11 Awesome Athletic Venues You'd Never Think to Play a College Football Game

Jonathan McDanal@@jdmcdanalContributor IIIMarch 30, 2012

11 Awesome Athletic Venues You'd Never Think to Play a College Football Game

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    From breathtaking architecture to monster seating capacities, sports venues leave fans awestruck as they walk both toward and away from games.

    Add in the historical value of some venues, and you have the recipe for national landmarks that are just as important to sports fans as the Eiffel Tower is to the French.

    The following 11 venues would have my almost-guaranteed presence at any college football game they hosted, even if the SEC was not involved.

Millennium Stadium

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    Located in Cardiff, Wales, Millennium Stadium is a monster that can play host to 74,500 spectators—a number that college football fans could undoubtedly reach almost without trying.

    This photo of a monster truck rally easily proves that there can be ample space for football teams, coaches, support staff and journalists at field level without interfering with the teams' abilities to put on a great show for the Welsh.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

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    Some good information about the landmark stadium resting in Durban, South Africa can be gleaned from the stadium's website.

    The stadium normally seats 56,000, but can be upgraded for major events to a maximum capacity of 85,000. I would suggest adding the additional seating in the event of hosting a  national championship game.

    The beauty depicted in the photo says all that needs to be said about this stadium's appearance on this list.

Salt Lake Stadium

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    Salt Lake Stadium in Calcutta, India holds a staggering 120,000 fans. That statistic by itself is almost enough to merit hosting a college football game.

    Add to that the simple fact that the stadium is simply stunning, and you have a recipe for a once-in-a-lifetime experience just by attending the game.

    Even if it isn't for a college football game, it's on my bucket list of stadiums to see.

Emirates Stadium

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    The current home of the Arsenal Football Club, Emirates Stadium is not the largest stadium in England, but it seats a pretty sharp 60,361 fans.

    Arsenal has the second-largest fan base of England's soccer teams, according to FIFA 12 data through the PS3.)

    If the college football craze is to go global, playing in soccer and rugby venues is going to be a must for the athletic Americans.

Allianz Arena

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    Munich, Germany is home of one of the most impressive athletic venues in the world. The outside of the stadium can be lit up in many different color configurations. (Three colors of illumination are available.)

    The stadium seats 69,901, if you include executive boxes and business seating. The total number of actual seats is 66,000.

    Many college football fans would be drooling at the chance to see their favorite team play in such a magnificent arena.

London Olympic Stadium

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    The London Olympic Stadium will hold 80,000 during the 2012 Olympic Games, after which a lightweight temporary upper tier will be removed, leaving the 25,000 permanent seats for spectators to enjoy.

    According to the previous link, the London edition is the most sustainable stadium ever constructed, a green stadium to last for generations to come. That sounds like a slight improvement on the architecture used for the 2008 Beijing National Stadium.

    "Keep moving forward." --Walt Disney (from brainyquote)

Wembley Stadium

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    Home of England's national football team, Wembley Stadium holds a crowd of 90,000. That's plenty for a college football game, although the attendance wouldn't set any records.

    One of the premier soccer teams in the world uses this stadium. Apart from all the flak Americans would get for playing our version of football, a game here would be well worth the trip.

    Plus, England is the source of our heritage here in the States. The trip wouldn't have to be 100 percent sports-related.

Rungnado May Day Stadium

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    Rungnado May Day Stadium is the largest athletic venue in the world. (The only sports venues larger are all racetracks, either horse or car.)

    Located in Pyongyang, North Korea, it seats 150,000 spectators. A packed house would certainly set a college football record, and I'd bet there are 150,000 fans willing to shell out the cash to be there.

    It is this high on the list because North Korea and college football aren't usually involved in the same sentence.

Old Trafford

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    Home of the Manchester United soccer team, Old Trafford is one of the most iconic venues on the list and holds 73,846 spectators.

    The English take their soccer as seriously as Americans take football, and it would be awesome to see our countries trade some games over the years.

    Hold a couple of soccer or rugby games over here and hold a couple of college football games over there.

    It seems like a win-win for the globalization of sports that seem so isolated from each other at the moment.

Beijing National Stadium

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    As one of the most gorgeous venues in the world, the "Bird's Nest" makes the top of this list. It doesn't seat as many spectators as some of the others on this list, but the others aren't as eye-catching, either.

    The Beijing National Stadium was built (in Beijing, China) for the 2008 Olympic Games, and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the Olympic soccer final.

    The stadium seats 91,000 fans with all the temporary seats installed, and 80,000 without.

    As one of the most advanced pieces of architecture of our time, it would be awesome if the first true college football playoff were held there.

    A progressive championship in a progressive stadium—a match made in heaven, if you will.

Marina Bay

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    The Marina Bay Stadium in Marina Bay, Singapore may only hold 30,000 spectators, but it is the world's largest floating stage.

    The ticket prices would likely be sky-high in order to make this a financially sound trip for the teams involved. That being the case, I suggest it host a national championship game.

    I would absolutely pay whatever it took to witness this event. The weight of the players and the angles of force put on the playing surface are bound to affect the kicking game.

    (Yes, even as an Alabama fan, I would be willing to see a hilariously awful kicking game just to say I saw it here.)