Football is more than just a game in South America; it’s a way of life. With some of the most passionate fans in the world, it’s no wonder that football stadiums in this region are among the largest and most impressive globally.
In this article, we will take you on a journey through the top ten biggest football stadiums in South America.
The 10 Biggest Stadiums in South America
The 10th largest stadium in South America, with a seating capacity of 59,283 spectators, and the biggest in Ecuador is the. It is located in Guayaquil and is the home of Barcelona Ecuador since its opening in 1987. The stadium has hosted three Copa Libertadores finals in 1990, 1998, and 2022, and one Copa América final in 1993.
In the 9th place, we have the Estádio José do Rego Maciel (popularly known as Estádio do Arruda) which is located in Recife, Brazil. Belonging to Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, it currently has a capacity for 60,044 spectators, making it the sixth largest football stadium in Brazil and the 9th in South America. Inaugurated in 1972, the stadium has hosted numerous important football matches over the years, including matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The record attendance currently stands at 90,200 in a friendly match of Brazil against Argentina.
Next, we have the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is considered one of the most iconic stadiums in South America and has hosted numerous important sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup final in 1930. It was built between 1929 and 1930 to host the first World Cup tournament held in 1930. The stadium has a capacity of 60,235 spectators and is home to the Uruguayan national football team. Penarol used the stadium for their home matches from 1933 to 2016. In 1983, FIFA declared the Estadio Centenario a “Historical Monument of World Football,” the only stadium in the world to hold this title.
In the 7th place, we have the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto, commonly known as Mineirão. It is located in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and has a seating capacity of 62,160 people. The stadium was officially opened in 1965 and has been used for several important football matches throughout its history, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil where it hosted the legendary semi-final clash between Brazil and Germany that ended in a crushing 7-1 victory for Germany. Now, the stadium serves as the home to Cruzeiro.
In the 6th place, we have another Brazilian stadium, the Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, commonly known as Castelão. It is located in the city of Fortaleza and serves as the home to Fortaleza Esporte Clube. The stadium was originally built in 1973 and underwent a major renovation from 2010 to 2013 in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The capacity of the stadium is 63,903 seats, but the record attendance is 118,000 people in a game of Brazil against Uruguay.
Next is the Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, widely known as Morumbi, which is a football stadium located in São Paulo, Brazil. Morumbi is the largest privately owned stadium in Brazil, as it was initially built in 1960 to be the home of São Paulo Futebol Clube. The Morumbi once held 150,000 seats but now the capacity is reduced to 66,795 seats.
Next is the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia. Opened in 1974, the stadium had initially a total capacity of 45,200 people. After the reconstruction for the 2014 World Cup, the capacity was increased to 72,788 people, making it the second-largest stadium in Brazil after Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and the 4th largest in South America.
The 3rd largest stadium in South America and the biggest in Brazil is the Estádio Maracanã, a legendary football stadium located in Rio de Janeiro. It was built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup and its original capacity was 200,000 people. After several renovations and before the 2014 World Cup, where it hosted the final, the capacity was reduced to 78,838. The 1950 world cup final, with an official attendance of around 180,000 people, remains the most highly attended football match ever played. The venue has seen attendances of 150,000 or more on 26 occasions and crowds of more than 100,000 284 times. The stadium now serves as the home ground to Flamengo and Fluminense.
The 2nd largest stadium in South America is the Estadio Monumental in Lima, Peru. The stadium was inaugurated in 2000 and is the home of the Peruvian football club, Universitario de Deportes. The Peru national football team has also been a minor tenant of the Monumental. In 2019, the stadium hosted the first Copa Libertadores single-match final.
The largest stadium in South America is the Estadio Monumental in Belgrano, Buenos Aires. Also known as “River Plate Stadium” it opened in 1938 with a capacity of 76,000 spectators. After recent renovations, the capacity has increased to 86,049 seats. The stadium serves as the home to River Plate and the Argentinian National Football team. The venue has been used for several major international football events, including hosting the final match of the 1978 FIFA World Cup and 4 Copa America finals.