The following list of the world’s 10 biggest stadiums does not include multi-purpose national stadiums like North Korea’s 150,000 capacity Rungrado May Day Stadium, which hosts anything from public executions to mass gymnastic displays. Instead, we list stadiums that are predominantly used to host association football (soccer) matches.
1. Camp Nou, Barcelona
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There are few away fixtures in world football as intimidating as those that take place against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. With a capacity of 99,786, the Camp Nou is the largest club-owned stadium on the planet, and is frequently packed to capacity for football matches featuring the Barcelona team.
2. Stadio Azteca, Mexico City
The Stadio Azteca towers over Mexico City. One of the largest stadiums in the world, the 95,500 capacity Stadio Azteca is the home of Mexican football. The stadium once boasted a capacity of over 105,000 and has hosted two World Cup finals. The Stadio Azteca has since had its capacity slightly reduced, and currently hosts matches featuring the Mexican national team and domestic club, America.
3. FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
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Rebuilt from the ground up to host the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the FNB Stadium is the largest association football stadium in Africa, with a capacity of 94,736. The FNB Stadium is also known as Soccer City by locals, and serves as the home ground of both the South African national football team and the Kaizer Chiefs football club.
4. Wembley Stadium
The old Empire Stadium has come a long way since it first opened its doors in the 19th century. The latest incarnation of the home of English football is a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate 90,000 spectators for England home games. Because of its distinctive roof and suspension arch, Wembley Stadium is the world’s largest all-seater covered stadium.
5. The Borg El Arab, Cairo
The Borg El Arab Stadium, with its 86,000 seating capacity is the second largest football stadium in Africa. The stadium was built as part of Egypt’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup, and is presently used as the home ground for the Egyptian national football team and as a venue for Egyptian cup finals. A unique feature of the stadium is that it was built and designed by the Egyptian Armed Forces Corps of Engineers.
6. Azadi Stadium, Tehran
The Azadi Stadium is the largest stadium in the Middle East. The home of the Iranian national football team and the clubs Esteghlal FC and Persepolis, can seat 84,412 fans. The stadium’s capacity has been down-sized twice, with the most recent renovations bringing the seating capacity down from 100,000 spectators due to safety concerns.
7. Bernabeu, Madrid
The home of La Liga giants, Real Madrid, is the seventh largest football stadium in the world. Like the home of arch-rivals Barcelona, the Bernabeu is entirely club-owned, and is routinely packed with an 85,454 capacity crowd. All seating in the stadium is covered, and Real Madrid plans to construct a retractable roof on the venue, a move that will make the Bernabeu the largest covered football stadium on Earth.
8. Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
The Wetsfalenstadion is the largest stadium in Germany. The 80,667 capacity stadium is owned by the Borussia Dortmund football club. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Temple of the Yellow Wall’, the Westfalenstadion has the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe. The stadium regularly hosts international football matches, and has served as a venue for both the Football World Cup and European Championships.
9. Estadio Monumental “U”, Lima
The Estadio Monumental “U” is South America’s third largest football stadium. The 80,000 capacity venue is used to host the Peruvian national football team’s home matches, as well as matches played by the Universitario de Deportes. The Estadio Monumental “U” is also the largest high-altitude football stadium in the world.
10. The San Siro, Milan
The 80,000 capacity San Siro is the home of two of Europe’s greatest football clubs. The stadium acts as the home for fierce rivals Internazionale and AC Milan, and in its heyday was able to accommodate 125,000 spectators. The capacity of the stadium is expected to increase in the future when a 3rd tier will be added to the Eastern stand.
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