When we think of the biggest stadium in the world, images of the famous white arch of Wembley Stadium or the gigantic Estádio do Maracana spring to mind.

Surely one of these arenas, which have hosted World Cup finals in the past, must fill the number one spot in the stadiums with the largest capacity worldwide.

But how about the Rungnado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea?

This would not be the first stadium that would come readily to mind in any respect, let alone when pondering over which arena can hold the most spectators. But with a whopping 150,000 seater arena, this stadium comfortably overshadows the rest of the contenders.

Completed on May 1st 1989, it serves as a multi-purpose stadium with the North Korean national side using it for football matches. As well as football, it also hosts the annual 'Airarang' festival. It seems extraordinary to think that such a stadium exists in North Korea, particularly considering they are ranked 99th in the latest FIFA world rankings. 

In second place, is another surprise in the form of the Salt Lake Stadium in Calcutta, India. Home to an array of Indian clubs as well as the international team, this enormous stadium fits 120,000 fans and was the scene of Oliver Kahn's farewell match for Bayern Munich in a testimonial against locals Mohun Bagan.

So, what about the rest? Mexico's Estadio Azteca, host of both the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals, is third and Iran's Azadi Stadium is fourth. Camp Nou arrives in fifth and Wembley Stadium finishes in an impressive eighth.  Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is placed in 12th. Manchester United's Old Trafford finishes in a meagre 27th.

Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro's landmark stadium, finishes in 14th. However, the Maracana holds the record for the largest attendance at a football match with a jaw-dropping 199,854 spectators showing up to watch the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay.


1. Rungnado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea - 150,000 capacity

2. Salt Lake Stadium, Calcutta, India - 120,000

3. Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico – 104,000

4. Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran - 100,000

5. Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - 99,354

6. FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - 94,700

7. The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California - 93,420

8. Wembley Stadium, London, England - 90,000

9. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia - 88,306

10. Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia - 87,411

11. Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - 86,000

12. Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - 85,454

13. ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 83,500

14. Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 82,238

15. Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - 80,720

16.Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - 80,338

17. Estadio Monumental "U", Lima, Peru - 80,093

18. Stadio Giuseppa Meazza (San Siro), Milan, Italy - 80,018

19. Guangdong Olympic Stadium, Guanghzou, China - 80,012

20. Grand Stade de Casablanca, Casablanca, Morocco - 80,008


27. Old Trafford, Manchester, England - 75,881

33. Milennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 74,500

35. Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - 72,698

37. Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - 71,00

63. Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland - 60,500

64. Emirates Stadium, London, England - 60,361

125. St. James' Park, Newcastle, England - 52,339

183. City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England - 47,726


Figures taken from www.stadiumguide.com 


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