The Largest Track And Field Stadiums By Capacity

Beijing National Stadium, also known as the "bird's nest".
Beijing National Stadium, also known as the "bird's nest".

A stadium is a venue used to host mainly outdoor sports, concerts, and other events and can either be open to the elements or closed. The tracks are surrounded by tiered bleachers which enable spectators to sit or stand while watching an event. The stadiums are constructed to handle a pre-determined seating capacity with most major stadiums having a capacity of over 10,000 people. Track and field stadiums are used to host track and field activities such as athletics and feature an oval-shaped running track. Some track and field stadiums are among the largest stadiums in the world based on capacity with the top five being found in Asia.

1. Rungrado May Day Stadium (North Korea)

Rungrado May Day Stadium is the main stadium in North Korean capital, Pyongyang. With a capacity of 150,000, the Rungrado May Day Stadium is the largest stadium in the world based on capacity and covers a total floor area of 2.2 million square feet. The stadium derives its name from its location on the Rungrado Islet of the Taedong River. The Rungrado May Day Stadium was opened on May 1st, 1989 to much fanfare. The stadium has hosted several events over the years including the 1989 13th World Festival of Youth and Students, the 1995 “Collision in Korea,” a professional wrestling event and the annual Pyongyang Marathon.

2. Azadi Stadium (Iran)

Azadi Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Tehran, Iran. The Azadi Stadium (initially known as Aryamehr Stadium) gets its name from the Persian term “Azadi” which means “freedom.” With a capacity of 84,412 people, the Azadi Stadium is the largest stadium in Iran and the second largest in the world based on capacity. However, the record attendance was set during the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers where Azadi Stadium hosted 128,000 people. Construction of the Azadi Stadium began on October 1st, 1970 and was completed in 1973 at the cost of over $445 million. The stadium was opened on September 1st, 1974 in line with the 1974 Asian Games which were held in Iran.

3. Guangdong Olympic Stadium (China)

The Guangdong Olympic Stadium is located in the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The Guangdong Olympic Stadium is the largest in the country based on capacity with the stadium having a capacity of 80,012 and is also the third largest stadium in the world. Also known as the Aoti Main Stadium, the Guangdong Olympic Stadium was constructed on the former location of the Huangcun Airport with construction starting in 1998 and being completed in 2001. The stadium was opened in 2001 during the opening of the Ninth National Games of China.

4. Beijing National Stadium (China)

The Beijing National Stadium is the main stadium in the Chinese capital city of Beijing. Also known as the Bird’s Nest Stadium due to its unique appearance, the stadium was constructed between 2003 and 2007 at the cost of $471 million and was opened on June 28th, 2008. With a capacity of 80,000 people, The Beijing National Stadium is the second largest in China and the fourth largest in the world based on capacity. However, the stadium set a record attendance of 89,102 on August 23rd, 2008 during the Nigeria-Argentina football match. The Beijing Stadium has hosted several major events including the 2008 Olympic Games and is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Downside Of Large Stadiums

The majority of the stadiums are constructed to host major international sporting events and consume huge budgets to be completed. However, after the events are over the stadiums are left unused with other small events not being able to utilize the facilities fully.

The Largest Track And Field Stadiums By Capacity

1Rungnado May Day Stadium150,000Pyongyang North Korea
2Azadi Stadium84,412Tehran Iran
3Guangdong Olympic Stadium80,012Guangzhou China
4Beijing National Stadium80,000Beijing China
5Shanghai Stadium80,000Shanghai China
6Atatürk Olympic Stadium76,092Istanbul Turkey
7Stade de France75,000Saint-Denis France
8Olympiastadion74,228Berlin Germany
9Stadio Olimpico72,698Rome Italy
10Athens Olympic Stadium71,030Athens Greece
11Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex70,050Kyiv Ukraine
12Seoul Olympic Stadium69,950Seoul South Korea
13München Olympiastadion69,250Munich Germany
14Salt Lake Stadium68,000Kolkata India
15National Olympic Stadium68,000Tokyo Japan
16Commonwealth Stadium60,081Edmonton, Alberta Canada
17Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium60,000Delhi India
18Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium60,000Shenyang China
19Nanjing Olympic Sports Center60,000Nanjing China
20National Sports Stadium60,000Harare Zimbabwe

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