The Most Expensive Soccer Stadiums
A soccer stadium is a cathedral, a place where congregations gather to worship the beautiful game. A million meccas dot the globe, welcoming pilgrims into their hallowed grounds for weekly services.
But like St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, some are more grandiose than others.
World Cup stadiums like Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg and Estadio Nacional in Brasilia have required massive bills of well over half a billion dollars to open, more than most NFL stadiums in the United States.
Three of the five most-expensive soccer stadiums in the world reside in London, and none is home to the city’s most successful clubs, Chelsea and Arsenal.
London Stadium, opened for the 2012 Summer Olympics at a cost of nine-hundred eighty-eight million dollars ($988 million), is now the sixty-six thousand-seat (66,000) home to West Ham United.
The new Wembley Stadium cost one-point-one billion dollars ($1.1 billion) when it opened in 2007. The ninety-thousand (90,000) seat stadium hosts the England national team and some of the biggest matches in the country, but no Premier League club calls it home.
Most recently, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened its doors in 2019 after a one-point-three billion dollar ($1.3 billion) construction to host the eponymous EPL club with 62,203 seats.
The two most expensive soccer stadiums reside in the U.S., even if soccer isn’t the primary sport played in the venue. Both Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx cost one-point-five billion dollars ($1.5 billion) to construct.
NYCFC has called Yankee Stadium home since inception in 2015. The iconic baseball stadium was rebuilt in 2009 and seats up to forty-seven thousand, three-hundred-nine (47,309) for soccer matches.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, the 2018 MLS Cup champions. The stunning stadium seats seventy-one thousand (71,000), helping the Five Stripes shatter MLS attendance records in their first three seasons, including an all-time record of seventy-three thousand, nineteen (73,019) fans for the 2018 MLS Cup final.
In the ever-growing arms race to build the world’s most lavish stadiums, expect many more expensive venues to open in the coming decades.