If football is the most popular sport in the world, shouldn’t a stadium be the most visited place or probably the most amazing site in the world? When I was still a child I thought stadiums had the largest convergence of people in the world. Now that I’m old and the sport has gained more popularity, I don’t think that thought was far from the truth.
Hearing such names like Theatre of dreams in Manchester, Stamford Bridge in London, Allianz Arena in Munich, Nou Camp in Barcelona, a non-follower of the game would never think those names belong to stadiums. Stadiums have become the most integral part of the game that they are even nicknamed. Stadiums are a fan’s delight; a place where matches are won, teams and players are celebrated, footballs fans go to cheer their teams and a somewhat arena of entertainment.
In fact suffice to say a stadium is a place where dreams come true and for the unfortunate ones dreams are broken – it’s a place where destinies are actualized and trophies lifted. Even if you want to see people cry, you will have a good view just watching a crucial football match till the end of proceedings.
The new football season is agog, in fact matches will go down in the Champions league tonight. So I am thinking this is a good time to do something that is football or sports related yet with a full slice of real estate; a proof that real estate cuts across every sphere of the society.
Here are my top 10 most amazing stadiums to watch a football match today!
10. Sapporo Dome (Sapporo, Japan)
Capacity: Sport dependent but 41,484 for football
The home field of the baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (punchy name) and the football club Consadole Sapporo, the Dome is capable of switching between two entirely different surfaces. Baseball games are played on an artificial turf field, while football games are held on a grass pitch that slides into and out of the stadium as needed.
9. Panathenaic Stadium (Athens, Greece)
The modern Olympics started here in this marble U-shaped stadium, modelled on the one that was built for the 330BC Panathenian games. The original was lost and buried until excavations in the 1830s uncovered traces of the ancient marble. It was rebuilt in time for the opening ceremony of the 1896 games. US triple jumper James Connolly won the first Olympic medal in more than 1,500 years here. Rather wonderfully it’s open to joggers from 7.30am to 9am daily.
In the 2004 Olympic games , the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the archery competition and the finish of the Marathon.
8. The Float (Marina Bay, Singapore)
Looking at this stadium I’m wondering; what happens when a player gets too excited in the course of a goal celebration and decides to dive into the sea? Just thinking aloud…
The world’s largest floating stadium, it is made entirely of steel and measures 120 metres long and 83 metres wide. The platform can bear up to 1,070 tonnes, equivalent to the total weight of 9,000 people, 200 tonnes of stage props and three 30-tonne military vehicles. In case you wanted to invade a country from there.
7. Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany)
Home to Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich football clubs, it was opened in 2005 and was the first in the world capable of changing colour depending on which team is playing. The stadium has been nicknamed “Schlauchboot” (inflatable boat) and the museum of Bayern Munich, is located inside the Allianz Arena.
6. Olympiastadion (Munich, Germany)
The stadium was built as the main venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics and has also hosted the 1974 World Cup Final and the Euro ’88 Final. It hosted the European Cup Finals of 1979, 1993 and 1997. The stadium was built by Bilfinger Berger between 1968 to 1972 in a pit made by bombs dropped on Munich during World War II. The sweeping and transparent canopy was to symbolise a new, democratic and optimistic Germany.
5. National Stadium – Bird Nest (Beijing, China)
The brainchild of Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron the design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a bird’s nest. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 summer Olympics and Paralympics and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The stadium is currently used mostly for football matches.
4. Olympiastadion (Berlin, Germany)
Scene of the 1936 Olympics, Hitler really went to town on the propaganda opportunity when he had this stone arena built. The stadium was packed with 110,000 spectators when Jesse Owens won gold, his name remains emblazoned on a winners board inside. It was one of the few buildings that survived not just in a recognisable form, but almost untouched after the Second World War. The stadium has since gone through two major upgrades and is the home of Hertha BSC, football club.
After renovations in 2004 the Olympiastadion offers a permanent capacity of 74,475 seats and is the largest stadium in Germany for international football matches. Olympiastadion is a UEFA category 4 stadium and one of the world’s most prestigious venues for sporting and entertainment events.
3. National Stadium (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Home to most of the Taiwan national team’s football matches the stadium’s spiral shape evokes dragon-like imagery. It is the first stadium in the world to provide power using solar energy technology. The panels covering the external face of the stadium are able to generate almost 100% of the power required for its own operation.
2. Soccer City (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Soccer city also known as the calabash is the largest stadium on the African continent. It is aptly located on the site of an old gold mine, the historic source of Johannesburg’s wealth. Previously known as the FNB Stadium, its major facelift for the World Cup 2010 was inspired by traditional African pottery. At night, a ring of lights running round the bottom light up to simulate a fire under this giant football ‘pot’.
The stadium is the home ground of Kaizer Chiefs Fc and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
1. Borisov Arena, Belarus
Capacity : 13, 126
Borisov Arena is a soccer-specific stadium in Barysaw, Belarus and is the home stadium of FC BATE Borisov and the Belarus National Team. The stadium’s official capacity is 13,126
The first official game ever played at the Borisov Arena was the 2013-14 Belarusian Cup Final on May 3, 2014. It was contested between FC Neman Grondno and FC Shakhtyor Salihorsk and won 1-0 by the team from Salihorsk. Ukrainian midfielder Artem Starhorodskyi scored the first ever goal on the stadium in front of an almost full capacity of over 11,000.
Having fed your minds with the beauties inherent in stadiums, you would want to agree with me that stadiums are the best place to be in the world. Honestly, I won’t mind building a small hut in a stadium where I can watch important matches anytime I feel like…lol
Oh! I love this game