Dec 12, 2009

The Largest Stadium - Rŭngrado May First Stadium

The Rŭngrado May First Stadium, or May Day Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, completed on May 1, 1989.

It is currently used for football matches, a few athletics matches, but most often for the spectacular Arirang performances (also known as the Mass Games). The stadium can seat 150,000, which is the largest non-auto racing stadium capacity in the world.

Its name comes from Rungra Island in the Taedong River, upon which it is situated, and May Day, the international day celebrating labour and particularly celebrated among communists. Its scalloped roof features 16 arches arranged in a ring, and it is said to resemble a parachute or a magnolia blossom. It is not to be confused with the nearby large Kim Il-sung Stadium.

It hosts events on a main pitch sprawling across over 22,500 m² (242,200 ft²). Its total floor space is over 207,000 m² (2.2 million ft²) across eight stories, and the lobes of its roof peak at more than 60 m (197 ft) from the ground.

While the stadium is used for sporting events, it is most famous as the site of massive performances and shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and the North Korean nation. In June-July 2002 it was the site of the colossal and meticulously choreographed "Arirang" gymnastic and artistic performance (often referred to elsewhere as "mass games"). The extravaganza involved for the first time some 100,000+ participants—double the number of spectators— and was open to foreigners, a rare occurrence. Critics of the regime said the spectacle was an attempt to distract from the 2002 World Cup being co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, and an effort to raise scarce hard currency.

These unique performances are now an annual feature in Pyongyang, usually in August and September. The Guinness Book of Records has recognized these events as the largest in the world.



You Might Also Like:



Post a Comment