World Cup Qualifiers Europe How Many Teams Go Through Top 5 Biggest Rugby Stadiums Worldwide

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Top 5 Biggest Rugby Stadiums Worldwide

Number Five – Stade De France, Paris.

Officially opened in 1998, France’s national stadium can hold up to 81,338 sports fans. It is mainly used for football, and has the right to host the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final. Costing €290 million to build, the Stade De France is home to 172 executive suites . Although it is a relatively recent building, it does not have underground heating – a problem which led to the cancellation of the Ireland v France rugby match in 2012. Stade De France has the two largest LED screens of any stadium in Europe. Sporting events are not the only feature on the stadium’s programme, it also hosts many different live concerts. Bands that have played before include; The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Madonna, Rihanna, Muse, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Metallica, Johnny Hallyday, Prince, The Black Eyed Peas, U2, AC/DC, Andre Rieu and George Michael.

Number Four – Twickenham Stadium, London.

Otherwise known as ‘The Home Of English Rugby’, Twickenham evolved from a cabbage patch, all the way back in 1909. It has come a long way – it can now seat 82,000 spectators. It also offers guided tours, two rugby shops and a rugby museum. There are also excellent Rugby Union Hospitality Packs available (see resource box). Although it’s only number four on our list, it’s the largest stadium in the world SOLELY dedicated to rugby. Although rugby is the only sport played here, Twickenham is rented out annually to the worldwide convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It also boasts a huge collection of musicians who have been on stage; Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Genesis, U2, The Rolling Stones, The Police, Eagles, Richard Benson and REM

Number Three – Croke Park, Dublin.

Croke Park is the official home of the Gaelic Games, it is the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). With a capacity of 82,300, its biggest crowd was actually recorded at 90,556. It has seen a few big musical tours through its doors including; Red Hot Chili Peppers, Westlife, Celine Dion, U2, Robbie Williams, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi and Neil Diamond. Until 31 March 2012, Croke held the world record for the highest attendance (82,208) for a club rugby union match. Croke Park has its own merchandise shop as well as its own museum on site, but no longer hosts any rugby matches.

Number Two – Australian Stadium, Sydney.

Originally built for the 2000 Olympics, Australia Stadium could hold 110,000. This number has now been reduced to 83,500, making it number two on our list. Called home by many Sydney rugby teams, it also hosted the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup final. Since it opened in 1999, over 17 million people have visited. Due to its modern construction, it was specifically designed to host rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules, football and cricket. It cost the ANZ a staggering A$690 million to complete. Most recently, international cricket has been added to its repertoire with a Twenty20 match between Australia and India on 1 February 2012.

Number One – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.

The oldest stadium on the list, MCG, was built in 1853. It is considered the birthplace of test cricket and Australian football. It can hold up to 100,018 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Australia and the tenth largest in the world. Before health and safety legislation, 130,000 people turned out in 1959 for Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusade. The 2006 redevelopment of the North Stand alone cost $445,000,000. Outside the entrance to the MCG is a Parade of Champions – featuring statues of famous Australian athletes. The Sports Museum of Wales is also on site. Many superstars have performed here, including Madonna, U2, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones and The Police, and even Pope John Paul II held a mass when he visited Melbourne in 1986. There are other sporting spectacles that have been held including Australia’s World Cup qualifiers, home and away rugby league and State of Origin matches as well as Bledisloe Cup rugby union matches.

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