We usually associate stadiums with bustling activity, high energy and plenty of loud cheering. But what happens when a stadium is closed for good?
Unfortunately, the size and scale of most stadiums makes them hard to re-purpose, so when they’re no longer in use, they’re often abandoned. Ready to see something eerie? Here’s a tour of five abandoned stadiums around the world.
Location: Houston, Texas
When it opened in 1965, the Houston Astrodome was the biggest indoor space in the world. Throughout the years, it hosted sporting events and plenty of memorable concerts. Headliners ranged from Elvis Presley to Muhammad Ali and many more.
However, all things must come to and end, and when the NRG stadium was erected nearby in 2002, the once cutting-edge Astrodome became obsolete. It played a starring role in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, serving as a temporary home to as many as 25,000 victims. However, aside from that brief shining moment of civic duty, it’s been vacant without a specific plan for more than a decade.
Location: Pripyat, Ukraine
This moderately sized stadium accommodated up to 5,000 people in its heyday. It was once home to the FC Stroitel Pripyat, a popular soccer club. However, all soccer games at this stadium ceased following the 1986 Chernobyl plant explosion, which rendered the area uninhabitable because of radiation.
Don’t expect any games to be played any time soon: it could still be thousands of years before the area near Chernobyl is inhabitable again. Now the structure is like a haunted ghost town, with crumbled edges, an overgrown field, and trees and foliage taking over the space.
Miami Marine Stadium
Location: Miami, Florida
Once upon a time, this stadium, with a capacity for 7,000 people, hosted all sorts of events, from cultural get-togethers to concerts and water races.
Then came along Hurricane Andrew. Following the devastating storm in 1992, the structure was deemed unsafe and was closed. It fell into disrepair and was on the brink of demolition until Miami residents and the National Trust for Historic Preservation stepped up to the plate.
There could still be a happy ending for this stadium. A few years ago, a plan was approved to clean up and renovate the structure. While funding has been secured, the stadium remains empty for the time being.
Arena da Amazonia
Location: Manaus, Brazil
Many stadiums were erected in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games ... and many have since been abandoned. But the Arena da Amazonia is perhaps the biggest travesty.
Located in a hard-to-get-to area, the stadium took nearly four years to build, cost $300 million to build, and three construction workers died during its construction. After all of that, the stadium hosted four games, was used for a few Olympics matches, and pretty much hasn’t been used since.
Beijing Olympic Stadiums
Location: Beijing, China
In 2008, Beijing hosted the summer Olympics. This involved building an array of stadiums for what are said to be the most expensive summer games of all time. However, following the Olympics, many of the venues remained empty with no other use. These vacant monoliths fell into disrepair and became polluted eyesores.
But there is hope for revitalization of some of these venues. Beijing has been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, and there are talks of revamping some of these defunct venues so they’re appropriate for winter sporting events. Hopefully they won’t fall into the same disrepair after!
Abandoned But Not Forgotten
Can you hear the echo of ghostly crowds roaring? Abandoned stadiums serve as an eerie reminder of the good times that have passed. These venues, once home to some of the world’s most memorable sporting events and concerts, serve as a physical reminder of the passage of time.