Which football stadium holds the record for the largest crowd ever to see a football match?
The Maracanã is a stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The stadium is part of a complex that includes an arena known by the name of 'Maracanãzinho', which means "The Little Maracanã" in Portuguese.
The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup. While the major part of the stadium was finished, it still looked like a construction site; it lacked toilet facilities and a press box. Brazilian officials claimed it could seat over 200,000 people, while the Guinness Book of World Records estimated it could seat 180,000 and other sources pegged capacity at 155,000. What is beyond dispute is that Maracanã overtook Hampden Park as the largest stadium in the world.
Brazil progressed to the final round, facing Uruguay in the match (part of a round-robin final phase) that turned out to be the tournament-deciding match on 16 July 1950. Brazil only needed a draw to finish as champion, but Uruguay won the game 2–1, shocking and silencing the massive crowd. This defeat on home soil instantly became a significant event in Brazilian history, being known popularly as the Maracanazo. The official attendance of the final game was 199,854, with the actual attendance estimated to be about 210,000. In any case, it was the largest crowd ever to see a football game, a record that is highly unlikely to be threatened in an era when most international matches are played in all-seater stadiums.