There are some mighty fine soccer stadia around the world. The biggest look and feel like genuine amphitheaters, with the soccer pitch the biggest stage of them all. If you’re a sucker for sports stadiums and architecture, you’ll be fascinated to read about the biggest arenas for professional soccer based on capacity alone.
The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium – capacity: 114,000-150,000
You might not expect North Korea to have the world’s largest soccer stadium, but the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is just that. Built in response to South Korea’s stunning Olympic Stadium in Seoul, this stadium stages games played by the North Korean national team, as well as the April 25 Sports Club, which participates in the DPR Korean League.
The biggest mystery surrounding this stadium is its capacity. Some have said it holds up to 150,000, while other modest calculations have said it holds 114,000. Either way, it’s comfortably bigger than the second-biggest soccer stadium, the MCG in Australia.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – capacity: 100,024
Although the MCG is primarily a cricket ground, as well as the long-time home of Aussie Rules football, it’s also been the venue for some historic soccer games in Australia too. Almost 70 years ago, it staged the gold medal contest between the USSR and Yugoslavia in the 1956 Summer Olympic Games.
More recently, the Australian national team (the Socceroos), have played here in big occasions. Most notably their World Cup qualification play-offs against Iran and Uruguay in 1997 and 2001 respectively.
The Camp Nou – capacity: 99,354
The Camp Nou is a stadium with an authentic theatrical feel. This steep, three-tiered ground retains the atmosphere brilliantly, belying its lack of roofs. It’s home to the legendary FC Barcelona team, one of the most iconic clubs in world football. It’s been three seasons since Barça last won Spain’s top division, La Liga, with the Catalan giants hamstrung by financial difficulties that prevented them from strengthening their squad or retaining stars like Lionel Messi.
Nevertheless, 2022/23 looks like being their year, with their odds to win La Liga shortening to -1200 with DraftKings Sportsbook. This operator is the most highly recommended site by OddsChecker, which rates online sportsbooks based on the strength of their new customer promotions, the competitiveness of their odds and the general user experience.
The FNB Stadium – capacity: 94,736
The FNB Stadium, formerly known as Soccer City, is another behemoth of a soccer stadium. Situated in the South African city of Johannesburg, it was the centerpiece for South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament. The FNB Stadium is the home ground for the wonderfully named Kaiser Chiefs, who ply their trade in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The FNB Stadium also carries significant historical weight as well as sporting weight. It was the location for Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech after his release from prison.