The Creepiest Abandoned Sports Stadiums On Earth

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Image: via HiveMiner / Nate Robert/yomadic.com

In their heyday, these were state-of-the-art stadiums that thronged with tens of thousands of sports fans. What’s more, many of them staged events that were watched by hundreds of millions on television. But for a variety of reasons, from war to nuclear disaster, their glory days are now long behind them.

Image: VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images

20. Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Almost 200,000 soccer fans squeezed into the newly-built Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro to watch hosts Brazil lose 2-1 to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup Final. More than half a century later, the revamped venue played host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. But in a startlingly quick decline, by 2017 the hallowed pitch had been invaded by a plague of worms. What’s more, looters were pillaging the stadium’s equipment and even thousands of its seats.

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Image: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
Image: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

19. Olympic Canoe/Kayak Slalom Center, Athens, Greece

In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to their ancient birthplace, Greece. The slogan of the 28th Olympiad was “Welcome Home,” but the estimated cost of $9.5 billion was far from welcome. And four years later the global economic crisis made the financial outlay even more keenly felt. The dried-up Olympic Canoe/Kayak Slalom Center in Athens offers a blunt metaphor for the state of Greece’s finances ever since.

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