SPORTS stadiums always look at their best when packed to the rafters but many become devoid of life when failing to move with the times.
Whether it be football matches, the Olympics or concerts, stadiums are most special for bringing thousands of people together.
But unfortunately, for every brand-spanking new arena, there is an old, decrepit abandoned one.
Crowd levels, economic issues or unplanned and tragic events are just some of the reasons for stadiums being forgotten about or unused as many fail to stand the test of time.
Here are some of the world's largest and iconic stadiums that have been lost in time and left to crumble and rot away.
Guangzhou FC Stadium
Former Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande began working on a fresh 100,000-seater stadium in April 2020.
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However, The Evergrande Group, one of China’s largest property developers and owners of the club, has since racked up debts of around £220billion.
As a result, the half-built stadium was seized by the Chinese government in November 2021, before the project was ultimately cancelled in mid-2022.
Stands with part-filled seats and abandoned cranes are all that's left on the site of the half-built stadium.
The former home of Ukrainian Premier League champions Shakhtar Donetsk has remain unused for almost 10 years since being abandoned in 2014.
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The Donbass Arena, with a capacity of 52,187, once hosted four games at the European Championships in 2012 – including England's 1-1 draw with France.
But due to the Donbas war, it has been left in a sorry state after being shelled on the outside.
Heavy damage was sustained to the turnstiles and entrances to the arena as an result of two explosions and it is unknown if the stadium will ever be used again.
The world's first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium was deemed the "Eight Wonder of the World" after opening in 1965.
It quickly became the third most visited man-made attraction in the United States, until the new modern NRG Stadium opened next door in 2002.
It sheltered 25,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but was then declared non-compliant with fire codes in 2008.
Parts of the dome were demolished as a result of several years of disuse, although others still stand to this day.
Great Strahov Stadium
Based in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, the Strahov Stadium hasn't hosted a competitive sport event since 2019.
The sheer size of this venue, however, made it the fourth largest sports stadium to ever be built anywhere in the world – holding 250,000 spectators (56,000 seated).
Nowadays, it serves as the training ground of Czech giants Sparta Prague, but remains frail and crumbling from the oustide.
Pictures offer a post-apocalyptic feel about the place, with its neglected exterior serving it no justice for what it used to be.#
Once home to the New York Mets baseball team and NFL giants the New York Jets, the Shea Stadium welcomed tens of thousands of spectators.
After opening in 1964, it served as one of New York's most iconic sports venues and hosted a famous Beatles concert in 1965.
But all was lost when it was demolished in October 2008, when the 60,372-capacity stadium became a victim of the need for a bigger venue.
Despite its legacy, the Shea Stadium was demolished to create additional parking for the adjacent Citi Field. A far from fitting end for a much loved venue.
Olympic stadium are some of the mot common venues to be abandoned across the world due to the lack of interest in their use once the games are over.
This includes the Sarajevo bobsleigh run in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1984, which runs through a woods and into a bombed-out spectator area.
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Elsewhere, one of the swimming venues for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which accommodated more than 4,000 spectators, has been left to rot.
Similarly, a the former Olympic Village in Athens, Greece from 2004 is now a major eyesore after being littered with graffiti and rubbish.
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