Top 10 Largest Sports Venues in the World

Of the ten sporting venues around the world that have the greatest capacity, eight host motor sport events and two horse racing.

10. Texas Motor Speedway (USA)

Texas Motor Speedway
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The fifth biggest sporting venue in the US, regarding capacity, the Texas Motor Speedway is in Fort Worth, Texas. The venue was opened in 1996, and it has a capacity of 154,861. Several major motor sport events take place at Texas Motor Speedway, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup and IndyCar racing. The NASCAR events that are hosted at the venue are the Texas 500 and the AAA Texas 500, while the Firestone 600 is an IndyCar race that takes place at the Texas Motor Speedway each June. The latter race began at this venue in 1997.

9. Istanbul Park (Turkey)

Istanbul Park is the home of the Turkish Grand Prix, and has a capacity of 155,000. Built in 2005, Istanbul Park is one of the most modern venues used to host Formula One racing in recent years. It’s also one of the few Formula One racing circuits which goes in an anticlockwise direction. As well as the Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul Park has hosted GP2, MotoGP, Superbike World Championship, FIA World Touring Car Championship, and Le Mans Series events. The 2012 FIA European Truck Racing Championship began at Istanbul Park, which was the first time that any leg of the event had ever been held there.

8. Bristol Motor Speedway (USA)

Bristol Motor Speedway
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Another major motor sport venue in the US is Bristol Motor Speedway. Situated in Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol Motor Speedway has a capacity of 160,000, and hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The venue has been used for NASCAR meetings ever since its opening in 1961. Bristol Motor Speedway is not only one of the biggest sporting venues, but it is also among the loudest of all NASCAR tracks. Because the track is on the short side, speeds tend to be slower for NASCAR racing there than at other venues. Bristol Motor Speedway hosts many other motor sport events, too, including drag racing, and American football also takes place there.

7. Nakayama Racecourse (Japan)

Nakayama Racecourse in Chiba is a major Japanese horse racing venue, and it has a 165,676 capacity. Nakayama Racecourse’s history dates back to 1920, and along with Tokyo Racecourse is the leading horse racing venue in the Tokyo area. The venue hosts some of Japan’s biggest Grade I horse racing events, including Satsuki Sho, Arima Kinen, Sprinters Stakes, and the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. A new stand, which was built in 1990, was responsible for the capacity of Nakayama Racecourse being increased dramatically and for consequently giving Japan, in terms of capacity, the two biggest horse racing venues on Earth.

6. Charlotte Motor Speedway (USA)

Charlotte Motor Speedway
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Another venue used to host motor sport is the Charlotte Motor Speedway venue, which has a capacity of around a thousand less than the Daytona International Speedway. Situated in Concord, North Carolina, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is best-known for hosting the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The venue has been hosting motor sport events since its inception in 1960, and, apart from the NASCAR Sprint Cup, hosts other major NASCAR events, such as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In the late 1990s Charlotte Motor Speedway was also used as a venue for IndyCar racing.

5. Daytona International Speedway (USA)

Daytona International Speedway
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Daytona International Speedway, which is located in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the sporting venue with the second largest capacity in the United States. With a capacity of 168,000, Daytona International Speedway hosts the biggest race in NASCAR, the Daytona 500. Opened in 1959, the venue also hosts a number of other significant motor sport events, which include Grand-Am, ARCA, AMA Superbike and Motocross. The current Daytona Beach racing circuit replaced the Daytona Beach Road Course, which had been used for racing for some five decades. Daytona International Speedway, with a track featuring many layouts, is one of the most adaptable motor sport circuits in the world.

4. Shanghai International Circuit (China)

The Chinese Grand Prix is the most famous event to be held at the Shanghai International Circuit, which has a capacity of 200,000. The Formula One event first took place at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2004, which was the year the venue was opened. The Shanghai International Circuit is currently the only sporting venue to be opened in the 21st Century, which has a capacity as high as 200,000 spectators. In addition to hosting the Chinese Grand Prix, the Shanghai International Circuit hosts a wide range of other motor sport events, including MotoGP.

3. Tokyo Racecourse (Japan)

The Tokyo Racecourse boasts both the greatest capacity for any horse racing venue in the world, and for any sporting venue in the whole of Asia. With a capacity of 223,000 people, the Tokyo Racecourse hosts the Japan Cup, Tokyo Yushun (Japan’s version of the Derby), and Yasuda Kinen, as well as a variety of other prestigious Grade 1 horse racing events. The Tokyo Racecourse was established in 1933, and the venue underwent renovation in 2000. Part of the renovation work, which took several years to complete, was the installation of what was then the world’s biggest video screen.

2. Circuit de la Sarthe (France)

The Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, Maine, has a higher capacity than any other sporting venue in Europe. Opened in 1923 its capacity is 234, 800 spectators. With one of the longest motor racing circuits in the world, at some eight-and-a-half miles, the Circuit de la Sarthe hosts the world renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The Circuit de la Sarthe has also hosted the French Grand Prix and MotoGP races. One of the most notable aspects of the circuit is how, similarly to the Monaco Grand Prix, the Circuit de la Sarthe utilizes local public roads for motor racing events.

1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA)

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
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With a capacity of 257,325 Indianapolis Motor Speedway can hold more spectators than any other sporting venue. However, when the infield area of the venue is utilized it can hold around 400,000 seated customers. Dating back to 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts IndyCar, NASCAR and MotoGP events, while Formula One races have also been held at the venue in recent years. The Indianapolis 500, or Indy 500, which began in 1911, is the most famous event that takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indy 500 is considered to be in the top three of all motor sport events, alongside the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

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