November 04, 2016
As it’s Friday, we thought we’d look into the largest venue in the world as part of our Ooh, Interesting! Fascinating Facts series. How on earth do you classify what is the largest venue in the world? It’s somewhat difficult to do but thankfully, Wikipedia has everything and has helped us out somewhat.
You might not be surprised to know that the largest venue for events in the world is in fact a sporting venue. They are built with sporting occasions in mind but also events like concerts and exhibitions for many more people to enjoy thanks to their standing capacity. If we just look at the largest event venue in the world in terms of record attendance then would you believe it, Sternberg Clarke actually provide entertainment there! Yes, Royal Ascot is the largest event venue in the world in terms of number of people who you can comfortably fit in with 280,000 people being recorded as having walked through the gates on a given day. Three of those people might just be Wandering Hands!
Two more venues in the top 10 are both in England as well in the form of Aintree and Badminton Race Course, again having – at some point or another – witnessed 200,000 people walk through the turnstiles to watch horse racing or eventing. The problem with this way of measuring largest venues, is that many of these record attendances were set long ago when the stadium or racecourse had a different configuration to what it does now.
If you want to measure the largest venue in the world in terms of number of seats, then you need to think less about horses and more about horse power! The Indianapolis Motor Speedway replaces Ascot at the top of the chart if you do this, with seated capacity of 257,325, which sounds like an awful lot to us! Imagin the events you could hold there! But then, can you really class a racecourse as an events venue? It’d be very hard for everybody watching to experience the same event from way over the other side of the park.
If it’s the world’s largest stadium you’re after then you might be surprised to know that it isn’t in the USA. It isn’t even in the UK. Or France. Or Germany. It is in fact in Pyongyang, North Korea, where the snappily titled Rungrado 1st of May Stadium has a seated capacity of 114,000. It doesn’t hold the world record for attendance though. That goes to the recently closed Strahov Stadium in Prague, Czech Republic, which saw performances from Pink Floyd, AC/DC and the Rolling Stones and was regularly able to accommodate 220,000 people for synchronised gymnastics performances. To put it into scale, the competing area was three times the size of a football pitch.
But can any of these really claim to be the largest venue in the world? Certainly in terms of recorded attendance, but what about in terms of size? Well, we’ll leave you with a fascinating fact or two that we find interesting about the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Built 1000 years before the death of Tutankhamun (think about that for a second!), the base of the structure covers 13 acres, is level to within 1cm and most amazingly, is comprised of over 6.3 million tonnes of material. Sound a lot? That’s because it is; 6.3 million tonnes is more material than it took to build all the churches and all the cathedrals in England. All of them. The Great Pyramid beats them all.
Now we don’t know what kind of parties the Ancient Egyptians ever held in the Great Pyramid of Giza but if even one party or event was held there then we’re comfortable with calling it the largest venue in the world.
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By Henry Fosdike