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Modern football stadiums that ended up abandoned. Boudewijn Van Der Beek.
Journalist, bachelor’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

12th January 2021

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Hello, in my previous article I mentioned my favourite modern football stadiums and now it is the time of the opposite, the 4 modern football stadiums which I think they are today a disaster. Before starting, here you can read my opinion about today football.

You know that building a football stadium implies a high level of effort, a constant maintenance and unthinkable massive costs.

This is why football clubs try to reach agreements, make alliances and search for funding, among others.

Also, there are the works, the deadlines, the supervisions, the taxes, the insurances, the contracts, the licenses and the permits allocated to this project. Yes, nightmare!

Therefore, the project must be very well planned, analysed and take into account possible unforeseen events that may paralyse the project at the first change.

As you can imagine, the final construction of the stadium depends on so many factors such as investors, certainly banks, architects, materials, etc. It is just enough that one of these factors back down due to the most unpredictable reason to put the whole project at risk.

For example, I can think of lack of investment due to an unexpected crisis, or lack of attendance at the stadium due to a pandemic.

Even, in that light, the “round table” on costing and budgeting might have considered whether this cheapness was productive or counter-productive, forcing them to leave the stadium and avoid costs of supplying energy or employees, for example.

Well, after this brief introduction, you will find below my top four abandoned football stadiums in the world. In case you want to know just in Uk, here it is abandoned football stadiums uk

Let’s start,


| The Estádio Municipal de Aveiro | PORTUGAL

This stadium could well be the most picturesque stadium in Europe and it is a matter of time before the stadium closes its doors due to the low attendance.

The stadium was inaugurated in 2003 for the purposes 2004 UEFA European Football Championship held in Portugal.

Unfortunately, the Estádio Municipal de Aveiro has been going through its most critical state since 2010 due to the little attendance received by the local team, Leiria.

Basically, football games are attended by 150 spectators when the stadium has a capacity for 30,000 spectators, crazy! Maintenance is putting into debt the stadium which plans to close very soon if it has not already done so.


| Maracana stadium | BRAZIL

The iconic Maracana stadium was the biggest football stadium in the world. Maracana hosted the World Cup 2014 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rio de Janeiro olympic games in 2016, cost about 380 million euros.

Just a few months after celebrating Rio de Janeiro olympic games, a series of legal battles began at the same time its power supply cut off due to non-payment of bills finishing with the abandonment of the stadium. 

If you wonder… Is the Maracana closed? The answer is NO! Maracana stadium now is converted into a 400-bed field hospital to cure patients infected by coronavirus.


 3  | Nou Mestalla Valencia | SPAIN

Apparently, Nou Mestalla stadium is “under construction”. The works began in 2007 and this is how the stadium should already look, 

However, the true situation is serious because the works paralysed indefinitely since February 2009 due to a difficult financial and economic situation.

Eventually, with no date to restart the works and no completion date, the stadium is abandoned fortunately for the emblem of Valencia shield, the bats, which can rest over there. Ironic! The picture below is the Now Mestalla stadium today 2021,


| Stadium Peter Mokoba | SOUTH AFRICA

After the news that South Africa would be the host of the 2010 World Cup, the government of this country created new football stadiums, including Peter Mokoba stadium.

The stadium was altogether a nonsense because they did not think that the area of the stadium did not have a single important football team around and obviously, this was going to generate tremendous financial loss.

Today, in an attempt to fix this terrible mistake, the government itself tries to bring teams from other regions and rent the stadium at a lower price.

Unfortunately, this is not happening and surely, the stadium will be demolished very soon to avoid more costs.

Definitely, a total failure of the South African government. Besides, the money invested in the stadiums was never recovered, some municipalities inherited bills that they will still have to pay for a long time.

The South African state gave the cities ownership of their stadiums, as well as their management, cities such as Johannesburg or Cape Town. At least, these two cities adapted the stadiums for the matches of large national or foreign football and rugby teams, as well as for prestigious music concerts.

However, the situation is clearly bad in cities like Rustenburg or Nelspruit, which are struggling to fill their stadiums.

And, due to a fragile economy, South Africa is having trouble hosting major tournaments. For example, the low budget forces South Africa to give up the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which they had originally won.

Explained this, and waiting for the event of 2022 Qatar Football World Cup, I asked myself a few questions whose answers I found,

  1. How many stadiums does Qatar 2022 have? There will be eight stadium sites.
  2. What will happen to Qatar stadiums after World Cup? Well, they say that following the World Cup the stadiums will be converted into a sporting and athletics hub for the surrounding universities and local community.
  3. What will Qatar do with stadiums? They say that after the tournament, parts of some stadiums will be repurposed into community facilities such as hospitals, schools, retail units and hotels. In addition, some stadium precinct areas will feature running, cycling and horse-riding tracks, among other facilities

That is all guys, I hope you liked my top 4 modern football stadiums today chaos. Thank you very much, see you soon and Let’s Prowess.

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