Which is the largest football stadium in the world?
Association football is, far and away, the most popular spectator sport on the planet, with nearly half the population of the world taking an interest. Indeed, football dominates most of Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, and it is no real surprise that some of the largest football stadiums in the world are to be found on those continents.
In Africa, for example, the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Nasrec, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, is the third largest football stadium in the world. Originally built in 1987, the FNB Stadium was upgraded in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 – it was, in fact, the venue for the World Cup Final between Netherlands and Spain – and nowadays has a seating capacity of 94,736.
In Europe, the Camp Nou, which has been the home of Barcelona Football Club since 1957, is the largest football stadium on the continent and the second largest in the world. Built over a period of three years between 1954 and 1957, at a cost of 288,000,000 Ptas – approximately £3,500,000, allowing for inflation – Camp Nou has a seating capacity of 99,354 and the largest football stadium in Europe.
Perhaps surprisingly, the distinction of having the largest football stadium in the world belongs to Asia and, specifically, to North Korea, traditionally one of the least accessible countries in the world. The Rungrado May Stadium in the capital city, Pyongyang, was built in 1989 and has floor space in excess of 50 acres, not to mention capacity for 114,000 spectators.