There are hundreds, if not thousands, of iconic sports stadiums globally. Sports fans flock to these stadia in droves to create an incredible atmosphere that, hopefully, spurs their team toward victory. Venues such as soccer’s Wembley Stadium in London and baseball’s Yankee Stadium in New York City are world-famous, but they are nowhere near the top ten regarding seating capacity.
Combine the seating capacity of the five largest sports stadiums in the world, and you arrive at an astonishing 562,953 seats! Three of these mega-stadia are located in the United States, but surprisingly, none of the American stadiums belongs to professional sports teams but college teams instead. Here are those five massive stadiums in reverse order.
Ohio Stadium – United States – 102,780 capacity
Coming at number five with a 102,870 capacity is the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the third-largest on-campus football stadium in the United States. It primarily serves as the home venue of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, a college football team popular with the best online sportsbook for Americans. The stadium opened in 1922 with a seating capacity of 66,210, but numerous expansions have resulted in there being 102,780 seats.
The largest-ever attendance saw 110,045 fans pack into the Ohio Stadium in November 2016 for the Buckeyes’ game against Michigan, beating the previous record by 1,070 from the same game the previous year.
Beaver Stadium – United States – 106,572 capacity
Beaver Stadium is the second-largest on-campus football stadium in the U.S., with a capacity of 106,572 seats. The Penn State Nittany Lions have called the gargantuan venue home since 1960. The capacity was 69,000 when it first opened in September 1960, but the demand for additional seats has led to the capacity almost doubling over the past 60 or so years.
September 29, 2018, saw a record 110,889 spectators cram into the Beaver Stadium as Penn State fell to a 26-27 defeat at the hands of Ohio State. Eight other football games have seen more than 110,000 fans inside the iconic venue. The atmosphere generated by the six-figure crowd has led to Beaver Stadium being regarded as one of the toughest venues for opposing teams in collegiate football.
Michigan Stadium – United States – 107,601 capacity
Michigan Stadium, home to college football’s Michigan Wolverines, is known as “The Big House,” and it is easy to see why. The 107,601 seats make it the largest stadium in the United States and the third-largest on the planet. Despite its 107,601 capacity, it has regularly hosted crowds of over 110,000, including a record 115,109 in September 2013 when the Wolverines took on Notre Dame.
Wolverines fans are incredibly loyal, and every home game since November 8, 1975, has seen at least 100,000 fans turn out in force!
Michigan Stadium has hosted several other sports, including association football. The stadium holds the record for the most attended soccer game in the U.S. thanks to 109,318 fans turning out to watch Manchester United beat Real Madrid 3-1 in August 2014.
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium – North Korea – 114,000 capacity
Second place in this list may be a shock because it is the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang in North Korea. In true North Korean style, the government claims there are 150,000 seats in the stadium, but the official figure is 114,000.
Opened in 1989, the stadium is the newest on the list, although it is massively underutilized because of the various sanctions North Korea is under. The stadium is used for domestic sports and the annual Arirang Games, a mass gymnastics festival.
Narendra Modi Stadium – India – 132,000 capacity
Topping the seating capacity charts and, therefore, the largest sports stadium in the world is the Narendra Modi Stadium in India. The stadium opened to the public in 1983 and underwent extensive renovations in 2006 to become the official stadium for international cricket matches in the city of Ahmedabad.
The stadium was demolished in 2015 and rebuilt by February 2020 with a capacity of 132,000. It is the national stadium for the Indian Cricket Team and the Indian Premier League side Gujarat Titans. The stadium is yet to fully sellout, with a record attendance of 101,566 in 2022 in the Indian Premier League Final between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals.