Abandoned Stadiums That Once Made Sports History

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1. Tiger StadiumBetween 1912 and 1999, the Detroit Tigers played baseball in the Target Stadium, and they were joined by NFL’s Detroit Lions between 1938 and 1974. The ground was so important that in 1975, it became a Historic Site of the State of Michigan, and it made it onto the National Register of Historical Places in 1999.

This wasn’t enough to save the historic ground, though: the Tigers left in 2000 to move to Comerica Park, and the stadium was demolished in 2009.

2. Maracana Stadium

There were many misgivings in sporting circles when Brazil was awarded the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. There were serious doubts as to whether the country’s infrastructure would hold up and whether venues would be adequate.

The Brazilian government spent $3 billion on building new stadiums and upgrading those already in place, and the events went relatively well. However, many of the venues are now abandoned and crumbling. For instance, the Maracana Stadium, which held two World Cup finals and the Olympic athletics, became seriously vandalized after the 2016 games, although a French company has now taken over management and is now promising to carry out renovations.

3. Athens Olympics Beach Volleyball

In 2004 the Olympics came home to their original venue in Greece, where they began nearly 3000 years ago.

However, it wasn’t the triumphant homecoming the Greeks had hoped for: not only did the home nation perform underwhelmingly, coming 15th in the middle table, but the investment required for the games overstretched an already fragile economy, which collapsed after 2004, leaving most of the venues to fall into disuse and disrepair.

4. Rio OlympicsSouth America was awarded the Olympic Games for the first time in 2016, with Rio de Janeiro being the host city. There were numerous concerns before the games about the Zika virus and sewage in the sea where the sailing events were to be held.

Luckily, neither of these factors influenced the games, which were quite successful and in which the home nation won seven gold medals. However, a lack of funding and big events has left most of the venues abandoned and falling into ruin, not just the Maracana Stadium.

5. Shunyi canoeing and kayaking park

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 were the most costly Summer Olympics ever held, and it was easy to see where the money went with many new top-quality facilities created in the city.

Once the games were over, however, the familiar Olympic story unfolded, with the expensive venues being abandoned and left as useless white elephants. The Shunyi canoeing and kayaking park is one of these desolate facilities.

6. Herschel Greer Stadium

As with the Edmonton ice rink Northlands (above), the Herschel Greer baseball stadium in Nashville has fallen into disuse since losing its minor-league team.

Nashville City Council is now trying to decide what should happen to the stadium, with demolition having been proposed, but nobody’s holding their breath for a decision anytime soon.

7. Astrodome

The Houston Astrodome, built in 1965, was one of the most advanced facilities in the world with its revolutionary doomed roof and was once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world”. Once simultaneous host to MLB, NFL and NBA teams, the stadium slowly became outdated and all its tenants moved elsewhere.

The last significant event at the stadium wasn’t sporting at all: it was a makeshift shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Many plans have been put forward to renovate the stadium and use it as a park or even a parking lot, but despite its addition to the National Register of Historical places in 2014, these have come to nothing.

8. The Dome

The Dome at America’s Center (more often just referred to as “The Dome”) once housed the St. Louis Rams, but they have long since moved to LA.

With the loss of the NFL franchise, the 70,000 seats stadium is empty 99% of the time, just occasionally being reopened for rock concerts (although this happened just once last year).

9. Sarajevo Olympics

Now looking more like an abandoned underground parking lot and only visited by those up to no good, these vandalized walls were once covered in ice for the world’s premier luge and bobsled riders to slide down in the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.

Tragedy has overtaken what was then Yugoslavia (now Bosnia), and most of the games venues are abandoned and in some cases marked with bullet holes from the bloody wars that swept across the country a few years later

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