With fandom growing, multimedia revenue streams expanding, and amenities multiplying, sports stadiums are growing more expensive.
When the new Vikings Stadium opens in 2016, it will have cost the team, private contributors, and state and Minneapolis taxpayers more than $1 billion. It's a giant sum -- enough money to cover a football pitch in $100 bills more than 19 times over. But as of right now it's not quite enough to compete with the costliest sports stadiums.
Here's a rundown of the five most expensive stadiums in professional sports.
All figures have been converted into 2014 U.S. dollars, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI inflation calculator.
1. MetLife Stadium, completed 2010, $1.7 billion
At twice the size of the New York Giants stadium it was designed to replace, this behemoth has the largest permanent seating capacity of any NFL stadium. Everything about MetLife is lavish: the scoreboards are 118 feet long, the suites cost up to $1 million per season, it hosts more football games than any other NFL stadium, it's been named the top grossing stadium in the world.
2. Yankee Stadium, 2009, $1.6 billion
George Steinbrenner's massive ballpark was designed to mimic the dimensions and aesthetics of the iconic "House That Ruth Built." The stadium's roof features a replica of the 1923 stadium's copper frieze and Monument Park was preserved. Improvements include a high-definition scoreboard six times larger than the previous stadium's screen and almost thrice as many luxury suites. The total capacity was actually reduced by more than 6,000 seats.
3. Olympic Stadium (Montreal), 1976, $1.6 billion
Built for the 1976 summer Olympics, it took taxpayers 30 years to pay off the total cost of the stadium, earning it the nickname, "The Big Owe." The Montreal Tower, the world's tallest inclined tower, offers a view down into the stadium when the retractable roof is open, though the roof has been plagued with ripping problems that often mean it needs to stay shut.
4. Wembley Stadium, 2007, $1.4 billion
The 90,000-seater might not be the world's biggest or most expensive stadium, but it has more toilets--2,618--than any other stadium in the world. Designed around a central bowl, the London stadium is primarily used for soccer and rugby games. The stadium website points out, British-ly, that it's capable of holding the "equivalent of 25,000 double-decker buses or 7 billion pints of milk."
5. Cowboys Stadium, 2009, $1.3 billion
The comically large video scoreboard -- bigger than a basketball court -- has twice been hit by punters during football games. During the Super Bowl in 2011, more than 100,000 people crammed into the stadium, and 3,000 more watched on TV screens outside.
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