One of the joys of the beautiful game is to get out and explore new away grounds. No two grounds are the same, and we all have our favourites.
For some it is all about the history, for others comfort and for still others, the range of facilities. Many of the more modern venues contain conveniences that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. A particular favourite is that 21st century essential WiFi – an absolute Godsend for those who enjoy some live betting without having to leave the comfort of their seats!
However, there is one measure that comes above all others, and that is capacity. If anyone tells you that size doesn’t matter, they are lying, and nothing can quite compete with being bigger than the rest. So set aside your political correctness, and enjoy this unabashed celebration of the biggest, and therefore the best, grounds anywhere in the world.
5 – Kyle Field, USA
They say everything is bigger in Texas. And while they certainly have more 100,000+ stadiums than any other place on earth, the largest one only goes as far as 5th place globally. And even that proved possible thanks to the $400-million 2016 redevelopment.
4 - Ohio Stadium USA
With its Pantheon-inspired rotunda, this giant is one of the most iconic stadia across the US. Construction took just over a year and at the time ended being the largest structure with poured concrete worldwide. It had numerous pioneering or rare solutions used, like the slurry wall. After nearly 100 years in operation it's also among the biggest stadia ever built, even if the nearly 105,000 was reached without enclosing the seating bowl entirely!
3 - Beaver Stadium, USA
Mention a college stadium, and you probably picture something basic, a place where proud parents can gather on the bleachers to watch their sons perform, along with the obligatory cheerleader girlfriends. So much for the movies, this is one occasion when real life is bigger and more spectacular. Penn State’s University Stadium in Pennsylvania is the second largest in the USA, and has a capacity of more than 106,000. It is also one of the oldest, with a history going back well over 100 years.
2 - Michigan Stadium, USA
Michigan seems like a dream to me now – so said Simon and Garfunkel, and this stadium is certainly every sports fan’s fantasy. The Americans like to keep things simple, and this venue’s nickname, The Big House, is definitely appropriate, given its 107,601 capacity.
1 - Rungrado
Who? Where? You are, perhaps, thinking that the largest stadium must be somewhere like China, with its teeming population, or maybe Russia, for one of Vladimir Putin’s famous vanity projects. The truth is even stranger. Rungrado Stadium is in the secretive country of North Korea. The capacity is well over 114,000, and as well as football matches, hosts pro-wrestling tournaments and, if we believe the rumours, even military executions.