There are many sports stadiums around the globe that double up as concert venues, particularly when the big rock bands come to town on tour. Traditional music venues don’t tend to have sufficient capacity for the really big acts, however achieving a really good sound in a stadium that is designed for sport presents audio engineers with unique challenges. Nowadays, sports stadiums are just as likely to hold concerts for pop acts as much as the big and established rock acts such as Green Day, U2, The Rolling Stones and Metallica.
In Britain, the largest sports stadium that is also used for rock concerts in Wembley. The football stadium is right next door to a sizeable indoor arena that is used for gigs, but the stadium itself is also used when the need arises. Wembley can hold 90,000 spectators but in concert mode, when the playing area is given over to gig goers, 105,000 can fit in. Muse were the first rock act to sell Wembley out, in 2007. U2 have also performed there.
The Edinburgh stadium of Murrayfield is where Scotland host international rugby fixtures, however it is also home to some of the country’s largest rock concerts. The final Live 8 concert of 2005 was held there. Murrayfield has also hosted gigs from rockers such as Kings of Leon, Oasis and Bon Jovi.
The Rogers Centre in Toronto was originally called SkyDome and was designed for multi purpose use. As well as being home for baseball and football sides it is also a convention centre. The stadium is also a respected concert venue which has the unusual benefit of being covered. Bruce Springsteen has played there as has U2 and the Rolling Stones, in 2005.
The Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, is a sports stadium with a normal capacity of 78,000. It is home to the city’s NFL football team but is also a venue for rock concerts. The Who, Van Halen, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd have all played there.