The second part of our exploration to visit some of the most iconic sporting arenas in the world, kicks off with serving up the Qizhong Forest Tennis Arena.
Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena
This purpose-built tennis arena in Shanghai seats 15,000 tennis fans and was erected to host the ATP World Tour Finals in 2005. The most remarkable feature of the arena is the roof, which is segmented which allows tennis to be played under cover in inclement weather. These steel segments are petal shaped and are meant to replicate a blooming magnolia which is the flower that represents Shanghai.
Estadio do Maracana
For football fans around the world, the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro is the Mecca of Football. It was built to host the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and once was the biggest capacity sports stadium in the world, holding 200,000 spectators. The association with the finest national team in the world, namely Brazil, ensures its legendary reputation among football fans. The capacity has now been cut to just over 73,000 but it still remains the largest arena in South America.
Home to both the New York Giants and Jets, the MetLife stadium has the dubious honour of being the most expensive stadium in the world to build, at $1.6 billion. It can accommodate over 82,000 sports fans and to pamper to the two teams that it is home to the stadium changes colour with the aid of exterior lighting. This means that the multitude of glass and aluminium panels change from blue to green depending which team is playing. Surprisingly the stadium’s footprint is remarkably small, and this is to reduce power and electricity bills.
The Ericsson Globe is like a giant spherical spaceship that has just descended in downtown Stockholm. In fact, it is the world’s largest hemispherical building and is Sweden’s national indoor arena. It plays host to many indoor sports including the Ice Hockey World Championships. It is also a popular concert venue and has been the venue for top artists such as Britney Spears, amazingly the arena only took two years to complete, and it opened in 1986. The 16,000-seat arena is meant to replicate the sun and is still the world’s biggest scale model of the planet.
The AT&T Stadium in Texas is the largest domed building of its kind on earth, home to the NFL team the Dallas Cowboys this colossal indoor stadium can hold 105,000 fans, 80,000 seated. It nearly equals the record of construction cost at $1.3 billion which was partly funded by the good citizens of Arlington where the stadium is situated. The arena houses some of the best high-tech equipment, with huge video screens and state-of-the-art PA systems, the screens are so large that they have actually been hit by the football when punted for a goal.
Texas and the amazing indoor AT&T Stadium concludes our world trip to sit in the stands of some of the greatest sports arenas in the world, some are more lavish than others, but the common thread is that they are all built to entertain and give the spectators some amazing views of their favourite sports.