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8 of the World’s Most Iconic Stadiums

It seems the answer to any team’s problems these days is simple: Build a new stadium. Quite a lot of major cities have a stadium currently under construction, the complex that will eventually be completed a multi-billion dollar complex. But shiny and new doesn’t mean it’s as great as some of the most iconic stadiums in history, many of which were built decades ago. A winning team certainly helps the ambiance of the stadium, but good food and relatively cheap beer doesn’t hurt, either. The list of iconic stadiums will always be evolving and most lists will always have Fenway, Wrigley, and MSG, but there are others out there, too. Here are our eight picks.

Ericsson Globe

Ericsson Globe
Pernilla Hed/Getty Images

Built: 1989

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Seating Capacity: 13-16k

Home Team: Swedish National Hockey Team

Aside from the obvious — the spherical construction of the globe — there is an elevator operating on the perimeter ending at the top of the globe for an unobstructed view of Stockholm. The Ericsson Globe is also set to host the 2023 World Handball Tournament. The design pays homage to the Sun and stands alone as the world’s largest scale model of our solar system. Ice hockey is the main event, but artists like Eminem, Drake, and Metallica have rocked the stage.

Centre Court Wimbledon

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Built: 1922

Location: London, England

Seating Capacity: 14,979

Home Team: Rodger Federer with 8 titles

Instead of brats and beer, Wimbledon serves up strawberries and cream, and of the near 15,000 in attendance on final’s Sunday, you may just be in the presence of royalty. Walking out to the court players will read, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same” inscribed in the hallway from Kipling’s poem “If.” And if by chance you made plans for after the match, the longest in final’s history fell just short of five hours.

Augusta National

Built: 1932

Location: Augusta, Georgia

Seating Capacity: Estimates range from 35-40,000 patrons a day during weekend play.

Home Team: Besides the members, Jack Nicklaus has 6 Green Jackets

Until 1990, Augusta’s members were solely white men and not until 2012 was the first woman allowed membership. And the famous Green Jacket was something co-founder Cliff Roberts thought would be a way to dignify members and mark them from the general public. The Green Jacket is not allowed to leave the grounds unless it’s worn by the standing Master’s Champion.

Beijing National Stadium – The Bird’s Nest

The Bird's Nest
Fototrav/Getty Images

Built: 2008

Location: Chaoyang, China

Seating Capacity: 80,000

Home Team: 2008 Olympics

The Bird’s Nest is a form of Deconstruction architecture and will be the first venue to be used in both the Summer and Winter Olympics (after the 2022 Winter Olympics). On average it costs $9 million to maintain the stadium and like many Olympic venues, the Bird’s Nest has sat relatively empty since the 2008 Games.

Stadium Bowl

stadium bowl tacoma washington
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Built: 1910

Location: Tacoma, Washington

Seating Capacity:  15,000

Home Team: Woodrow Wilson High School and Stadium High School

Perhaps you remember a little film named 10 Things I Hate About You where this stadium was the stage to Heath Ledger serenading Julia Stiles? In 2008 it was voted by ESPN to be one the best high school football stadiums. Overlooking Commencement Bay, it really doesn’t matter if the home team wins because the view is unmatched … just be wary of the Tacoma aroma.

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium in Dublin
David Fitzgerald/Getty Images

Built: 2010

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Seating Capacity: 51,700

Home Team: Republic of Ireland National Football Team and The Ireland Rugby Union Team

The roof of Aviva Stadium does not close, though on the rainiest of days only the field will get wet as all the seats within the stadium are covered by the unique design. And because what’s a sporting event without a pint or two, Aviva has 400 beer taps capable of serving 90,000 pints.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Built: 1909

Location: Speedway, Indiana

Seating Capacity: 400,000

Home Team: Three people have won the Indianapolis 500 four times each: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears

Of all the stadiums in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the largest viewing capacity at 400,000 (257,000 permanent seats). And where it seems the norm for a stadium to take years to be built, the Moto Speedway took a mere 6 months to build the stands and lay the asphalt and brick for the track.

Century Link Field

CenturyLink Field
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Built: 2002

Location: Seattle, Wa

Seating Capacity: 68,740 (NFL) expandable to 70,000 for special events

Home Team: Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders

Home to the Seahawks and Sounders, Century Link’s newest tenant the XFL Dragon will begin play in 2020. And where Century Link is famously known around the NFL for its crowd noise (despite being an open-air field) and its role as the 12th Man, the Sounders hold the capacity record at 69,274 vs Toronto in the MLS Cup.

Need more stadium fun facts to pull out at the next party? Check these out.

Most Expensive Stadium Built: MetLife Stadium at $1.7 billion

Oldest Stadium Still in Use: Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne, Australia) 1854

Largest Capacity after 32 Racing Venues : University of Michigan Wolverines Football at 107,601

Most Expensive U.S. Stadium Beer: Oakland Raiders at $11 (before moving to Vegas)

Most Bathrooms: Wembley Stadium in London with 2,618 toilets

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