Summer Olympic Games Stadia

The main Olympic Games stadium has become the centerpiece of the Olympic Games, where the opening and closing ceremonies are held, where the flame is lit and kept alight throughout the Games, where the marathon run finishes, and many other significant Olympic Games events are conducted.

As can be seen in the list below, the main stadium used for many of the previously held Olympic Games is commonly and unimaginatively referred to as the Olympic Stadium or something very similar.

Major Stadia of the Modern Summer Games

1896 Athens - Panathenean Stadium

The Panathenean (or Panathinaiko) Stadium was the venue for the first Olympic Games in 1896. The stadium was actually built in 330 BC for the Panathenaic Games. In 1896 it was the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, and the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports. Panathinaiko Stadio was also the main stadium of the only Intercalated Games in 1906, and used for some sports at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Athens Olympic Stadium The Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens was used for the Olympic Games in 1896 & 2004

 

1900 Paris - Vincennes Velodrome (Vélodrome de Vincennes)

The Vincennes Velodrome or Vélodrome de Vincennes was initially built as a velodrome (cycling stadium) in 1894, and became the main stadium for the 1900 Paris Olympics. Events that took place in the Velodrome at the 1900 Summer Olympics included cycling, cricket, rugby union, football and gymnastics. However, the track and field events were held at the Racing Club de France.

Paris - Vincennes Velodrome (Vélodrome de Vincennes) The Vincennes Velodrome, the main stadium for the 1900 Olympic Games

 

1904 St. Louis - Francis Field

During the 1904 Olympic Games, Francis Field in St Louis hosted the archery, athletics, cycling, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, roque, tug of war, weightlifting, and wrestling events. The tennis events were held on some dirt courts located outside the stadium.

photo of the Francis Field stadium Olympic Games pole vault event at Francis Field stadium. Photo taken from "The Olympic Games 1904", official report by Charles J.P. Lucas

 

1908 London - White City Stadium

At the Olympic Games in 1908, the White City Stadium hosted many of the sports on the program. There was a third of a mile running track, a 660-yard (600 m) cycle track outside of that, and a 100-yard pool dug in the infield. The stadium hosted the sports of archery, athletics, track cycling, field hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, rugby union, swimming and diving, tug of war, wrestling, water polo (final).

The White City Stadium during the 1908 Olympic GamesThe White City Stadium during the 1908 Olympic Games, taken from the "Fourth Olympiad 1908 London Official Report"

 

1912 Stockholm - Stockholm Olympic Stadium (Stockholms Olympiastadion)

At the Olympic Games in 1912, Stockholm Olympic Stadium hosted the sport of athletics, some of the equestrian, some of the football, gymnastics, the running part of the modern pentathlon, tug of war, and wrestling events. Also, when Melbourne hosted the 1956 Olympics, the equestrian competitions were held here due to restrictive quarantine rules in Australia.

Stockholm Olympic Stadium1912 Stockholm - Olympic Stadium

 

1920 Antwerp Olympic Stadium (Olympisch Stadion)

The Antwerp Olympic Stadium was built for the 1920 Summer Olympics, and hosted the sport of athletics, equestrian, field hockey, football, gymnastics, modern pentathlon, rugby union, tug of war, weightlifting and korfball (demonstration) events.

1920 Antwerp Olympic Stadium 1920 Antwerp Olympic Stadium

 

1924 Paris - Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir

The Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir is located in Colombes, near Paris. The stadium hosted the athletics events of the 1924 Olympics, and some of the cycling, horse riding, gymnastics, tennis, football, rugby, and two of the modern pentathlon events. It is planned to be a field hockey venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The stadium had a capacity of 45,000 at the time (now it is only 14,000).

Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir as it looks in 2018Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir as it looks in 2018

 

1928 Amsterdam - Olympic Stadium (Olympisch Stadion)

The Amsterdam Olympic Stadium was built in 1928 and was used for the sports of athletics, track cycling, equestrian jumping, football, gymnastics, and korfball (demonstration).

Amsterdam Olympic Stadium (Olympisch Stadion)Amsterdam Olympic Stadium (Olympisch Stadion)

 

1932 Los Angeles - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

At the Olympic Games in 1932, the stadium (known as the Olympic Stadium) hosted the sports of athletics, equestrian (eventing, jumping), field hockey and gymnastics. The stadium was used for the 1984 Olympic Games, and will be used again for the 2028 Games.

1932 Los Angeles Los Angeles Olympic Stadium in 1932

 

1936 Berlin - Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion)

This stadium was originally buit for the 1936 Olympics, on the site previously set aside for the abandoned 1916 Olympics. The stadium hosted the athletics events, as well as equestrian (jumping), football (final), and handball (final).

1936 Berlin - Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion)1936 Berlin - Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion)

 

1948 London - Wembley Stadium (known as the Empire Stadium)

This stadium was originally built in 1923, and hosted many events at the the 1948 Olympics, such as the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, equestrian (jumping), football finals, and field hockey finals. In subsequent years the stadium was also host to the annual FA Cup finals and the 1966 World Cup. A new Wembley stadium was buit on this site in 2007, and was reused as a venue at the 2012 Olympic Games.

New Wembley Stadium This is the New Wembley Stadium - the old one at this site was the main stadium for the 1948 London Olympic Games

 

1952 Helsinki - Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion)

The stadium, first built for the cancelled 1940 Olympics, had to wait until 1952 for its intended use as an arena for the Olympic games. The stadium was used for the athletics events, equestrian jumping, and the football final.

1952 Helsinki Olympic Stadium1952 Helsinki Olympic Stadium

 

1956 Melbourne - Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Predominently a cricket and Australian Football ground, the MCG was used as the main stadium at the 1956 Olympic Games, with the opening and closing ceremonies, the athletics events, field hockey final, football final, and Aussie Rules demonstration being held at the stadium.

mcg stadiumCommonwealth Games at the MCG, 2006

 

1960 Rome - Olympic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico)

This stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics competitions.

1960 Rome Olympic Stadium 1960 Rome Olympic Stadium

 

1964 Tokyo - National Stadium

The National Olympic Stadium served as the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as being the venue for track and field events.

 

1968 Mexico City - Olympic Stadium (Estadio Olímpico Universitario)

 

1972 Munich - Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion)

The 1974 FIFA World Cup Final was also held at this stadium.

1972 Munich - Olympic Stadium1972 Munich - Olympic Stadium

 

1976 Montreal Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique)

1976 Montreal Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) 1976 Montreal Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique)

 

1980 Moscow - Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium

 

1984 Los Angeles - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

In 1984, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the opening and closing ceremonies plus the athletics track and field events. The stadium was also the main stadium for the 1932 Olympics.

1932 Los Angeles the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1932

 

1988 Seoul - Olympic Stadium

1992 Barcelona - Olympic Stadium (Estadio Olímpico Lluís Companys) Barcelona's Olympic Stadium was built in 1927 as part of the bidding process for the 1936 Games, which were everntually awarded to Munich. 65 years later it eventually hosted the Games.

 

1996 Atlanta - Centennial Olympic Stadium

After the Olympics in 1996 the stadium was reconstructed into Turner Field for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves. In 2017, it was again reconstructed as Georgia State Stadium, designed for American football.

 

2000 Sydney - Stadium Australia

2000 Sydney Olympic Stadium Australia2000 Sydney Olympic Stadium Australia

 

2004 Athens - Olympic Stadium

The main stadium used for the 2004 Athens Olympics was built in 1980-1982. Its capacity at the time of the 2004 Olympics was 72,000. It is the largest stadium in Greece. The Panathenean Stadium, the main Olympic stadium for the 1896 Olympics, was also used for several sporting events in 2004.

2004 Athens Olympic Stadium2004 Athens Olympic Stadium

 

2008 Beijing - Beijing National Stadium

This stadium is also known officially as the National Stadium or colloquially as the "Bird's Nest".

2008 Beijing birdsnest2008 Beijing birdsnest

 

2012 London - Olympic Stadium

The stadium hosted the track and field events and the opening and closing ceremonies.

View of London's Olympic Stadium View of London's Olympic Stadium (image source: Google, Digital Globe)

 

2016 Rio de Janeiro - Maracanã Stadium (Estádio do Maracanã)

The Maracanã Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremony, and the football final, though unlike in many previous Olympic Games, the athletics events were held at a different lcoation, the João Havelange Olympic Stadium.

2016 Rio de Janeiro - Maracanã Stadium (Estádio do Maracanã)2016 Rio de Janeiro - Maracanã Stadium (Estádio do Maracanã)

 

2020 Tokyo - New National Stadium

The New National Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium being built in Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The satdium is being built on the same site as the National Stadium that was used for the 1964 Olympic Games. The new stadium will be the site for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the venue for athletics events.

 

2024 France - Stade de France

The Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies and athletics events are planned to be held at Stade de France, an existing stadium which was built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

France - Stade de France as it looks in 2018France - Stade de France as it looks in 2018

 

2028 Los Angeles - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is the planned site for the opening ceremony and athletics events, the closing ceremony is planned to be held at the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park.

1932 Los Angeles the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 1932 Olympic Games

 

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