Every fan knows that the game is what matters, but the atmosphere can make a huge difference. After all, seeing your favourite team win on your own TV isn’t quite the same as witnessing the victory alongside thousands of roaring, ecstatic fans. Of course, some sites are better than others for the live experience, and these stadiums have the size, capacity, and cutting edge design to elevate any game to new heights.

National Aquatics Center (Beijing, China)


This luminescent square building has come to represent the ingenuity and accomplishment of the Beijing Olympics. It was here that America’s own Michael Phelps smashed the record for gold medals in men’s swimming, and the Beijing community was so impressed by the Sydney architects’ design that similar structures have since popped up all over the country. The stadium holds 17,000, and since the Olympics it has undergone a massive renovation, transforming half of the interior into a waterpark.