The Most Ridiculous Sports Venues in the World

It took only four and a half years to build

and cost just $423 million, peanuts when you look at Wembley. There are still plenty of trusses

supporting the roof that hinder your view of the overhead jumbotron and the field

still looks pretty far away when you’re up on the top shelf, I just don’t

understand why this stadium is so special. Leave it to Dubai to take ridiculous sports venues to the next


It cost a mere $355

million to build, takes up 160 acres and seats 63,000 people. The walls

are insulated with many layers and have 23 blast coolers that are constantly

adjusting the temperature. I know, that’s a lot of

buildings. The good news is, you’re not, you’re in the emirates and

they want you to spend lots of money here because it cost them $275 million to

grow this snow land. The sliding fabric roof provides

an open air feel even when it is closed and makes a truly unique experience for

all 63,000 people in the stadium.

Beijing Water Cube

Dubai is becoming an oasis in the

middle of a huge desert. This enables the each panel to be

changed to either red, white or blue to support whichever team happens to be

playing at home that night. You wonder if mere mortals are

allowed to enter.

There are actually two different

structures that go into the creation of this stadium.

It is said to be able to withstand any degree of seismic activity

and is at the cutting edge of modern architecture. Rain water is even collected and stored to fill the


It has five downhill ski runs with various difficulties, a

cross-country trail, and a quarter pipe for snowboarders. In addition to

the incredible atmosphere the stadium is capable of producing, it is also a

marvel of architecture and absolutely stunning.

Allianz Arena

The people at HKS Architects in Dallas

have just unveiled their absolutely insane new stadium for the Cowboys. The

Jerseys are hung above dark wood benches where the players get dressed for the

game. Granted, it looks kind of like the

suspension bridge of stadiums but for 1.5 billion dollars, I would be pretty

upset if this is what I got.

The panels appear to be white from a

distance but are actually transparent and covered with white dots. They blast out chemical-free

water through an incredible chilling machine and it’s absolutely vomited out of

snow cannons; the water crystallizes and forms snow before it ever touches the

frozen ground. Technically, it has 2,432 pixels

wide and 1,088 high ranking it up there into 1080p territory.

What really blows my mind more than

anything else about this stadium is how the hell it cost as much as it

does. The design manages

to be absolutely beautiful with literally tonnes of glass and state of the art

design while still retaining its insanely high testosterone levels inside. Not only does

this make it incredibly convenient for multiple sporting events, but it also

nearly eliminates humidity problems caused by keeping grass alive inside and is

supposed to decrease the costs of maintaining the field indoors by $50 million.

The stadium is a giant collaboration between the famous Peter Eisenman and


When the stadium is all lit up it is a sight to behold and is

really quite beautiful.

There is a two-foot base of packed snow underneath a crisp and

beautiful layer of powder replenished nightly.

China really overdid it with their

Olympic buildings last year. I have to hand it to Herzog & de Meuron for

their flagship building.

The Azadi Stadium

They created a giant sail structure in

the middle of three concrete arches set at 60 degrees to cover the building

completely and give it a completely new look.

The tray the field resides in weighs 12 million pounds, is 234

feet wide and 400 feet long and it takes about 45 minutes to roll it in or out

of the stadium.

Torino Palavela

Coyboys Stadium

York Yankees and Manchester United, they have completely turned their teams

of. What is really incredible about this venue is the fact that it

was completely updated to be one of the worlds more striking arenas from an

old, and rather boring arena if I don’t say so myself.

. People, absolute love spending literally billions of dollars on their

Perhaps even more iconic of the Beijing

Olympics is the Herzog & de Meuron masterpiece, the Beijing National Stadium,

or Bird’s Nest as it was called. The Palazzo is now capable of

seating 10,000 people and is really quite versatile in that it can necessitate

many different types of events and that it can even still be expanded if needed

in the future. Earlier this year when I was in

Munich, it was suggested that I go check it out at night because it would make

for good pictures. This is basically

the pinnacle of the American football stadium construction and it lets it be

known. After, they can take a breather

in one of the lounges with white leather couches and watch the game highlights

on the giant televisions, or check their email on any number of computers

provided for them. If you look at teams like the New


The temperature outside in Dubai ranges

from 60 to 135 degrees but they manage to keep the ski hill at a constant 28

degrees. Of course, all this skiing

requires chair lifts so they have those too.

The University of Phoenix Stadium

Turin updated the incredible Palazzo a vela for their kick at the

winter Olympics in 2006 and turned it into the Torino Palavela. When you’re inside,

it looks just like any other stadium.

Obviously, we’ll get to the bird’s nest in a bit, but first we

absolutely have to talk about their stunning so called “Water Cube” or National Aquatics Center, which is a much more boring name so I won’t be referring to it

as that again. The resort is absolutely insane

taking up 32,290 square feet of winter wonderland. Let’s get into some details about this

unbelievable slide out field. The Water Cube is an absolutely striking building constructed of

lightweight Teflon that provides an incredible green house like effect inside

the building.

Originally built in 1961, engineers and architects were faced with

the challenge of renovating the structure to meet today’s Olympic standards and

seat thousands of people. He claimed the 100,000 screaming

men has to be felt to be believed. The design of the

arena was actually bidded upon which I found quite weird; a little democracy in

a communist country. This is an incredible example of a ridiculous sporting venue.

The stadium was built in

1995 and seats just 18,810 people so there’s really no state of

the art numbers or facts to accompany it, but they have just finished building

the most incredible locker room for the players.

The Vancouver Canucks’ Dressing Room


The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Arizona

is the first professional sports facility to have a retractable roof… and a

retractable grass field. Some of the live earth concerts took place here on July

7th of 2007 that were viewed by over 8 million people

around the world.

Allianz Arena is a personal favorite of

mine because I have actually stood in its presence. It is a timeless design and one

that provided an identity to Tehran’s people shortly before their


it is today and has allowed some of the biggest teams in professional sport to

The whiteboard has been replaced with a

giant video screen the coaches can draw plays on.

It’s iconic design is timeless and brought the Iranian people

together by creating a very imposing feeling. It also has the world’s largest

indoor snow park at 9,842 square feet that features tobogganing hills, a

bobsled track with two side by side tracks, a snowball fight gallery and even a

little cavern to get lost in and pretend you’re in the mountains of Afghanistan

struggling to survive.

is a multi-billion dollar industry that the masses simply can’t get enough

favorite sports but it doesn’t just stop at the stadium anymore.

into brands and complete lifestyles really. In fact, famous Iranian soccer

player Javad Nekounam famously warned the South Korean player Park Ji-sung that

he had never felt anything like playing in the Azadi.

I can’t imagine playing in the stadium let alone being a member of

the crowd. Being inside

it with 70,000 other screaming FC Bayern München fans is one thing but this

stadium is special because of what it looks like outside.

It’s the elevation of sporting that brought this industry to where

Beyond all the steel and glass lies

Cowboys Stadium’s famed television. The

Bird’s Nest goes in the list not because it is the biggest or the most

beautiful, but because it has managed to create an image, a feeling or a state

of mind, for all of China, even if that’s really just brainwashing people into


Wembley Stadium

that all your hard earned money has gone to purchase for the teams and their

It’s been said that

the Azadi is not just a stadium it’s an attitude. There are state of the art

exercise facilities, a ridiculous medical room, and even bathrooms that look

like a spa’s. It spans an incredible 315m, is

mounted at 22° off of straight to support the entire weight of the north roof

and 60% of the weight of the retracting roof. Seriously, this stadium has a

field it can roll in and out on a very specially designed tray so that real

grass can be played on and the field can be quickly converted to necessitate

any number of other playing surfaces. There is the red bowl that houses

the playing area and seating, and the intricate and beautiful exoskeleton that

supports it all. Obviously, somebody who

has access to the video inputs of these massive TV’s is a gamer because there

is some hilarious video of them playing Halo on the monster screen. Everything about the stadium was

built with the unusually arid climate in mind. Its shell is made up of 2,874


air panels that are filled with dry air giving it that puffy look. That can’t be right. I have

to say that standing in front of the Allianz Arena is an absolutely incredible

experience. Cowboys Stadium seats 80,000

people but has had 105,121 people in it with expanded seating which is a few

people but it’s true beauty lies in the design and flourish of the

stadium. Each player

can shower after a game and shave at one of the many sinks in the bathroom. This is really an incredible

accomplishment of efficiency and engineering and they have spared absolutely

nothing to create this incredible building.

dressing rooms for their prized players. The

two center hung LCD’s are now the biggest in the world at 160 by 72 feet and

are actually capable of outputting full 1080p high definition. This allows

for incredibly efficient operation of the building. Because each

pixel is made up of four LED’s Mitsubishi’s patented “Dynamic Pixel” Technology

allows it to borrow the corner LED’s from the four neighboring pixel clusters

allowing for a much cleaner and crisper image. They didn’t stop there though;

the building also uses solar energy to heat the pools, which even reuse the

backwashed pool water using a double-filtered technique, water that would

normally be thrown out.

Anyways, the people picked the nest design and it became a symbol

of not only the Olympics but China as well. It’s not a jumbotron 5000 or anything, it’s

basically the exact same LCD TV hanging above your fireplace at home, but like

forty times bigger. It has a state of the art metal

skin that allows for more desirable temperatures and natural light to enter

inside due to open-air gaps in between the panels. Once

you step in, you see that the room is an oval so that nobody has any corners to

hide in and the coaches can stand right in the middle and eye down players

without a problem.

The Azadi was built in 1971 by the then Shah Mohammad Reza Shah

Pahlavi and succeeded miraculously at creating not only a place for Iranians to

play soccer, but an attitude. What the team of architects, led by Gae Aulenti,

effectively ended up doing was building a building within a building.

Still, the last thing you would expect to see there is a ski hill.

Leave it to the East’s richest princes to attempt the impossible.

There are two giant fogged glass doors bearing the team’s logo

that slide open like on the Enterprise. It

is right next to the mall of the emirates so you can do your shopping, then hit

the slopes feeling like an absolute spoiled brat. The stadium is home to many high

profile soccer and rugby games, as well as some of the biggest concerts in the

world. The

boys would quite literally never have to leave the dressing room if they didn’t

want to, and who would with digs like this? Bet you never thought you’d see a

hockey team’s dressing room in a list with the Allianz Arena.

construct some of the most ridiculous stadiums, suites for their guests, and

The Birds Nest Stadium

Ski Dubai

The Vancouver Canucks play in a sold

out GM place for every single game. The

stadium was designed by architects Foster + Partners and its signature feature

is a massive circular section lattice arch. It

reminds me of the trucks that NASA uses to transport its engines.

The bubble like shell that houses the

pools was developed at Dublin’s Trinity University due to extensive studies on

the structural properties of soap bubbles. The whole

building is designed as a giant fridge and uses many of the same


One that might not get as much coverage as you would normally get

for a marvel of this caliber due to our, how do I put this lightly, tension

with their so called President. Either end of the stadium is

adorned with a massive glass door that admits views in and out of the stadium

and allows for a whole lot of natural light to get in.

London’s new Wembley Stadium was, at

the time it was built, the most expensive sports arena in the world.

It is in this list that we will explore the most ridiculous things

Tehran, Iran has one of my personal

favorite stadiums in the world. When it had been completed and

finally opened in 2007, the bill was an absolutely staggering 800 million

pounds, which works out to roughly 1.57 billion American dollars

Drinks bet lands Ukraine PM in trouble | Reuters

A widely-distributed photograph showed the usually-dour white-haired prime minister smiling broadly, a Ukrainian football scarf round his neck, as he raised a pint of beer with his Swedish guest.

Azarov bet Swedish fan Ola Sjostedt a beer that Ukraine would beat Sweden in their opening Group D match in the tournament last Monday.

KIEV It seemed a light-hearted gesture of soccer goodwill at the time, but a drinks bet Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov had with a Swedish fan at Euro 2012 has brought the wrath of the opposition down on him.

He said Azarov should pay a fine of 85 hryvnias ($10) – the usual level of punishment for an administrative offence – and he called on the Kiev police to take necessary action to see this was done.

“It is shameful and inadmissible when the leaders of the country contradict the law and the principles of defending morality by beginning to publicize consumption of strong drink during working hours and on state premises,” said Tomenko.

With political infighting in Ukraine running at a high pitch, the opposition was quick to pounce.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Leading opposition deputy Mykola Tomenko, in a statement on an opposition party website, reminded the 64-year-old Azarov that drinking alcohol – even weak alcohol – was strictly prohibited on official premises.

When the home team beat the Swedes 2-1, Azarov duly invited Sjostedt to sup a beer with him at government offices in Kiev.

How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game.

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created.

How the Opening Line Is Made

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC) .

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines.

Contributed by:

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line.

RJ Bell

© 2006


“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said.

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. Reasons for such adjustments include:

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias.

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor).

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account.

Why the Line Changes

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’).

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays