Stadium: Wikis


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Wembley Stadium in the London Borough of Brent is home to English football and was the most expensive stadium in the world when it opened in 2007.[1]

A modern stadium (plural stadia or stadiums[2]) is a place, or venue, for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts or other events, consisting of a field or stage partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.

Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event at the ancient Greek Olympic festival was the race that comprised one length of the stade at Olympia where the word stadium is originally derived from.[3]


History of the stadium

The interior of the Colosseum arena in Rome. The partial floor is a modern reconstruction; below are the underground vaults and tunnels originally used to house animals and slaves.

The word originates from the Greek word "stadion" (στάδιον), a Greek measure of length approximately 200 metres.[4] The oldest known stadium is the one in Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, Greece, where the Olympic Games of antiquity were held since 776 BC. Initially 'the Games' consisted of a single event, a sprint along the length of the stadium. Therefore the length of Olympia's stadium was more or less standardised as a measure of distance. The practice of standardising footrace tracks to a length of 180-200 meters (200-220 yd) was followed by the Romans as well. Greek and Roman stadia have been found in numerous ancient cities, perhaps the most famous being the Stadium of Domitian, in Rome.

The first stadium to be used in modern times, and the only one to be used during the 19th century, was the excavated and refurbished ancient Panathenaic stadium which has hosted Olympic Games in 1870,[5] 1875, 1896, 1906, and 2004. The excavation and refurbishment of the stadium was part of the legacy of the Greek national benefactor Evangelis Zappas.

The Australian organizing committee for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games incorrectly minted the image of the Colosseum arena of Rome on all the medals awarded to Olympic medal winners. The Colosseum has never hosted an Olympic Games.

The modern stadium



A panoramic view of the interior of Docklands Stadium (Etihad Stadium) in Melbourne, Australia with the roof closed for an Australian Football League match.

Dome stadia are distinguished from conventional stadia by their enclosing roofs. They are called stadia because they are large enough for, and designed for, what are generally considered to be outdoor sports. Those designed for what are usually indoor sports are called arenas. Some stadia have partial roofs, and a few have even been designed to have moveable fields as part of the infrastructure.

The term "stadium" tends to be used mostly in connection with games like association football, American football, Baseball, Gaelic football, Cricket, Hurling, Rugby, and other large field games. Exceptions include the basketball arena at Duke University, which is called Cameron Indoor Stadium and the now-demolished Chicago Stadium, former home of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and Chicago Bulls of the NBA.

Design issues

Different sports require fields of different size and shape. Some stadia are designed primarily for a single sport while others can accommodate different events, particularly ones with retractable seating. Stadia built specifically for football are quite common in Europe; however, Gaelic games Stadia would be most common in Ireland, while ones built specifically for baseball or American Football are common in the United States. The most common multiple use design combines a football pitch with a running track, a combination which generally works fairly well, although certain compromises must be made. The major drawback is that the stands are necessarily set back a good distance from the pitch, especially at the ends of the pitch. The Stadio delle Alpi in Turin is being remodelled to remove the running track after persistent complaints from fans of Juventus F.C. In the case of some smaller stadia, there are not stands at the ends. When there are stands all the way around, the stadium takes on an oval shape. When one end is open, the stadium has a horseshoe shape. All three configurations (open, oval and horseshoe) are common, especially in the case of American college football stadia. Rectangular stadia are more common in Europe, especially for football where many stadia have four often distinct and very different stands on the four sides of the stadium. These are often all of different sizes and designs and have been erected at different periods in the stadium's history. The vastly differing character of European football stadia has led to the growing hobby of ground hopping where spectators make a journey to visit the stadium for itself rather than for the event held there. In recent years the trend of building completely new oval stadia in Europe has led to traditionalists criticising the designs as bland and lacking in the character of the old stadia they replace.

Old Yankee Stadium in The Bronx was one of the most famous stadia in the United States.

In North America, where baseball and American football are the two most popular outdoor spectator sports, a number of football/baseball multi-use stadia were built, especially during the 1960s, and some of them were successful.

However, since the requirements for baseball and football are significantly different, the trend, beginning with Kansas City in 1972–1973 and accelerating in the 1990s, has been toward the construction of single-purpose stadia. In several cases, an American football stadium has been constructed adjacent to a baseball park. In many cases, earlier baseball stadia were constructed to fit into a particular land area or city block. This resulted in asymmetrical dimensions for many baseball fields. Yankee Stadium, for example, was built on a triangular city block in The Bronx, New York City. This resulted in a large left field dimension but a small right field dimension.

Before more modern football stadia were built in the United States, many baseball parks, including Fenway Park, the Polo Grounds, Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Tiger Stadium, Griffith Stadium, Milwaukee County Stadium, Shibe Park, Forbes Field, Yankee Stadium, and Sportsman's Park were used by the National Football League or the American Football League. Along with today's single use, stadia is the trend for retro style ballparks closer to downtown areas. Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the first such ballpark for Major League Baseball to be built, using early 20th century styling with 21st century amenities.

Spectator areas and seating

Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain is the largest stadium in Europe.

An "all-seater" stadium has seats for all spectators. Other stadia are designed so that all or some spectators stand to view the event. The term "all-seater" is not common in the U.S., perhaps because very few American stadia have sizeable standing-only sections. Poor stadium design has contributed to disasters, such as the Hillsborough disaster and the Heysel Stadium disaster. Since these, both the FA Premier League and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches require all spectators to be seated (though not necessarily in an all-seater stadium, if terraces are left empty).

The spectator areas of a stadium may be referred to as bleachers, especially in the U.S., or as terraces, especially in the United Kingdom, but also in some American baseball parks, as an alternative to the term tier. Originally set out for standing room only, they are now usually equipped with seating. Either way, the term originates from the step-like rows which resemble agricultural terraces. Related, but not precisely the same, is the use of the word terrace to describe a sloping portion of the outfield in a baseball park, possibly, but not necessarily for seating, but for practical or decorative purposes. The most famous of these was at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Many stadia make luxury suites available to patrons for thousands of dollars per event. These suites can accommodate fewer than 10 spectators or upwards of 30 depending on the venue. Luxury suites at events such as the Super Bowl can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Corporate naming

Texas Tech University's Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, is an example of corporate naming.

In recent decades, to help take the burden of the massive expense of building and maintaining a stadium, many American and European sports teams have sold the rights to the name of the facility. This trend, which began in the 1970s, but accelerated greatly in the 1990s, has led to sponsors' names being affixed to both established stadia and new ones. In some cases, the corporate name replaces (with varying degrees of success) the name by which the venue has been known for many years — examples include Toronto's Rogers Centre, previously known as SkyDome. But many of the more recently-built ballparks, such as Milwaukee's Miller Park, have never been known by a non-corporate name. The sponsorship phenomenon has since spread worldwide. There remain a few municipally-owned stadia, which are often known by a name that is significant to their area (for example, Minneapolis' Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome). In recent years, some government-owned stadia have also been subject to naming-rights agreements, with some or all of the revenue often going to the team(s) that play there.

One consequence of corporate naming has been an increase in stadium name changes, when the namesake corporation changes its name, or if the naming agreement simply expires. Phoenix's Chase Field, for example, was previously known as Bank One Ballpark, but was re-named to reflect the takeover of the latter corporation. San Francisco's historic Candlestick Park was renamed as 3Com Park for several years, but the name was dropped when the sponsorship agreement expired, and it was another two years before the new name of Monster Cable Products' Monster Park was applied. Local opposition to the corporate naming of that particular stadium led San Francisco's city council to permanently restore the Candlestick Park name once the Monster contract expired.

Rogers Centre (SkyDome) in Toronto, Canada was amongst the worlds first retractable roofs

On the other hand, Los Angeles' Great Western Forum, one of the earliest examples of corporate re-naming, retained its name for many years, even after the namesake bank no longer existed, the corporate name being dropped only after the building later changed ownership. Perhaps the most interesting example is Houston's Minute Maid Park, which hurriedly dropped its original name of Enron Field, when scandal engulfed the latter corporation — it became Astros Field for a year before finding a new corporate naming sponsor. This practice has typically been less common in countries outside the United States. A notable exception is the Nippon Professional Baseball league of Japan, in which many of the teams are themselves named after their parent corporations. Also, many new European football stadia, such as the Reebok and Emirates Stadiums in England, and Allianz Arena in Germany have been corporately named.

This new trend in corporate naming (or re-naming) is distinguishable from names of some older parks, such as Crosley Field, Wrigley Field, and the first and second Busch Stadia, in that the parks were named by and for the club's owner, which also happened to be the name of the company owned by those clubowners. (The current Busch Stadium received its name via a modern naming rights agreement.)

The SkyDome in Toronto, Canada had that name from 1987 until it was renamed Rogers Centre in 2005.

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, some stadia were temporarily renamed because FIFA prohibits sponsorship of stadia, unless the stadium sponsors are also official FIFA sponsors. For example, the Allianz Arena in Munich was called the FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich during the tournament. Likewise, the same stadium will be known as the "München Arena" during the European Competitions. Similar rules affect the Emirates Stadium and HSH Nordbank Arena.

Music venues

Modern stadia are often used by bands and musicians as concert venues with some groups and singers, such as The Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, U2, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna doing stadium tours.

Notable events include those organised by Bob Geldof for Live Aid at Wembley stadium.


Notable stadiums around the world
The Eden Gardens, Kolkata is 2nd largest cricket stadium. Its capacity was reduced from 120,000 to 90,000  
Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, is the fourth biggest stadium in the world.  
est. 1853 the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 100,000  
Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio is the third largest college football stadium in the United States by capacity (102,329).  
Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India is the world's second largest association football stadium with 120,000 seating capacity.  
Shea Stadium in Queens existed until 2008, when it was replaced with a more modern venue, Citi Field, for the home team New York Mets.  
A U2 concert at Croke Park in Dublin, June 24, 2005.  
Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro has the association football attendance record: 199,854 spectators at 1950 FIFA World Cup final match.  

See also


  1. ^ "Wembley kick-off: Stadium is ready and England play first game in fortnight". Daily Mail. 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ Both forms of the plural are used in English.
  3. ^ A Brief History of the Olympic Games by David C. Young, p. 20
  4. ^ A Brief History of the Olympic Games by David C. Young, p. 20
  5. ^ The Modern Olympic Games, A Struggle for Revival by David C. Young, Chapters 4 & 13


  • John, Geraint; Rod Sheard; Ben Vickery (2007). Stadia: A Design and Development Guide (4th ed. ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier/Architectural Press. ISBN 9780750668446. 
  • Serby, Myron W. (1930). The Stadium; A Treatise on the Design of Stadiums and Their Equipment. New York, Cleveland: American Institute of Steel, inc.  (worldcat) (search)

External links

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Simple English

.]] A stadium is a building in which lots of people may watch an event. They are often used for football and athletics. Some stadiums are paid to add a company name to the name of their stadium. For example, Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, or the ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. When people do this the company has the naming rights to the stadium. The name of a stadium can change when another company buys the naming rights to that stadium.

An arena is a small indoor stadium. Arenas are often used for many different types of events. These include sports and music.

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