Picture 100,000 people in your head. Now visualize those 100,000 people as very specific types of individuals: sports fans. We mapped 537 of the world’s largest sports stadiums by their capacity. These notable venues range from holding 40,000 sports fans to holding more than 100,000. Which stadiums seat the most sports aficionados, and which seat the least? Which city is home to more than five of the largest sports stadiums in the world? And once and for all, are there more massive soccer stadiums or American football stadiums? Find out the answers to these questions and more as you continue reading about over 500 of the world’s largest sports stadiums.
View Largest Sports Stadiums in a full screen map
The map above provides the opportunity to sort the world’s largest sports stadiums — those with a capacity of 40,000 or more — by capacity. See the largest and smallest sports stadiums, and sort them by their main use. From soccer, American football, and cricket to all forms of rugby, select the sport you’re interested in and then select the range of capacity you wish to see, for example, “117K-74,624.”
There are only ten stadiums in the world that can hold over 100,000 people. These ten spacious stadiums are:
- Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
- Michigan Stadium
- Beaver Stadium
- Kyle Field
- Neyland Stadium
- Tiger Stadium
- Ohio Stadium
- Bryant-Denny Stadium
- Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
Eight of the ten most spacious stadiums are located in the Southern or Midwestern regions of the United States. Michigan Stadium, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, holds up to 110,601 people. Pennsylvania’s Beaver Stadium doesn’t reach its maximum capacity until person #106,572 enters the building. The fourth and ninth most spacious stadiums, Kyle Field and Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium are both located in Texas. Kyle Field can hold 102,733 Aggie fans while Austin’s Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium fills up at 100,119 people. Neyland, Tiger, Ohio, and Bryant-Denny stadiums are in Tennessee, Louisiana, Ohio, and Alabama, respectively. They each can hold between 101,821 and 102,455 fans. And, as you may have guessed from the many stadiums located in the country where football is the #1 sport, all of these stadiums were built specifically for American football.
That just leaves the #1 and #10 most spacious stadiums. The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, located in Pyongyang, North Korea, is the most spacious stadium in the world. This enormous building holds up to 114,000 soccer fans. The main tenant of the stadium also known as the May Day Stadium is the Korea DPR national soccer team. This team has appeared in the World Cup two times but has yet to win, which is why they aren’t on the FIFA World Cup Finals Winners and Runners Up map. The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is one of the only two stadiums in the top ten not used for American football. The second is Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground or the #10 most spacious stadium in the world. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, you’ll witness cricket being played. The stadium holds no more than 100,024 people.
In contrast to the ten most spacious stadiums in the world, there are 25 smaller stadiums on the map that hold no more than 40,000 people. While these stadiums are nearly three times smaller than the #1 most spacious stadium on the map, they still tower over the many stadiums below 40,000-capacity that didn’t make the map.
Over 60% of the smaller stadiums can be found in or near Southeast Asia. Bo’an Stadium, Kunming Tuodong Sports Center, Riverside Sports Center, and Wuhu Olympic Stadium are 40,000 max capacity stadiums located in China Malaysian stadiums including Darul Makmur, Hang Jebat, Negeri Pulau Pinang, and Sarawak stadiums are also among those that can hold no more than 40,000 people. There are also three smaller stadiums in India and Pakistan. Plus, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia all have at least one small stadium. The majority of these places are reserved for soccer. We could include the OSC Metalist stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine in this list of smallest-capacity stadiums, but their precise 40,003 people limit puts them three people above the cut-off.
Some cities have more large stadiums than others. London, England, for example, is home to six stadiums that range in capacity between 42,055 and 90,000. Wembley Stadium is at the larger end of that range. It’s also the 16th highest capacity stadium in the world. Another city with multiple notable stadiums is Buenos Aires. The capital of Argentina has five large stadiums where various Club Atlético soccer teams play. They vary in capacity, the smallest holding no more than 43,494 people while the largest can hold up to 74,624 fans.
Mexico City, Istanbul, Houston, and São Paulo each have four larger stadiums. Istanbul, Turkey and Houston, Texas’s four stadiums are similar in size to the five stadiums in Buenos Aires. Istanbul’s stadiums range from 41,903 and 76,092 while Houston’s hold between 40,000 and 71,500 people. Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca is one of only three stadiums to host the FIFA World Cup more than once. This largest of the city’s four stadiums at 87,000 max-capacity, Estadio Azteca hosted the World Cup in 1970 and then again in 1986. The other three stadiums in Mexico City range between 41,262 and 65,000. São Paulo, Brazil’s four soccer stadiums can hold between 40,199-67,052 futebol fans.
American football may be the #1 sport in the U.S., but worldwide soccer is supreme. Of the over 530 notable stadiums on the map, more than 320 of them are dedicated to soccer. This includes 22 soccer stadiums that are ranked within the top 50 stadiums with the highest capacity and 43 soccer stadiums in the top 100. American football has just 115 stadiums.
While stadiums meant for American football are far fewer than those meant for soccer, American football stadiums tend to rank higher when it comes to capacity. Twenty-eight American football stadiums rank within the top top 50 stadiums with the highest capacity, compared to soccer’s 22 stadiums. This trend occurs again as 53 American football stadiums appear in the top 100 compared to soccer’s 43 stadiums that rank that high.
Twenty-nine stadiums are used for baseball while 25 are for cricket. If you were to combine stadiums meant for Rugby union and Rugby league, you’d get 17 stadiums. Shocking, there is only one 40,000+ basketball stadium, the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, located in the Philippines. It holds 51,898 people.
Now that you know the May Day Stadium in North Korea holds the most sports fans, it’s time to pay it a visit. Or at least, add it to your map of where you want to go. Don’t have one yet? Create one now for free with the help of our simple data mapping tool.