"It's bigger than the game." Ever heard that load of BS before? Sure, it's dumb, and it usually rings hollow, but occasionally it's true. Go to a game (or match, or race, or friendly, or bout) in one of the world's true sporting cathedrals, and you'll know what it means when athletics meets local flavor to give you a contemporary cultural experience you can't find in any guidebook or museum (and an excuse to get real drunk with a bunch of people shouting death threats and doing the wave).

So here are the 50 most important stadiums to catch a game in before you die. Of course, there's liable to be a little healthy debate on the ranking, so just know that we discussed this quite a bit, and came up with some criteria. To make the list, a venue had to have atmosphere, intimacy, history, legacy, amenities, prestige, and that elusive thing called "buzz." So don't get all bent out of shape if your home team's home isn't on here, it's not about that. This is about the place, the moment, and the sporting experience that can make any traveler feel at home... provided you've got the right colors on.