Sport Stadiums: 20 Facts You Might Not Know

It’s a fact that Sport Stadiums can be found in cities and towns all around the world. Many of them are empty right now (thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic causing sport events and concerts to be postponed), but they’re still there. They’re not going anywhere.



Here are 20 facts you might not know about Sport Stadiums:

1. The oldest known sport stadium is the Stadium at Olympia in Greece. This is where the Olympic Games of antiquity were held from 776 BC. Initially the Games consisted of a single event, a sprint along the length of the stadium.

Stadium at Olympia in Greece

2. The excavated and refurbished ancient Panathenaic Stadium hosted an early version of the Olympic Games in 1870, 1875, 1896 and 1906.

3. The first stadiums to be built in the modern era were basic facilities, designed for the single purpose of fitting as many spectators in as possible. With tremendous growth in the popularity of organised sport in the late Victorian era, especially football in the UK and baseball in the USA, the first such structures were built in the late 1800s.

4. The world’s biggest stadium (by capacity) is the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. The stadium has space for a maximum of 114,000 spectators. It’s the home of the North Korean Football team. The stadium has hosted football matches, athletics and mass games.

Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, North Korea

5. The world’s second biggest stadium (by capacity) is the Motera Stadium in India. This cricket stadium has space for a maximum of 110,000 spectactors.

Motera Stadium, India

6. FNB Stadium (formerly known as Soccer City) is located on the outskirts of Johannesburg in South Africa. It’s the biggest stadium in Africa. The stadium hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final and has space for 94,736 spectators. The stadium is also a popular concert venue. The stadium has hosted concerts for artists and bands like Ed Sheeran, Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Linkin Park, Neil Diamond a whole list of others.

FNB Sport Stadium, Johannesburg

7. Michigan Stadium is the biggest stadium in the USA. The stadium is the home of the Michigan Wolverines and has space for more than 107,000 spectactors.

8. Wembley Stadium is the biggest multi-purpose / sport stadium in the UK. This multi-purpose stadium has space for 90,000 spectators. This stadium originally opened in 1923, but was torn down in 2002/2003. A new stadium was built on the same site between 2003 and 2007. The old stadium could actually accomodate more spectactors (127,000).

Wembley Stadium, London

9. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (or the MCG) is the biggest stadium in Australia. The stadium has space for more than 100,000 fans. The stadium host cricket and Australian Rules Football matches).

10. Ellis Park stadium (in Johannesburg) hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final in South Africa. The stadium is also known as Emirates Airline Park.

Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg

11.  The Nissan Stadium (in Yokohama) is the biggest sport stadium in Japan. It has space for more than 72,000 spectators. The stadium hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final (played between South Africa and England).

12. The first English Premier League goal was scored by Brian Deane (a Sheffield United player) at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on the 15th of August 1992. 28,000 people attended the match at this stadium. Their opponents were Manchester United (who ended up winning their first league title that year).

13. The South African National Rugby Team (Springboks) played their first match against the All Blacks at Carisbrook Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand in August 1921. This sport stadium was closed in 2011.

Carisbrook Stadium, New Zealand

14. The first officially recognised Cricket Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877. The match was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The ground also hosted the first one day international between the two sides in 1971.

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia

15. Twickenham Stadium (in London) is the only sport stadium that has hosted 2 Rugby World Cup Final matches. This is where Australia won the tournament in 1991 and New Zealand won the tournament in 2015.

16. Olympiastadion (in Berlin) was originally built for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. It was revamped and hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup final (which was played between Italy and France).

Olympiastadion (in Berlin)

17. England and Scotland played against eachother in the first international football match in history in 1872. The match was played at Hamilton Crescent (the home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club) in Glasgow, Scotland. The match ended in a goal-less draw and was attended by 4,000 people.

18. The rugby union match played between Scotland and England on 27 March 1871 was the world’s first international rugby match. The match was played at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, Scotland in front of 4,000 spectators.

19. Pele scored his first goal for Brazil when he was 16 years old at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio De Janeiro in July 1957.

Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janeiro

20. The first Superbowl was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967. The match between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs was attended by more than 61,000 people.

Well, there you have it, 20 Sport Stadium Facts you might not have known. I hope that you’ve learned something you didn’t know before in this post.

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Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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