Sports transcend just competing for laurels; it is all about passion and bringing people together to cheer in unity. Any person who is familiar with Africa, therefore, understands that the biggest stadiums in Africa are more than sports complexes; they are important unifying facilities that are necessary to hold the people together.
Despite the apparent shortage of resources, Africa has gone out of its way to building stadiums so large that they compete with the biggest in the world. These stadiums are cultural monuments for the present time, and will certainly be objects of wonder when they are unearthed by archeologists in future ages.
They vary in size and design but serve the common purpose of bringing people from their individual countries, Africa, and the world at large, together to appreciate sporting greatness.
Top 20 Biggest Stadiums in Africa By Capacity
|| Stadium Name
|| FNB Stadium
|| Johannesburg, South Africa
|| Borg El Arab Stadium
|| Alexandria, Egypt
|| Stade 5 Juillet 1962
|| Algiers, Algeria
|| Stade des Martyrs
|| Kinshasa, Dr Congo
|| Cairo International Stadium
|| Cairo, Egypt
|| Stade Mohamed V
|| Casablanca, Morocco
|| Tripoli International Stadium
|| Tripoli, Libya
|| Mogadishu Stadium
|| Mogadishu, Somalia
|| Ellis Park Stadium
|| Johannesburg, South Africa
|| Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja
|| Abuja, Nigeria
|| Stade Olympique de Radès
|| Bahir Dar Stadium
|| Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
|| National Sports Stadium (Zimbabwe)
|| Harare, Zimbabwe
|| Moi International Sports Centre
|| Nairobi, Kenya
|| Tanzania National Main Stadium (Mkapa)
|| Dar es Salaam
|| Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor
|| Dakar, Senegal
|| Heroes National Stadium
|| Lusaka, Zambia
|| Stade Municipal de Kintélé
|| Brazzaville, Congo
|| Stade 19 Mai 1956
|| Annaba, Algeria
|| Cape Town Stadium
|| Cape Town, Stadium
|| Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium
|| Rabat, Morocco
Details Of The Largest Stadiums In Africa By Capacity
1. FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
Stadium Capacity: 94,736
The First National Bank Stadium which is also known as FNB Stadium, Soccer City, and The Calabash, is the largest stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94,736. The stadium was actually built in 1989 but was renovated and expanded in 2009 so as to be the flagship stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium has also hosted some of the most important events in South Africa; this is where Nelson Mandela made his first public appearance after he was released from prison. This was also the place where his funeral was held.
The stadium is used for Association Football games, and also for Rugby Union games. Kaizer Chiefs play their home games at this stadium; as do the South African National Football Team. Aside from football, this is a major cultural monument for people of the Johannesburg and Soweto area, as well as the whole country.
The FNB Stadium is the most recognized stadium in Africa, and one of the best in the world. The surface is grass, and the stadium is maintained and managed by Stadium Management South Africa.
The record attendance for this stadium is 94,807, and that figure was counted during a Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates game, on 1 August 2015. It was this stadium that hosted the FIFA 2010 World Cup Final, and this stadium that witnessed the final public appearance of Nelson Mandela.
2. Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria
Stadium Capacity: 86,000
The Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria Egypt has a sitting capacity of 86,000 people. If you are an artist or any other kind of performer looking to get rich, sell out tickets for this stadium, and that should do the trick. The Borg El Arab Stadium is home to Al Ahly, Al Ittihad, the Egypt national football team, and Smouha.
The stadium is new, having been opened in 2009. Did we also mention that this mega structure contains 2 sub stadiums that can be used for training, and which can hold 2000 spectators each. This stadium is fully air-conditioned, and outside temperatures do not affect the playing conditions. Furthermore, the stadium is located close to the Mediterranean sea and managed by the Egyptian Army.
It is located in Borg El Arab, which is a Mediterranean Sea resort, just 25 km west of Alexandria, Egypt. The stadium has an impressive capacity of 86,000 and is a multi-purpose facility. The stadium has a running track around the field and four large floodlights. Only one stand is covered by a roof; the rest is open air.
The Borg El Arab Stadium measures 609,000 sq meters, and is surrounded by a fence that is 3 km long. The stadium also has an internal road network, an airstrip for landing planes, and a huge parking lot that can take 5000 cars and 200 buses. This stadium also has a hotel for accommodating guests, a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a gym.
The stadium has elevators and entrances for the handicapped and is a very modern facility overall.
Stadium Capacity: 85,000
The Stade 5 Juillet stadium, which is located in Algiers, the capital of Algeria is a huge monument. The full name is the 5 July 1962 Stadium, which references the date of Algeria’s declaration of independence. This is a multi-purpose stadium with a running track around its field. Even though it is a multipurpose stadium it is mostly used for football matches.
The stadium was built to be impressive; it had a capacity of 95,000 when it was opened in 1970. However, the record attendance was 110,000 people, during a match between Algeria-Serbia which took place on 3 March 2010.
It served as the main stadium of the 1975 Mediterranean Games, and also of the 1978 All-Africa Games. Since then this stadium has hosted several sporting events and is now the main stadium of the Algeria national football team and MC Alger.
4. Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa
Stadium Capacity: 80,000
Stade des Martyrs is the premier stadium of DR Congo. The full name of the stadium is Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte, and it is located in Lingwala in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This stadium is the National Stadium of Congo; and is used mainly used for football matches. Sometimes, the stadium is also used to organize concerts and athletics competitions.
The stadium was opened on September 14, 1994, and was formerly known as the Kamanyola Stadium. The stadium serves as the home ground of the national football team of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the football clubs AS Vita Club and DC Motema Pembe, both of the Championship Democratic Republic of the Congo football.
The stadium has a capacity of 80,000 and is the pride of the DRC.
5. Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Stadium Capacity: 75,000
The Cairo International Stadium, also known as the Red Fortress, is a multi-use stadium with an all-seated capacity of 75,000. This same stadium has a record of taking 120,000 people; before it was converted to an all-seater stadium. This stadium is mainly the ground of the Egyptian National Football Team and for the football teams Zamalek and Al Ahly.
This is the most formidable ground in Africa; known as the Red Fortress, it has a unique intensity because of the absolute support of the crowd who come to watch the home team play.
This stadium underwent a major renovation in 2005, in preparation for the 2006 African Cup of Nations. The stadium can be used for any Olympic-level event; it is good for track and field events, although most of the time it is used for football games.
The stadium’s playing surface is Grassmaster; a combination of synthetic and natural grass. The record attendance for this stadium is 120,000. If need be, the stadium can accommodate up to 125,000 people.
6. Stade Mohammed V, Casablanca
Stadium Capacity: 67,000
Stade Mohammed V is a monumental structure; part of the Mohammed V Athletic Complex which is located in the heart of the city of Casablanca, Morocco. This stadium has an official capacity of 67,000 people, but its record attendance is 110,000.
The stadium has a running track around the field which has a grass surface. This stadium usually hosts the games of the Morocco national football team, and it is also used to host the home games of Wydad Athletic Club and Raja Casablanca.
This stadium was actually built in 1955, but has undergone renovation works several times, which has resulted in an improvement in facilities and an increase in the seating capacity.
7. Tripoli International Stadium, Libya
Stadium Capacity: 65,000
The Tripoli International Stadium is the biggest stadium in Libya. It is an international multipurpose stadium in Tripoli, Libya that has the capacity to hold 65,000 spectators. The stadium is used for football matches but also has an athletics track around the field.
The field is grass, and the stadium is beautiful. It is the main venue used by the Libyan national football team and has been used to host many FIFA World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifying matches. The stadium has also hosted the 2002 Italian Supercup between Juventus and Parma.
Stadium Capacity: 65,000
The Mogadishu Stadium is an ambitious facility indeed. This stadium which is located in Mogadishu, Somalia was actually built in 1977 during the Siad Barre administration. While it was mainly used for sporting activities, other things such as presidential addresses and political rallies were also held there. When the civil war broke out in the early 1990s, the stadium was used as a base by various armed factions. It became a military base and a training camp for the insurgents.
After the war, the Mogadishu Stadium was completely rebuilt, and artificial turf was laid. Now the stadium has a capacity of 65,000 spectators. It is the home ground of the Somalia national football team, and games from the Somali league are played there.
9. Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
Stadium Capacity: 62,567
Ellis Park Stadium which is also known as Emirates Airline Park is a rugby union and association football stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. This stadium is the biggest testament to the importance of Rugby in South Africa. Even though the stadium is officially a multi-use stadium; it is basically used for Rugby games.
This stadium hosted the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was won by the country’s national team, the Springboks. The stadium was actually built in 1928 but was renovated in 2009, it is one of the best in the country.
10. Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja
Stadium Capacity: 60,491
The Abuja Stadium which is now called the Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja is a multi-purpose stadium; the premier complex in Nigeria. This ground was built in 2003 and was opened just in time for the 8th All Africa Games which took place in October 2003, in Nigeria.
This is the biggest stadium in Nigeria, and West Africa, with a sitting capacity of 60,491. The name was changed on 12 June 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari. The stadium serves as the home ground of the Nigerian National Football Team (Super Eagles), as well as for political rallies, religious events, and such things.
The field is grass.
11. Stade Olympique de Radès, Tunisia
Stadium Capacity: 60,000
The Stade Olympique de Radès, formerly known as Stade 7 November, in Radès, is the premier sports facility in Tunisia and is currently among the biggest stadiums in Africa. It is more of a multipurpose sports complex, where football games are held, as well as track and field events. This stadium has hosted the Olympics and is part of a bigger Olympic complex.
The stadium is home to the Tunisia national football team, as well as Espérance de Tunis, and Club Africain which are African football clubs of repute. The surface is grass, and the athletics track around the field is 400 meters.
The stadium has a capacity of up to 60,000 spectators and was built in 2001 for the 2001 Mediterranean Games. This stadium is very beautiful; a cultural monument that is considered one of the best in Africa.
Stadium Capacity: 60,000
The Bahir Dar Stadium, in Ethiopia is an ambitious edifice located in Ethiopia. At the time of writing this piece, the stadium remains uncompleted, but we add it to our list because it has been recognized by CAF to host international matches.
The stadium is a multi-purpose stadium; there is an athletics track around the football field. The stadium has a record attendance of 70,000 people in a 2017 African Cup of Nations game between Ethiopia and Lesotho.
The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 people, and the playing field is grass.
13. The National Sports Stadium, Zimbabwe
The National Sports Stadium is the largest stadium in Zimbabwe. It is a multi-purpose stadium, in Harare, Zimbabwe, with a rated capacity of 80,000 people. This is a true example of a multi-purpose stadium; it hosts football matches, rugby union games, and also track and field events. Association football club CAPS United F.C. uses the venue for most of their home games.
The stadium was opened in 1987 but was renovated in 2010. The turf is natural grass
14. Stade Municipal de Kintélé, Brazzaville Congo
Stadium Capacity: 60,000
Next, we have the Stade Municipal de Kintélé, which is located in Brazzaville, in Congo. This is a multipurpose stadium, with a track and field space. It was the main venue for the 2015 All Africa Games which was hosted by Congo.
The stadium accommodates about 60,000 people, although we are not certain whether the field is grass or synthetic. It hosts games of the Congo national football team.
Other Large Stadiums In Africa Are:
Stade National de la Côte d’Ivoire – 60,000
Bahir Dar Stadium – Ethiopia – 60,000
Mkapa Stadium – Tanzania – 60,000
Stade Leopold Senghor – Senegal – 60,000
Paul Biya Stadium – Cameroon – 60,000
Moi International Sports Centre – Kenya – 60,000
Heroes National Stadium – Zambia – 60,000
National Sports Stadium – Zimbabwe – 60,000
Odi Stadium – South Africa – 60,000
The biggest football stadiums in Africa are mostly used for football matches because football is the most popular sport on the continent. These stadiums also serve for other events such as track and field, and even non-sports-related activities because it is very rare to find a stadium that is exclusively used for one purpose. Perhaps the clearest exception to this rule is the Elis Park Stadium in South Africa which is mainly used for Rugby.
If you think that these stadiums are big, then wait until you see what Africa has in store for the near future. There are huge stadiums; more impressive in capacity and in design, that are being constructed even as we speak. Morocco, Egypt, Cote d Ivoire, Libya, and Cameroon all have some nice surprises for you, come back in a year or two.