two different teams.
The MetLife Stadium is also designed for football (soccer) playing host to a number of internationals over the years. It has played host to serval International Champions Cup games including Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid in 2018. The MetLife Stadium cost a whopping $1.88 billion to build and has a capacity of 82,500.
12. ANZ Stadium, Capacity 84,000
Location: Australia, Sydney
Year opened: 1999
Home team: Rugby League teams (3 of them)
Reason Built: Multisport complex – Olympic Games
Cost to build: A$690 million
Stadium Australia! Formerly known as the ANZ Stadium is the 12th biggest football stadium in the world. The stadium located in Sydney is not primary a football stadium but rather built for the use of all sports. The stadium has been home to football, cricket, rugby union/league and Aussie rules teams over the years. Currently 3 rugby league teams call it home.
Stadium Australia has a capacity of 84,000, but originally was built to hold 110,000 making it the largest Olympic stadium ever built. This also made it the 2nd largest stadium in Australia behind the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
11. Estadio Monumental “U”, Capacity 80 093
Location: Peru, Lima
Year opened: 2000
Home team: Club Universitario de Deportes
Reason Built: Football
Cost to build: $150 000 (rumoured)
Coming in 11th of the list but is a tie with the previous Salt Lake Stadium in India is Estadio Monumental “U” in Peru. It is a controversial one, with the official capacity debated. Peru claiming the 85,000 while many say that safety regulations only allow just above 80,000.
Located in Lima, it is not only Peru’s biggest stadium, but the Estadio Monumental “U” is also the biggest football stadium in South America. It is home to Club Universitario de Deportes, and has hosted many Peru international games, including Copa America, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
We are going to leave it in this position as we love a good debate. The cost of the stadium is also one that doesn’t add up with the Government claiming it only took S146,538,000 to build. If you consider it took £1,2 billion to build Wembley, with a capacity of only 5000 more, the questions are valid.
10. Salt Lake Stadium, Capacity 85,000
Location: India, Kolkata
Year opened: 1984
Home team: India national football team, ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Mohammedan
Reason Built: Football
Cost to build: Rumoured $200 million
Know as the Salt Lake Stadium, officially the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium is tie as the 10th biggest football stadium in the world. With a capacity of 85,000 the stadium was opened in 1984. It was also once the largest stadium in the world prior to …. No wait I won’t spoil it for you.
Before new safety restrictions came into place the stadium saw a record attendance of 131,781, for the 1997 Federation Cup Semi-final. It must have been some sight to see. The stadium is home to a number of teams the India national football team, ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan.
It is set to host the FIFA U17 Woman’s World Cup Later this year, defendant on the current state of things.
9. Borg El Arab Stadium, Capacity 86,000
Location: Egypt, Alexandria
Year opened: 2009
Home team: Egypt national football team, Al Ittihad, Smouha
Reason Built: FIFA 2010 Bid
Cost to build: NA
The 9th biggest football stadium in the world hails from Alexandria in Egypt and is the Borg El Arab Stadium with a capacity of 86,000. An interesting fact is that it was built by the Egyptian Armed Forces, their engineers did a great job, it was opened in 2009.
It is the second largest football stadium in Africa, behind South Africa’s FNB Stadium. It was built along with another planned 5 stadiums in a bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but when they lost that to South Africa, it became the only one to be built. It is now the home of the Egyptian national football team and the club team Al Ittihad, Smouha.
8. Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Capacity 87,411
Location: Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Year opened: 1998
Home team: Malaysia national football team
Reason Built: 1998 Common Wealth Games
Cost to build: $200 million
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it’s the 8th biggest stadium in the world. Built to host the 1998 Common Wealth Games the stadium has hosted a number of football competitions. It is now home to the Malaysia national football team and is the largest football stadium in Southeast Asia.
With a capacity of 87,411 the stadium was opened 1998, and cost RM800 million to build, which is about $200 million. The stadium also plays host to a number of sporting events and concerts and is a beautiful stadium to look upon.
7. Estadio Azteca, Capacity 87,523
Location: Mexico, Mexico City
Year opened: 1966
Home team: Club América, Cruz Azul, Mexico national football team
Reason Built: A multipurpose stadium, primarily for Football
Cost to build: $250 million
Once the largest stadium in the world, the Estadio Azteca is Mexico’s largest stadium and comes in today as the worlds 7th biggest football stadium. The stadium is home to the Mexican National Football team, Club América and as of 2018, Cruz Azul. The stadium hosts one NFL game a season as part of their international series.
The stadium is one of the most iconic in the footballing world, with the stadium being the only one to host two World Cup Final matches – can you guess what ones they were? It also hosted the game between England and Argentina in 1986 where Maradona scored his famous ‘Hand of God goal” and “the Goal of the Century”
The Estadio Azteca has a capacity of 87,523 and cost $250 million to build at the time. If you are ever in Mexico make sure you visit the iconic stadium.
6. Wembley Stadium, Capacity 90,000
Location: United Kingdom, London
Year opened: 2007 (Old Wembley 1923)
Home team: England national football team
Reason Built: For England’s National Football Team
Cost to build: £1,2 billion
Wembley is the most iconic stadium in English Football and is the home of the national football team. It was opened in 2007 and built on the site of the original Wembley. The original Wembley was opened in 1923, making it one of the oldest football grounds in the world.
The new Wembley with a capacity of 90,000 not only is the home of England’s national team but also plays host to a number of cup finals such as the League Cup and Historic FA Cup Final’s. The term “Road to Wembley” has become religious in the footballing world with fans hoping for a day at the impressive stadium. The stadium also plays host to play-off finals, concerts, rugby games and several other events. Recently the stadium has played host to NFL games becoming the base of the UK movement of the sport. It was the home stadium for Tottenham Hotspur between 2017-2019 as they awaited the construction of their new stadium at White Hart Lane.
Wembley stadium cost a whopping £1,2 billion and took 5 years to build. An interesting fact about Wembley – it has more toilets than any other building on the planet! Yes that is correct. On the planet. You can learn more interesting facts about Wembley stadium here – 10 Things about Wembley Stadium.
5. Rose Bowl, Capacity 92,542
Location: USA, Pasadena, California
Year opened: 1922
Home team: UCLA Bruins football team
Reason Built: Uutdoor athletic stadium
Cost to build: $272,198 (at the time)
The Rose Bowl is one of the most famous stadiums in the world. It is not primarily a football stadium but hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup final as well as the 1999 Women’s FIFA World Cup Final.
The stadium is recognised as a historical landmark and is most famous for hosting college football. The stadium is currently home to the UCLA Bruins who have made the Rose Bowl their home since 1982. The Rose Bowl has a Capacity of 92 542 and was opened back in 1922 in Pasadena California.
The stadium has notorious traffic issues, being built in a residential area, but that doesn’t stop the thousands of fans every game day, making for the famous shots that so many of us see. Have you watched a game at the Rose Bowl?
4. FNB Stadium, Capacity 94,736
Location: South Africa, Johannesburg
Year opened: 2009
Home team: South Africa national football team, Kaizer Chiefs
Reason Built: For the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Cost to build: $440 million
The biggest stadium in Africa is the FNB Stadium or Soccer City as it was called when South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is nicknamed the Calabash due to its impressive design that resembles a traditional African pot or gourd.
The FNB Stadium cost a reported $440 million to construct and there was some fear that it would not be completed in time for the World Cup. But it did, and for those of you that watched it, it was a historic occasion. It was the first and so far, only FIFA World Cup to take part on Africa.
The original stadium that stood on the site before reconstruction began was the site of Nelson Mandela’s first speech made in 1990 after his release from prison. The Calabash, Soccer City also played host to the final public appearance of the great man Nelson Mandela at the 2010 World Cup closing ceremony.
We would highly recommend watching one of the many football or rugby matches that take place at the stadium, the design is truly amazing.
3. Camp Nou, Capacity 99,354
Location: Spain, Barcelona
Year opened: 1957
Home team: FC Barcelona
Reason Built: For Barcelona Football Club
Cost to build: €1.73 billion
The Camp Nou or Nou Camp is the home of Barcelona FC and reportedly cost €1.73 billion to build. Camp Nou is the 3rd largest football stadium in the world and the biggest in Spain and Europe. Its record attendance was 120 000 in the European Cup quarter final against Juventus in 1986, but general capacity is just shy of the 100 000 mark at 99 354.
If you have ever been so lucky as to attend a game at this stadium, you will know the amazing atmosphere and sheer sight of the modern day Colosseum. The stadium plays host to a number of other events such as concerts, Rugby games and visits from the Pope.
Barcelona is one of the richest football clubs in the world with legends such as Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o and Johan Cruyff gracing its field. Barcelona is said to have some of the most passionate fans in the world leading to almost every game seeing a full capacity at the stadium.
The stadium is currently undergoing renovations having opened its gates for the first time in 1957.
2. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Capacity 100,024
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Year opened: 1853 (its old!)
Home team: Australian Cricket Team (Not primarily a football stadium)
Reason Built: For Cricket of course, I joke. The Melbourne Cricket Club wanted to build a large venue for them and the national team.
Cost to build: Modern developments = $610 million
As its name would suggest the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or its Nickname the MSG) was built to primary be used as a cricket ground. It was opened over 160 years again by the Melbourne Cricket Club and today is one of the finest cricket grounds in the world. If you are a cricket fan you would have seen many games played by Australia and the host of legends, they have had.
The ground however has hosted its fair share of football games, including Olympic finals, and a number of friendly’s. But in 1997 the MCG played host to its first FIFA recognised football match. An international World Cup qualifying game between Australia and Iran. Since then it hosted more qualifiers and recently the game between Real Madrid and Manchester City in 2015.
At a capacity of 100 024, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is truly one of the worlds most spectacular sports and football venues.
1. Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Capacity, 114 00 – 150,000
Location: North Korea, Pyongyang
Year opened: 1989
Home team: Korea DPR national football team, DPR Korea women’s national football team, April 25 SC
Reason Built: To rival global sporting venues.
Cost to build: Reported to be $2 billion
Said to have a capacity of 150 000, the Rungrado Stadium is some 45 thousand ahead of its closest rival. Even at its seated capacity is supposedly only 114 000 that is still some 9 thousand ahead of the At&T Stadium in second place. It has even been reported that some events have had over 190 000 people in attendance such as the ‘Collision in Korea’ a PPV wresting match that took place in 1995. You can read more about that in the sources below.
You may be thinking of the legitimacy of these reports, but since then there have been a number of international events to somewhat justify claims. Saying this, it is a fact that the stadium is a feat of engineering to come out of North Korea, a country shrouded in so much mystery. The stadium was built after their neighbours (and rivals) South Korea were awarded the 1988 Olympic Games. North Korea wanted to prove to everyone they were a legitimate state and could host such events.
The most impressive part of the stadium is the roof. The roof consists of 16 arches and the shape of the stadium resembles a parachute and a magnolia flower. The roof was awarded first prize during the 1988 International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.