The 20 Oldest Stadiums and Theaters in America, in Photos

The United States has a long and rich history in sports and theater, which can partly be told through its stadiums.

Eight of the ten largest stadiums in the world are also in the U.S., the largest American stadium being Michigan stadium, which can seat more than 107,000 spectators.

The country's oldest stadiums and theaters have been around for centuries. While it is no longer standing, the first permanent American theatre was built in 1766 in Philadelphia.

Here are the 20 oldestsurviving stadiums and theaters in America...

20. Bryant-Denny Stadium, 1929

College football stadium Bryant-Denny Stadium is located in Alabama and is home to the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was built in 1929 and was last expanded in 2010.

Today, the stadium has capacity for more than 100,000 fans, making it one of the largest in the U.S.

Bryant Denny Stadium
Bryant-Denny Stadium is in Alabama Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

19. Saenger Theatre, 1927

When it was first built in 1927, the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans could seat about 4,000 spectators.

The theater was destroyed by hurricane Katrina in 2005, but was later renovated and reopened in 2013. Today it can seat 2,600.

Saegner Theatre
New Orleans is well known for its arts scene EMILY KASK/Getty Images

18. Soldier Field, 1924

Soldier Field stadium is the famous home of the Chicago Bears, who first played there in 1971.

According to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the historic stadium can now hold up to 61,500 spectators following its renovation in 2003.

Soldier Field
The Chicago Bears made this stadium their home in 1971 Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

17. Rose Bowl Stadium, 1922

The Californian Rose Bowl Stadium located in Pasadena, celebrates its centenary year in 2022.

Until 1928, the stadium was actually the shape of a horseshoe, with it taking six more years for the south stand to be finished. Today, the stadium has the capacity to hold nearly 100,000 spectators.

Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl stadium took 6 years to complete after its opening Harry How/Getty Images

16. Camp Randall Stadium, 1917

Camp Randall Stadium in Wisconsin is over a century old. It is home to the Wisconsin Badgers, who have been linked to the stadium since its opening in 1917.

The stadium has the capacity for 80,321 fans.

Camp Randall Stadium
The Camp Randall Statium has been home to the Wisconsin Badgers since its opening Christian Petersen/Getty Images

15. The Pantages Theatre, 1916

This Minneapolis Theatre opened as part of Alexander Pantages' renowned consortium of theaters. The theater has the capacity for an audience of 1,014 people.

It was remodeled in 1922 and a stained glass dome was added.

The pAntages theatre
The glass roof on the Pantages Theatre was added in 1922 Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

14. Yale Bowl, 1914

The Yale Bowl stadium—tied to Yale University in Connecticut—was the largest athletic stadium in the world when it opened in 1914.

It has the capacity for 61,446 spectators.

It was the first stadium to have seating that enclosed the playing field.

Yale Bowl
Yale Bowl is the largest stadium in the world Tim Clayton - Corbis/Getty Images

13. Wrigley Field, 1914

Home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field was built in 1914, features an iconic Ivy Wall and boasts the capacity for 46,000 sports fans.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series Championships in 2016.

Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field was built in 1914 Tim Boyle/Getty Images

12. Fenway Park, 1912

Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium and has capacity for nearly 38,000 spectators.

Fenway Park
Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Sox Steve Babineau/Boston Red Sox/MLB Photos/Getty Images

11. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1909

At over a century old, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the oldest and only racetrack on this list.

It covers 560 acres and can host 400,000 spectators.

Indiana motor speedway
This race track is over a century old Chris Graythen/Getty Images

10. Kyle Field, 1904

Kyle Field was built in 1904 and is home to the Texas A&M Aggies, who won their first National Championship in 1919.

The stadium has capacity to seat more than 102,000 fans, making it one of the largest stadiums in college football.

KYle field
Kyle Field Stadium is home to the Texas A&M Aggies Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

9. Harvard Stadium, 1903

Harvard Stadium is 118 years old this fall, and is the nation's oldest permanent concrete structure for intercollegiate athletics.

It was the host of the New England Patriots from 1971 until 1972, and today has a 30,323-seat capacity.

Harvard stadium
Harvard Stadium is 118 years old this fall Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

8. The Grand Opera House, 1884

Situated in Georgia, the Grand Opera House's stage was the largest in the South West when it opened in 1884.

For 30 years, it was used as a cinema but was nearly torn down in the 1960s. It is now managed by Mercer University. The theatre can seat a little more than 1,000 people.

Grand Opera House Georgia
The Grand Opera House in Georgia was the largest in the South West mstroz/Getty Images

7. Mabel Tainter Center, 1889

This theatre in Wisconsin was built in in 1889. It is a Richardsonian Romanesque building, first commissioned by Andrew and Bertha Tainter in memory of their daughter, who loved the arts.

The intimate theatre is relatively small, with space for 261 audience members.

Mabel Tainter center
The Mabel Tainter Center was built as a tribute to Mabel Tainter Buyenlarge/Getty Images

6. Central City Opera House, 1878

The Central City Opera House in Colorado was built in 1878 by Welsh and Cornish miners. The theatre can seat 550 people in its theatre, is still in operation and is the oldest standing opera house in Colorado.

Central city opera house
The Central City Opera house is the oldest opera house in Colorado Archive Photos/Getty Images

5. Franklin Field, 1895

Franklin Field, situated at University of Pennsylvania, is the oldest surviving football stadium in the U.S. and can seat approximately 70,000 fans.

It was the location for the first ever game broadcast on radio all the way back in 1922.

Franklin Field
Franklin Field is often used for athletics Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

4. Churchill Downs, 1875

This stadium was built in 1875, making it nearly 150 years old.

It has a capacity of 170,000 people and is often used for horse racing.

3. Thalian Hall, 1858

Thalian Hall, in Wilmington North Carolina, and has been in almost continuous use since its opening.

It can seat 1,000 people and was renovated in 1909.

Churchill downs
Churchill Downs stadium is in Kentucky Andy Lyons/Getty Images

2. The Savannah Theatre, 1818

The Savannah Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operating theatre sites in the U.S., and is in Georgia.

The theater can seat an audience of 350 people.

The Savannah Theater
The Savannah Theater is nearly 2 centuries old Epics/Getty Images

1. The Walnut Theatre, 1809

The Walnut Theatre is in Philadelphia and was actually originally built for equestrian sporting events.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 before becoming a theatre school 20 years later.

Today, the venue has a 1,054-seat capacity.

Walnut Street Theatre
The Walnut Street Theatre was built over two centuries ago Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts