Sports Arenas all over the world are places of joy and heartbreak, places where a few people symbolise the hopes and dreams of an entire nation. Many sports arenas have become symbolic of the major events which are held there, just as Wimbledon denotes tennis and Lord’s is representative of cricket.
Here are ten of the most famous sports arenas in the world:
1. Lords, London:
Every cricketer dreams of the day when he will step on the cricket field at Lords in England. Owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club, it is known as the “home of Cricket” and houses one of the world’s oldest sporting museums. The first cricket match was played here in 1814, and today after it has moved thrice, in it’s latest location, it can accommodate up to 32000 spectators.
2. Madison Square Garden:
Popularly known as the Garden, Madison Square Garden is probably the world’s most famous arena. Here on any given day you can see either a music concert or a hockey game or a basketball game. Situated above the Pennsylvania Station, it has been the site of many a battle between sporting teams and also between the authorities and owners of the building. It has seen renovations and additions and today it is the world’s third busiest sports arena in terms of ticket sales.
Tennis players all over the world have said that there is a special thrill when you play at the Wimbledon Centre Court. These hallowed grounds have seen many an epic battle between the greats of tennis. Even though the actual name is the All England Club, yet we only know them as The Championships, Wimbledon. No other sports are played here, and the courts are all out in the open, yet it is one of the famous arenas in the world.
4. Maracana, Rio De Janeiro:
The largest stadium in Brazil and South America, this stadium was built in 1950 to hold the FIFA World Cup. It has a seating capacity of over 82,000 spectators and it is now being prepared to host the 2016 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup. Originally it was meant only for football but now it has become a multi-disciplinary centre and many other games such as volleyball are played there.
5. Ascot Racecourse:
You may not want to term it as a sports arena, but the fact remains that it is the world’s most famous racecourse and it stages most of England’s prestigious races. It is a part of folklore and Audrey Hepburn in her black and white dress in My Fair Lady, made the racecourse even more famous than before. The racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and even today it is closely associated with the British Royal Family.
6. Beijing National Stadium:
The 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony at Beijing National Stadium unveiled a new state-of-the-art sports arena, now commonly known as the Bird’s Nest. Even though it has not been used too often after the Olympics, it is still well known and highly admired for its design and construction.
7. Yankee Stadium:
Synonymous with baseball all the world over, this famous stadium is located at The Bronx in New York City. The original one was built in 1923, but the new one which was built just across the street was opened to the public in 2009. The home of the New York Yankees, it is believed to the third most expensive stadium in the world.
8. Wembley Stadium, London:
The second largest stadium in Europe and the home of English football, the New Wembley Stadium was completed in 2007, over the site of the previous stadium, which had been built in 1923. With a seating capacity of over 90,000 spectators it has also become the venue of music extravaganzas and concerts.
9. Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg:
The recent FIFA World Cup in South Africa brought into focus the excellent sports arenas in that country, specially the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. The largest stadium in Africa, it also has a seating capacity of over 90,000 people.
10. Circuit De Monaco:
The Monaco Grand Prix is held at this circuit and it is gathering place not only of the rich and famous but also of all the Formula One enthusiasts. A narrow course spread out on the streets of Monaco, it cannot technically be called a sports arena, but it is the location of one of motor racing’s most prestigious and sought-after events.