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Legendary Sports Spots Around the World

By: Cityseeker
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First National Bank Stadium

Reputed not only for hosting 2010 World Cup but also for being the venue for Nelson Mandela's last speech, First National Bank Stadium is nothing short of a landmark in Johannesburg. The structure has a capacity of 94,736, including 195 suites, and is built specifically for soccer. No seat is more than 100 meters (35 feet) from the field, and no matter where you seat yourself, unobstructed views of the field are guaranteed. The outer design is in the shape of a calabash, a traditional African pot, with mosaic tiles in warm colors and lights underneath that mimic the light of a fire.

Johannesburg, South Africa
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Estadio Azteca

This is the most important stadium in the country. Its construction was no easy task as the area where it was built was covered with lava rock after the eruption of the Title volcano. However, after a great effort, the stadium was opened in the 1970s. Since then, it has hosted many events such as the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, rock concerts and even religious events such as the visits of the Pope.

Mexico City, Mexico
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Beijing National Stadium

This architectural wonder was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is aptly nicknamed the 'Bird's Nest'. The inner seating bowl is encompassed by a seemingly random mesh of crisscrossing beams, designed to disguise those that support the stadium's retractable roof, leading to its nest-like appearance. With space enough to accommodate a whopping 91,000 fans, the stadium now hosts a variety of events, from live performances and concerts, to sports and much more. The vast arena has quickly become a symbol of Beijing's cosmopolitan spirit and modern outlook.

Beijing, China
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Estadio Alberto J. Armando (La Bombonera)

Home to one of the top Argentine football clubs and known as one of the most symbolic stadiums in the world, Estadio Alberto J. Armando is a modern icon of sportsman spirit. Built in the year 1940, the stadium is often lovingly called La Bombonera or The Chocolate Box because of its unique shape. A flat, towering stand that distinguishes itself from the three grandstands has earned the stadium the moniker of a chocolate box. Boca Juniors, a premier Argentina soccer club, found its home in the new stadium after the old one was demolished. The football enthusiasts have admired the venue for its exquisite shape and impeccable acoustics. The stadium has witnessed some of the biggest international artists like Backstreet Boys and Elton John take the audience by storm with their performances. A museum with soccer exhibits is housed inside the stadium.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Maracanã Stadium

Big names in the football world including Pelé, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, and Zico have played at the Estadio do Maracana. This stadium hosted the dramatic 1950 World Cup final where Uruguay stole the world championship from hosts Brazil in one of the most incredible matches in football history. Popularly known as the Maracanã, this arena is one of the largest stadiums in the world. In addition to football, the stadium also holds music concerts and has hosted performances by Tina Turner and Paul McCartney, among others. Guided tours of the venue are available that offer glimpses of the changing rooms, views of the pitch from the stands, and a chance to follow in the bronzed footprints of Pelé. It was one of the host stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the venue for the final.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Eden Gardens

Dedicated to Lord Auckland's sister Eden, Eden Gardens was conceptualized as a man-made representation of the biblical 'Garden of Eden'. Built in 1840, this sprawling expanse has a number of trees and shrubs scattered around everywhere. A large gateway covered in creepers welcomes you in. Once inside, you can choose to take long strolls along the winding pathways or seat yourself on one of the park benches and spend some quiet moments. The whole place is enveloped in natural beauty; the sight of blooming flowers juxtaposed with the surrounding greenery, the cool breeze and the general sense of peace together contribute to make this the 'Garden of Eden' it was meant to be. Named after the garden, the Eden Gardens Stadium is just a few steps away. Also nearby are major attractions and landmarks like the Kolkata Race Course, Fort William and Victoria Memorial.

Kolkata, India
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