The stadium at Aphrodisias, Turkey is the largest and most complete stadium ever found from the Greco-Roman period. At 262 meters long, the stadium could seat some 30,000 spectators for athletic competitions as well as gladiatorial contests.
While not a biblical site, athletic metaphors are a recurring image in the writings of the Apostle Paul in his letters to the churches throughout this region.
A few examples: As a minister, he wants to make sure his ‘running’ has not been in vain (Galatians 2:2; Philippians 2:16). He does not want himself or his readers to be disqualified from the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). The author to the Hebrews even compares this life to a race (Hebrews 12:1-3).