South America is a country of raw beauty and a depth of culture, but one thing all nations have in common is a love of football. Some of the largest football stadiums in the world are found in South America and we’ll highlight some of those for you here.
The continent is home to dozens of major football stadiums, with only a limited number of venues that can host over 30,000 fans. Barcelona’s Nou Camp is the biggest football stadium in the world, with a capacity of a cool 99,354. The atmosphere of these super stadiums really brings out the best sporting experience for those in attendance.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic shutting down many sports venues to the public, we’re hoping there will be a return to the old “normal” in 2021. Many people are already using online betting websites to estimate when they think the public will be allowed to return to stadiums in the UK, Spain and across Europe.
The list we’ve put together for the best stadiums in South America will provide our readers with a comprehensive list of venues many of which are already well known globally. So, let’s learn more about these awesome football stadiums (In no particular order)!
Estadio do Arruda
Located in the city of Recife in Northern Brazil, the Estadio do Arruda holds up to 60,044 spectators. It was first opened in 1972 and is the home stadium of the Santa Cruz Futebol Clube. The stadium is officially known as the Estadio Jose do Rego Macial and is particularly special because it’s one of the few stadiums that can hold a capacity this high.
While the stadium is the home of Santa Cruz FC, it is not strictly a football stadium. The stadium hosts a range of other sporting and non-sports events that run throughout the year, but for the most part it’s a football stadium which is why it made our list. It’s worth noting that the record attendance was 90,200, before safety regulations were recently introduced.
The Mineirao is a city directly north of Rio de Janeiro in the state of Minas Gerais and hosts two majors; Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro. The stadium has been around over 50 years, having first opened back in 1965. The stadium has a capacity of 64,000 and is otherwise known as Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto.
It has been a major stadium in the country, so much so that it was chosen to host matches during the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Much like with Estadio do Arruda, the maximum attendance the stadium has seen is far beyond it’s recommended capacity, with Mineirao holding up to 132,000 spectators on one occasion in the past. Cruzeiro, one of the residing teams, has grown in popularity in recent years due to a great couple of years performing in the league.
We travel south to the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where the Estadio Centenario is located. The stadium was first opened in 1930 and hosts the Uruguayan national football team, as well as a number of other smaller non-football related events. With a healthy capacity of 60,235, it’s one of the few stadiums on the continent to allow beyond 60,000 spectators.
It’s very much an iconic stadium and one which was built for the first FIFA World Cup. While the capacity is much lower now, the record attendance was almost 80,000 during the first World Cup. Many refer to it as one of the “temples of football,” as it has such a rich history and has proved to be a fortress for the national side, with Uruguay winning many games there over the years.
Estadio Universidad San Marcos
Finally, we go to Lima, Peru to take a look at the Estadio Universidad San Marcos, the home of the Club Universitario de Deportes. The stadium holds a capacity of 70,000 and is the biggest of all the stadiums on our list. It was first opened back in 1951 and has since undergone a number of renovations, most recently in 1993.
What’s really unique about this stadium is the fact it’s by a university and doesn’t really have a permanent tenant. A variety of clubs use it, including the Club Universitario de Deportes as an alternative stadium, the vast majority of the time the team plays elsewhere. A mammoth arena nonetheless, but not as big as another Lima-based venue the Estadio Monumental “U”!