The power that matchgoing fans have in motivating and pushing on their team can be vast, and the more people actively getting behind the side, the better. Some stadiums are capable of holding an extraordinary number of supporters, and generating incredible atmospheres on matchdays as a result. In this article, we'll be diving into some of those locations in depth.
We're going to run through the main contenders for the title of biggest soccer stadium in the world, listing the largest capacity stadiums across the globe, before shooting back to the UK and asking the question: which Premier League stadium is the biggest? By the time we're finished, you'll know all about the largest footballing facilities in the world.
Across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, there are a large number of absolutely enormous grounds built to showcase the biggest and best football matches. The stadiums featured in this article are purpose-built to host soccer matches, rather than just being multi-purpose stadiums used predominantly for other sports (so grounds like the 107,000-seat Michigan Stadium in the US or the 91,000-capacity Beijing National Stadium in China don't make the list). Instead, the list of grounds below are regularly packed out with football fanatics.
Egypt has produced some top players over the years, with superstar Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah probably being the pick of the bunch. It's no surprise, then, that the North African nation has some seriously impressive arenas for those talents to express themselves. At number 10 in our list of the biggest soccer stadiums in the world is Borg El-Arab Stadium, situated in the Mediterranean sea resort of Amreya, 25 kilometres west of Alexandria (Egypt's second-largest city).
Source: Abdelrhman 1990, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
With an all-seater capacity of 86,000, this stadium (also known as the Egyptian Army Stadium or El-Geish Stadium) was originally commissioned in 2005 as part of the country's bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. That bid was unsuccessful, but it didn't stop Borg El-Arab becoming the home of the Egypt national team, replacing the Cairo International Stadium. In 2016, Alexandria club Smouha started playing home matches there, and it's also been used for cup finals and in competitions such as the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup. The record attendance at Borg El-Arab is 86,000, for a match between Egypt and Congo in October 2017.
Opened in 1998, the Malaysian national football stadium is a giant ground, particularly when you consider the comparative size of Malaysia on the world soccer scene (neither the men's or women's teams have ever qualified for the World Cup). With an official capacity of 87,411, it's the second-largest football stadium in Asia and one of the biggest in the world.
Source: Phalinn Ooi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium cost an enormous 800 million Malaysian Ringgit to build (the equivalent of around 140 million British pounds), and it's hosted various events including the Commonwealth Games, the Southeast Asian Games, and of course many Malaysian national football matches. Facilities include a retractable roof, retractable seats, and LED lighting.
Mexico is a country known for its passionate football supporters, with the nation having hosted both the 1970 and 1986 editions of the FIFA World Cup, and its top-flight games consistently watched by huge crowds. The global image of football in Mexico is tied closely to Estadio Azetca, probably its most iconic football stadium.
Estadio Azteca is steeped in history; built in 1966, it has hosted two World Cup finals and will add to its sporting heritage by hosting games at the upcoming 2026 World Cup. It has a total capacity of 87,525, but before the ground was turned into an all-seater venue in the 1990s, you could squeeze even more in, and the Azteca's record attendance for football is a staggering 119,853, for a match between Mexico and Brazil in July 1968.
English football has undergone a resurgence in recent years, with the construction of the state-of-the-art National Training Centre at St. George's Park embodying that evolution. The groundwork was set for this development by the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, opened in 2007 to replace the historic Old Wembley as the England team's national stadium.
Wembley Stadium is a modern all-seater stadium with 90,000 seats, 166 executive suites, an iconic arch that's the longest single-span roof structure in the world, two partially retractable roof structures, and 2,618 toilets (more than any other venue in the world), as well as various other facilities. As well as hosting matches for the England men's and women's teams, Wembley hosts the FA Cup and League Cup finals, and all EFL play-off finals at the end of each season. It's the largest football stadium in England and the second-largest in Europe.
It's important to note early on that this stadium hasn't been officially opened yet, but its unveiling is expected imminently. The New Administrative Capital Stadium will replace Borg El-Arab as Egypt's biggest stadium, with a reported capacity of 93,940. This is a brand new facility located 50 kilometres east of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, and the hugely ambitious project has been dubbed "the greatest urban planning challenge in Egypt's history".
Source: Crosskimo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The second-biggest stadium in Africa features a roof based stylistically on the headdress of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, a Desso Grassmaster surface, a running track, and various other buildings including a training ground, two indoor halls and an olympic-size swimming pool. These facilities mean that when it officially opens, it is expected to replace the Cairo International Stadium as the new national stadium.
The 2010 South Africa World Cup took the famous tournament to the African continent for the first time, and Johannesburg's FNB Stadium was a major part of the story, hosting dramatic spectacles including Spain's triumphant victory in the final. At the time, FNB Stadium was referred to as Soccer City, but its official title is First National Bank Stadium. With a capacity of 94,736, it's the biggest stadium in Africa and the fourth-largest football stadium in the entire world.
Costing around $440 million to build, FNB was opened in 1989 and revamped dramatically for the 2010 World Cup, with a new roof, swanky executive suites, improved floodlights and renovated changing rooms all being installed in the years leading up to the tournament. Today, it's South Africa's national football stadium for both friendlies and tournament qualifiers, and it's also the home of Kaizer Chiefs, one of the nation's most successful football clubs.
We cross the Atlantic to the States for the sixth largest soccer stadium in the world, California's Rose Bowl. The USA contains some massive stadiums, and while most of these structures are used for sports such as American football and baseball, the 95,542-capacity Rose Bowl is a noted soccer venue, having hosted the 1994 World Cup final and been used as the home ground for MLS stalwarts like LA Galaxy.
The venue, situated in Pasadena, California, dates back to 1922 but it wasn't used for soccer until much later. In 2019, major renovation work took place to modernise the stadium at a cost of around $4 million, and while certain adjustments have brought down the stadium capacity slightly, its official record attendance still stands at an incredible 106,869, recorded at the 59th Rose Bowl event, a college football game taking place back in 1973.
Barcelona are currently playing their home matches at the ground of Catalan rivals Espanyol, as their iconic stadium Camp Nou undergoes serious renovation work. The club aims to boost the capacity to a whopping 105,000, which would ramp it even further up this list — right now, though, its capacity is a few thousand below that mark at 99,354.
Opened in 1957 and located just outside the city of Barcelona, Camp Nou has hosted some extraordinary footballing occasions and is revered as one of the world's most iconic grounds. It cost a reported €1.73 billion to build (the recent developments alone are apparently costing more than €600 million) and has hosted Champions League finals, World Cup matches, El Clasico clashes and various other major sporting events, gaining a special place in football history.
Don't be fooled by the name — while many supporters head down to Australia's largest stadium to watch cricket, this ground also regularly hosts association football, with countless World Cup qualifiers and friendlies for the Australian national team taking place at MCG, as well as Olympics matches, and A-League side friendlies. That's why it makes our list as the second-largest soccer stadium in the world, with a capacity of 100,024.
Melbourne Cricket Ground is a historic venue that has been hosting sports matches since 1853, but plenty of work has gone into getting it up to scratch for modern competitions. In 1992, $150 million was spent on upgrading the facility, and a further $460 million was splashed out in 2006. However, if Australia's bid for the 2034 men's World Cup is to be successful, FIFA require even more work to be carried out on the MCG, to increase its suitability for elite-level soccer.
As it's located in the highly secretive North Korean capital of Pyongyang, there are lots of things we don't know about Rungrado 1st of May Stadium. However, what we know for sure is that it's the largest football stadium in the world. The stadium reportedly has a maximum seating capacity of 150,000, a staggering number that means it shoots to the top of this list with ease.
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium was built in 1989, largely as a response to the awarding of the 1988 Summer Olympics to Seoul (North Korea was desperate to portray itself as the legitimate Korean state). Since then, it's hosted regular football matches, as well as athletics and gymnastics events. Covering an area of 51 acres on Rungra Island in Pyongyang, the stadium features a scalloped roof that resembles a magnolia blossom using 16 arches arranged in a ring, making it one of the world's most visually striking football stadiums, as well as the biggest.
The biggest Premier League ground is Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. Nicknamed the "Theatre of Dreams", the stadium is situated in the Salford Docks area of Manchester and has hosted football since 1910.
Old Trafford has a capacity of 74,310, making it the largest stadium in the Premier League, and back in the day attendance would sometimes even exceed that total, with the record attendance of 76,962 occurring for an FA Cup semi-final match between Wolves and Grimsby in 1939. Since it's been all-seater, Old Trafford's record attendance is 76,098, for a Premier League match between United and Blackburn Rovers in 2007.
For more information about the home of the Red Devils, check out our in-depth Old Trafford Stadium Guide.