10 Of The Most Spectacular Stadiums In The World

Sports stadiums are some of the most amazing and eye-catching structures that can grace a city. The significant investment by local governments in sports activities and infrastructure suggests that the economic returns of sports must be quite large; therefore, stadiums are considered great investments in a community and catalyst of economic activity.

The worldwide industry has been estimated to be worth as much as an astounding $620 billion. With numbers like that, is no surprise that stadiums are going to get bigger and more spectacular.

Here we look at some of the world’s most amazing stadiums, true marvels of architecture in the world today.

  1. Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China

Also known as the Bird’s Nest, the stadium was built as a collaboration among architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron. It was designed for use during the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The structure consists of two independent buildings, standing 50 feet apart, a concrete seating bowl and the outer steel frame around it. The stadium cost $480 million and it was completed in 2008. It is planned to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

  1. Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

The Allianz Arena is the first stadium in the world with a full color-changing exterior and is considered Germany’s most popular sports venue. Another creation by Herzog & de Meuron, it was completed in October of 2002 and opened in May of 005. One of the most particular features of the stadium is its façade. It is constructed from thousands of ETFE-foil air panels that seem white from far away due to an optical illusion engraved in its surface, but can be light up individually to display the local team’s colors.

Munich_Allianz Arena_germany_Kenny Slaught_Architect wonders
Image courtesy of Christian Scholz at Flickr.com
  1. FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Also known as Soccer City and The Calabash. The stadium was built in 1986 but it was renovated in 2009 for the 2010 World Cup. South African main contractor GLTA, joined with the Dutch company BAM and built the upgrade designed by the architects HOK Sport and Boogertman. The design allows so that no spectator is sitting farther than 100 meters from the field and there are no restricted views in the whole stadium.

  1. Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada

This amazing multi-purpose stadium is located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal, Quebec. French architect Roger Taillibert designed the structure. The facility features a retractable roof opened and closed by cables suspended from a 175-metre tower. The tower in itself is the tallest inclined structure in the world and it has an observatory on the top.

  1. National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland

This structure is a retractable roof football stadium located in Warsaw, Poland. It is mainly used for soccer matches and it is the home stadium of Poland national football team. The stadium is furnished with a heated field, training field, façade lighting, and underground parking. It is a multipurpose site able to host sporting events, concerts, cultural events, and conferences.

  1. Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China

Know as the water cube, this spectacular structure was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Water Cube was designed and built by a conglomerate made up of PTW Architects (A


ustralian firm), Arup international engineering group, CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation), and CCDI (China Construction Design International) of Shanghai. The construction cost $140 million and it was opened in 2008.

Beijing National Aquatics Center_Architect wonders_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of Dennis Tang at Flickr.com
  1. Wembley Stadium, London, England

This football stadium in Wembley, London, England, was opened in 2007, on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished in 2002. Wembley Stadium is the second-largest stadium in Europe and the largest in the United Kingdom with a capacity of 90,000 seats.

The stadium was built by HOK Sport, Foster and Partners and Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners.

  1. Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany

Designed by the German architect Günther Behnisch and the engineer Frei Otto, the lightweight tent construction of the Olympiastadion was considered radical for its time. The stadium is considered a symbol of a more open and democratic Germany. This is reflected in the official motto of the 1974 Olympic Games: “The cheerful Games” (“Die Heiteren Spiele”).

  1. Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Shanghai, China

Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena is a 15,000-seat tennis venue built to host the ATP World Tour Finals between 2005 and 2008. The building is known for its beautiful flower-like design with petals that open and close. The petal-shaped sections retract in just eight minutes and were designed to represent a blooming magnolia, the city flower of Shanghai

  1. Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Maracanã_stadium_Brazil_Architect wonders_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of herval at Flickr.com

After being chosen to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the government of Brazil decided to build the stadium that used to have the largest seating capacity in the world. Michael Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos, and Antônio Dias Carneiro; were the seven Brazilian architects who won the contract to build the stadium. Even though it was used in 1950 for the cup, its construction was not fully completed for another 15 years.

To take a look at some of the strangest and most unusual constructions in the world, check out this post at Kenny Slaught’s blog.

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