Football stadiums display some of the world’s most incredible architectural design and engineering. Most football fans have a “stadium bucket list” of some must-see stadiums around the world.
In this blog post, I’ll list the world’s top 15 biggest football stadiums. Will your club’s stadium be on the list?
Largest Football Stadiums
|Rungrado 1st of May Stadium||114,000||North Korea||Pyongyang|
|FNB Stadium||94,736||South Africa||Johannesburg|
|Beijing National Stadium||91,000||China||Beijing|
|Estadio Azteca||87,523||Mexico||Mexico City|
|Bukit Jalil National Stadium||87,411||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|Borg el-Arab Stadium||86,000||Egypt||Alexandria|
|Salt Lake Stadium||85,000||India||Kolkata|
|Estadio Mas Monumental||83,198||Argentina||Buenos Aires|
|MetLife Stadium||82,500||USA||New Jersey|
|Signal Iduna Park||81,365||Germany||Dortmund|
|Stade de France||81,338||France||Saint-Denis|
|Estadio Santiago Bernabeu||81,044||Spain||Madrid|
#1 Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Pyongyang, North Korea (114,000 capacity)
Unfortunately, the biggest football stadium in the world, with over 14,000 more seats than the second largest football stadium, is one that most of us will probably never see in person. The North Korean stadium has an artificial pitch, meaning it can be used for more than just football matches.
Appropriately named the “Rungrado 1st of May Stadium”, it opened on the 1st of May 1989. It hosts both the men’s and women’s North Korean national teams and the “April 25 Sports Club” – the reigning champions of the DPR Korea Premier Football League.
#2 Nou Camp
Barcelona, Spain (99,354 capacity)
Regarded as one of the most spectacular sights in world football, the Spotify Camp Nou can host up to 99,354 people to watch one of the greatest and most decorated football clubs of all time, FC Barcelona.
Not only has the Camp Nou stadium hosted FC Barcelona since its opening in 1957, but the Catalonian national football team also play selected matches at the iconic stadium.
Johannesburg, South Africa (94,736 capacity)
The was the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (when it was known as the “Soccer City Stadium”); the FNB Stadium was first built in 1989 but was renovated and expanded to meet regulations for the World Cup in 2009.
With a record attendance of 94,807 (71 more than its current capacity), the FNB Stadium plays host to the Kaizer Chiefs (the football club, not the indie rock band from England) as well as the South Africa national team.
Beijing, China (91,000 capacity)
Less than two months after the Beijing National Stadium opened in June 2008, a match between Nigeria and Argentina in the 2008 Olympic Games broke (and still holds) the attendance record for a football match in China (89,102).
The stadium was built for the 2008 Olympic Games but is used nowadays by the Chinese national football team and, bizarrely, the Chinese national basketball team.
London, England (90,000 capacity)
The beating heart of English football, the “new” Wembley, was built off of the foundations of the “old” Wembley and opened on the 9th of March 2007. The iconic Wembley arch serves not just as a landmark but it’s also required to support 75% of the Wembley Stadium roof.
The first game ever played at the new Wembley had all but zero professional footballers on the pitch. It was a game played behind closed doors between Multiplex (the organisation that built the stadium) staff and Wembley Stadium staff.
However, the first official match was on the 12th of May 2007, when Kidderminster Harriers took on Stevenage Borough in the FA Trophy final.
My beloved Portsmouth (and my not-so-beloved Cardiff City) still hold the record for the highest attendance when the two sides faced off in the 2008 FA Cup final.
Lusail, Qatar (88,966 capacity)
Probably the stadium where Lionel Messi consolidated his superiority over Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2022 World Cup Final, the Lusail Stadium is the sixth largest football stadium in the world with a capacity of 88,966.
Amidst much controversy, the stadium opened in November 2021 and has seen a full-capacity crowd on three occasions throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The architectural contractors claim that the Lusail Stadium also has zero carbon footprint with the use of solar panels.
The stadium is set to drop out of the top 15 biggest football stadiums in the world list, however, as there are plans in place to reduce the capacity to just 40,000 in the coming years. Although it will still be the home of the Qatar national football team, the stadium will be repurposed into a community space for the people of Lusail.
Mexico City, Mexico (87,523 capacity)
Home to both Club America and Cruz Azul of Liga MX (not to mention the Mexico national football team), the Estadio Azteca is the biggest football stadium in Mexico, situated in the beautiful country’s capital.
In what was sure to break thousands of health and safety regulations if it was to happen today, the record attendance at the Estadio Azteca was 119,853 when Mexico played against Brazil in 1968.
The 87,523-capacity stadium also boasts the honour of being the site where both Pele and Diego Maradona lifted the final trophies of their respective careers (during the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup).
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (87,411 capacity)
Asia surprisingly occupies 5 of the world’s top 15 biggest Football stadiums. The Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Malaysia is the fourth biggest in Asia and the eighth biggest globally, with a capacity of 87,411.
Like the other Asian stadiums on this list, this stadium isn’t just used for football. Although the Malaysian national football team call it home, so did the rugby team, Malaysia Valke, until they were dispended in 2020.
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium was purpose-built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games and went on to host various international sporting tournaments over the coming years.
Alexandria, Egypt (86,000 capacity)
Occasionally referred to as the Egyptian Army Stadium, the Borg el-Arab Stadium is where Mohammed Salah plays his international team’s home games.
The stadium is located right on the north coast of Egypt in the city of Alexandria and also boasts a 200-room hotel.
As well as being the home ground for the Egypt national football team, Smouha, Al Ahly, and Al Ittihad (all of the Egyptian Premier League) also call the Borg el-Arab Stadium their home.
Kolkata, India (85,000 capacity)
Before its renovation in 2011, the Salt Lake Stadium was once the biggest football stadium in the world, with a capacity of 120,000.
Since its opening in 1984, the Salt Lake Stadium has had three different surfaces of different grass types. The surface was natural grass until 2011, when, during the renovation, it was changed to artificial grass. However, in preparation for the 2017 U20 FIFA World Cup (in which England won), the surface was changed to a different species of grass called Bermuda Grass.
Buenos Aires, Argentina (83,198 capacity)
Argentinian giants, River Plate, have played their home games at the Estadio Mas Monumental since the stadium was opened in 1938. That makes it the oldest football stadium on this list.
In the stadium’s 84-year life, the attendance record remains at exactly 100,000 in a match where River Plate beat Racing 2-0 in 1975.
If you were to place each seat inside the stadium side by side, the line would be over 70 kilometres long!
New Jersey, USA (82,500 capacity)
With the array of over-the-top stadiums in the USA, it’s perhaps a surprise that the biggest stadium on this list is the twelfth biggest in the world. If this were a list of “biggest stadiums in the world”, the United States would occupy the majority of the top 10.
However, I’ve picked stadiums that are used for football games (soccer), not American football.
The 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium does host NFL games for the New York Giants and New York Jets, but the USA National Football team also play here. Liverpool even beat Manchester City here in a pre-season friendly in 2018!
We’ll also see the MetLife Stadium host a number of matches at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Dortmund, Germany (81,365 capacity)
Since watching Borussia Dortmund’s magnificent Champions League run in 2023, I’ve dreamt about seeing the Signal Iduna Park in person. In April 2023, I got the opportunity to when I travelled to Dortmund for a week.
The notorious “Yellow Wall” is the largest free-standing grandstand in continental Europe, with a capacity of 25,000. If you want the best atmosphere in world football, go to Signal Iduna Park!
Saint-Denis, France (81,338 capacity)
Situated just outside Paris, the Stade de France is the home stadium of the French national football team and the biggest football stadium in France. France had the unique opportunity to lift the FIFA World Cup in this very stadium in 1998 when they beat Brazil 3-0 in the final.
The Stade de France is one of only 78 worldwide stadiums to have a GrassMaster pitch installed – deemed by most in the sports turf industry as the best option for sports surfaces. It is a mixture of soil grass and artificial grass to create a carpet-like surface if maintained correctly.
Madrid, Spain (81,044 capacity)
It’s quite amazing how two of the biggest football clubs (Real Madrid and FC Barcelona) home stadiums are in the world’s top 15 largest stadiums.
Named after the legendary Real Madrid player and president, Santiago Bernabeu, the stadium is one of the most recognised stadiums worldwide. It is the only stadium ever to host the two most important continental cup finals (UEFA Champions League final and Copa Libertadores final).
Although it doesn’t appear on this list, the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, holds the record for the highest attendance of any football match ever recorded.
199,854 people crammed into the stadium to watch Brazil take on Uruguay in the 1950 FIFA World Cup Final. Unfortunately for the Brazil fans, Uruguay ended up lifting the trophy that time.
Will that record ever be broken?