There is no denying the fact that nothing in the world unifies people the way sports does.
Few social activities, if any at all, have the capacity to reach out to people in such large numbers, bring them together on to one unifying platform and fill them with so much passion and enjoyment, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or religion.
While the happenings on the field of play elicit so much fervor and excitement and emotion, a good venue adds to all of that in a big way.
Just entering a good sports venue lifts the spirit and the excitement level even before the play gets underway.
Here, we have attempted to take a look at ten of the most amazing sporting venues from across the world.
With hundreds of fabulous stadia in the world, if not more, it was indeed a difficult task to narrow them down to just ten.
So, if your favorite stadium does not appear in the list below, please understand that we’re spoilt for choice.
AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia
Also referred to as the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, the AAMI Park was built at a cost of AUD268 million (approximately USD202 million).
Built by Cox Architects and Planners, work on the stadium started in 2007 and it was opened to the public in 2010.
A property of the Government of Victoria, AAMI Park is operated by Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust.
It hosted the Rugby League Four Nations, a biennial tournament, in 2010 as well as 2014.
It was the joint host along with New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to the recently concluded 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which was won by Australia for the eleventh time.
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Home to the Bayern Munich Football Club, the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany, is the first stadium in the world with an exterior that can change colors to match the colors of the playing teams.
While the stadium is capable of displaying multicolors and alternating lighting schemes, the Munich Police recommends a single color only, as the changing display has caused several accidents in the past by distracting motorists.
Owned and operated by Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH, construction on the stadium started in October 2002 and it opened to the public on May 30, 2005.
Designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron ArupSport, the stadium was built at a cost of €340 million (over USD 400 million).
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, USA
Home to the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL), the AT&T Stadium is the largest domed structure in the world and boasts the world’s fourth-largest high-definition display screen.
Built at a cost of $1.3 billion, it is one of the costliest stadiums in the world.
Owned by the City of Arlington and operated by the Dallas Cowboys, it is a multi-purpose stadium.
Apart from football, it is used for several other activities, including basketball games, college, and high school football games, soccer matches, and concerts, among others.
Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, China
Also referred to as the Water Cube, the Beijing National Aquatics Centre was host to the aquatic events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Michael Phelps won eight gold medals for the United States and overall, 25 world swimming records were broken.
Built at a cost of ￥940 million (USD 140 million) by Architects PTW, CSCEC, CCDI, and Arup, construction of Water Cube started in 2004 and opened to the public in 2008 for the Olympics aquatic events.
The exterior of the Cube comprises 4000 pillow segments made from ETFE, a polymer that transmits more light than glass. The end result speaks for itself.
Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China
Popularly known as the Bird’s Nest, the Beijing National Stadium is made up of two separate structures, the inner bowl with an 80,000 seating capacity and the outer steel shell giving it the appearance of a bird’s nest – hence the nickname.
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron and built at a cost of nearly $300 million, the BNS is located at the Olympic Green Village in the Chaoyang District of Beijing City.
Built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the stadium opened to the public as a tourist attraction soon after the Olympics ended in October 2008.
Presently, it’s the center for international and domestic sports competition and recreational activities.
It will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden
The largest hemispherical building in the world, the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System and serves as the country’s national indoor arena.
Designed by architects Svante Berg and Vretblad, work on the Ericsson Globe started in 1986 and was completed in 1989.
It opened to the public on February 19, 1989, and its first major event was the 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships.
It has hosted a variety of events ranging from Ice Hockey World Championships to UFC fights as well as a Britney Spears concert.
FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Also known as the Calabash, which means an African pot on an open fire, the FNB Stadium, short for First National Bank Stadium, was built at a cost of $440 million.
Also referred to as Soccer City, the stadium has the distinction of hosting Africa’s first major global sporting event – the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium is also famous for being the venue where the great Nelson Mandela made his last public appearance.
HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Located at an altitude of over 4,100 feet, the picture-perfect HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, India, is the highest cricket stadium in the world, which has so far hosted one test, three ODI, and eight T20 matches.
Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada
Built for the 1976 Summer Olympics, the Olympic Stadium in Montreal is Canada’s largest stadium and is also known as “The Big O” because of its doughnut-shaped roof.
Once referred to as a “masterpiece of organic modern architecture,” the stadium got into so many financial issues that it started being referred to as “The Big Owe” by the time it was finally completed.
Designed by architect Roger Taillibert, the stadium which was estimated to cost Can$770 million ended up costing Can$1.47 billion due to additional costs, interest and repairs.
Universiade Sports Centre, Shenzhen, China
Located in the Longgang District of the city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong province of China, the Universiade Sports Centre opened to the public in 2011 for the 2011 Summer Universiade, the global inter-university sports meet.
Designed by architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners, the Universiade Sports Centre has a crystalline outer structure made up of triangular panels of laminated safety glass and slabs of polycarbonate that look even more spectacular when lit up after dark.