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Anyone who says that all sports stadiums are the same has never been to one of the world’s best. There are thousands of sports stadiums around the world.
Sports stadiums vary greatly, and the mark of a great stadium has to do with a combination of factors that make up the overall experience. It’s not just about being new and high-tech or about the variety of seating options. It’s not even about the team on the field.
So, what makes a great sports stadium?
Whether the primary use of a stadium is for baseball, football, hockey, basketball or any other sport, here are the characteristics that make a stadium stand out from the rest:
These are the stadiums that are on the bucket list for most sports fans:
Known as the mecca of sports arenas, it’s home to the NBA team New York Knicks and the NHL team New York Rangers. Madison Square Garden originally opened in 1968 and has since been home to championships, WrestleMania and historic sports moments. It is also one of the busiest music venues in the world. Perhaps the most iconic thing about Madison Square Garden is hearing the organ play while taking in the electric atmosphere.
Located in the Bronx, Yankee Stadium is the place to see a baseball game. Even though the original Yankee Stadium, built in 1923, was demolished and rebuilt in 2009, the new ballpark is almost a mirror image of the old stadium, and it includes Monument Park, a shrine to the most famous Yankees to ever wear pinstripes, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.
Sorry, Leafs fans, but the Bell Centre in Montreal is the premier place to watch a hockey game. Home of the Montreal Canadiens, the Bell Centre has some of the best hockey fans in the world. It has one of the loudest and most passionate fan bases, making every game exciting. And when you consider the history and tradition of the Canadiens and see all the Stanley Cup banners, there is no doubt this is a place you have to visit to watch a hockey game live.
Home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is one of the most unique baseball stadiums ever constructed. Known for its unique field dimensions and the Green Monster (a gigantic, nearly 12-metre wall in left field), the stadium has been around since 1912 and is still going strong today. With a passionate fan base and atmosphere like no other, there are few better places to take in a ball game on a hot summer day.
Located in the borough of Brent, Wembley Stadium is the second-largest stadium in Europe. It is home of the England national soccer team, and regularly hosts events from a variety of sports. It is always one of the premium outdoor music venues in Europe, regularly drawing crowds of more than 100,000 people.
One of the original stadiums, the Panathenaic Stadium is home to the modern Olympic Games and is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. “The modern Olympics started here in this marble U-shaped stadium, modelled on the one that was built for the 330 BC Panathenian games. The original was lost and buried until excavations in the 1830s uncovered traces of the ancient marble. It was rebuilt in time for the opening ceremony of the 1896 games,” says ShortList.
Another classic stadium, the Olympiastadion was home to the 1936 Olympic Games.
“Scene of the 1936 Olympics, Hitler really went to town on the propaganda opportunity when he had this stone arena built. The stadium was packed with 110,000 spectators when Jesse Owens won gold,his name remains emblazoned on a winners board inside. It was one of the few buildings that survived not just in a recognisable form, but almost untouched after the Second World War. The stadium has since gone through two major upgrades and is the home of Hertha BSC football club,” says ShortList.
Home to the Green Bay Packers of the NFL, Lambeau Field is the most historic football stadium in the world. It originally opened in 1957, making it the oldest NFL stadium currently in use. Its uniqueness is the stadium’s history, the fan base, the fact that every ticket in the stadium is owned by a season ticket holder, and that the team is publicly owned by its fans.