9 iconic stadiums across the world that no longer exist

  • A good stadium can make or break a sporting event, which is why the best arenas are so well known to fans around the world.
  • But some formerly legendary arenas that once represented the peak of advancement have since slipped into oblivion and, in some cases, been demolished.
  • Check out these stadiums' stunning transformations from relevance and fame to obscurity and dilapidation.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sporting events are about so much more than what happens on the field or court, and that's why the best arenas are so well known to fans around the world.

But some formerly legendary arenas that once represented the peak of advancement have since slipped into oblivion. Legendary venues like the Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Tigers and host of Super Bowl XVI, Wembley Stadium, which once hosted the Olympics and the World Cup, and the Houston Astrodome, the stadium that many Houston sports franchises called home, look very different than they did during their prime.

Check out these stadiums' stunning transformations from relevance and fame to oblivion and, in some cases, disintegration:

75 PHOTOS
Iconic sports stadiums around the world that no longer exist
See Gallery
Iconic sports stadiums around the world that no longer exist

Foxboro Stadium

Foxboro Stadium was constructed for a mere $6.7 million and officially became home to the New England Patriots in 1971.

(AP Photo)

Many noteworthy Patriot games took place at the iconic stadium, but perhaps the most notable is the team's final showing at Foxboro.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh,File)

Known now as the "Tuck Rule" game, the snowy 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Patriots and the Oakland Raiders hinged on an apparent fumble that was reversed due Tom Brady's arm "moving forward" at the time he lost the football. New England went on to win 16-13 in overtime.

(Photo by Arthur Anderson/Getty Images)

Foxboro Stadium hosted some impressive sporting events outside of football as well. The arena was the site of multiple World Cup games, including the one in which Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona scored his final World Cup goal.

(Photo by Peter Robinson - PA Images via Getty Images)

And beyond the world of sports, music icons from Madonna and Elton John to Metallica, Guns N' Roses, and Mick Jagger performed at Foxboro Stadium.

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

By the 1990s, Foxboro Stadium had become obsolete relative to newer, more high-tech stadiums across the country. After the completion of the 2001 postseason, Foxboro was demolished and replaced by Gillette Stadium.

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome was once one of the greatest arenas in professional sports.

(Photo Credit: Tom Pidgeon/Allsport)

After opening in 1975, the Pontiac Silverdome became the home of the Detroit Lions. It was the largest stadium in the NFL for 22 years.

Source: MLive.com

(Photo credit: Tom Pidgeon/Allsport)

From 1978 to 1988, the Silverdome was also home to the NBA's Detroit Pistons.

Source: MLive.com

(Photo by Icon Sportswire)

The arena played host to Super Bowl XVI in 1982.

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 and celebrated by carrying head coach Bill Walsh off the field.

(Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

With the Lions' move to Ford Field in 2002, the Silverdome lost its major tenant and all of its former glory.

Source: MLive.com

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The stadium — which once played host to the World Cup, the Pope, and Wrestlemania — officially closed in 2006.

Source: MLive.com

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The city sold the abandoned stadium to a Toronto-based Triple Investment Group for $583,000 (less than 1% of the original cost to build the facility) in 2009. The arena reopened in 2010.

Source: MLive.com

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Just three years later, disaster struck when a winter storm caused the roof of the arena to cave in, leaving the entire venue in tatters.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

After the new owners failed to sell the dome for $30 million, the city demolished the once-great arena in 2017.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Wembley Stadium

One of the most legendary stadiums in all of Europe, Wembley Stadium opened in London in 1923.

(Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

The arena was home to the 1948 Summer Olympics.

(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The stadium was also where captain Bobby Moore and the England squad defeated Germany to win its first and only World Cup in 1966.

(AP Photo)

And Queen, The Who, U2, David Bowie, and others performed at Wembley Stadium during the legendary Live Aid benefit concert in 1985.

(Photo via AP)

The stadium was crumbling by the time it closed in 2000, and it was demolished three years later.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The new Wembley Stadium opened in its place in 2007.

(AP Photo/Lewis Whyld)

Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium — another beloved Detroit-area arena — fell from grace at the turn of the century.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Gettyimages)

Located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, the stadium first opened in 1912 as Navin Field.

Source: ESPN

(Photo via Bettmann via Getty Images)

Primarly known as home to the Detroit Tigers from 1912 to 1999, Tiger Stadium was also home to the Detroit Lions for 34 years.

Source: ESPNDetroit Athletic Co.

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The stadium hosted the 1941, 1951 and 1971 MLB All-Star Games.

(AP Photo)

It was also where New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig famously benched himself during what would be the final game of his career due to his progressive ALS — a disease now known by his name.

Source: SBNation

(Photo Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

By the mid-1990s, Tiger Stadium had grown outdated, so the team began constructing a new stadium in 1997. The Tigers played their final season in the much-beloved ballpark two years later.

Source: MLB.com

(Photo by Leon Halip/WireImage)

After efforts to preserve the stadium were rejected by the city, Tiger Stadium was demolished in a years-long process.

Source: ESPN

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The demolition was completed in 2009.

Source: ESPN

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Now all that remains is the original field.

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Houston Astrodome

The Houston Astrodrome — the world's first dome stadium — was so famous and legendary that it was dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World."

(AP Photo)

The dome was home to the MLB's Houston Astros from its opening in 1965 to 1999.

Source: Ballparksofbaseball.com

(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

It was also home to the NFL's Houston Oilers — now the Tennessee Titans — and, more briefly, the NBA's Houston Rockets.

Source: Ballparksofbaseball.com

(Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

Though the stadium was known for hosting baseball, basketball, and football games, many legendary events outside of those sports took place inside the dome.

(Photo by Paul S. Howell)

Tennis great Billie Jean King famously defeated Bobby Riggs in the battle of the sexes at the Astrodome in 1973.

(ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images)

And three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali knocked out Cleveland Williams there in 1966.

(Photo via Bettmann via Getty Images)

Even Elvis Presley performed at the Astrodome. He gave a series of performances there in 1970.

Source: Chron.com

(Photo via Bettmann via Getty Images)

The Astrodome was closed after being cited for code violations in 2008.

Source: Chron.com

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

And ever since, the interior has deteriorated.

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The turnstiles were quite literally bent out of shape.

(Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

And the once bright-red seats became dirty and tattered.

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

Still, many people felt connected to the once-legendary arena, and plans to refurbish the Astrodome cropped up soon after it closed.

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

In 2013, Houston voters opted against allocating $217 million to turn the stadium into a giant convention center and exhibition space.

Source: ABC13

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

In 2018, the Harris County commissioners finally approved a $105 million project to renovate the Astrodome into more than 500,000 square feet of rentable space.

Source: Houston Business Journal

(Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Washington Coliseum

The Washington Coliseum — otherwise known as Uline Arena — was home to professional basketball teams of multiple leagues, including the Washington Capitols of the NBA.

(Photo by Matt McClain For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

But the arena was more famous for hosting events outside of the sports world.

(Photo by Jared Soares for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Eleanor Roosevelt once hosted a party for President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the famed venue.

(Photo by Thomas D. Mcavoy/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Malcolm X once gave a speech there.

(Photo by Richard Saunders/Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

And, most famously, The Beatles performed their first-ever North American concert there.

(Photo by Rowland Scherman/Getty Images)

They played for 8,092 adoring fans at a sold-out Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964, just two days after their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Source: Ultimateclassicrock.com

(Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)

After a riot that broke out during a 1967 performance by The Temptations forced the venue to stop hosting concerts, things went downhill for the Coliseum. For a time, the arena acted as a jail. It was also once a trash transfer station. By 2011, it had become a parking garage and has since been transformed into office spaces.

Source: DC Curbed

(Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

An REI store now sits in the Coliseum's former location. They've preserved a few original seats from the famous arena as a wall decoration.

Source: Greater Greater Washington

(Photo by Jared Soares for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Miami Marine Stadium

Miami Marine Stadium was constructed on Virginia Key in 1963.

Source: Miami Herald

(Photo by Alan Band/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

It was intended to host crowds during powerboat races, but became famous after hosting concerts and events with the likes of Richard Nixon and Sammy Davis Jr.

(Photo via Bettmann via Getty Images)

In September 1992, just a month after Hurricane Andrew ravaged Florida, the structure was deemed unsafe and subsequently closed down.

Source: Miami Herald

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The stadium was slated to be demolished by the city as graffiti built up on its walls.

Source: Miami Herald

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But famous artists Gloria Estefan, Jimmy Buffett, and others teamed up to try to save the historic site.

(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)

And as of 2018, the City of Miami committed $42 million to clean up the stadium and establish a park around it.

Source: The Chronicle

(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)

Candlestick Park

Candlestick Park was first proposed as the stadium for the MLB's New York Giants, who were planning to move to the West Coast.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(AP Photo/Clarence Hamm)

Construction of the 45,000-seat stadium began in August 1958.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(AP Photo/Ernest K. Bennett)

And, when all was said and done, the ball park cost $15 million to complete.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(AP Photo/File)

The newly-minted San Francisco Giants played their first game there in April 1960.

(Photo by Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

The Oakland Raiders — then a part of the American Football League — played part of the 1960 and 1961 season at Candlestick Park.

(AP Photo/Robert Houston)

The San Francisco 49ers moved in from Kezar Stadium for the 1971 season and made Candlestick Park their home stadium for more than 40 years.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Over the years, the arena was home to five Super Bowl Champion teams and multiple Hall of Fame players, including wide receiver Jerry Rice and quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Giants moved out of Candlestick Park after the 1999 MLB season. At the time of their final home game, it was unclear whether the team would relocate to Florida or to a different stadium in the Bay Area. They chose the latter.

(AP Photo/John Burgess)

The 49ers stayed at "The Stick" for another 13 years, playing their final home game there in December 2013.

Source: Stadiums of Pro Football

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Paul McCartney played one last show at the once-modern arena in front of a crowd of 49,000 on August 14, 2014.

Source: Business Insider

(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Construction crews began the stadium's demolition less than a year later.

Source: Business Insider

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rather than using wrecking balls or dynamite, construction crews demolished the stadium piece by piece.

Source: Business Insider

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

And soon enough, the stadium was gone. The plot of land was meant to become a shopping mall, but work was suspended midway through 2018.

Source: NAI Northern California

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Arsenal Stadium

Known colloquially as Highbury thanks to its location in Highbury, London, Arsenal Stadium was home to Arsenal Football Club from 1913 to 2006.

(AP Photo/H. Tyn)

But the stadium was far more than just the "Home of Football." It hosted some cricket and baseball games as well as Henry Cooper and Muhammad Ali's fight for the 1966 World Heavyweight boxing title.

(AP Photo)

The stadium was on its last legs when it finally closed in 2006. The lot has since been converted into an apartment complex, while the soccer club has moved to Emirates Stadium in Holloway, London.

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

Now check out college football fans' favorite stadiums:

The 25 best college football stadiums according to fans

Read Full Story