The Largest Stadiums In Africa

The FNB Stadium in South Africa is Africa's biggest stadium. Image credit: Luke Schmidt
  • The FNB (First National Bank) Stadium in South Africa is the largest stadium in Africa.
  • Africa’s second largest stadium was built as part of Egypt’s bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which ultimately took place in South Africa.
  • Africa’s seventh largest stadium, the Ellis Park Stadium, is also the second largest in South Africa.

Africa is a sports-loving continent. Although much of the continent is poor and underdeveloped, it does not mean that there are no large sporting venues. In fact, some of Africa’s stadiums rival many of their counterparts in the rest of the world. Here is a list of Africa’s 7 largest stadiums:

  1. FNB Stadium, South Africa - 94,736
  2. Borg Al-Arab Stadium - 86,000
  3. Stade des Martyra de la Pentecote - 80,000
  4. Cairo International Stadium
  5. Stade 5 Juillet - 64,000
  6. Ellis Park Stadium - 62,567
  7. Moshood Abiola National Stadium - 60,491

1. FNB Stadium, South Africa - 94,736

FNB Stadium
FNB Stadium, South Africa. 

Welcome to Africa’s largest stadium. The FNB (First National Bank) Stadium has a crowd capacity of 94,736. The stadium is located in Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. It opened in 1989, and has been renovated twice since then. The venue is normally a site for football and rugby games, as both sports are popular in South Africa. FNB Stadium has also been nicknamed “Soccer City” and “The Calabash”. The former nicknamed was given to the venue when it played host to football matches that were part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while the latter is the name of a type of African pot, denoting the stadium’s shape. In addition to hosting international sporting events, FSB Stadium is also home to a local football club known as Kaizer Chiefs FC.

 2. Borg Al-Arab Stadium, Egypt - 86,000

Borg El Arab Stadium on 28 March 2017 during a friendly match between Egypt v Togo.

Africa’s second-largest stadium is located in Egypt. It was built as part of Egypt’s bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which ultimately took place in South Africa. The venue also goes by the names El Geish and Alexandria, the latter denoting the port city which it is located close to. Unlike most stadiums in Africa, Borg Al-Arab was built for one purpose: football. The stadium has a capacity of 90,000, but has historically hosted a fraction of this number, which is why it has never served as the home of any local football club. It does, however, host games played by Egypt’s national football squad, and has also hosted several important football matches, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Congo, which drew a record 86,000 spectators.

3. Stade des Martyra de la Pentecote, DRC - 80,000

Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecote
Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecote. Image credit: Antoine Moens de Hase/Wikimedia.org

The third-largest stadium on the African continent is located in the city of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originally known as the Kamanyola Stadium, it was built in 1994, and has a capacity of 80,000, which is more than Europe’s tenth largest stadium, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, can hold. The venue was billed as a crowning achievement of the then ruling regime of Mobutu Sese Seko. The stadium currently hosts two local football clubs, AS Vita Club and DC Motema Pembe. The national football team also plays its home matches at this venue. In fact, the first match played at the Stade des Martyra was a friendly match between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.

4. Cairo International Stadium, Egypt - 74,100

Cairo International Stadium

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is the home of Africa’s fourth largest stadium, Cairo International Stadium. The venue has a capacity of 74,100, and was opened in 1960. When it opened, however, it was called Nasser Stadium, after then Egyptian President, Gamal Abd Al-Nasser. The stadium serves as the official home of Egypt’s national football squad. In 2005, it underwent extensive renovations in preparation for hosting the African Cup of Nations football tournament the following year. The stadium is not the official home of any local football club, though it does host significant football matches involving local teams like Al Ahly and Zamalek.

5. Stade 5 Juillet, Algeria - 64,000

Stade 5 Juillet
Stade 5 Juliet. Image credit: Billal Haddadi/Wikimedia.org

The full official name of Africa’s sixth largest stadium is Stade 5 Juillet, 1962 (July 5, 1962 Stadium). Its name references the independence day of the Republic of Algeria, the country in which it is based. More specifically, the venue is located in Algeria’s capital, Algiers. The stadium opened in 1972. It has hosted numerous international sporting events, including the 1975 Mediterranean Games, the 1978 All-Africa Games, and the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. In 2010, the July 5 Stadium recorded an attendance of 110,000 people, who came to see the national football team play against Serbia, despite the venue’s regular capacity being just 64,000.  

6. Ellis Park Stadium, South Africa - 62,567

Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa
Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Image credit: Leglo09/Wikimedia.org

Africa’s seventh largest stadium is also the second largest in South Africa. Like FNB Stadium, Ellis Park Stadium is located in Johannesburg. The original stadium was built in 1928. It was demolished in 1979, however, and was subsequently rebuilt. The current venue, which is often called Emirates Airlines Park for sponsorship reasons, has a capacity of 62,567. In 2005, Ellis Park Stadium made history as the first black-owned stadium in the country. The stadium has hosted many important football matches including games that were part of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is also a premier venue for rugby. In fact, in 1995, 65,000 spectators packed the stadium to watch South Africa win the Rugby World Cup of that year. Ellis Park Stadium is also the home of Johannesburg’s rugby team, the Highveld Lions.

7. Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Nigeria - 60,491

Abuja Stadium
Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria

The Moshood Abiola National Stadium, also known as the Abuja Stadium is located close to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. It was recently renamed Moshood Abiola National Stadium, after a late pro-democracy advocate, but is still often referred to as Abuja Stadium. The venue, which was opened in 2003, has a capacity of 60,491. It was originally intended to host the 2003 African Games, but has also hosted local football clubs and the national football squad. Abuja Stadium does not, however, serve as the home venue for any local sports teams for the simple reason that the country’s local teams do not draw the kind of crowds that could fill it.

The Largest Stadiums In Africa

RankStadiumCapacityLocation
1FNB Stadium94,736Johannesburg, South Africa
2Borg El Arab Stadium86,000Alexandria, Egypt
3Stade des Martyrs80,000Kinshasa, DR Congo
4Cairo International Stadium74,100Cairo, Egypt
5Stade 5 Juillet64,000Algiers, Algeria
6Ellis Park Stadium62,567Johannesburg, South Africa
7Abuja Stadium60,491Abuja, Nigeria
8Stade Olympique de Rades60,000Radès, Tunisia
9Stade National de la Côte d’Ivoire60,000Abidjan, Ivory Coast
10Stade Municipal de Kintélé60,000Brazzaville, Congo
11Bahir Dar Stadium60,000Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
12Mkapa Stadium60,000Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
13Stade Leopold Senghor60,000Dakar, Senegal
14Moi International Sports Centre60,000Nairobi, Kenya
15Heroes National Stadium60,000Lusaka, Zambia
16National Sports Stadium60,000Harare, Zimbabwe
17Odi Stadium60,000Mabopane, South Africa
18Mmabatho Stadium59,000Mafikeng, South Africa
19Cape Town Stadium58,300Cape Town, South Africa
20May 19 Stadium56,000Annaba, Algeria
21Moses Mabhida Stadium56,000Durban, South Africa
22Kings Park Stadium52,000Durban, South Africa
23Stade Moulay Abdellah52,000Rabat, Morocco
24Loftus Versfeld Stadium51,762Pretoria, South Africa
25Newlands Stadium51,100Cape Town, South Africa
26June 11 Stadium50,000Tripoli, Libya
27Estádio 11 de Novembro50,000Luanda, Angola
28Stade 26 mars50,000Bamako, Mali
29Nongo Stadium50,000Conakry, Guinea
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