For travelers who are interested in sports, a truly beautiful venue can make an experience that much better. Even if the action on the court or field of play is the main focus, nothing quite beats watching sports in a stadium that takes your breath away. It’s for this reason that we wanted to take a look at some of the most beautiful such venues in the world.
Recording any sort of a definitive list in this regard is a nearly impossible task because the truth is there are many gorgeous stadiums around the world. But it would be hard to argue against any of these options being included on any proper list!
Aviva Stadium – Dublin, Ireland
Ireland probably doesn’t get enough credit internationally as a haven for sports lovers. It may neighbor football-crazed England, but Ireland loves its sports as well, and a few of them are celebrated regularly at the stunning Aviva Stadium. Home to the national football and rugby teams alike, as well as the club team Leinster Rugby, this is simply a striking venue. It’s built-in a traditional bowl shape, but its circular facade rises and falls to accommodate various levels of seating (four tiers at the tallest points, and just two at one end). The semi-translucent and partially open nature of this facade gives Aviva Stadium a fresh, lively, and modern look, and it doesn’t hurt that the grounds within seem to be kept almost more vibrantly green than the average football field. Throw in its situation, with city center in the distance on one side and the River Dodder running by on the other, and it truly is a beautiful place.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – London, England
Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in London was in development for quite some time, which for a while forced this Premier League football team to play its home matches at Wembley Stadium. It’s now open for business though, and has been referred to by some as the greatest stadium in the world already. That’s not to say it’s perfect, or that there is universal agreement on that statement; there have been some issues with seating, and even indications that not everyone on the team is thrilled playing there. From a fan perspective though, it is a modern marvel of a sports venue. Sightlines are flawless; the stands were built in a vertical fashion that makes the whole place feel more intimate and enclosed (and louder); the roof is open exclusively over the field, making the whole place feel like an indoor-outdoor combination; and it doesn’t hurt that the exterior wall can light up at night.
Churchill Downs – Louisville, United States
There are several iconic horse racing venues around the world, but Kentucky’s Churchill downs – the home of the Kentucky Derby – is the most striking of the bunch. The actual racing track and infield are simple yet immaculate, and the tiered grandstands overlooking it all are simply majestic. Multiple layers and ample seating area showcase the large crowd that attends the event, and the centerpiece, so to speak – the two spires in the middle of the grandstands – are such a defining image that Churchill Downs’s own online wagering service was named for them. Throw in the palpable sense of “southern charm” around the grounds, and the fact that spectators traditionally come dressed brightly enough to be part of the scenery themselves, and it really is a remarkably pleasant and attractive place for sports.
Chase Center – San Francisco, United States
The Chase Center is the only stadium on this list that hasn’t actually been used by its primary tenant yet – even if that’s going to change about a month from the time of this writing. Nevertheless, we can already tell that it’s a gorgeous stadium, and perhaps the prettiest basketball arena in the world. Built to house the dynastic Golden State Warriors as they make the short move from Oakland to San Francisco, it represents a dream of a modern stadium. It sits pearl-white and almost saucer-like near the San Francisco shoreline, with a large windowed area facing the water. It’s surrounded by what almost looks (in a pleasant way) to be an outdoor mall of a pavilion, and its interior is bright, inviting, and almost theatrical in the ways it draws the eye to the basketball court.
Monte-Carlo Country Club – Monte-Carlo, Monaco
The Monte-Carlo Country Club is different in that it is, literally, a country club, and not used as a professional sports stadium at all times. It also isn’t a single stadium so much as a complex. However, once a year it is built up for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which is one of the biggest and most important tennis tournaments in the world. Its combination of green seating, wide-open areas, and orange clay courts makes for an intriguing image, though not one entirely unique during professional tennis’s clay-court season. But it’s the setting that makes it arguably the most beautiful sporting venue in the world. The Monte-Carlo Country Club’s courts are situated between the inviting waters of the Mediterranean and some of the small mountains around the city, making virtually every possible angle at this tournament worthy of a postcard.