Top 4 Worst Stadiums that have Hosted the FIFA World Cup

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 8th Apr 2022

Qatar is priding itself on the quality of the grounds which will host football’s best as they battle for the most prestigious prize in the sport, the FIFA World Cup.

All eight stadiums are fully air conditioned, with a few being built for sustainability, like Stadium 974 which was built with 974 shipping containers.

Each of the stadiums are state of the art, and are arguably among the best venues to play football in the world.

Qatar is still making adjustments to quite a few of them in order to make the experience even better, and beat the other iconic stadiums who have hosted the World Cup in previous years.

Fans have gotten so used to great venues that they tend to forget the absolute mess that was some World Cup hosting venues. We bring four of the very worst to have hosted this tournament in this feature.

Soldier Field – United States

USA 1994 is famous for many things, especially for having one of the worst stadiums to ever host the World Cup – Chicago’s Soldier Field.

The Soldier Field was once a historic place, known for the American football feats of the Chicago Bears. However, the world quickly saw in 1994 that the legend of Soldier Field is no match for the reality of the venue.

Chicago has extreme weather and the pitch is always looking bad as a result. The stadium also seats only 60,000, a figure that’s dismal for World Cup attending audiences.

In fact, in USA’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup which Qatar won, they left out Chicago as one of their host stadiums, in allusion to how bad the ground is.

Arena Pernambuco – Brazil

This stadium only makes it to the list because of the extreme weather conditions of the area in which it is situated.

Arena Pernambuco has been tagged the world’s wettest stadium because it rains on average 224 days every year in São Lourenço da Mata, the area in which it is situated.

São Lourenço da Mata also happens to be one of Brazil’s slums and the government of Brazil reportedly built the stadium to spark economic growth in the region.

However, the 46,000-seater stadium has done little to change the state of the region, whose streets tend to flood at the slightest shower, making the stadium itself inaccessible on many occasions.

Allianz Arena – Germany

Bayern Munich’s iconic stadium is many things, but it is also, unfortunately, one of the worst stadiums in football and one of the worst to host the World Cup.

Unlike the aforementioned stadiums above, it has a great ambience, adequate seating of over 70,000, Europe’s largest parking space at a football venue and many things to love about it. However, the location of the stadium is the problem.

The Allianz Arena is located right next to both a landfill and a sewer treatment plant. The smells can sometimes be overwhelming for fans on the outside, and on very bad days can filter into the stadium.

Mbombela Stadium – South Africa

This stadium makes the list because it is one of the shadiest stadiums to host a World Cup match.

A lot of corners were cut to build this stadium in one of South Africa’s poorest regions, and like Arena Pernambuco, it has done nothing to help uplift the region in which it was built.

The stadium had to be repaid twice before South Africa 2010. One time, it had to be relaid because the grounds got so dilapidated just months after laying it that it turned into a sandpit.

There are also rumours of the stadium being built instead of infrastructure promised to the residents of the Nelspruit region where it lays, and deaths of locals who dared to challenge the stadium’s construction.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

Back To Top