This weekend sees hot favourites Arsenal take on rank outsiders Hull City for the most coveted trophy in the English football game: The FA Cup.
As tradition dictates, this year’s final will be taking place at Wembley’s hallowed turf –England’s national football stadium is the second biggest in Europe and cost £798 million to complete back in 2007.
As sporting arenas go, the UK has its fair share of other iconic constructions. But beyond our shores, you’ll find a string of other equally impressive sporting arenas. So here’s our run down of the best the world has to offer to sports fans:
The MetLife Stadium, New Jersey
Home to the New York Jets and New York Giants, the MetLife Stadium has the honour of being the most expensive stadium ever constructed reportedly costing $1.6 billion. The stadium itself is really impressive – it holds 82,566 fans, and has the ability to turn itself green when the Jets are playing and blue when the Giants are on the field. Head to New York during football season and you can experience its magnificence yourself.
Camp Nou, Barcelona
The legendary Nou Camp has been home to FC Barcelona since 1957 and is one of the most exciting sporting arenas in the world. With a capacity of just over 99,000, and seating extending over three tiers, plans are in place to expand the Nou Camp’s capacity to over 100,000 by 2021. The FC Barcelona Museum just next door is one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions and well worth a visit during your holiday.
The ‘Bird’s Nest’ in Beijing
The architecturally marvellous Beijing National stadium was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and its striking exterior has set the standard for modern architectural stadium design all over the world. A successful collaboration between Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Swiss architects Herzon & de Meuron, this 80,000 seater stadium is surrounded by a network of steel, said to have been inspired by traditional Chinese ceramics.
Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Brazil for the football this summer, make sure you check out the Estadio do Maracana in Rio, even if it’s just from the outside! Built for the FIFA World Cup in 1950, it allegedly hosted an astounding 200,000 spectators for the World Cup final that year. Nowadays the stadium’s capacity is down to a more modest 73,500, although it’s still the largest sporting arena in South America and world-famous for its lively atmosphere.
Allianz Arena, Munich
Home to both Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munchen, the Allianz Arena is everything you’d expect from a German football stadium – precision engineering, form and function. Boasting a more modest capacity of 57,000, the stadium’s most famous feature is its panelled façade, which is illuminated red, white or blue, depending on who’s playing.