Abandoned Stadiums That Will Haunt Your Tepid Soul
Left and forgotten, abandoned stadiums are a sad and creepy sight. Here are some of the spookiest abandoned stadiums and sports venues in the world today.
The Detroit Tigers have been searching for a World Series victory since 1984. Their fans have also been searching for the people responsible for the demolition of Tiger Stadium. From 1912 through 1999, Tiger Stadium was home to the Detroit Tigers, and from 1938-1974 the Lions called Tiger Stadium home.
In 1975, the site was declared a State of Michigan Historic Site, and in 1989 the hallowed grounds were added to the list of National Register of Historic Places. Despite these protective designations, Tiger Stadium was unable to avoid demolition, which took place in 2009. In 2000, the Tigers moved to their current home, Comerica Park.
Athens Olympics Beach Volleyball
The 2004 Olympics was a homecoming of sorts, considering the whole Olympic idea spawned in ancient Greece. What was supposed to be a joyous affair for the Greeks actually became a recurring nightmare that hasn’t fully been resolved. The 2004 games, by and large, were considered a success. The level of competition was fierce, the venues were nice, and no major negative events detracted from the athletes.
However, for Greece, they finished 15th place in the overall medal count, not the ideal number for the host nation. To boot, following the games their economy tanked. As a result, the vast majority of the venues built specifically for the games are now abandoned and in shambles.
The 2016 Summer Olympics, held in Rio de Janeiro, was the first time the Olympic Games were held in South America. They were also the only time a summer Olympics was held in the host country’s winter season. Digest that yet? Good. These games were also the second to be held in a developing country after the 1968 games in Mexico City.
Leading up to the games, many people were concerned with the Zika virus epidemic and the pollution found in Guanabara Bay, where many events were held. Fortunately, nothing came of the virus and all aquatic events in the bay were smooth sailing. After the Olympics, which saw Brazil win seven gold medals, the vast majority of stadiums, venues, and courses were abandoned.
By the looks of things, water quality, not air quality, should have been the main concern leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The 2008 Olympics were the most expensive summer games of all time, and the second most expensive overall. Overall, the games were considered a success. One of those successes was the quality of the facilities that were erected in China prior to the Olympics.
However, like many other Olympic host cities, the venues, at the game’s conclusion, turned into unused concrete monoliths. Stadiums and arenas became eyesores that populated the city. One of those eyesores, which now looks more like a polluted moat guarding a defunct castle, was the Shunyi canoeing and kayaking park.
The city of Houston needed a hero, and they got one in the shape of a domed stadium. The Astrodome opened in 1965 to much fanfare. Dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome was an early adopter of artificial turf. The turf, later dubbed AstroTurf, was one of many quirky elements in the cavernous dome both the Astros and Oilers called home for decades.
In 2014, the Astrodome was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Houston’s most recognizable dome remains largely unused and exists in a partially decrepit state. During Hurricane Katrina, the Astrodome became a temporary shelter for thousands of displaced residents from the South East.
What has since become a place for teens to presumably meet up after dark and do illicit things was once the Olympic luge and bobsled track from the 1984 Winter Olympics. Those graffiti-covered walls once were pristine slabs of concrete covered in a thin sheet of ice. The ’84 Winter Olympics, held in Sarajevo, the capital of the now-dissolved state of Yugoslavia, went by without too many fireworks.
Really, the most exciting part of those games is what has since become of the venues. Since the Bosnian war, the abandoned vestiges of the 84′ games have taken on an eerie feel, often covered with graffiti, overrun with overgrown vegetation, and filled with bullet holes from the armed conflict that engulfed the region.
Is this a military base in Siberia or a harbor outside of Seattle? If you guessed the first option, you’d be thousands of miles off. What is pictured here is an exterior shot of Seattle’s famed Kingdome, home of the Seahawks and Mariners from the 1970s through 1999. The Kingdome was a quirky fan-favorite of those Seattle faithful, but the loveable dome wasn’t without its fair share of problems.
In 1994, a portion of the ceiling collapsed during the Mariners’ pre-game warmups. This narrowly avoided disaster, along with the other minor incidents, was the impetus for the city to approve funding for new stadiums. On March 26, 2000, the Kingdome was demolished by implosion.
Maybe the Lions’ problems didn’t start on the field and actually begin with this horrendous stadium that. The Pontiac Silverdome opened in 1975 in Pontiac, Michigan, to much fanfare. The stadium was the largest in the NFL and featured many architectural firsts like it’s Teflon-coated dome. But like the car brand of its namesake, the Silverdome was doomed.
An isolated eyesore nestled in the Michigan tundra, the Silverdome served as the Lion’s cage until 2001. Once the Lions left for Ford Field, the dome remained largely unused and vacant. In 2017, after years of going unused, the dome was partially demolished. In 2018, the final crippling blows brought down the remainder of the dome.
Nansen Ski Jump
Milan, New Hampshire, with a population of about 1,000 people, is but a blip on the radar. However, back in 1936, Milan was the talk of the town and region, thanks to the newly-built Nansen Ski Jump. At the time, it was the largest ski jump in the eastern United States and was the spot where Olympians from the east coast would train.
The glory days of the Nansen Ski Jump left as quickly as they came, and by 1988, the jump was out of use and left to rot. Recently, conservation efforts have been launched to restore the jump to its original beauty. Today, the jump still stands in the middle of a park managed by the state.
The beloved home stadium for the New York Mets stood from 1964-2008. The quirky stadium, located in Queens, was iconic for its rising apple after Mets home runs, neon signage located throughout the concourses, and its orange foul poles, the only of its kind in MLB. Although Shea was a fan-favorite, ownership, aligning with the stadium modernization trend, decided a new stadium was necessary.
In 2009, the Mets moved into their new abode, Citi Field, leaving old Shea abandoned and forgotten. The demolition of Shea was completed in early 2009, much to the chagrin of the diehard Mets fans who refused to accept their old stadium’s fate.
The politically charged 1936 Olympics in Berlin were the first games to be televised and were considered, at the time, the most decadent Olympics to date. Behind the lavish facade of nice venues was the evil rooted in pre-war Germany, namely the blatant racism and anti-Semitism that was displayed at the games.
Despite the outward display of racism, African-American athlete Jesse Owens led the games with four gold medals. Germany led all countries in the overall medal count with the United States coming in second. These games were the last Olympics until 1948, following the end of World War II.
What happened to the storied program that belonged to the Miami Hurricanes? The Canes were once the most dominant team in the land and the most coveted program for recruits. Somehow, someway, somewhere, this trend stopped, and the Canes began to fade into irrelevancy. Today, the program is a shell of itself, and the stadium that once housed all of its glory no longer stands.
The Miami Orange Bowl was the iconic venue of the Dolphins until the conclusion of the 1986 season and was the home of the Hurricanes until the end of the 2007 season. Demolition of the stadium concluded in May of 2008.
With all due respect, Boothferry Park, Hull City A.F.C.’s home from 1946-2002, looked like an absolute dump. The stadium held about 16,000 people and was a landmark for the light towers that rose above the city of Hull, England. Combine the perpetually bleak, gray skies of England with the old stadium design that lacked color, personality, and any luxury amenities and you have Boothferry Park.
It was a forgettable venue that was literally forgotten. After Hull City left, the stadium sat abandoned for years while vandals raided and graffitied the place to their heart’s content. In 2011, the final demolition took place, clearing Hull of this monstrosity.
Back to Athens we go. What’s left to be said about the 2004 Olympics? We mentioned the economic collapse following the games, we touched on the immense amount of feta cheese and pita bread that was consumed, and we spoke about how the games came and went without any major incidents. We also discussed the utter disregard Athens has had for their Olympic venues.
Pictured below is the softball field that once saw some of the world’s greatest softball players hit massive dingers to Sparta and throw pitches faster than any Greek God could ever throw their spear. Today, the venue is abandoned, with weeds and other shrubs taking over the infield.
Montreal Olympic Park
What you’re looking at here is the Olympic Park built for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. The ’76 Games are generally considered to be lackluster, with the city of Montreal being strapped with debt for decades following the games. The games were also boycotted by dozens of nations, leading to a politically charged climate with less competition.
Other issues included the incredibly expensive yet highly dysfunctional Olympic Stadium, pictured in the background. The stadium was way over budget and was supposed to include a retractable roof. The roof, as it turned out, never fully worked and was a giant headache.
This eerie picture shows just how devastating the Bosnian War of the mid-90s was. The field that is currently marked by hundreds of gravestones was once part of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. The stadium in the background, the one that looks like it absorbed dozens of missiles, was once the area where the world’s greatest athletes congregated.
Today, it’s nothing more than a reminder of the violence and death that transpired a decade after the games concluded. East Germany led the 1984 Games with nine gold medals while the Soviet Union led all countries in the overall medal count with 25.
The 1988 Olympics, held in Seoul, South Korea, were the last games for the Soviet Union and East Germany. Wanting to go out with a bang, the Soviets dominated the medal count by massive margins. These games were also the last time Team U.S.A. basketball was represented exclusively by amateurs.