North Korea national football team | Rungrado 1st of May Stadium
Capacity: 150,000 (all seated)
Address: Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Rungra Island, Pyongyang, North Korea
Telephone: +86 186 2833 0895
Pitch Size: 106m x 68m
Pitch Type: Natural grass
Club Nickname: Chollima
Year Ground Opened: 1989
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Red
Away Kit: White
The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, or also known as the May Day Stadium, is the largest stadium across the globe. Situated in the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, the May Day Stadium has a capacity of 150,000. Even though the size manages to exceed many other stadiums in the world by a comfortable margin, the May Day stadium also has an impeccable history after hosting a wide spread of events since its opening in 1989. The construction was carried out on a 20.7 hectare plot. Over the years has managed to host several high-profile events like the World Festival of Youth and Students in the 13th edition. This ground also holds the Guinness record for the highest number of gymnastic participants when more than 100,000 individuals put up a spectacular show in 2007.
What is it like for visiting supporters?
The design of the May Day Stadium will be able to lend a positive impression to begin with. The stadium has been constructed to resemble a parachute or flower with its 16 arches, which also act as the roof. The top of the roof, meanwhile, is an impressive 197 feet away from the ground. There are eight levels in the stadium with total space coming at more than 200,000 square metres. This mammoth stadium also comes up with a lot of facilities like locker rooms, storage, offices, training facilities, and more than 1300 rooms.
Despite being the largest stadium in the world, the May Day Stadium can be filled or emptied within 15 minutes thanks to the availability of more than 80 entrances. Some of the entrances, though, are accessible only by the highest leaders of the state.
How to get there by car & Where to park?
One of the big challenges when it comes to experiencing the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium will be getting to the stadium itself. Since North Korea has a very strict regime that limits freedom for many of the visitors, it can be difficult for visiting supporters from other parts of the world to get to the stadium by car. However, it remains accessible by bus and car – the former being used more widely by the many tours operated by the state. Unlike in many locations where the stadium is kept outside the city centre, Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is in the middle of the city. It is flanked by water on all sides as a result of being situated on the Rungra island. Rungrado 1st of May Stadium has excellent views of the Taedonggang River. The exact number of parking spots available at the ground remains unknown, but most of the 150,000 spectators who could visit the ground are likely to take public transport.
By train or metro
Even though there are several ways of getting to the May Day stadium, the best option will be to use the numerous tours available. Many of these tours will be able to bring together an experience of North Korea and its various attractions. The standalone tours are also available. In this case, the travelling and amenities will be taken care of by the package. If fans want to directly with the ground, the subway has decent connectivity. The Jonsung and Kaeson stations are close to the ground. From the Kaeson Station, fans may have to walk for 5 km to reach the ground. The Jonsung station is also at a similar distance. At the end of the day, it can be a lot more difficult to reach Pyongyang rather than getting to the stadium itself from the city centre.
The ticket prices for a game involving North Korea at the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium can differ depending on the opponent. A friendly match is unlikely to be priced at the same level as a World Cup qualifier. Apart from the sporting events, this ground also has plenty of action in non-sporting events.
Programme and Fanzines
Young Pioneer Tours
There is not a great deal of information about the disabled facilities on offer. One cannot expect a stadium that is bang up to date with facilities for the disabled spectators. After having been constructed in the late 1980s, Rungrado 1st of May Stadium will be able to offer basic facilities. However, users may not be able to come across special handicap accessible entrances and the toilets are also not disabled-friendly.
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium Tours
There are individual tours that focus only on football or some tour operators can also provide access through guided tours. The enormity of the stadium can be felt completely when a decent amount of time is allocated to explore every facet. The recommended duration for a complete tour of this ground is 90 minutes.
Some of the facilities that can be explored during a tour of the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium would be the recreation rooms, training halls, ultrasonic bath, indoor swimming pool, and more. There are several dining rooms along with a broadcast room that are designed to accommodate teams and staff in absolute comfort. One of the unique elements about this ground would be the presence of an indoor running track. A tour gives an opportunity to experience this feature, which is available on the sixth floor.
Record and Average Attendance
‘Collision in Korea’ in 1995: 150,000