15 Foreign Cities and Stadiums That Would Be Great for College Football Games
The NFL has started to expand its games overseas and has had plenty of success doing so. For college football, the same success would be likely, but what foreign cities and stadiums would be the perfect locations for college football games?
Many prerequisites would have to be met, such as stadium size and enthusiasm in that particular city.
While some places like Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea are off limits for political reasons, it is the largest stadium in the world with a seating capacity of more than 150,000. Even though this stadium in North Korea did not make the list, plenty of other large facilities throughout the world would be perfect locations for college football.
Here are 15 foreign cities and stadiums that college football should consider when thinking about expanding outside of the United States.
Here are five stadiums that just missed making the list. Still, a college football game played in this locales would be an excellent idea.
Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo, Guayaquil, Ecuador
This soccer facility has only been around since 1987 and has a seating capacity of 75,000. It is home to the Ecuadorian football club Barcelona.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India
This cricket stadium only has a capacity of 45,000, which prevents it from being on the official list, but if the cricket fans of India have the same enthusiasm for football as they do for their game, it would be a very loud crowd of 45,000 at this stadium built in 1974.
Kaohsiung National Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
This is one of the newer stadiums on the list; it was built in 2009 for the World Games. It has a capacity of 55,000 and also comes with a retractable roof.
Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey
Even though the capacity here is only around 53,000, in 2011 this facility set the Guiness World Record for "loudest crowd roar at a stadium" with decibel levels reaching 131.76. Having opened in 2011, it is very new in stadium years.
National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This 100,000-seat stadium opened in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, and since that time, it has been used for different sporting events. It is an all-purpose stadium with all the facilities to put on a show for a college football game.
No. 15: Busan Asiad Main Stadium, Busan, South Korea
Starting off this list is Busan Asiad Main Stadium. This stadium hosted the 2002 Asian Games.
It originally opened in 2001 and has a seating capacity of nearly 54,000 people. It is home to Busan lPark of the Korean Professional Football League.
What makes this stadium stand out is just how modern it is. It can be used for a number of different activities, and a college football game could certainly be one of them.
While it would be a long trip for college football players and fans, this stadium might be well worth the journey.
No. 14: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is home to the Real Madrid club football team, and the area knows a little bit about playing host to big games.
It originally opened in 1947, so there is some history here. It has a seating capacity of over 85,000, and this place can get rather loud when Real Madrid is playing.
That same enthusiasm would carry over into an American football game.
Even though this stadium might not be quite as up-to-date as other stadiums on the list, it is worthy of a top-15 spot, due to the renovations that took place in 1982 and 2001 as well as the history that can be felt in this stadium.
No. 13: FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
FNB Stadium is also known as "Soccer City" and "The Calabash." It is the largest stadium in Africa with a seating capacity of nearly 95,000.
That is the perfect size for a big-time college football game.
FNB Stadium has played host to some monumental sporting events, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It opened in 1987 and has been the site of many historic events, including the first speech in Johannesburg of Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison.
This would be the perfect place for a little college football.
No. 12: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Like many other stadiums on the list, Stamford Bridge is the home of a world football team. Chelsea has called this place home for more than 100 years, since its inception in 1905.
This is the second-oldest stadium on the list. It originally opened in 1877, and while the seating capacity is only a little less than 42,000, matches here have had crowds of more than 82,000.
It was recently renovated in the 1990s and has more history than any other stadium on the list.
There is enough history and tradition here to make fans believe they are at a very old college football stadium.
No. 11: International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama City, Japan
Originally opening in 1998, International Stadium is a multipurpose sports venue that has the largest seating capacity of any sports stadium in Japan at more than 72,000 spectators.
It has played host to games of the World Cup in 2002 and plenty of other events such as music concerts.
While football has not caught on yet in Asia like it has in other places around the globe, playing a college football game here would be the perfect way to expand the popularity of the game and show just how exciting it can be in the process.
No. 10: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa
Moses Mabhida Stadium played host to games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and has a seating capacity of 54,000. That number was expanded to ore than 62,000 for the World Cup.
It opened in 2009 and stands out for the arch that extends over the center of the stadium, which is similar to Wembley Stadium in London.
A number of different events have taken place here, including cricket and many concerts.
This place has the ability to host any college football game.
No. 9: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland
Even though this is only the third-largest football stadium in Scotland, it has a seating capacity of just over 51,000 and opened as Ibrox Park in 1899.
After a disaster, it was rebuilt and opened its doors again in 1928. While it is not the oldest stadium on the list, it has plenty of history.
Before it was rebuilt again in the 1980s after another disaster in 1971, a football match in 1939 drew a crowd of nearly 119,000.
It now has rectangular stands after the bowl-shaped seating was removed during the renovation. After the renovation, it was renamed Ibrox Stadium.
While the weather here may not be ideal, the teams from the North probably wouldn't mind it one bit.
No. 8: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
Commonly known as San Siro, this stadium is home to two club teams and originally opened its doors in 1926.
The seating capacity is the perfect size for a college football game, as the stadium holds just over 80,000.
It has been rated a five-star stadium by the UEFA and has done more than just host a few football teams. Some of the greatest performers in the world have played here, including Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and many more.
Football is not very popular in Italy; this would be a chance to change that.
No. 7: Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China
This stadium is a spectacle, to say the least. It played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics and opened just months before the event.
It has a seating capacity of 80,000, which was expanded to 91,000 for the Olympics.
This state-of-the-art facility has everything a college football fan could imagine and might be similar to playing somewhere like Cowboy Stadium.
The construction and design of the place are magnificent, and this is a world-renowned stadium.
No. 6: Estadio Do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
This stadium opened in 1950, the same year that it hosted the FIFA World Cup. It will be the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
It is very large in size compared to many other stadiums in South America, with a seating capacity of just under 79,000.
Similar to a lot of college football stadiums, this stadium is bowl-shaped, and there is not a bad seat in the house.
The renovations made for the upcoming events allow this stadium to be so high on the list, and the location in beautiful Rio de Janeiro also does not hurt.
No. 5: Estadio Alberto J. Armando, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This is another old stadium, having opened in 1940. It underwent a renovation from 1995-1996 and has a seating capacity of 49,000.
A few more spectators might have allowed it to be higher on the list, but Argentina is the ideal place for a little college football and the design of the stadium is very unique.
The weather is spectacular almost year-round, and there is a lot of box seating, which would be perfect for VIPs.
There have been major improvements in past years, and those have gone a long way toward improving the experience at this stadium.
No. 4: Camp Nou Stadium, Barcelona, Spain
This is when the stadiums start getting good. Camp Nou seats more than 99,000 spectators and is one of the top stadiums in the world to take in a sporting event.
The weather in Barcelona is nothing short of magnificent, and this is the largest stadium in Europe and the 11th largest in the world.
It played host to the 1992 Summer Olympics and originally opened back in 1957. It has been home to Futbol Club Barcelona since it opened.
The atmosphere here is similar to something that would be found at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
It would be the perfect location for a college football experience.
No. 3: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
Known simply as MCG, this is one of the most intimidating venues in the world. It is slightly larger than Camp Nou and is the 10th largest stadium in the world with a seating capacity of just over 100,000.
It is perfectly located in Melbourne and is the largest cricket-playing venue in the world. It also has the highest light towers of any sporting venue.
Locals refer to this place as "The G," and it opened its doors way back in 1854, making it the oldest stadium on the list.
While it typically plays host to cricket matches, a little football here would be very possible. They have crammed as many as 130,000 people for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade, so there is plenty of room.
Why not take college football "Down Under" for a little change of scenery.
No. 2: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
Located in Mexico City, this stadium is a little closer to home and would be an excellent location for a big college football game.
Built in 1966, Estadio Azteca has a seating capacity of 105,000, making it the fifth-largest stadium in the world and the third largest in North America.
It played host to the 1968 Summer Olympics and the 1970 World Cup and would not be very far to travel to for any college across the country.
On October 2, 2005, Estadio Azteca played host to the first-ever NFL regular-season game outside of the United States. It had a larger attendance than any game in NFL history, as more than 103,000 spectators turned out.
Why not pack up and travel south for a nice vacation and a little college football in Mexico?
No. 1: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Topping the list is brand-new Wembley Stadium in London, England. It opened in 2007 and is one of the most state-of-the-art stadiums on the list.
The seating capacity is 90,000, so it has the size to host a major college football game. Throw in some standing-room seating, and Wembley can easily accommodate more than 105,000 spectators.
It was built on the same site of the old Wembley Stadium, which was constructed in 1923. It is the sole home venue of the England national football team.
A roof covers this stadium, so the weather would not be an issue.
On October 28, 2007, the first-ever NFL game played outside of North America took place here in front of more than 81,000 fans.
This would be the best possible international location for a college football game.