For passionate sports fans, few experiences compare to making a pilgrimage to your favorite team’s home stadium. But no matter what squad you cheer for, there are many incredible sporting venues around the world worth exploring, from decades-old arenas steeped in history to state-of-the-art facilities with massive jumbotrons.
Whether you find yourself in Boston, Melbourne, or any city in between, buy a ticket and experience the action at one of these hallowed sporting grounds for yourself. From the classic to the modern, here are seven of the coolest stadiums around the world that every fan should visit.
Fenway Park - Boston, Massachusetts
When it comes to North America’s Big Four sports — the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB — there’s no older extant venue than baseball’s Fenway Park. The home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway first opened its doors in 1912. Though it may be lacking in the luxurious comfort and high-tech facilities of many modern stadiums, this legendary structure offers the unique opportunity to experience baseball in a largely identical setting to how it was viewed over a century ago.
No feature of Fenway is more striking than the Green Monster, a 37-foot-tall wall in left field that earned its nickname in 1947 after receiving a fresh coat of paint. The towering wall is not only an imposing challenge for batters but an exhilarating experience for fans as well, as the Green Monster was outfitted with 269 seats atop that offer a bird’s-eye view unlike any other. Though there are countless bits of history to be explored throughout Fenway, one notable highlight is the red-painted seat in the right field bleachers. It was here that in 1946, famed slugger Ted Williams hit a 502-foot-long home run that bopped a sleeping fan on the head, so be sure to keep your head up if that’s where you end up sitting (or dozing).
Allianz Arena - Munich, Germany
Germany’s Allianz Arena is an engineering marvel, and became the first of its kind to feature a luminescent color-changing exterior that encompasses the entire shell. These 2,874 translucent laminate panels completely coat the building and glow different colors depending on the team playing inside. If Allianz Arena is shining a brilliant red color then that means the home squad Bayern Munich is playing, whereas in the past it shone bright blue for 1860 Munich and white for the German national soccer team. This glowing beacon also earned the nickname “Schlauchboot” for its unique shape, a word that translates to “inflatable boat.” Whether you’re a fan of the sport or simply drawn to the radiating structure like a moth to a flame, Allianz Arena offers an unforgettable viewing experience.
U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, Minnesota
The incredible, angular exterior of U.S. Bank Stadium — home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings — is based in part on the physical design of Viking longboats from ancient Scandinavia. The stadium’s walls are largely composed of floor-to-ceiling glass paneling, allowing natural sunlight to flow in while protecting players and fans from the elements of the harsh Minnesota winters. Such an engineering decision is probably for the best, as the roof of the Vikings’ old stadium once collapsed under the weight of snow. Equally as impressive as the stadium’s design is its ability to host a wide array of events. In its short time since first opening, U.S. Bank Stadium has played host to the Super Bowl, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the Summer X Games, the NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, and so much more. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sports fanatic or avid concertgoer, U.S. Bank Stadium has something for everyone.
Melbourne Cricket Ground - Victoria, Australia
No stadium throughout the southern hemisphere is larger than the Melbourne Cricket Arena, whose size is as impressive as its longevity. Having first opened in 1853, the grounds are also home to six gargantuan light towers which are considered the tallest at any sporting venue around the world, and are equivalent to a 24-story building. The venue set records at the 1956 Olympics, including playing host to the highest attended baseball match, and welcoming 1.153 million spectators over the course of 15 days. Having been enshrined on the Australian National Heritage List in 2005, the arena is an indelible part of Australian identity and played a key role in developing the international popularity of the sport of cricket.
T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas, Nevada
As home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the T-Mobile Arena leans into the over-the-top theatrics that are so commonly found at venues along the Las Vegas Strip. Taking their pre-game ritual one step further than just music and a hype video, the team has been known to delight crowds with actual performers dressed up as knights, who partake in sword fights against kings (when playing the LA Kings) and defend the arena against giant squids projected onto the ice (when going up against the Seattle Kraken). Such a spectacle is worth the price of admission alone, but the ensuing hockey game is the cherry on top. T-Mobile Arena also incorporates the luxurious treatment so commonly associated with Vegas, as the arena is outfitted with VIP suites and fine dining akin to some of the most lavish casinos found throughout Sin City. Located mere blocks from many of the most popular casinos, T-Mobile is just a short walk away for most Vegas visitors.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta, Georgia
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a great place to come and watch a football or soccer game, as the stadium plays host to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United FC. If you’re not interested in the on-field product, however, the stadium is still worth a visit. The unique aspects of Mercedes-Benz Stadium become clear quickly, as fans entering the arena are greeted by a statue titled the Atlanta Falcon, a stainless-steel structure considered to be the largest, freestanding bird statue anywhere in the world.
Upon entering, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by the stadium’s roof, which is made up of eight moving panels weighing 500 tons each. The opening and closing of the roof is meant to reflect the movement of a camera shutter, and creates a unique circular opening unlike any other arena. Lastly, the stadium offers an affordable, family-friendly culinary experience that puts other concession stands to shame. Upon its establishment, Mercedes-Benz stadium offered $2 hot dogs and $5 beers, and they’ve even cut those prices since. From football to cheap food, there are many reasons to check this venue off your stadium bucket list.
Madison Square Garden - Manhattan, New York
There’s arguably no sporting venue more iconic than New York’s Madison Square Garden, known as the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” From Elvis Presley to the New York Knicks and Rangers, MSG has been the host of legendary performers and athletes alike. Its design is also standout, as the arena’s distinct roof is the only concave stadium ceiling in the world. Throughout the concourses you can find bits of memorabilia from MSG’s past events, including boxing gloves signed by Muhammad Ali, and tickets to a mass held at MSG by Pope Francis. History continues to be made in modern times, as pianist Billy Joel calls the venue home and began a residency at MSG in 2014 — one year later, Joel performed his 65th show at MSG becoming the most frequent musical artist in the venue’s storied past. Though it’s hard to imagine Madison Square Garden in a different location, the current structure is actually the fourth of its kind, as the arena had to relocate several times over the years. Through all those changes, however, no tenant called MSG home longer than the Westminster Dog Show, which hosted its annual event at MSG every year between 1877 and 2020.