Oldest Stadiums Around the World
Where do athletes and fans convene? Stadiums.
Since early civilizations, a dedicated venue has been established for the audience to watch sports. Proof that people designated a specific location for sports in 776 B.C. when the Greeks founded the very first Olympics.
Why was it called ‘Stadium’?
Looking back at the ancient Olympic Games, the term “stadium” originated from the first Olympic event—a footrace called “stade.” The event had a distance of 192 meters and was won by Coroebus, a cook. He was also the first Olympic champion and entertainer watched by hundreds, if not thousands of people.
For this blog post, we look at the oldest stadiums that remain standing until now, and served as an inspiration for fans and bookmakers alike.
Old Trafford Stadium
This is the second-largest football arena in the United Kingdom and the ninth-largest sports venue in Europe. Opened in 1910, the Old Trafford Stadium was one of the venues for the 1996 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro ‘96.
Due to its large capacity of 75,635, the world-famous stadium frequently hosts Super League Grand Final. In 2012, during the London Olympics, Old Trafford became the main stadium for the event.
Bramall Lane Stadium
Built in 1889, the Bramall Lane Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, is considered the world’s oldest football stadium.
The building was founded through the idea of Sheffield’s cricket champion, Michael J. Ellison. Originally, it was designed as a venue for cricket but evolved into catering to another sport—football.
However, during World War II, the stadium suffered intense damage due to the German bombing in December 1940. It was rebuilt, and now 134 years old, Bramall Lane still hosts professional football matches. The place was also important in history, especially after hosting several legendary football matches, like the Football Association Cup Final.
Built in 1884, Anfield Stadium was the home of Everton FC. However, they moved out of the arena in 1891, allowing Liverpool to turn it into their home.
In 1996, Anfield hosted the Euro tournament, which allowed fans to watch three group matches. The ground also featured the matchup of France and Netherlands for the tournament’s quarterfinals.
In 2015, the stadium received a makeover, amping its seating capacity from 45,276 to 59,000.
Stamford Bridge Stadium
Known to fans as “The Bridge,” the Stamford Bridge Stadium is considered Premier League’s eighth-largest stadium. It was owned by the London Athletics Club from 1877 to 1904 before transferring the property rights to brothers Joseph and Gus Mears. They owned the venue until the 1980s.
Until the 1990s, Marler Estates also had brief ownership of the stadium before Chelsea FC acquired it. Currently, the Chelsea Pitch Owners are the owners of The Bridge.
Introduced to the public on April 28, 1877, the ground hosted national and international football matches. It was also a host of FA Cup semis, finals, and games from the FA Community Shield.
Its largest attendance happened on October 12, 1935, when the home team Chelsea fought Arsenal.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is Australia’s largest sports ground. It is also considered the south equator’s largest cricket venue and stadium.
Built in 1853, the ground is an important part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. Some of the 1956 Summer Olympics were held in this stadium, including the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Oval Cricket Ground
The Oval, popularly known as the “Kia Oval Ground,” is an international cricket ground in Kennington, London. It has been the home of the Surrey County Cricket Club for 178 years or since 1845.
Since it opened, the ground hosted incredible matches like the 1870 England football international versus Scotland. It also hosted the 1872 FA Cup final and was FA Cup’s home from 1872 to 1892.
Apart from being one of the oldest stadiums in the world, the Oval is also among the biggest cricket stadiums globally. It has a seating capacity of 23,500.
Lord’s Cricket Ground
England’s love for cricket had them building the oldest sporting museum in the world—Lord’s Cricket Ground. Established in 1814, the venue was named after its founder, Thomas Lord.
The stadium still stands to this day in St. John’s Wood, London. Up until now, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the European Cricket Council, and the Middlesex County Cricket Club have held their matches in this location.
Stadiums are a staple for sporting events. Nowadays, people avoid arenas because of the pandemic, turning to websites like OKBET to serve their sports entertainment needs.
But while most grounds, like the White City Stadium, South End Grounds, and Roker Park, have been demolished, they are still an important piece of history.
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