Top 35 Largest Association Football Stadiums By Capacity
Football has been a very popular sport for decades now, and some might argue that it is actually the most popular game in the world. Consequently, as the audience for this amazing sport continues to grow year after year, it makes sense that stadiums would become bigger and bigger in order to accommodate them comfortably. Below you will find a list regarding 35 of the largest association football stadiums by capacity. All of these stadiums represent the homes of certain national teams or clubs, and they all have a minimum capacity of 40,000 people so that they might be able to host prestigious FIFA World Cup finals.
35. Allianz Arena
The Allianz Arena is a football stadium in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, and it flaunts a capacity of 71,137 people. Opened in 2005, the stadium impresses with a full color-changing exterior layout based on inflated ETFE plastic panels. The Allianz Arena hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final and was nicknamed Schlauchboot –Inflatable Boat. The stadium is so large that it is actually able to accommodate the Bayern Munich Museum within its premises.
34. International Stadium Yokohama
Also known as the Nissan Stadium, the International Stadium Yokohama is one of the most incredible stadiums in Japan. Opened in 1998, this stadium is the official home of the Yokohama F. Marinos football team and features a total capacity of 72,327 people. This means that it flaunts the highest seating capacity in the country, which gives it special status and elevated significance. During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the International Stadium Yokohama hosted 3 first-round games as well as the spectacular final between Brazil and Germany.
33. Stadio Olimpico
As one of the most important stadiums in Rome, Stadio Olimpico was initially opened in 1937 but went through a renovation in 1953 only to be expanded later in 1990. The stadium was built in the northern part of the city and is an intricate part of the Foro Italico sports complex. Stadio Olimpico hosted 4 European Cup finals. This stadium is the home of the A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio teams, and it flaunts a total capacity of 73,698 people.
This amazing sports stadium can be found in Berlin and was built between 1934 and 1936. Opened in 1936, it was modified extensively in 1974 and in 2006 in order to be able to host the famous World Cup. As its name suggests, this masterpiece is used as an Olympic stadium but it also flaunts a very important significance for football, especially since it was used for 3 matches during the FIFA World Cup of 1974. With a seating capacity of 74,220, the Olympiastadion is undoubtedly one of the most important establishments of its kind in Berlin.
31. Millennium Stadium
The national stadium of Wales is the Millennium Stadium, and it can be found within the country’s capital of Cardiff. The stadium was initially opened in 1999 and was built to host the Rugby World Cup that year, but it was eventually modified, expanded and renovated several times in order to host numerous important events, including the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain. Boasting a seating capacity of 74,500, the Millennium Stadium is definitely a massive one, but it also impresses with a fully retractable roof.
30. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was named in honor of India’s first Prime Minister and was built in 1982. With a seating capacity of 75,000, this stadium in New Delhi is used to host numerous sporting events including football, and it is the home of the Indian Olympic Association. As far as seating capacity is concerned, this arena is the fourth largest multipurpose stadium in India. In 2013, this establishment hosted the prestigious South Asian Games.
29. Aleppo International Stadium
Built within the Syrian city of Aleppo in 2007, the Aleppo International Stadium boasts 75,075 seats and was designed by a skilled architect by the name of Stanislaw Kus. As the single largest stadium in Syria, the Aleppo International is the official home of the Al-Ittihad football club and is used mainly to host football matches. Even though the construction process of the arena started off in 1980, several financial difficulties caused prolonged delays that stretched the construction time over decades.
28. Cairo International Stadium
This magnificent Olympic-standard stadium can be found in Cairo, Egypt, more specifically within the Nasr City suburb. This massive stadium of 75,200 seats was opened initially in 1960 but was renovated extensively in 2005 so that it could host the 2006 African Cup of Nations. During this prestigious event, the Cairo International Stadium truly shined, especially during Egypt’s football matches. The Cairo International Stadium is regarded as a symbol of Egyptian football and is used to host some of the most amazing football matches in the country on a regular basis.
27. Old Trafford
As the home of Manchester United F.C, Old Trafford can be found in Greater Manchester, England, and it boasts a capacity of 75,765 people. The only other stadium in Great Britain that surpasses Old Trafford in sheer size by capacity is Wembley Stadium. Designed by Archibald Leitch, this arena was opened in 1910 and hosted numerous important football events ever since, including football matches of the 2012 Summer Olympics as well as FA Cup semi-finals.
26. Atatürk Olympic Stadium
Located within the İkitelli district on the edges of Istanbul, the Atatürk Olympic Stadium is the largest stadium in Turkey by capacity, flaunting no less than 76,092 seats. Named in honor of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the stadium was built between 1997 and 2002 but was renovated in 2005. In 2004, UEFA ranked the Atatürk Olympic Stadium as a “5-star sports complex”, which allowed it to host some of the most important UEFA events.
25. Luzhniki Stadium
Once known as the “Central Lenin Stadium”, the Luzhniki Stadium was opened in 1956 and represents Russia’s largest sports stadium. Massive in scale, this establishment is able to host 78,360 people and was built within the Khamovniki District of Moscow. This is one of the few large European stadiums to use artificial pitches, because regular grass would be too badly damaged by the freezing temperatures of the rough Russian winters and replacing it would be a very costly affair.
24. Estádio do Maracanã
This exquisite open-air stadium can be found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more specifically within the Maracanã neighborhood. The stadium was named after the Rio Maracanã river and boasts a capacity of 78,838. Estádio do Maracanã was opened in 1950 and was renovated in 2000, 2006 and 2013. It is mainly used for important football events by renowned clubs from Rio de Janeiro such as Vasco da Gama and Flamengo. In 2014, this stadium will host the World Cup championship match.
23. Beijing National Stadium
With a seating capacity of 80,000, the Beijing National Stadium is one of the largest and most amazing stadiums in China and in the world. Flaunting an intricate exterior design that resembles a bird’s nest, this sports arena was sketched out by Herzog & de Meuron, whose experts worked in close collaboration with China Architectural Design & Research Group and ArupSport. This stadium was opened officially in 2008, when it also hosted the incredible Sumer Olympics.
22. Shanghai Stadium
Another stadium that features 80,000 seats is the Shanghai Stadium, but this one is used primarily for football matches of the Shanghai East Asia club. Opened in 1997, this amazing arena hosted the 8th edition of the National Games of the People’s Republic of China. Apart from its outstanding seating arrangements, high quality grass and exceptional appearance, the Shanghai Stadium is also noteworthy because it houses the Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel.
21. Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte
The Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium is located in Lingwala – a beautiful town in Congo. This establishment was opened officially in 1994 and boasts a synthetic lawn, but one of its most important aspects is definitely the fact that it can host no less than 80,000 people at once. The stadium was named honoring several martyrs that were hanged on its site in 1966. In 2008, at FIFA’s request, Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte was renovated in order to meet international requirements.
20. Basra Sports City
Basra Sports City can be found in the southern part of Iraq and features a capacity of 80,000. This very new stadium was completed in 2013 and boasts a contemporary layout that was designed by Newport Global and 360 Architecture. The construction process of the stadium was funded by the government, which spent about $550 million towards its finalization. The opening ceremony of the Basra Sports City involved a match between Zamalek and Al-Zawra’a.
19. Grand Stade de Casablanca
Built in Casablanca, Morocco, the Grand Stade de Casablanca stadium is set to be complete in 2014 and will become the home of the Morocco national football team and of the Wydad Casablanca and Raja Casablanca teasm. With a capacity of 80,008, this stadium will become one of the largest of its kind in Africa and will completely replace the Stade Mohamed V. In 2015, the Grand Stade de Casablanca will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
18. Guangdong Olympic Stadium
This incredible stadium can be found in Guangzhou, China and was opened in 2001. Featuring a capacity of 80,012, the Guangdong Olympic Stadium is the largest one of its kind in China by seating capacity, which is why it is used to host a plethora of important events such as the athletic parts of the 2010 Asian Games as well as the opening ceremonies for these games.
17. Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
This amazing football stadium is located within the San Siro district of Milan in Italy, and it was opened officially in 1926. Renovated in 1956 and 1989, the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is the home of the A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano clubs. The stadium was named after two-time World Cup winner Giuseppe Meazza, it can house 80,074 people and it benefits from five-star status according to UEFA.
16. Estadio Monumental
Also known as Coloso de Ate, the Estadio Monumental football stadium can be found in Lima, Peru and was sketched out by Progreso International and Gremco S.A. Flaunting a capacity of 80,093 people, the stadium is up to par with FIFA requirements regarding World Cup Finals and hosted numerous football games for Peru’s national football team. Opened in 2000, this outstanding establishment is one of the most impressive ones in South America.
15. Signal Iduna Park
Opened officially in 1974, the Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund, Germany features a capacity of 80,552 people and is widely regarded as one of the most incredible football stadiums in Europe. This stadium is famous for its incredible atmosphere and for the fact that it hosted several matches during the 1974 FIFA World Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. One of the most important parts of the arena is its so-called “Yellow Wall”, which is actually a terrace found on its southern side.
14. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu stadium was established in 1947 and currently represents the home of the Real Madrid Football Club. With 81,044 seats, this stadium was named in honor of Santiago Bernabéu Yeste and hosted the European Cup final several times in 1957, 1969 and 1980. As the second-largest stadium in the country, the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is the subject of a renovation program that would increase its total capacity to about 88,500.
13. Stade de France
The official stadium of France is called Stade de France, and it can be found just to the north of the country’s capital of Paris, in Saint-Denis to be precise. Flaunting a total capacity of 81,338 people, the stadium is used by both the union rugby team of France as well as the country’s national football team. The stadium was inaugurated in 1998 for the FIFA World Cup and is owned and managed by Consortium Stade de France. As with many other stadiums on our list, this one is also used for various concerts and other important events that require a spacious venue.
12. Stadium Australia
As part of the Sydney Olympic Park in Australia, the Stadium Australia or ANZ Stadium was finalized in 1999 and hosted the Summer Olympics of 2000. With a total capacity of 83,500, this stadium is used for multiple purposes and represents the home of the Sydney Swans, New South Wales Blues, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and many other teams. Since 2001, this stadium is also able to host games that require an oval field.
11. Azadi Stadium
This massive football stadium in Tehran, Iran can seat as many as 84,412 people and represents the home base of the Iran national football team. The stadium was opened in 1973 but was expanded in 2001 as well as renovated in 2002 and 2003. As part of the Azadi Sport Complex, the Azadi Stadium is encircled by numerous facilities such as a weightlifting complex, and indoor volleyball court and a rowing river. The arena was sketched out by architect Abdol-Aziz Farmanfarmaian and was built at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.
10. Borg El Arab Stadium
The Borg El Arab Stadium was built about 31 miles to the west of Alexandria in Egypt and was opened in 2007. Boasting 86,000 seats, this stadium is the absolute largest in Egypt and the second largest on the entire continent of Africa. What makes this particular stadium special is the fact that its seating was built specifically so that all spectators could be able to view all of the pitch’s angles without any obstructions. The Borg El Arab Stadium is so massive that it actually houses 32 restaurants as well as 386 toilets.
9. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium is a multi-purpose arena that was built in Central Jakarta, Indonesia in 1962. As many as 88,306 people can find seats within this huge establishment, and it is used for football matches for the most part. The name of the stadium was given in honor of the first President of Indonesia, Sukarno. One of the most prestigious events that were held at this stadium was the Asian Cup Final of 2007. This place is also used for concerts, political gatherings, religious events or important ceremonies.
8. Wembley Stadium
Built for 5 years between 2002 and 2007, the Wembley Stadium of London replaced an older stadium of the same name. With a capacity for 90,000 people, this famous arena is the second largest in Europe and one of the most amazing in the world, which is why it is used to host extremely important football events such as the FA Cup Final and various matches that involve the national football team of England. This UEFA category four stadium is owned by The Football Association and boasts a remarkable modern design with a partially retractable roof sketched out by HOK Sport.
7. Rose Bowl
This outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California is famous for hosting the college football bowl game every year on New Year’s Day. Opened for the first time in 1922, Rose Bowl also hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final as well as the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. With a capacity of 93,420, this stadium is undoubtedly one of the largest in the world at the moment. Rose Bowl is the home of the Los Angeles Wolves, Los Angeles Galaxy, UCLA Bruins and Los Angeles Aztecs teams.
6. First National Bank Stadium
The FNB Stadium is a very large and beautifully designed stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Flaunting enough seating for 94,700 people, the First National Bank Stadium was finished in 1989 and is sometimes known as “The Calabash” thanks to its distinct resemblance to an African gourd of the same name. When he was released from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela held his first speech in Johannesburg at this stadium. The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final that involved the Netherlands and Spain was also played at the First National Bank Stadium.
5. Camp Nou
Ever since it was opened for the first time in 1957, Camp Nou has been the home of the famous Futbol Club Barcelona. With a seating capacity of 99,354, this stadium in Barcelona, Spain is the largest stadium in Europe and hosted 2 UEFA Champions League finals throughout its existence. The stadium was expanded for the first time in 1982 but also went through a series of renovations in 1995 and 2008. Regarding its name, the developers of the arena could not decide whether to name it Camp Nou or Estadi del FC Barcelon, but after the fan poll of 2000, the decision was finally settled in favor of Camp Nou.
4. Bukit Jalil National Stadium
With a very impressive seating capacity of 100,200 people, the National Stadium of Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was opened in 1998 and hosted the incredible Commonwealth Games during the same year. The stadium is generally regarded as the best in the country and for good reason, since its massive capacity and modern facilities allowed it to host a plethora of important events and games throughout its existence. Furthermore the Bukit Jalil National Stadium is the official home of the Malaysia national football team.
3. Estadio Azteca
As the official home of the Mexico national football team, Estadio Azteca was opened in 1966 and flaunts a total capacity of 105,064 people. As a testament to its incredible design and outstanding facilities, this stadium hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals, a feat that no other stadium in the world can boast with. Sketched out by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca, Estadio Azteca is the largest stadiums in Mexico and one of the largest in the world by capacity.
2. Salt Lake Stadium
The second-largest stadium on our list is located in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal, and it is called Salt Lake Stadium. Opened officially in 1984, this Indian masterpiece can host 120,000 football fans at a time and boasts a myriad of modern facilities and amenities. The primary sport that is being played on this stadium is football, but various other important events such as the SAF Games of 1987 were also held on its premises.
1. Rungnado 1st of May Stadium
Finally, the largest stadium by capacity on our list is the Rungnado 1st of May Stadium, and it can be found in Pyongyang, North Korea. This multi-purpose arena was built in 1989 and features a mind-boggling capacity of 150,000 people. Even though football is the main sport that is being played on the stadium, its premises are sometimes used for various other athletic performances such as the so-called Mass Games. With a main pitch of 242,200 square feet and a total floor space of 2.2 million square feet, the Rungnado 1st of May Stadium is definitely massive.