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.
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.
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.