Even as America is reeling from COVID-19 and wonder about the future of sports—both in the short and long term—as we come to struggle with the future where social distancing, masks, and large gatherings are all questions on the tips of our tongues, a $1.7 billion soccer stadium is being constructed in China. When completed—estimated to be in 2022—it will be the largest soccer stadium in the world, including 100,000 seats and 162 boxes.
Known as the Ghangzhou Evergrande, part of the Chinese Football Association’s Chinese Super League, the builders broke ground last week. In China, the social distancing restrictions were recently lifted, allowing for the massive project to begin. It is anticipated that the stadium will host the 2023 Asian Cup.
In addition to this stadium, two more 80,000 seat soccer stadiums will be built throughout the country.
The largest soccer stadium in use in the United States is also home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta United FC’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 71,000. Two other large-scale stadiums are being built in the US: the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, with a max capacity of 100,240 (but a standard capacity of 70,240) and the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which will house 72,000 seats. Currently, the largest soccer stadium in the world is in Barcelon, which can hold 99,354 people.
It has yet to be seen what precautions will be taken at any of these venues to deal with post-COVID-19 worries.