Rungrado 1st of May Stadium

Coordinates: 39°02′59″N 125°46′31″E / 39.04963°N 125.77537°E / 39.04963; 125.77537
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Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Full nameThe Rungrado 1st of May Stadium Pyongyang
Former namesRungrado May Day Stadium
LocationRungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea
Coordinates39°02′59″N 125°46′31″E / 39.04963°N 125.77537°E / 39.04963; 125.77537
Field sizeMain pitch – 22,500 m2 (242,000 sq ft)
Total floor space – over 207,000 m2 (2,230,000 sq ft)
SurfaceArtificial turf[1]
Broke ground1986
Opened1 May 1989 (1989-05-01)
North Korea national football team
North Korea women's national football team
April 25 Sports Club
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Revised RomanizationNeungnado 5(o)-wol 1(ir)-il Gyeonggijang
McCune–ReischauerRŭngrado Owŏl Iril Kyŏnggijang
Exterior of Rungrado May Day Stadium
Arirang Festival, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung.

The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium occupying an area of 20.7 hectares (51 acres) on Rungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea. It opened on 1 May 1989, with its first major event being the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students. It is the second largest stadium in the world by seating capacity. The stadium can officially hold up to a maximum of 114,000 spectators.[2]


The stadium is currently used for football matches, a few athletics events, and most often for the mass games of the Arirang Festival.


The stadium's scalloped roof features 16 arches arranged in a ring, and resembles a magnolia blossom. It hosts events on a main pitch covering 22,500 m2 (242,000 sq ft). Its total floor space is over 207,000 m2 (2,230,000 sq ft) across eight stories, and the lobes of its roof peak at more than 60 m (200 ft) above the ground.[citation needed] The stadium was originally built with an official capacity of 150,000. After a 2014 remodel which included the replacement of some bench seating with individual seats, observers estimated a new capacity of approximately 114,000.[3][4] It was later confirmed in November 2022 that the stadium is still expandable up to 150,000.[2]


After the 1988 Summer Olympics had been awarded to Seoul, North Korea intensified its efforts to present itself as the legitimate Korean state. As part of these efforts, it successfully bid to organize the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang in 1989. Massive construction projects were initiated in preparation for the festival, one of which was the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium. At the time of completion, it was the largest stadium ever built in Asia.[5][6]

While the stadium is used for sporting events, it is more frequently the site of massive performances and shows celebrating President Kim Il Sung and the North Korean nation. In June–July 2002, it was the site of the giant Arirang Festival gymnastic and artistic performance. The extravaganza involved over 100,000 participants—double the number of spectators,[7] and was open to foreigners. These performances are now an annual feature in Pyongyang, usually in August and September. The event was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in 2007 as the largest gymnastics display ever, with 100,090 participants.[8]

Collision in Korea, the largest professional wrestling pay-per-view event ever, was held at Rungrado Stadium on 28–29 April 1995. Attendance was 150,000 and 190,000, respectively, according to local authorities.[9]

After a two-year renovation project, the stadium reopened in 2015. In July 2017, the Rungrado Stadium played host to six group stage matches as part of 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualification.[10]

In the September 2018 inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea gave a speech with Chairman Kim Jong Un to 150,000 North Korean spectators. The speech has themes of unification, peace, and cooperation.[11]

In July 2019, Kim Jong Un hosted Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping to a special Grand Mass Gymnastics and Artistic performance called "Invincible Socialism", on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of China–North Korea relations.

In 31 December 2022, a concert was held on the grounds of the stadium, commemorating the New Year's Eve, which was presided over by Kim Jong Un and along with other high-profile Workers' Party of Korea officials.

Notable events[edit]

Annual events[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "North Korea: Rungrado May Day to undergo thorough revamp". Stadium DB. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b Ansari, Aarish (17 November 2022). "Biggest football stadium in the world: Rungrado 1st of May and Camp Nou among top".
  3. ^ "North Korea: Kim's shrinking pride". stadiumdb. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  4. ^ "World's Largest Stadia In North Korea, USA That Can Rival Gujarat's Motera Stadium". Economic Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  5. ^ Cha, Victor (2012). The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future. London: Random House. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4481-3958-3.
  6. ^ Mann, Chris (24 November 2009). "The 10 largest football stadiums in the world". Sports Lens. Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  7. ^ Watts, Jonathan (17 May 2002). "Despair, hunger and defiance at the heart of the greatest show on earth". The Guardian. London.
  8. ^ "Largest gymnastic display".
  9. ^ "16 PPVs NOT On The WWE Network – Page 5". 17 July 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Schedule & Results". Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  11. ^ S. Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered public speech in front of some 150,000 Pyeongyang citizens on YouTube published 19 September 2018 Arirang News

External links[edit]