Ten Most Unusual Football Stadiums in the World
Ah, the new Wembley – it looks grand doesn’t it? Well, given that it arrived late and well over budget, perhaps it should do. But whilst the FA, Lord Foster and co trumpeted the “unique” arch, we think that there are plenty of other stadiums out there with much more unique and unusual features.
November 16th, 2011
Here is our top ten:
Allianz Arena, Munich
One of Europe’s top stadiums and the venue for this year’s Champions League final, the Allianz Arena is known throughout the world for its chameleon-like ability to change colour, depending on who is playing. When Bayern Munich are playing, the stadium lights up in red, whilst blue is the colour for when the less-known 1860 are at home. When hosting the German national side, the stadium lights up white.
Estadio Municipal de Aveiro, Portugal
As a child, we often tried to make football stadiums out of our Lego set. In Portugal, it looks as though they go ahead and make actual stadiums out of Lego. We’re not quite sure what they were thinking when the designers chose the colour scheme for the home of Beira-Mar but, according to the gospel that is Wikipedia, the idea was to create a “sensation of jolliness” about the place.
Gospin Dolac – Croatia
If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably remember a TV show called ‘The Hurricanes’. If you do, you’d also probably remember that their fierce rivals, the Garkos Gorgons, had their home stadium inside a hollowed-out volcano. Well, the Gospin Dolac in Imotski is as close to that as we’ve found.
Estadio Municipal de Braga, Portugal
Not far behind that is the Estadio AXA in Braga. Built for the 2004 European Championships, the stadium is effectively two stands wedged into a quarry. The award-winning design has earned the stadium two awards for architecture.
World Games Stadium, Taiwan
The World Games Stadium in Taiwan is unusual because, in our view, it seems to just go off with a mind of its own. On three sides, everything seems normal but at one end, the roof just seems to wander off into the distance. Part of the reason for that however is that the roof has solar panels across its 14,155 square metre roof, generating 1.4 gigawatt hours of electricity every year.
Sapporo Dome, Japan
The stadium that hosted England’s victory over Argentina in the 2002 World Cup is next on our list, thanks to its movable pitch. Whilst pitches are getting fairly common in certain parts of the world (think Veltins-Arena in Germany, the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona or the GelreDome in Arnhem) but it is the unusual domed roof and general space age design that earns the Sapporo Dome a spot on the list.
Vesturi á Eiðinum, Vagur, Faroe Islands
As youngsters, we’ve all had to sneak around to the next door neighbours garden to retrieve a lost ball, but we’ve never had to ask a man in a boat to retrieve one of our wayward shots before.
That, however, is the reality for players at the Vesturi á Eiðinum, Vagur, where a team of ball-boys are on stand-by in the Vagsvatn Lake every home match.
The [email protected] Bay, Singapore
From a ground close to the water to one that is actually in it; the Marina Bay Floating Stadium in Singapore. This is the world’s largest floating stage and was actually where Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed his Renault F1 car in 2008.
Sports City Stadium, Doha
Not yet built, but this is one of the proposed venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We don’t really know what to say about this, other than that it looks absolutely nothing like a football stadium.
Bronco Stadium, Boise, USA
OK, so this is the wrong type of football but we think that it’s worth a mention anyway. Boise State Broncos play their American College Football games at Bronco Stadium, famed for its bright blue playing surface. Nicknames for this artificial surface include ’The Blue Plastic Tundra’, ‘The Blue’ and ‘The Smurf Turf’. We just call it ridiculous.