There are many remarkable sporting stadia around the world making the best use of limited space while doing their best to blend in with the surrounding environment. Some accommodate just a few hundred spectators while others will seat many tens of thousands.
Here are five such constructions that stand out from the crowd for many different reasons but are incredibly inventive in their own way.
1) The Float @ Marina Bay, Singapore
Also referred to as the Marina Bay Floating Platform, it is simply a floating stage at the Marina Reservoir, Marina Bay, Singapore.
The stadium has a seating capacity of 30,000 and was opened in May 2007 with the purpose of hosting soccer and other sports events, concerts and exhibitions, as well as the National Day Parade.
Made entirely of steel, it measures 120m by 83m and was used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. However, it is not a permanent structure and will soon be redeveloped and re-named as the National Service Square.
2) Stadion Gospin Dolac, Croatia
Opened in 1989, the Stadion Gospin Dolac is home to soccer club NK Imotski, with the stadium named after a local church.
One end of the ground is simply a rugged yet stunning rock face. The original idea to build this inventive structure on this site dates back over 60 years. The development began in 1976 but took another 13 years to come to fruition. Built close to Lake Modro, it can accommodate 4,000 spectators.
3) Estadio Municipal de Braga, Portugal
Bigger and better known than the Stadion Gospin Dolac, but also laid out close to a giant rock face, is the stadium used by one of Portugal’s leading teams, Braga FC.
The arena is the seventh largest in Portugal, costing more than €80m, and was built ahead of the country hosting the European Championship in 2004 – it was opened in the December of the previous year.
Home of S.C. Braga and with a capacity of 30,000, the stadium was carved into the side of a mountain and became an instant hit at Euro 2004 when home country Portugal reached the final of the tournament only to lose 1-0 to Greece.
4) Cape Town Stadium, South Africa
Of all the stadia used to host the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the one built in Cape Town was the most spectacular.
“England 0-0 Algeria” (CC BY 2.0) by George M. Groutas
It staged eight matches during the tournament, including England vs Algeria and Spain vs Portugal – Spain ended up winning the tournament.
Opened in December 2009, it cost more than €400m and has a capacity of 55,000. Located at Green Point and close to Cape Town city center, it’s just a stone’s throw from the waterfront, which borders the Atlantic Ocean. Pop concerts have also been held at the stadium.
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5) Eidi Stadium, Faroe Islands
One of the most exposed grounds in the world and the venue for many of the country’s international fixtures, the Eidi Stadium in the Faroe Islands focuses on simplicity to provide a breathtaking venue for soccer.
“Eiði football field” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by arne.list
The touchline on one side of the pitch is no more than 10 meters from the Atlantic Ocean, while a huge lake hugs another part of the structure. The rugged heathland and mountains occupy yet another area beyond the back of one of the goal posts, making this stadium truly surrounded by natural beauty.
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