Sports stadiums have been home to some of the biggest moments in history. From Jesse Owens’ triumph in front of Adolf Hitler in the Olympiastadion at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin to the image of President George W. Bush throwing the first pitch at the World Series in 2001 at Yankee Stadium just seven weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
Some of these moments in the modern day have been witnessed by millions on television but those from further back in history could only be witnessed by those lucky enough to be in attendance. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some great moments of my own, with Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League one of the sporting highlights I’ve been present for.
The problem with wanting to watch events in person is that stadiums have a limited capacity. And we got to wondering which ones have likely seen the biggest crowds gather to try and watch history be made. That’s why we’ve decided to take a look at the ten biggest capacity stadiums in the world. Will your favourite make the list?
10) Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama, USA
A historical stadium that has been a part of sporting history in Alabama for almost 100 years, the Bryant-Denny Stadium is named after two great figures: Former university president George H. Denny and former head coach Paul W. Bryant. The venue has an official capacity of 100,077 making it the largest stadium in the state and the tenth largest in the world.
9) Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas, USA
Home to the University of Texas, this stadium was originally built in 1924 and has had many renovations over the years with the most recent taking place in 2017. The stadium as well as hosting local college football games also has a number of museums inside and a trophy room which like the stadium itself is dedicated to the name of former Longhorns head coach, Darrell K Royal. The capacity of this place? Just a mere 100,119.
8) Neyland Stadium, Tennessee, USA
The sixth largest stadium in the USA with a capacity of 101,915 is the eighth on our list. Named after Robert Neyland who was a former head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, was first constructed in 1921. However, due to the size of the large venue it has hosted many other events including monster truck rallies.
7) Tiger Stadium, Louisiana, USA
Nicknamed “Death Valley” the Tiger Stadium is home to Louisiana State University (LSU) and can fit 102,321 bums in seats. When it was first created in 1924 it held a capacity of just 12,000 but over the years upgrades have been made to the building itself as well as its facilities and the capacity has been increased by over 850%.
6) Kyle Field, Texas, USA
At number six on our list is our second venue located in Texas, Kyle Field. Home to the Texas A&M Aggies, the original building opened in 1927 and has had four major renovations over the years in 1953, 1967, 2003 and the latest finishing in 2015.
It has a capacity of 102,780 but what makes this particular place very special is over the years, the Aggies have had a mascot known as Reveille, also nicknamed the First Lady of Aggieland. This mascot is always a mixed-breed dog and Texas A&M bury their mascots at the stadium with thousands turning up for the ceremonies when one passes away.
5) Ohio Stadiums, Ohio, USA
Home to the Ohio State Buckeyes since 1922, this venue has a number of nicknames due to its unique shape such as the “Horseshoe”. Due to its large capacity of 102,780, it often gets used for large musical events and has seen many famous faces appear there over the years including Metallica and U2. It has also seen some of American football’s most legendary names grace the field including the likes of Archie Griffin.
4) Beaver Stadium, Pennsylvania, USA
The last few venues have all had a relatively similar capacity with only a few hundred separating each one, but the home of Penn State takes a boost of a few thousand with the ability to fit 106,572 inside its walls. It’s actually one of the younger buildings on our list as well having only opened in 1960, although parts of the grounds have existed in some form or another since as early as 1909.
3) Michigan Stadium, Michigan, USA
You may be surprised how many of these venues so far have been home to college football teams, but you’ll be happy to know we’ve now come to the last one to feature in our list. “The Big House” as it is also known, is THE largest stadium in the USA with a capacity of 107,601. It is home to the Michigan Wolverines and was built in 1927. Despite its age though it features many state-of-the-art facilities thanks to several renovations over the years.
2) Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea
A stadium that has probably been used for military rallies over the years than actual sporting events, the Rungrado as it is known is the second largest in the world with a capacity of 114,000. That is one heck of a lot of people for North Korean dictators to cram into one building.
All joking aside, this is actually a very beautiful building with some incredible surroundings with views of Korean mountain ranges in the backdrop. It is very unlikely many people will ever get to experience this place though due to the restrictive nature of being allowed to visit North Korea, which probably makes it all the more special for those who do get to enter it and bare witness to the events that take place inside.
1) Narendra Modi Stadium, Gujarat, India
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, so it is no surprise to see its biggest stadium home to the sport. But with a capacity of 132,000, it is also the largest in the world.
The stadium is also the newest on our list having opened in 2020, but it wasn’t inaugurated until 2021 partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It cost around $100 million to build and took three years from breaking ground to completion. Previous to that the area where the stadium was built was home to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium which was originally built in the 1980s.
The one surprising factor is that, despite its large capacity, the record attendance for an event is actually far short of how many it can fit inside. Although it is possible that the 101,566 recorded to have attended the 2022 IPL Final could be beaten in the future, especially with India looking to now hold more events at its state-of-the-art venue.
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Wow! Americans really like their college football. Surprised not to see the likes of Camp Nou in Barcelona make the list.