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President Obama at the Colosseum. / Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

President Obama, one of the nation's pre-eminent sports fans, got a glimpse Thursday at how they did sports spectacles back in the old, old days.

Obama got a private tour of the Colosseum, where gladiators and lions once roamed and did battle.

The president said he could imagine those events in the classical old stadium, which in its day could seat up to 55,000 people.

"This is bigger than some current baseball stadiums," Obama told reporters, citing Chicago's Wrigley Field as an example. "I have to check on what it seats. It's remarkable. Unbelievable."

As Obama passed a pool of journalists, he could be heard asking his tour guide -- Barbara Nazzaro, Technical Director and Architect of the Colosseum -- about gladiatorial bouts of the past.

Said Obama: "Let's say someone is on the ground -- he didn't have to kill them, did he?"

The response could not be heard.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama: Colosseum bigger than many baseball stadiums

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