Most Expensive Stadiums Around the World

November 7, 2018 by Grant Suneson

Every owner in professional sport wants to have the best team in the league. Many also want to have the best field and finest stadium. Over the past decade or so, there has been a surge in the number of extravagant, high-priced athletics stadiums across the United States and the world at large — many of which cost more than $1 billion to build.

Many of the most costly stadiums were built in the United States primarily to serve as homes of NFL franchises. These places also are used for college football games, Super Bowls, concerts, and other major events.

The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones were the first in the NFL to break the $1 billion barrier when they completed AT&T Stadium in 2009. Since then, four new NFL stadiums that cost over $1 billion have opened, and more are on the way. These stadiums have attracted controversy for their exorbitant price tag — much of which is footed by taxpayers.

Americans are not the only ones building exorbitantly expensive arenas. Countries that have recently hosted the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on arenas to build new stadiums for the tournaments. Some British soccer teams are also now playing in stadiums worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed media sources, including The Brookings Institution, to determine the active sports stadiums that cost the most to build. It should be noted that these are only estimated price tags. These values are not adjusted for inflation. In some cases, cost estimates are converted from foreign currencies into current U.S. dollars.

Click here to see the most expensive stadiums around the world.
Click here to see our detailed findings & methodology.

Source: fototrav / Getty Images

25. Beijing National Stadium
> Cost: $500 million
> Location: Beijing, China
> Year opened: 2008
> Home to: Olympics

Source: kokkai / Getty Images

24. ANZ Stadium
> Cost: $502 million
> Location: Sydney
> Year opened: 1999
> Home to: Olympics

Source: ermingut / Getty Images

23. Emirates Stadium
> Cost: $512 million
> Location: London, UK
> Year opened: 2006
> Home to: Arsenal FC

Source: skyseeker / Flickr

22. Nissan Stadium
> Cost: $530 million
> Location: Yokohama, Japan
> Year opened: 1998
> Home to: Yokohama F.Marinos

Source: maxxp / Flickr

21. Fisht Olympic Stadium
> Cost: $603 million
> Location: Sochi, Russia
> Year opened: 2014
> Home to: Russian Soccer Team

Source: U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons

20. NRG Stadium
> Cost: $624 million
> Location: Houston, Texas
> Year opened: 2002
> Home to: Houston Texans

Source: filo / Getty Images

19. Ford Field
> Cost: $658 million
> Location: Detroit, Michigan
> Year opened: 2002
> Home to: Detroit Lions

Source: youngvet / Getty Images

18. Lincoln Financial Field
> Cost: $667 million
> Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Year opened: 2003
> Home to: Philadelphia Eagles

Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

17. SunTrust Park
> Cost: $672 million
> Location: Atlanta, Georgia
> Year opened: 2017
> Home to: Atlanta Braves

Source: CHUYN / Getty Images

16. Marlins Park
> Cost: $684 million
> Location: Miami, Florida
> Year opened: 2012
> Home to: Miami Marlins

Source: traveler1116 / Getty Images

15. Lucas Oil Stadium
> Cost: $792 million
> Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
> Year opened: 2008
> Home to: Indianapolis Colts

Source: Nasibli95 / Wikimedia Commons

14. Baku Olympic Stadium
> Cost: $809 million
> Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
> Year opened: 2015
> Home to: Azerbaijan National Soccer Team

Source: jgareri / Getty Images

13. Citi Field
> Cost: $817 million
> Location: Queens, New York
> Year opened: 2009
> Home to: New York Mets

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

12. Nationals Park
> Cost: $846 million
> Location: Washington, D.C.
> Year opened: 2008
> Home to: Washington Nationals

Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

11. Little Caesars Arena
> Cost: $863 million
> Location: Detroit, Michigan
> Year opened: 2017
> Home to: Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings

Source: jeffowenphotos / Wikimedia Commons

10. Olympic Stadium
> Cost: $988 million
> Location: London, UK
> Year opened: 2012
> Home to: West Ham United

Source: sinankocaslan / Getty Images

9. Barclays Center
> Cost: $1.03 billion
> Location: Brooklyn, New York
> Year opened: 2012
> Home to: Brooklyn Nets, New York Islanders

Source: Adam Petto / Getty Images

8. Wembley Stadium
> Cost: $1.05 billion
> Location: London, UK
> Year opened: 2007
> Home to: Tottenham Hotspur FC

Source: JoeChristensen / Getty Images

7. U.S. Bank Stadium
> Cost: $1.08 billion
> Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Year opened: 2016
> Home to: Minnesota Vikings

Source: jimg944 / Flickr

6. Levi’s Stadium
> Cost: $1.31 billion
> Location: Santa Clara, California
> Year opened: 2014
> Home to: San Francisco 49ers

Source: stockcam / Getty Images

5. AT&T Stadium
> Cost: $1.32 billion
> Location: Arlington, Texas
> Year opened: 2009
> Home to: Dallas Cowboys

Source: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro) / Wikimedia Commons

4. Krestovsky Stadium
> Cost: $1.5 billion
> Location: Petersburg, Russia
> Year opened: 2017
> Home to: FC Zenit St. Petersburg

Source: LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

3. Yankee Stadium
> Cost: $1.5 billion
> Location: Bronx, New York
> Year opened: 2009
> Home to: New York Yankees

Source: Marilyn Nieves / Getty Images

2. Mercedes-Benz Stadium
> Cost: $1.5 billion
> Location: Atlanta, Georgia
> Year opened: 2017
> Home to: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC

Source: gargudojr / Flickr

1. MetLife Stadium
> Cost: $1.74 billion
> Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
> Year opened: 2010
> Home to: New York Giants, New York Jets

Detailed findings & methodology:

Many American stadiums are largely funded by taxpayers. Local governments often issue tax exempt bonds to help franchises fund these massive projects. According to the Brookings Institution, the federal government used about $3.2 billion in taxpayer funds to subsidize stadium construction between 2000 and 2016. Brookings in its report and many other organizations have argued that there is little evidence to suggest that these stadiums do much to add jobs, boost tax revenue, or help the local economy.

It appears the trend of billion dollar stadiums will continue. In the next four years, there two NFL stadiums, an Olympic arena in Tokyo, and several new Qatari stadiums for the 2022 World Cup scheduled — all of which will likely cost at least $1 billion.

It can be difficult to find construction cost figures of stadiums in some countries, as governments in China and Russia can be more selective about the information they make available to the public. Many of the figures used for stadiums in those countries are estimates.

Many other stadiums were renovated for an equally high cost. Hockey, baseball, basketball, football, and even college athletics stadiums have undergone renovations worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years. However, only newly built stadiums were considered for this list.