There are Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, why not 7 Wonders of the Sporting World? Is the greatest sporting wonder of the world the Wembley Stadium, maybe the Bird's Nest in Beijing? We started by researching other lists before coming up with a long list of nominations, then whittling down the list to just seven.
In addition to the 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Stadiums) which is listed below, we have created a few wonder lists such as the 7 Ancient Sporting Wonders, 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Events), and the 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Athletes). See more Wonder Lists.
Our List of the 7 Wonders of the Sporting World
There is no official list of the Best Sporting Wonders of the World, so we are going to make one! To start, see our large List of sporting venue wonders, are there others that should be there?
The criteria we used for creating this list is that the stadium or venue should be primarily used for sporting events, and the more significant the event the better. The stadium should be iconic and 'the' place to watch the chosen sport. It should be unique, architecturally striking and stand out in the world of sport.
1. Panathenaic Stadium
Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, Greece, was originally built in about 566 BC, and was the stadium in Athens for the first Olympic Games in 1896.
2. Bird's Nest
The National Stadium in Beijing, China was the main stadium for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Its unique appearance led to its nickname the Bird's Nest, and it is well known around the world by that name.
3. St Andrews Old Course
St Andrews Old Course, in Fife, Scotland, is the oldest golf course in the world, and it is called the home of golf as the sport was first played on the Links at St Andrews in the early 15th century. The Old Course is home of The Open Championship, the oldest of golf's major championships.
4. Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium is located in London, UK. It was originally built in 1923, and was the main stadium for the 1948 Olympics and the 1966 World Cup. The stadium is also used for the FA Cup Final and other major games in English football. A new Wembley stadium was built on the same site in 2007, and was used as a venue at the 2012 Olympic Games.
5. Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a baseball stadium located in Boston, Massachusetts, and one of the most well-known sports venues in the world. It is one of the few classic ballparks left today in the US, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium still in use. It was constructed in 1912, though rebuilt in 1934. Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Sox. Its famed Green Monster in left field has made Fenway Park one of the most recognizable sporting venues in the world.
6. Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is also Australia's largest stadium and is referred to by some as the "spiritual home of Australian sport". The MCG is one of the world's most famous cricket venues, though it is not considered the home of cricket (that's Lords), though it hosts the annual boxing day Test match, and draws the largest cricket crowds in the world. It is not only a stadium for cricket. It was the centerpiece stadium for the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and the venue for the Australian Football League Grand Final every year.
7. Maracanã Stadium
Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest stadium in South America. The stadium had a record attendance at the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup of nearly 200,000. The stadium was upgraded and used for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and also for the 2016 Olympic Games.
This stadium didn't quite fit with the others in the 7 wonders of the world, but it certainly is a wondrous historical stadium. The Colosseum in Rome was one of the first great classic stadiums, built in 80 AD, and is considered the father of all modern stadiums. The arena was primarily a stage for combat, much like the sporting events of today.
Other Lists of Top Sporting Venues of the World
The Monaco F1 circuit, Wembley Stadium and the Bird's Nest rank highly in a few of these other lists.
- Barclays 7 Sporting Wonders — a survey of 3500 British sporting fans in 2008 by Barclays asked what they considered the top Seven Wonders of the Sporting World.
- The Star — top Seven Wonders of the Sports World according to The Star.
- ForTheWin — seven man-made wonders of the sporting world, as published on For The Win, a section of the USA Today website in May 2013.
- TrailBlazers — a list of top 10 Wonders of the Sporting World (sporting venues).
- SportVantage — 7 greatest sports stadiums in America.
- Business Week — 10 Stadium Wonders of the World.
- 7 Ancient Sporting Wonders — our list of the 7 Ancient wonders of the sporting world that you can still visit today.
- 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Events)
- 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Athletes), for the top athletes ever.
- 7 Wonders of the Sporting World (Female Athletes), for the top women athletes ever.
- Stadium Designs of the Future
- More 7 Wonders Lists
- Some Sporting Stadiums
- More world sports lists