The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is a big stadium on an island in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. It’s as large as 51 football fields and opened in 1989. The first major event there was a youth festival. It’s the biggest stadium in the world and can hold up to 150,000 people. People use it for football, some running races, and most often for big shows celebrating North Korea.
Back in 1989, North Korea wanted to show it was the real Korea, so they organized a big youth festival. They built this huge stadium for it, and at the time, it was the biggest one in Asia. While they do use it for sports, it’s mostly for huge performances about their leader and their country. In 2002, they had a massive show with over 100,000 people, and it’s now a yearly thing. It even got into the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest gymnastics show in 2007. In 1995, the largest professional wrestling event ever, known as Collision in Korea, took place at Rungrado Stadium. It drew crowds of 150,000 and 190,000 people on two different days, according to local authorities.
After a two-year renovation project, the stadium reopened in 2015. In 2017, the Rungrado Stadium hosted six group stage matches as part of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualification. In 2018, during an inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea gave a speech to 150,000 North Korean spectators. Their speech focused on themes of unification, peace, and cooperation.
In 2019, Kim Jong Un hosted Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping for a special Grand Mass Gymnastics and Artistic performance called “Invincible Socialism” to mark the 70th anniversary of China-North Korea relations. On December 31, 2022, a concert was held on the stadium grounds to commemorate New Year’s Eve. The event was presided over by Kim Jong Un and attended by other high-profile Workers’ Party of Korea officials.