5 Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama does its best to live up to the “super” part of its name, seating 175,000 fans for its famed Nascar racing. Some of the fans in Indiana or Japan might be excused for wondering if that adjective isn’t tossed around a bit lightly. But the high-banked oval is the beating heart of Nascar Country—not to mention home to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
4 Shanghai International Circuit
Another mammoth auto-racing venue, China’s Shanghai International Circuit is the second-largest track in Asia and fourth largest in the world. Unlike fellow Asian titan Tokyo Racecourse, however, this track is all about the cars—hosting an annual Formula One event. And Shanghai’s Chinese builders were nothing if not precise: the track seats an even 200,000 fans for its F1 racing, though capacity can swell to more than 250,000 for some events.
3 Texas Motor Speedway
The expression goes that “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and that’s certainly true when it comes to sporting venues. The Texas Motor Speedway is the world’s third-largest site, and the second-largest in America, with a capacity of 212,585. To put these mammoth sizes into perspective, though, if Texas truly wants to live up to the cliche, its owners will have to find a way to add 45,000 seats to claim the “sports venue” checkered flag.
2 Tokyo Racecourse
Tokyo Racecourse hosts races that feature a different kind of horsepower: horses themselves. The world’s largest horse racing track is also the world’s second-largest sports venue, with a capacity of 223,000 fans. But ticket buyer, beware: The track has only 13,750 seats—which could mean a whole lot of standing around. It seems the ponies aren’t the only ones with tired legs after these Japanese races.
1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The fabled Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has seen some of the world’s most famous auto racers strut their stuff on its track. And every year at the Indy 500, a whopping 257,325 spectators see the open-wheel drivers chase the fabled title. And that’s just the permanent seats. The infield can accommodate another 143,000—bringing the total to 400,000, or about four and a half times the seating at the Los Angeles Coliseum.