Since ancient times, man has sought means of entertainment. For most of us, that happens to be found in the large world of sports. With athletics growing to be such a large part of the human culture, it comes as no surprise that such fantastic architectural creativity has gone into constructing some stadiums. In this installment, we're counting down our pick for the top 10 most historic sports arenas still in use today!
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Known simply as the "G", the Melbourne Cricket Ground not only holds the record for having the highest light towers in a sports arena, it also holds the record for being the oldest continuously operating sports arena in the world. The "G" is the 10th largest stadium in the world, and the largest in Australia - with a maximum seating capacity of right around 100,000 people. As of 1986, the "G" also houses the National Sports Museum.
Bramall Lane Stadium
Originally opening in 1855, Bramall Lane Stadium stands as the oldest stadium in the world that still hosts professional football matches. Originally opening as a cricket stadium, it wasn't until 1862 that the first football game was played - after which the stadium would host football games regularly. The stadium has also been host to many other big events, such as a pair of Bruce Springsteen concerts in 1988 and a Billy Graham Evangelistic meeting in 1985.
Saratoga Race Course
First opening in 1863, the Saratoga Race Course is a horse racing track found in the state of New York, United States. Now home to numerous notable races, including the Travers Stakes and the Whitney Handicap, this relatively old racetrack, being the third oldest in the United States, seats approximately 50,000 occupants. The track has been in use nearly every year since its opening well over a century ago.
First opening its gates in 1875, Churchhill Downs would immediately begin hosting the Kentucky Derby, the longest continuously running sporting event in the United States. The founding of the track happened after one, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark took a trip to England. There he would attend the Epsom Derby, inspiring him to make horse racing as popular in the United States. Churchill Downs opened with three major races - the Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby and the Clark Handicap.
Beginning in 1884, the Anfield football stadium would open its doors in Liverpool, England - and is currently the 7th largest football stadium in England. Anfield is home to the Liverpool Football Club, and has been since their inauguration in 1892. After its conversion to an all-theatre style stadium in 1994, the stadium has seen a reduction in capacity and can now only hold about 45,000 attendees, but plans to increase the stadium to hold roughly 60,000 people is in the process.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Built in 1909 and home to the famed annual races, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was also home to the United States Grand Prix for Formula One from 2000 to 2007. It has an estimated seating capacity of around 235,000 people, and infield seating allows for a larger total of approximately 400,000 people - giving it the title of the greatest seating capacity of any sports venue throughout the world.
Home of Manchester United, the second largest football stadium and the largest club stadium in the United Kingdom, the Old Trafford has an impressive capacity between 75,000 and 76,000 occupants. Old Trafford has been host to many important matches, including the 1966 World Cup, 2003 Champions League Final, and two Rugby League World Cups. Old Trafford was even been host to some football matches in the 2012 Summer Olympics, including for the first time in history, Women's International Football.
Home of the famous "Green Monster," Fenway Park has stood since 1912 - making it the oldest Major League Baseball field still in use. Fenway Park is unique in the sense that it's the 6th smallest of the 30 stadiums by seating capacity, while having the 2nd longest center-field wall. Today, the park holds the record for most consecutive home field sellouts in Major League Baseball and is a part of the United States National Register of Historic Places.
The historic Wrigley Field opened in 1914 under the name Weeghman Park, and just a couple of years later in 1916, it would become home to the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn't won a World Series in over 100 years or a Pennant in the past 70. Wrigley Field is the second oldest Major League Baseball ballpark, losing out only to Fenway Park. Reaching an overall capacity of around 42,500 spectators, the stadium is known for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall and for still using hand-turned scoreboards.
Wimbledon Centre Court
The main court at Wimbledon, the Centre Court, is considered to be the most famous tennis court in the world. While used annually during the Wimbledon Championship, the court was also used for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The historic court opened in 1922 and had undergone a major renovation in 2009, in which a fully retractable roof was installed, and the capacity was increased to now accommodate 15,000 fans.