Rungnado May Day Stadium

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Rungnado 1st of May Stadium
Arirang Mass Games 01.JPG
Location Pyongyang, North Korea
Coordinates 39°2′58.47″N 125°46′30.79″E / 39.0495750°N 125.7752194°E / 39.0495750; 125.7752194Coordinates: 39°2′58.47″N 125°46′30.79″E / 39.0495750°N 125.7752194°E / 39.0495750; 125.7752194
Opened May 1, 1989
Owner DPR Korea
Capacity 150,000
Field dimensions Main pitch- 22,500 m²
Total floor space- over 207,000 m²
Parades/shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and North Korea.
Arirang Festival
North Korea national football team (some games)
North Korea women's national football team (some games)
Rungnado May Day Stadium
Chosŏn'gŭl 릉라도 5월1일 경기장
Revised Romanization Neungnado 5(o)-wol 1(ir)-il Gyeonggijang
McCune–Reischauer Rŭngnado Owŏl Iril Kyŏnggijang
Overview of the stadium and adjacent Taedong river

The Rungnado 1st of May Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, completed on May 1, 1989. It is regarded as the largest stadium in the world, with a capacity of 150,000, and occupying over 207,000 m².


Arirang Festival, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung.

It is currently used for football matches, a few athletics events, but most often for Arirang performances (also known as the Mass Games). The stadium can seat 150,000,[1] which is one of the largest stadium capacity in the world and the world's 12th largest sporting venue.[2]

Its name comes from Rungnado Islet in the Taedong River, upon which it is situated, and May Day, the international labour day. Its scalloped roof features 16 arches arranged in a ring, and it is said to resemble a magnolia blossom. It is not to be confused with the nearby 50,000 capacity Kim Il-sung Stadium.

It hosts events on a main pitch sprawling across over 22,500 m² (242,200 ft²). Its total floor space is over 207,000 m² (2.2 million ft²) across eight stories, and the lobes of its roof peak at more than 60 m (197 ft) from the ground.

While the stadium is used for sporting events, it is most famous as the site of massive performances and shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and the North Korean nation. In June–July 2002 it was the site of the colossal and meticulously choreographed "Arirang" gymnastic and artistic performance (often referred to elsewhere as "mass games"). The extravaganza involved for the first time some 100,000+ participants—double the number of spectators[3]— and was open to foreigners, a rare occurrence. These performances are now an annual feature in Pyongyang, usually in August and September. The Guinness Book of Records has recognized these events as the largest in the world.

In the late 1990s, a number of North Korean army generals implicated in an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-Il were executed via burning in the stadium.[4]

It was also the venue in which Kim Jong-Il in 2000 entertained Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The World's Largest Sporting Venues | Stadium Atlas
  2. ^ The 11 venues larger than Rungnado are all automobile racing courses. See Sporting Sights
  3. ^ Watts, Jonathan (17 May 2002). "Despair, hunger and defiance at the heart of the greatest show on earth". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ Soukhorukov, Sergey (13 June 2004). "Train blast was 'a plot to kill North Korea's leader'". The Daily Telegraph. 
  5. ^ "Is Kim her next challenge?". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rŭngnado Stadium at Wikimedia Commons