Unusual Locations for Sports Venues

Tickets are in demand for the London 2012 beach volleyball arena, to be built on Horse Guards Parade at the heart of Westminster. It’s hardly the first venue to pop up where you’d least expect.

3 September 2012 Michael Long

Braga Municipal Stadium Designed by Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura and built for the 2004 Uefa European Championships at a cost of US$83.1 million, much of the Braga Municipal Stadium’s construction cost – as well as its reputation as one of the most beautiful arenas in Europe – comes as a result of its unique location. A series of controlled explosions saw the current home of Portugal’s Sporting Clube de Braga carved into the side of the Monte Castro quarry. A vertical rock face at one end, the other offers the stadium’s capacity crowd of 33,200 panoramic views of the city of Braga. The Pit Though the city of Albuquerque may be almost exactly one mile high, the University of New Mexico’s basketball stadium is buried 37 feet underground. It is affectionately, and aptly, known as The Pit. The lair of the Lobos, Spanish for wolves, is infamous across America as one of the most intimidating venues for visiting colleges. The arena’s fearsome reputation is aided by the oppressive nature of its construction. Designed by local architect Joe Boehning, steeply banked rows of seats combined with 17,000 howling fans have lead to some of the highest decibel levels recorded in college sport. Hernando Siles Stadium In May 2007, the world governing body of soccer ruled that no World Cup qualifying matches could be played in venues more than 2,500 metres above sea level. At the centre of the argument, soaring 1,137 metres above the imposed boundary, was the 42,000-capacity Hernando Siles Stadium. Located in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, the lofty ground serves as base camp for Bolivia’s national soccer team and has witnessed some of the most historic moments in the country’s sporting history, including victories over Brazil and a 32-year period between 1973 and 2005 where two-time World Cup winners Argentina remained winless. Fifa has since reneged on its initial ruling, raising the limit to 3,000 metres and gifting Bolivia an altitude advantage; in  $%%’K    defeat in 60 years, thrashing their exhausted opponents 6-1. Legend Golf & Safari Resort The Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa is the continent’s longest golf course. Each of its 18 holes has been designed by     credentials are impressive enough, it is the 361-metre long, 430-metre high par three played off the adjacent Hanglip Mountain that has earned the course its place in this list. Accessible only by helicopter, golfers playing on the so-called Extreme 19th must wait an average of 24 seconds for their ball to touch down on the fairway below. Opened in March 2008, a US$1 million prize fund still awaits  # 22 perfectly manicured, Africa-shaped green. Potrero de los Funes Constructed in 1987 before being rebuilt in 2008, the Lago Potrero de los Funes Circuit in San Luis, Argentina is a race track that has won plaudits from drivers and spectators alike. Described by SRO Motorsport’s chief executive, Stephane Ratel, as “one of the most impressive circuits in the world,” the 6.27km track winds its way around the site of an ancient volcano – now a huge lake – and in November 2011 will offer motorsport fans        20 2011 07 {filedir_26}SportsProMag_issue34_20.pdf [26375] [sportspro_july_2011] SportsPro July 2011