Rungrado 1st of May Stadium

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Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Views from Yanggakdo International Hotel 10.JPG
Full nameThe Rungrado 1st of May Stadium Pyongyang
Former namesRungrado May Day Stadium
LocationRungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea
Coordinates39°2′58″N 125°46′31″E / 39.04944°N 125.77528°E / 39.04944; 125.77528Coordinates: 39°2′58″N 125°46′31″E / 39.04944°N 125.77528°E / 39.04944; 125.77528
Capacityc. 150,000
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]
Construction
Broke ground1986
Built1986–1989
Opened1 May 1989 (1989-05-01)
Tenants
North Korea national football team
North Korea women's national football team
April 25 Sports Club
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
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 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 largest stadium in the world by seating capacity.[2] The site occupies an area of 20.7 hectares (51 acres).

Uses[edit]

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

Design[edit]

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]

History[edit]

After the 1988 Summer Olympics had been awarded to Seoul, North Korea doubled down 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.[3]

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,[4] 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.[5]

Collision in Korea, the largest professional wrestling pay-per-view event ever, was held at Rungrado Stadium on April 28-29, 1995. Attendance was 150,000 and 190,000, respectively, according to local authorities.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.

Notable events[edit]

Annual events[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "North Korea: Rungrado May Day to undergo thorough revamp". Stadium DB. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Rungrado 1st of May Stadium – Football Stadium". Football-Lineups. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  3. ^ Cha, Victor (2012). The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future. London: Random House. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4481-3958-3.
  4. ^ Watts, Jonathan (17 May 2002). "Despair, hunger and defiance at the heart of the greatest show on earth". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-gymnastic-display
  6. ^ "16 PPVs NOT On The WWE Network – Page 5". Whatculture.com. 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  7. ^ "Schedule & Results". Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. ^ S. Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered public speech in front of some 150,000 Pyeongyang citizens on YouTube published Sep 19, 2018 Arirang News

External links[edit]