Rungrado 1st of May Stadium

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Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Views from Yanggakdo International Hotel 10.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
Capacity 114 000[1][2]
Field size Main pitch- 22,500 m²
Total floor space- over 207,000 m²
Opened May 1, 1989 (1989-05-01)
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)
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Chosŏn'gŭl 릉라도 5월1일 경기장
Revised Romanization Neungnado 5(o)-wol 1(ir)-il Gyeonggijang
McCune–Reischauer Rŭngnado Owŏl Iril Kyŏnggijang
Exterior of Rungrado May Day Stadium

The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, completed on May 1, 1989. It is currently the largest stadium in the world, with a capacity of 114,000, and occupies 20.7 hectares (51 acres).


Stadium at night
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 Festival performances (also known as the Mass Games). The stadium can seat 114,000,[3] which is the largest stadium by capacity in the world.

Its name comes from Rungrado 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 a large choreographed "Arirang Festival" gymnastic and artistic performance. The extravaganza involved for the first time some 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 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.[5]

In 2000 Kim Jong-il entertained Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.[6] Collision in Korea was the largest professional wrestling pay-per-view event ever that was jointly produced by World Championship Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It took place over a period of two days on April 28 and 29, 1995 at the stadium and had an alleged attendance of 150,000 and 190,000. It did not air in North America until August 4, 1995. The attendance figure may have been greatly exaggerated, and American wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has stated, more realistically, that the actual combined attendance for the two-day-event was somewhere around 160,000 total.[7]

After a 2-year renovation project, the stadium reopened its doors in 2015.

Notable Events[edit]

Annual Events

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Rungrado 1st of May Stadium". World of Stadiums. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Rungrado 1st of May Stadium – Football Stadium". Football-Lineups. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Watts, Jonathan (17 May 2002). "Despair, hunger and defiance at the heart of the greatest show on earth". The Guardian. London. 
  5. ^ Soukhorukov, Sergey (13 June 2004). "Train blast was 'a plot to kill North Korea's leader'". The Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ "Is Kim her next challenge?". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "16 PPVs NOT On The WWE Network – Page 5". 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 

External links[edit]