Wankhede Stadium for us Indians is the ‘Mecca of Indian Cricket’.
The atmosphere at stadiums is absolutely enthralling. Watching a match with thousands of people, cheering and supporting your favourite player is one-of-a-kind. Millions of sports fans jam stadiums each year to watch their favourite teams compete. But the idea of stadiums is not a recent construction.
The idea of a big “bowl” with terraced steps on which people can sit goes back nearly 3.000 years, to the time of the ancient Greeks. When the first Olympic Games were held, the events took place in a magnificent stadium built the place for the occasion in the city-state of Olympia.
Yankee Stadium in New York City, for example, is mainly a place to play baseball. Yet it has also held huge crowds attending a concert or seeing the Pope during his visit to the United States.
Ancient stadiums were smaller than modern stadiums. One of the largest, the Colosseum in Rome, could hold perhaps 40,000 people. Modern stadiums have room for many more. For example, the soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, can hold 200,000 people, and one in Prague, Czechoslovakia, has a capacity of 240,000. (Source: World History, People and Nations)
However, the idea of putting a roof over a stadium is a modern innovation, if not the idea of constructing one. It solves the one problem that makes scheduling events in the open air so difficult: bad weather.
Sports and sporting events have caught the fancy of man for thousands of years. Although streaming platforms, television, and mobile devices have changed the way sports have been viewed the world over, nothing beats the stadium experience. The excitement and the air of euphoria that engulfs one, which transforms into a nail-biting finale does call for the need to provide a place for a large number of people to watch an event together, at the same time. The stadium remains the best way of meeting that need.