Ranked! The 100 best stadiums in the world

Best stadiums in the world
(Image credit: Future)

Ready to visit a century of the best stadiums in the world?

Well here at FourFourTwo, we've spent every waking hour arguing about the greatest grounds on Earth – in the office, pubs, even next to fellow fans in stadium seats. This compendium originally began life eight whole years ago, actually – before some of these venues actually existed. We then came up with 100-5 on this list before passing the baton over to you: the FFT Twitter followers chose the order of the top four, as we handed the power over.

We judged on five criteria: history; atmosphere; capacity; architecture and environment; and that almost indefinable but viscerally obvious "wow factor". In short, how desperately would football fans want to go there?


FFT bucket list

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THE BUCKET LIST Download a PDF of our stadium list

We've even put together this fantastic PDF of the complete tick-list, too – so you too can start cracking on with the ultimate match goer's pilgrimage.

You may not agree with every inclusion or preference, but we hope you will find plenty to enjoy and enthral in these features. It’s fair to say we’ve all learned something new and gained some potential destinations, pending agreement from partners and bank managers.

What we've come up with is a definitive bucket list of where to go on Planet Earth to lose yourself for 90 minutes (plus added time and in some cases, the event of extra-time and a shootout). From the best tickets in football to the prettiest, most awe-inspiring and simply unique experiences possible in the sport… here are the best stadiums on Earth.

The 100 best stadiums in the world, according to FourFourTwo

100. Kenilworth Road

An aerial picture taken on May 31, 2023 shows Luton Town's Kenilworth Road stadium, in Luton, as members of the ground staff remove the pitch lines and cover the grass during the end of season works. Luton's football team completed a fairytale journey to the Premier League after beating Coventry on penalties in the Championship playoff final at Wembley last week on May 27, 2023. Financial experts estimate promotion to world football's most watched league to be worth around £170 million ($210 million) for a club that have been through turmoil since they last played in the top flight 31 years ago. Luton are the first club to go from the fifth tier to the top flight in the Premier League era.

Luton Town's Kenilworth Road stadium as seen from above (Image credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

📍 Luton, England
🏠 1905
🏟 10,356

Luton Town have been looking for a new home since 1955 - but can’t seem to shake off their love of Kenilworth Road. 

Rather famously, the decidedly quirky entrance to the Oak Stand takes away fans up and over neighbouring back gardens, though the executive boxes running along one touchline have all been removed following the club’s promotion to the Premier League. A mismatched concoction of converted terraces, unsighted seats and a jaunty stand running parallel to the road behind it. There’s plenty of character here - it’ll be a shame when the club moves to a new home in a few years' time. – RD

99. The Float

Distinctively shaped like an opening lotus flower, Singapore’s ArtScience Museum is a modern architectural icon, located on the shore front of Marina Bay in the downtown core of the city. Here we see it viewed, together with the helix bridge, Esplanade and the Float from an elevated viewpoint.

The Float @ Marina Bay, as seen from an elevated viewpoint (Image credit: Planet One Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

📍 Marina Bay, Singapore
🏠 2007
🏟 27,000

Consisting of a steel platform plonked in Singapore’s Marina Bay, The Float was initially intended as a temporary structure but plans have since started to make it permanent. While it hasn’t hosted any high-profile matches, The Float is truly one-of-a-kind, with 27,000 fans all sitting along the coastline. A multi-purpose outdoor venue, it regularly hosts the Singapore National Day Parade, as well as other sporting and musical events, too. 

Fortunately, there is plenty of netting encompassing the pitch whenever a game is played, so don’t fret - footballs aren’t constantly being pinged into the surrounding water.

98. Etihad Stadium

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: General view inside the stadium during the Trophy presentation during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Manchester, England.

The Etihad Stadium during the trophy presentation of the Premier League after Manchester City beat Huddersfield Town in 2018 (Image credit: Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

📍 Manchester, England
🏠 2004
🏟 55,000

There was a lot to love about that old Mancunian mainstay, Maine Road, but you won’t find too many Blues complaining about the Etihad – originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games before being given a natty refit for football.

It’s easy on the eye with its San Siro-style swirly entrance/exits and steel masts and cables. It has boosted City’s earning power through, at one point at least, standing as the Premier League’s third-largest ground: the South Stand’s revamp added another 7,000 seats. Most importantly of all, it’s at the heart of a huge regeneration for the entire area. – NM

97. Henningsvaer Stadion

The picturesque stadium of Henningsvaer

The picturesque stadium of Henningsvaer as seen from above in Norway (Image credit: Gregorio Nuti)

📍 Lofoten, Norway
🏠 2000
🏟 500

Seriously spectacular, the Henningsvaer Stadion was created by levelling the solid rocky layer it sits on, with the Norwegian sea just metres from the touchline. Located in the village of Lofoten Islands off the coast of northern Norway, there’d arguably be nowhere better in the world to play football. 

While it has no stands and can only host amateur teams, the scenic views it offers are spectacular. You’d be forgiven for failing to keep your eye on the ball while playing here, that’s for sure. – RD

96. Stadium Australia

A general view of play during the second leg of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Australia and Uruguay at Telstra Stadium November 16, 2005 in Sydney, Australia.

A general view of Stadium Australia during the second leg of the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Australia and Uruguay (Image credit: Matthew King/Getty Images)

📍 Sydney, Australia
🏠 1996
🏟 82,5000

Built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Stadium Australia opened to much fanfare in March 1999 with a series of high-profile events. The city was awash with goodwill and pride at a stadium that held no fewer than 110,000 people and one that quickly set about posting new world-record crowds in rugby league and rugby union. 

That pride reached unprecedented levels when Sydney hosted what were billed as “the best Olympics ever” by former International Olympic Committee boss Juan Antonio Samaranch. – JD

95. King Fahd Intrenational Stadium

General view inside the stadium prior to the EA Sports Supercup match between AC Milan and FC Internazionale at King Fahd International Stadium on January 18, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

General view inside the King Fahd International Stadium prior to a match between AC Milan and Internazionale in 2023 (Image credit: Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

📍 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
🏠 68,752
🏟 1982

Built in 1987 at a cost of a lazy US$510 million (£330m), the King Fahd features one of the most iconic roof structures in world football – a 47,000 square metre surface area, supported by 24 huge pylons that resembles a Bedouin tent and is ideal for keeping the desert heat at bay. Two years after its construction, the stadium was the venue for the FIFA World Youth Championships final and in 2014, it hosted the second leg of the Asian Champions League decider, where Australian side Western Sydney Wanderers won the title in a wild match featuring allegations of head-butting and spitting. Equally dramatically, it'll probably hold a World Cup final sooner rather than later, right? – SM

94. Mane Garrincha

General view during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Argentina and Belgium at Estadio Nacional on July 5, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil.

The Mane Garrincha during the World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and Belgium in 2014 (Image credit: Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

📍 Brasilia, Brazil
🏠 1974
🏟 72,788

Named after former Brazil great Garrincha, the stadium was originally called the Estádio Governador Hélio Prates da Silveira when it was first built, after Governor Hélio Prates da Silveira. When Garrincha passed away in 1983, aged just 49, officials renamed it in his honour. 

Since then, it has undergone a complete reconstruction, with the stadium’s most characteristic feature being the 288 pillars that form the exterior and are holding up the circular roof. Renovated at a cost of $900m, it is the third-most expensive football stadium in the world, hosting seven 2014 World Cup games and several 2016 Olympic football matches, too. – RD

93. The Den

A general view of The Den stadium during the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Middlesbrough at The Den on March 12, 2022 in London, England.

The Den stadium ahead of the Championship match between Millwall and Middlesbrough in March 2022 (Image credit: Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images)

📍 Millwall, England
🏠 1993
🏟 20,146

The oldest of the ‘new’ all-seater stadiums built following the Taylor Report – and also the closest to central London - the Den has continued the infamous Millwall Roar synonymous with its predecessor. There’s a great atmosphere for the big games… particularly when West Ham or Leeds are in town. 

Unlike other new grounds, though, none of the four corners of the ground are filled in, further heightening the unrivalled atmosphere throughout the 90 minutes. The Den also doubled up as the home ground for Sky One’s fictional team Harchester United in Sky One hit, Dream Team. – RD

92. Cape Town Stadium

A general view of action showing Table Mountain at sunset in the background during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Argentina and Germany at Green Point Stadium on July 3, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and Germany in 2010, from Cape Town Stadium (Image credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

📍 Cape Town, South Africa
🏠 2007
🏟 57,367

Formerly known as Green Point Stadium, Cape Town’s impressive football ground was one of the venues created specifically for the 2010 World Cup. Indeed it hosted eight matches of varying quality during the tournament, from Holland’s pulsating 3-2 semi-final win over Uruguay through Portugal’s 7-0 hammering of North Korea to England’s drab 0-0 stalemate with Algeria.

The new arena now gives one of the world’s great cities a superb venue for top-class sports and music events, not too far from the popular V&A waterfront area and clearly visible from Table Mountain, which provides a stunning backdrop. Trouble is, like many a showpiece stadium, it needs to pay for itself thereafter; the local council tried to tempt Western Province rugby union team as anchor tenants, but after four years of talks the deal collapsed. – GM

91. Red Bull Arena

A general view of the field as the New York Red Bulls play the Santos FC on March 20, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

The New York Red Bulls play the Santos in 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey (Image credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

📍 Harrison, United States
🏠 2010
🏟 25,000

MLS really started to motor once teams opened soccer-specific stadiums rather than rattling round ill-fitting baseball or gridiron fields. The Red Bulls were one of the first to break ground, in 2006, although they had to wait another four years to officially move into their $200 million stadium in Harrison, New Jersey.

Not being in the heart of NYC hasn't stopped the club enticing fans out to the stadium and with the arrival of New York City FC, the Hudson River Derby is a brilliant spectacle to behold. – KH

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