Sports Architecture News: The Big(gest) House

We recently went down a rabbit hole to find the largest stadium in the world. Should be a quick and easy find, wouldn't you think? Not so much, as it turns out.

It's very easy to find the largest stadium in the world. Everyone knows that it's a cricket stadium called Narendra Modi Stadiium in Gujarat, India, with a maximum capacity of 132,000.

Except for the people who assert that it is of course the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, which has (had?) (maybe once had?) (was designed to hold?) (is claimed to have been designed to hold?) 150,000.

But the thing is . . . there is no reliable recorded evidence of anywhere near 150,000 people filling Rungrado 1st of May. (None that we could find, anyway.) Just a couple of cross-referenced footnotes in different articles, each claiming 114,000 (not 150,000) as the maxium capacity, and each using the other article as its "source."

So, for lack of verifiable evidence from the Great Leader in the North (and he has other things to take care of than verify stadium capacity, let's face it), we can go back to Narendra Modi.

Except -- on the official page for the stadium on the Populous website (the architecture company that designed the stadium) -- is the line ". . . the 110,000-seat stadium" and further states that in 2022 they set "a new world record attendance for a limited-overs cricket match with 104,859" . . . far from the 132,000 figure.

So, when it comes down to verified, cross-checked, actual numbers, it comes down to good ole' American College Football.

The top-5 verified record capacities we've been able to find are:

5 - Neyland Stadium, Tennessee - 109,061 on September 18, 2004, vs. Florida


4 - Ohio Stadium - 110,045 on November 26, 2016 vs. Michigan


3 - Kyle Field, Texas A&M - 110,633 on October 11, 2014 vs Ole Miss


2 - Beaver Stadium, Penn State - 110,633 (verified) on Sept 29, 2018 vs Ohio State


1 - Michigan Stadium115,109 on 7 September 2013 vs Notre Dame

(Or, in terms of the average Oakland A's attendance in 2024 (see our previous post), about 19 games' worth of fans were at that game in 2013.)

So, well done college football, especially you, Big Ten. Some impressive numbers there!

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