Table of Contents
Background
The size of the land is among the major concerns when considering purchasing a property. In addition to that, knowing the land size is essential for those who are planning to construct buildings, either residential or commercial. Land measurement is the process of getting the exact coordinate of a piece of land. It is mostly the first step of any real estate investment.
There are various units of measurement used in getting the size of lands, such as acres, hectares, square meters, and square feet. But in this post, we are going to focus on acres. If you’ve experienced looking for a plot of land to build your dream house or if you are in search of a house with a bigger yard, you are probably aware that the unit of measurement for land in the United States is the acre. But what is it, and how big is it exactly?
When you search online for information about acres of land, you will be given numbers. However, knowing the numbers does not help much, particularly for those who do not have any background or expertise when it comes to measuring lands. With this, how do you think you can envision the size of lands better? If you want to learn more about this, read on as we’re giving you different ways to visualize a land size.
What is an Acre?
According to Britannica, an acre is a unit of land measurement in the British Imperial and United States Customary systems. [1] An acre can be measured in various shapes, from rectangles to circles or even hexagons. In addition, it can also have any length and width, as long as the total land area is 43,560 square feet. [2] Below are the equivalents of one acre in other units of measurement:
 1 acre = 43,560 square feet
 1 acre = 4,046.86 square meters
 1 acre = 4,840 square yards
 1 acre = 0.404686 hectares
 1 acre = 1/640th of a square mile (0.00156 square miles)
 1 acre = 0.00404 square kilometers
Out of all the various units of measurement, why do you think acre is being used in the United States? Well, there are several reasons behind this. During the time when the United States was being established, the acre was what England was using. Since that is what people in the US have always used, they have kept using it. In addition to that, the acre makes sense for all sizes of land. For example, there are instances when square miles are utilized for large tracts of land. However, it is not practical to use square miles when measuring small properties. Since a square mile is equivalent to 640 acres, it is easier to visualize half an acre compared to 1/1,280 of a square mile. [3]
History of the Acre Measurement
You might also wonder where the acre land measurement came from and why it is the size it is. The term “acre” can be traced back to the Old English term “æcer,” which means “open field.” Generally, it was used in describing an empty country. It was historically spelled “aker” in English and was connected to “ager,” a Latin word for “field.”
The very first meaning given to an acre was very interesting. In the beginning, an acre was the usual area of land that could be plowed by one man in a day using a team of oxen and a wooden plow. That’s quite challenging to imagine, right? But it was standard practice back then to rest the oxen after 1/8 of a mile or 660 feet had been plowed. With this practice, a unit of measurement came out, which was called a furrowlong or furlong, which measured the exact distance of 660 feet. [3]
Before stopping to rest the animals, a farmer would want to plow as much and as far as he could. This might be done most easily by plowing as far as he could in a straight line. With the oxen team in the blazing sun, turning the plow around wasn’t as simple as it would sound. To lessen the number of times they would need to turn the plow in the opposite way, farmers tended to plow a great distance.
Plowing a straight furrow was a skill that farmers took great pride in. The typical farmer was said to be able to plow a furlong’s length 80 times per day, or about 66 feet in width, with a plowshare that was about 10 inches wide. The exact amount of land area we refer to as an acre today is 43,560 square feet, which is the result of multiplying 66 feet by a furlong length of 660 feet. [3]
Visualizing an Acre of Land
As we’ve already mentioned, reading numbers alone makes it impossible to envision how big a piece of land actually is. By looking at the measurements, can you tell what an acre of land looks like? To be able to imagine it better, using visual representations is one of the best ways to do it. That’s why in this part, we are going to compare an acre of land to something familiar to most of us.
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Sports Venues
One of the easiest ways to visualize a land size is by comparing it to the size of sports venues. This is because most people are into sports and are familiar with what each sporting venue looks like. Therefore, it will be easier for most of us to imagine how big a land is when associated with certain sporting locations. Take a look at the examples below:
An American Football Field
One of the most common representations of how big an acre of land is a football field. Football pertains to the American football game. If you try to imagine a whole football field, an acre of land is just a bit smaller. It is not an exact representation of an acre of land as it is larger, but it is very close.
From end to end, an American football field measures 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide. But the technical definition of an acre involves feet. Therefore, when we convert it to feet, a football field measures 360 feet by 160 feet. When you multiply them to find the area, a football field is 57,600 square feet, including the two end zones. This means that an acre is about 75% the size of an American football field. Take a look at the visual representation below to better understand it:
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Sports Venues 

An American Football Field 

Dimensions:  360 ft. x 160 ft. 
Area:  57,600 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  An acre of land is 75% of an American football field. 
A football field and an acre are usually thought of as the same size as the football field is something that most people easily recognize. It is easier to imagine the size of a football field rather than envision the actual square footage of an acre of land. [4]
Tennis Courts
If you are more familiar with the size of a tennis court, we can also compare it to an acre of land. The standard size of a tennis court’s playable area is 2,808 square feet. Since an acre is 43,560 square feet, it means that around 15 and a half tennis courts can fit in one acre of land. Therefore, when you see a bunch of tennis courts put together, it is easy to assume that the space is about an acre or so of land. [4] See the visual representation below for reference:
Tennis Courts 

Standard size:  2,808 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 15.5 tennis courts. 
NHL Ice Hockey Rink
Ice hockey rinks come in various sizes, but in professional leagues like the National Hockey League (NHL), the standard size of the rink is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. Therefore, its square footage is 17,000. Since an acre is 43,560 square feet, it can fit 2.56 hockey rinks. This means that an ice hockey rink is 40% of the size of one acre of land. [5]
NHL Ice Hockey Rink 

Dimensions:  200 ft. x 85 ft. 
Area:  17,000 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 2.56 ice hockey rinks. An ice hockey rink is 40% the size of an acre of land. 
Basketball Courts
Many people are also familiar with basketball courts. Therefore, let us also compare their size to an acre of land. The standard size of a basketball court used in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. Therefore, its total square footage is 4,700. Therefore, one acre of land is equivalent to 9.3 basketball courts.
Basketball Courts 

Dimensions:  94 ft. x 50 ft. 
Area:  4,700 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 9.3 basketball courts. 
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Common Items
If you are not very familiar with sports stadiums and venues, then let us use other examples to imagine land sizes. In this part, we are going to compare the size of smaller but common items with standard sizes to an acre of land. See the examples below:
KingSize Mattresses
A kingsize mattress is our first example. A kingsize mattress measures 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. When converted to feet, it is 6.3 feet wide and 6.7 feet long. With this, a kingsize mattress measures 42.2 square feet. [6] Therefore, we can conclude that one acre of land is equivalent to 1,032 kingsize beds. That is a lot, right?
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Common Items 

KingSize Mattresses 

Dimensions:  6.3 ft x 6.7 ft. 
Area:  42.2 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equal to 1,032 kingsize beds. 
SemiTractor Trailer Trucks
A semitractor trailer truck is something that many of us usually see on the road. One truck has a standard size of 53 feet long and 8 feet wide. This means that it has 424 square feet in area. When the trucks are lined up side by side on an acre of land, around 103 of them would fit inside it. Therefore, one acre of land is equivalent to 103 semitractor trailer trucks. [5]
SemiTractor Trailer Trucks 

Dimensions:  53 ft x 8 ft. 
Area:  424 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 103 semitractor trailer trucks. 
PostIt Notes
Let us try comparing an acre of land to something that is much smaller to show how big it is. If you are doing office work or studying, you are surely familiar with postit notes or sometimes called sticky notes. The dimensions of a regular postit note are 3 inches by 3 inches. When converted to feet, it is 0.25 ft. by 0.25 ft. This means that a postit note has a 0.0625 square feet area. Therefore, to be able to cover an acre of land with postit notes, you will need 696,960 pieces of it. [7]
PostIt Notes 

Dimensions:  0.25 ft x 0.25 ft. 
Area:  0.0625 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 696,960 pieces of postit notes laid side by side. 
Average US Houses
Let us try to find out how many houses are equivalent to an acre of land. According to the Pinnacle List, the average size of houses in the United States is 2,500 square feet. [8] While most houses have second floors and basements, we are going to assume that all of the square footage is on a single floor. [6] By using 43,560 square feet in one acre, it shows that 17.42 averagesized houses can fit on one acre of land.
Average US Houses 

Average size of houses in the US:  2,500 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 17.42 averagesized houses in the United States. 
Standard 8Seater Rectangular Dining Tables
According to Upgraded Home, a standard rectangular dining table that can seat 8 people has a size of 3 feet wide and 10 feet long. [12] Therefore, it has an area of 30 square feet. If we are going to fill one acre of land with standard 8seater rectangular dining tables, we would need a total of 1,452 of them. That’s a lot of dining tables!
Standard 8Seater Rectangular Dining Tables 

Dimensions:  3 ft. x 10 ft. 
Area:  30 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  One acre of land is equivalent to 1,452 standard 8seater rectangular dining tables. 
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Popular Places
If you love to travel to different places to see wonderful tourist spots, then one way to imagine land sizes is by comparing them to your favorite places. We picked several places that many people are familiar with and compared their sizes to an acre of land. Take a look at the examples below:
The Colosseum in Rome
According to Brastours, the elliptical structure of the Colosseum in Rome measures 620 feet long and 512 feet wide, and its base area is 258,333 square feet. [9] When compared to an acre that is 43,560 square feet, it shows that the Colosseum in Rome covers 5.9 or 6 acres of land.
Comparing an Acre of Land to the Size of Popular Places 

The Colosseum in Rome 

Dimensions:  620 ft x 512 ft. 
Area:  258,333 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  The Colosseum in Rome is equivalent to 6 acres of land. 
Central Park in New York City
Let us try comparing an acre of land to a bigger place, such as Central Park in New York City. It is the largest and most important public park in Manhattan. According to Britannica, the park extends about 2.5 miles from 59th and 110th streets and around 0.5 miles between 5th and 8th avenues. [10] When converted to square feet, its dimensions are 13,200 feet by 2,640 feet. With this, the base area of Central Park is 34,848,000 square feet. In acres, Central Park in New York City occupies an area of 842.5 acres. That is a lot of acres of land, indeed.
Central Park in New York City 

Dimensions:  13,200 ft x 2,640 ft. 
Area:  36,700,000 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  Central Park in New York City is equivalent to 842.5 acres of land. 
The Sydney Opera House in Australia
The Sydney Opera House is a popular performing arts venue that is located in New South Wales, Australia. Based on the New World Encyclopedia, the Sydney Opera House is 605 feet long and around 388 feet at its widest point. In terms of land coverage, it is stated that it covers around 196,020 square feet, which is equivalent to 4.5 acres of land. [11] No wonder it is named the biggest opera house in the world.
Sydney Opera House in Australia 

Dimensions:  605 ft x 388 ft. 
Area:  196,020 square feet 
1 acre is equivalent to:  43,560 square feet 
Conclusion:  The Sydney Opera House covers 4.5 acres of land. 
Conclusion
It is amazing to learn that an acre of land can be both big and small depending on what you will use it for. For instance, in a game of American Football, one acre of land is not enough as it needs to be slightly bigger. However, in a game of basketball, one acre of land is very big and can fit around 9 basketball courts in it. Visualizing a land size is indeed easier when compared with places and items that are familiar to us.
Now that you have learned about this, when someone tells you that they are selling one acre of land, you can easily imagine that it is almost as big as a football field or equivalent to 15 tennis courts combined. That’s easier to visualize, right? We hope this post helped you learn more about how to visualize a land size.
References
[1] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2021, March 9). Acre. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/acreunitofmeasurement
[2] Hazell, A. (2022, June 12). How Big is an Acre? Explained. How big is an acre? explained. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.thecalculatorsite.com/articles/units/howbigisanacre.php
[3] Hendrix, J. M. (2020, July 21). Open field: History of the Acre. The Carolinas Real Estate  Mossy Oak Properties Land and Luxury. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.landandluxury.com/blog/openfieldhistoryoftheacre/
[4] Jacobs, J. (2020, October 9). How big is an acre? (with 10 illustrated examples). The Cold Wire. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.thecoldwire.com/howbigisanacre/
[5] David. (2022, May 31). 7 examples of how big an acre is (with visuals). Measuring Stuff. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://measuringstuff.com/7examplesofhowbiganacreiswithvisuals/
[6] Reed, L. (2022, May 2). How big is one acre of land? (visual examples for comparison). Project Perfect Home. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://projectperfecthome.com/howbigisoneacre/
[7] Helling, A. (2022, March 10). How big is an acre? 7 unique size comparison examples. REthority. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://rethority.com/howbigisanacre/#Acre_Size_Comparisons
[8] The Pinnacle List, E. (2022). What is the average house size in the United States? The Pinnacle List. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.thepinnaclelist.com/articles/whataveragehousesizeunitedstates/
[9] Brastours, E. (2022). The Colosseum: The Ins and outs of the world wonder. Brastours. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.brastours.com/2019/04/17/thecolosseuminsandouts/
[10] The Editors of Encyclopaedia, B. (2020, February 6). Central Park. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/place/CentralParkNewYorkCity
[11] New World Encyclopedia, E. (2020, January 15). Sydney Opera House. Visit the main page. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sydney_Opera_House
[12] Robbins, H., & Durante, N. (2022, February 18). Standard dining room table dimensions [for 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 people]. Upgraded Home. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://upgradedhome.com/standarddiningroomtabledimensions/