Going to a spectacular setting adds even more excitement to any sporting occasion. There are some amazing sporting venues around the world that you should try and visit at least once. If you are a horse racing enthusiast, definitely the Churchill Downs that hosts the Kentucky Derby every year.
However, for soccer and American football fans, nothing beats the atmosphere of a stadium. Here are five of the very best that are well worth making the effort to travel to.
Maracana Stadium, Brazil
This giant, iconic stadium in Rio de Janeiro is the home of Brazilian soccer and was once the biggest stadium in the world. It was built for the 1950 World Cup, with around 200,000 spectators cramming in it to see the home team get beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the legendary final.
These days, the capacity has been reduced to 78,838 but it retains a magical atmosphere. Finding a game to watch here is easy, as Flamengo and Fluminense are both based in the Maracana. It has also hosted giant pop concerts and even masses held by the Pope when he visited Brazil.
The Maracana is a popular destination for tourists and local travel agencies offer packages for those visitors who want to see a game in the stadium.
Lambeau Field, USA
Choosing the best NFL stadium isn’t an easy task, as everyone who follows the sport has their own favorite. However, the home of the Green Bay Packers is regularly rated as the finest setting for watching a game of football take place in. This is one of the most historic stadiums in the sport and it has witnessed some incredible moments over the years
This place was called City Stadium when it opened in 1957 and is now the longest-running NFL stadium to have been in continuous operation. The Packers have racked up four Super Bowl wins and won more games than any other NFL franchise since setting up home here.
No other team has an unbeaten record at the Lambeau and the Denver Broncos have never won a regular season game here.
Beijing National Stadium, China
This stunning stadium in the Chinese Capital is also known as the Bird’s Nest due to its unique design, which is based on traditional Chinese ceramics. It was built for the 2008 Olympics and is also to be a base for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
It cost some $248 million to build, with the numerous steel beams among the stand-out features. There are said to be plans for a hotel and shopping mall to be added to the site.
PNC Park, USA
This famous baseball stadium in Pennsylvania is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. It might not be as well-known in the rest of the world as the likes of the Yankees Stadium, but it is regularly voted as the best place in the world to watch an MLB game.
Its history dates back to 2001, when the Pirates made this their new home. There are a number of factors that make this such a popular stadium. The entrance makes you feel as though you are arriving somewhere special, the sightlines are well thought out and there are regular upgrades made to it.
The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, North Korea
This stadium is more difficult for most people to get to than the others on the list. This is because it is in Pyongyang, North Korea. It is commonly called the May Day Stadium and has a capacity of 114,000. Currently, it is the biggest sports stadium on the planet.
Among the events carried out here are athletics meetings and soccer game. The highlight of the year comes with the Arirang Mass Games. This is a gymnastic and artistic gathering that takes place here each year. It is a spectacular, choreographed event with political undertones.