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13 Fabulously Costly Stadiums Ever Made

Updated on September 8, 2008

The Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed ‘The bird's nest' has attracted everyone's attention and is expecting half a million spectators throughout the course of the games, this year. Its designed by famed Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. The distinctive sweeping exterior support structure is packed inside with numerous people, restaurants, bars and all kinds of stores. But this breathtaking structure is nowhere near the list of the ‘13 Fabulously Costly Stadiums Ever Made'.

Olympics Stadium 2008, The Bird’s Nest

The top 13 Fabulously Costly Stadiums, in ascending order are :

13.Olympic Stadium, Athens

  • Athletics events and Football Stadium
  • Total Cost: $411 million
  • Seating Capacity: 72,000
  • Renovation Year : July 2004
  • Home Of : The Panathinaikos FC (Super league) and AEK Athens FC (Super league)

Good-to-know: The Olympiako Stadio Athinas Spyros Louis (OAKA), underwent a renovation just before the 2004 summer games. The Architect for the renovation was Santiago Calatrava. The stadium is named after the winner of the Marathon - Spyros Louis. It has 600 seats reserved for press. It was actually built in 1979.

12.Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan

  • Sports venue and Football Stadium
  • Total Cost: $557 million
  • Seating Capacity: 72,327
  • Year : March 1998
  • Home Of : The Yokohama F. Marinos

Good-to-know: Previously known as the International Stadium of Yokohama sports venue, hosted the World Cup final in 2002. It also hosted the 1998 53rd National Sports Festival of Japan. This stadium has the highest seating capacity in Japan. It's roof can covered the stadium completely, as can be seen in the above picture.

11.Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia

  • Cricket Stadium
  • Total Cost: $576 million
  • Seating Capacity: 100,000
  • Renovation Year : 2005
  • Home Of : The Melbourne Cricket Club

Good-to-know: The 1854 Melbourne Cricket Club was renamed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) after it underwent a $576 million renovation. It is the biggest stadium in Australia and an extremely busy venue accommodating not only International Cricket, but Australian Football, Rugby League and Soccer. Its also used for Concerts, Dinners and any other major functions in Melbourne. This heavily utilized stadium has become an entertainment centre and a world-class tourist destination. It holds the world record for the highest light towers at any sporting venue.

10. ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia

  • Olympic Stadium
  • Total Cost: $624 million
  • Seating Capacity: 83, 500
  • Year : March 1999

Good-to-know: Stadium Australia or the ANZ Stadium, held the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. The stadium was originally built to hold 110,000 spectators, making it the largest Olympic Stadium ever built. In 2003 it underwent some renovation to shorten the wings and install movable seating. After this reconstruction, its seating capacity went down to 83,500 for a rectangular field and 81,500 for an oval field. Now most of the seating is under cover. The stadium design was inspired by "akubra" which is a typical Australian soft hat. The roof, which it is made of translucent material, offers the possibility to reuse rainwater directing it into water reservoirs.

9. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Football and Basketball Stadium
  • Total Cost: million
  • Seating Capacity: 70,000
  • Year : August 2008
  • Home Of : The NFL Indianapolis Colts

Good-to-know: In February 2006, Lucas Oil purchased the naming rights for the ‘Indiana Stadium' for $120 million. HKS Inc., the architectural firm that designed the stadium, gave the stadium a retractable roof and window wall. The Structural Engineer is Walter P. Moore. The stadium's Kinetic architecture, enables to transform the mechanized structure according to change in climate, or to accommodate it according to the purpose, for a variety of events. The stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

8. Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington, USA.

  • Baseball Stadium
  • Total Cost: $656 million
  • Seating Capacity: 46,000
  • Year : 1999
  • Home Of : The Seattle Mariners

Good-to-know: Safeco field is nicknamed ‘the Safe'. Its most prominent feature is its retractable roof, made specially to suit Seattle's rainy weather. The roof, acts as an "umbrella" for the stands and field and does not cover the entire area. Safeco Field and Qwest Field stadiums were built to replace the Kingdome, an indoor sports and entertainment arena owned by King County, Washington.

The stadium has four main gates open to all ticket holders during Mariners games. There are five main levels to the stadium: Field (or Street), Main Concourse (100 level), Club Level (200 level), Suite Level, and Upper Concourse (300 level).

7. Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois,USA

  • Football Stadium
  • Total Cost: $714 million
  • Seating Capacity: 61,500
  • Year: 1923
  • Home of: The Chicago Bears

Good-to-know: The original Soldier Field stadium, located on Lake Shore Drive, was earlier Grant Park Municipal Stadium. It was renamed in 1925 as Soldier field and given a complete makeover in September 2003 , after which it was removed from the ‘National Register of Historical Landmarks'. The Greek style columns are the remains of the older structure. It serves as a memorial to America's fallen troops.

6. The Emirates, London, England

  • Soccer Stadium
  • Total Cost: $770 million
  • Seating Capacity: 60,355
  • Year: October 2006
  • Home of: Arsenal Football Club.

Good-to-know: The stadium has an all-seated capacity of 60,355, making it the second largest stadium in the Premier League after Old Trafford which has a 76,000 seating capacity. Queen Elizabeth II was to officially open the stadium, but she suffered a back injury and was replaced by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Arsenal Football Club is one of the most valuable soccer teams in the world today. The Emirates stadium, located on Ashburton Grove in Holloway, is also used for Concerts.

5. Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada

  • Football and Baseball Stadium
  • Total Cost: $930 million
  • Seating Capacity: 50,000
  • Year: 1989
  • Home of: The Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

Good-to-know: The stadium, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario, was renamed "Rogers Centre" when Rogers Communications bought it in 2005. It was formerly known as SkyDome. While it is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts other large-scale events such as conventions, trade fairs, and concerts. Rogers Centre's roof system has four panels. Three of these are movable. The pitcher's mound is constructed on a fiberglass dish and can be lowered or raised by hydraulic system.

4. Stade de France Paris, France

  • Soccer and Rugby Stadium
  • Total Cost: $974 million
  • Seating Capacity: 80,000
  • Year: 1998

Good-to-know: The stadium was built for the 1998 World Cup and hosted the final in which France defeated Brazil. It has a movable stand which can be retracted to uncover part of the athletics track It also hosted several matches for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The Stade de France stadium, located in Saint-Denis, is also used for Concerts. World-famous conductor and violinist Andre Rieu will be there in August 2008 with his ‘World Stadium Tour'. And Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour show will be on the 20 & 21, September 2008.

3. Madison Square Garden, New York. N.Y, USA

  • Basketball and Hockey Stadium
  • Total Cost: $1.1 billion
  • Seating Capacity: 18,200
  • Year: 1968
  • Home of: The New York Knicks and New York Rangers

Good-to-know: The Garden, as its often called, has also hosted some of music's greatest concerts. The seats are arranged in six ascending levels. The "floor" or "court-side" seating, above which is the loge seating, followed by the 100-level and 200-level promenades, the 300-level promenade, and the 400-level or mezzanine. Originally, each level was assigned a different color. Just beneath the MSG, like the Madison Square Garden is often abbreviated, is the famous Penn Station.

2. Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada

  • Baseball and Football Stadium
  • Total Cost: $1.4 billion
  • Seating Capacity: 60,000
  • Year: 1976 Summer
  • Was Home to: The Montreal Expos (till 2004, now they are known as the Washington Nationals.)

Good-to-know: The 1976 Olympics was held here. Roger Taillibert of the Regis Trudeau & Associates is the architect of this stadium which has a retractable Kevlar roof suspended by 26 cables from a single mast. The stadium has had a lot of problems due to its design and has undergone several modifications. It was originally meant to have a 175-metre tower - the tallest inclined structure in the world, six meters' taller than the Washington Monument, and the sixth tallest building in Montreal. Due to its costly maintenance and continual structural problems studies have been recently conducted to evaluate the feasibility of demolishing the stadium. The stadium comes second on the list of the most expensive stadiums, and so its demolition cost would need to be high too! It's an estimated $500 million project to demolish it.

And the World's Most Expensive Stadium is -

1. Wembley Stadium, London, England

  • Football Stadium
  • Total Cost: $1.57 billion (£798 million)
  • Seating Capacity: 90,000
  • Year: 2006
  • Home to: England's national football team


  • Located in: the London Borough of Brent, London
  • Owned by: The Football Association.
  • Designed by architects: HOK Sport and Foster and Partners
  • Engineers: Mott MacDonald
  • Built by: Multiplex, the Australian-based group of property and construction companies
  • It can be converted to an athletic stadium by erecting a temporary platform over the lowest tier of seating.
  • The stadium is also used for pop concerts and other sporting events.

More records for the stadium :

  • Wembley Stadium has the largest roof-covered seating capacity in the world. And the second largest seating capacity in Europe.
  • The stadium's signature feature is its circular section lattice arch of 7meters. The archway is the world's longest unsupported roof structure.


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