Sports stadiums can be stunning architectural achievements or just quaint fixtures that are good spots to watch a game steeped in culture and history. Some arenas are so famous, fans will travel considerable distances to visit them. Some stadiums, however, are only visited by the most loyal sports fans. Here are seven strange stadiums from around the world.
Home to MLB’s Oakland Athletics and (for now) the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda Coliseum is a relic from 1966. Unlike it’s more charming counterparts, like ancient Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, it’s no monument to baseball’s yesteryear.
It’s one of the most uninspiring, outdated ballparks in sports. For years, the A’s have needed a new stadium, and soon they’ll get one. With the Raiders on their way to Vegas, this stadium will soon go the way of the dinosaur.
Burj Al Arab Hotel Helipad
This Dubai hotel features a tennis court at 692 feet in the air, so if you’re afraid of heights, you may not want to make the trek to a match. This seven-star hotel hosted a 2005 match between tennis legend Andre Agassi and then-emerging star Roger Federer to promote the Dubai Open.
Situated on one of Denmark’s little-known Faroe Islands, Eidi Stadium is a soccer pitch with a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. No soccer arena can claim that it’s next to a body of water that big. The surrounding visuals are stunning, but it isn’t easy to get there. Located in the North Atlantic Islands between Iceland and Norway, a trip there is doable for only the most diehard soccer fans.
For years, tennis fans have asked one question: Who’s better: Federer on grass or Rafael Nadal on clay? This tennis court was the best attempt to give them an answer and the results were confusing at best.
Spain’s Palma Arena is half clay, half grass. An odd-looking structure not suited for regular play, it hosted a match known as “The Battle of the Surfaces” between Federer and Nadal in 2007. Nadal won, but windy conditions that day made it hard for both players to perform.
The Tampa Bay Rays have called this stadium home since its inception in 1998. The venue’s drab interior has kept baseball fans away from Rays games despite the team being pretty successful in the last decade or so. (They made the World Series in 2008 and qualified for the wild-card game just this year.)
Since the team’s performance can’t be blamed for poor attendance, it must be the stadium keeping fans away. The stadium has led to Rays’ player Tommy Pham criticizing fans lack of support and has increased whispers of the team relocating.
Honister Slate Mine
Located in Keswick, England, this mine hosted the world’s first underground cricket match in 2013. It was a charity game between English cricket clubs Caldbeck and Threlkeld. The teams used balls made of slate and a mesh mat and the players wore mining helmets throughout the match to ensure the contest was properly lit.
This soccer pitch is located in Singapore’s Marina Bay. Opened in 2007, its distinctive feature is that the field floats on water, with only one side surrounded by seats for spectators. Netting around the pitch stops wayward balls from being kicked into the bay. The field itself can hold 9,000 people while the stands can host 30,000.