8 Most Expensive Football Stadiums in the World
Whether it’s called soccer in North America or football in Europe and South America, there is no denying that all fans refer to it as “the beautiful game”. Beautiful doesn’t only simply imply to athletes showcasing dazzling skills on the pitch, but it also refers to thousands of fans flocking to stadiums cheering on their favorite players and teams. But football stadiums aren’t built like most sports stadiums, and they are considered as the most expensive stadiums in the world. Here are the most expensive football stadiums ever built:
1. Rogers Centre (Toronto, Ontario) - $10 million
Although it’s mostly recognized as a baseball stadium that houses the Toronto Blue Jays, it still functions as a football stadium that has become a venue for a number of international and club friendlies over the years. Football isn’t considered to be a major sport in Canada, but with the US slowly embracing football (or soccer as they would call it), it won’t be long before the sport would make its way to the northern portion of the Americas. Seats at the Rogers Centre cost around $50 while the concession cost between $35 and $40.
2. Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (Madrid, Spain) - $10 million
From a stadium that barely holds football games to a stadium is considered to be a historical landmark in world football, the Santiago Bernabeu is one the most recognizable stadiums in the world, and also one of the most expensive. It is home to of one the most decorated teams in football history, Real Madrid C.F., winner of over a hundred trophies including 13 Champions League and 66 domestic titles. Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Raul Gonzalez, and Alfredo di Stefano have all played for Real Madrid at some point in their careers.
Aside from being one of the most expensive stadiums ever built, the Santiago Bernabeu also holds the distinction of one of the most expensive stadiums for fans to watch a live game. Tickets cost around $75 while concessions cost around $50. Parking fees around the neighborhood also cost as high as $50.
3. Aviva Stadium (Dublin, Ireland) - $1 billion
The Aviva Stadium houses the Irish rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland football team. European footballing body UEFA ranks the Aviva Stadium as a Category 4 Stadium, the only Category 4 Stadium in Ireland. Costing around $1 billion to construct, it’s also one of the costliest stadiums to maintain. Tickets for top-flight football matches sell between $80 and $85 in the nosebleed section alone while concessions and parking can cost up to $150.
4. Wembley Stadium (London, England) - $1.25 billion
Wembley Stadium is one of the most iconic stadiums in Europe. It underwent a major renovation in the early 2000s and reopened in 2007. Owned by the governing body in English football, the Football Association (FA), Wembley is the official stadium for the England national football team and is also the venue for the annual FA Cup Final. It is tagged as the biggest stadium in the UK as it can seat up to 90,000 fans. Ticket prices and concessions can go as high as $90 and $40 respectively.
Wembley was the temporary home for the Premier League London-based team Tottenham Hotspur from 2017 to 2019. It was previously tagged as the most expensive stadium in the Premier League, more expensive than its London neighbor, the Emirates Stadium.
5. Corinthians Arena (Sao Paulo, Brazil) - $1.5 billion
Much like Real Madrid is in Spain, Corinthians is one of the most popular football teams in Brazil. Unsurprisingly, the team’s stadium is as popular as the team it houses. It cost $1.5 billion to construct and current ticket prices fall between $100 and $150. For fans bringing their vehicles, they have to spend an additional $40 for parking fees.
6. Olympic Stadium (Montreal, Quebec) - $1.5 billion
The Olympic Stadium was the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics. Nicknamed as “The Big O” because of its doughnut-shaped roof, the $1.5 billion Olympic Stadium continues to be one of the most expensive Olympic venues ever built. Unfortunately, due to the stadium’s structural and financial problems, it hasn’t been used since 2004.
7. Cape Town Stadium (Cape Town, South Africa) - $1.75 billion
The Cape Town Stadium located at the heart of South Africa is the home of Premier Soccer League clubs Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City. It was also the official sports arena for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Aside from having a seating capacity of 58,000 (previously 64,100 during the World Cup), the Cape Town Stadium gives a perfect view of the South Atlantic Ocean. Seat prices fall between $170 and $250, and this doesn’t even include parking which costs around $150. The Cape Town Stadium is also considered by many as the most beautiful stadium in the world.
8. Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany) - $2 billion
With its sheer size that can hold a capacity of more than 83,000 raging Dortmund fans, it’s not surprising that the Signal Iduna Park is the most expensive stadium ever built. Ticket and concession prices are also ridiculously high, with fans oftentimes spending around $500 for a single game. Dortmund rose to prominence in the early 2010s as it won the German domestic league in back-to-back seasons. But even through its low years, it has always been considered as one of the loudest arenas in the world, with the south portion of the stadium housing the infamous 24,400-capacity terrace called the “Yellow Wall”.
Football stadiums are simply architectural achievements. They aren’t only built to house thousands of people on a weekly basis, but they are also built to exude a stunning appearance that can be enjoyed by numerous passerby when games aren’t played. Yes, they are expensive, but the fans don’t really seem to mind expending a few hundred bucks every now and then.