The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is currently in full swing, and attendance is strong. After the first round of group stage matches, FIFA reported the eight stadiums around the country hosting the event were filled at 94% capacity, with more than 3 million tickets sold.
That could not have happened without having proper venues for the international competition. Qatar built seven new stadiums in and around Doha to host the 64 matches. These include two that rank among the most expensive stadiums in the world – Al-Wakrah and Al Bayt stadiums – which cost a collective $1.4 billion to construct.
Both structures were completed in 2019 and were specifically designed for the World Cup matches. Yet controversies over human rights violations in the country as well the treatment of foreign workers who built those venues have tarnished the host country’s reputation at the premier event. (What country has exported the most soccer players? Find out in surprising things countries are No. 1 at.)
To find the most expensive stadiums around the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed various media sources, including the Brookings Institution and international soccer stadium database StadiumDB. Stadiums are ranked by cost.
Some arenas, such as Madison Square Garden in New York, have undergone major renovations worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But since the initial construction was much cheaper and happened a long time ago, MSG and other similar stadiums were not considered. We only included recently-built stadiums based on their initial construction costs.
Qatar is not the only place where team owners, cities, or countries have put up major dollars to erect a shiny new stadium. In the U.S., SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, home to the Los Angeles Rams, was built at a whopping cost of $2.6 billion, the most expensive stadium to date.
In fact, eight of the top 10 most expensive stadiums around the globe are in the U.S., including No. 2, the $2.03 billion Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas where the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Raiders play. While the other two stadiums in the top 10 are home to soccer clubs, the U.S. stadiums are home to football, baseball, and basketball teams. Only Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is also home to Atlanta United FC.
Overseas, London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium cost $1.33 billion, pricey enough to rank No. 7 on the list. Built in 2019, the stadium is home to, not surprising, the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. (Also see, the most valuable players at the World Cup.)
Click here to see most expensive stadiums around the world.
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