Rungrado 1st of May Stadium or Rungnado May Day Stadium, is a multi-purpose sports stadium located within Pyongyang, North Korea. Completed on the 1st May 1989, it is regarded as the largest stadium in the world with a capacity over 150,000.
Since opening on 1st May 1989, North Korea’s National Stadium has certainly lived up to its billing as a multi-purpose arena. Capable of accommodating an incredible 150,000 spectators per football match, the 1995 professional wrestling pay-per-view dubbed Collision in Korea saw crowds of 150,000 and 190,000 across its two days.
Designed to resemble a Magnolia blossom, the roof and exterior of the stadium is formed by 16 arches resulting in a circular structure which from a far looks like a series tunnels. Undeniably futuristic looking, the stadium spans cover 2.2 million square feet across eight stories which measure in at an intimidating 60 metres high.
The name of the stadium is derived from a combination of two things: the located of the ground, and the date of the International Workers Day. Rungrado is the name of the islet in the Taedong River on which the stadium sits, and 1st May was chosen by both Socialists and Communists in the late 19th century in recognition of workers rights.
Rungrado May Day Stadium has naturally become entwined in the political history of North Korea, and over the years it has staged a number of performances in honour of supreme leaders Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.
The most notable of all performances is an annual event known as “Arirang” which the Guinness Book of Records recognised as a the largest of its kind. Described as a gymnastic and artistic performance, the annual event famously features more performers than spectators.