Stadiums act as home to the football players as well as football fans. These football fans sometimes act as the twelfth men for their team. Their support encourages the players on the pitch to give their best. England is home to some of the best football stadiums in the World. In this article, we will be looking at some of the best football stadiums in England.
These stadiums are ranked on the combined basis of Location, View, Facilities, Food, Security and Atmosphere. Combining the votes of millions of football fans, here are the 20 best football stadiums in England.
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20. Molineux Stadium (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Molineux has been the home of Wolves since 1889. The first stadium built for use by a Football League club, it was one of the first British grounds to have floodlights installed and hosted some of the earliest European club games in the 1950s.
Molineux was the site of the first ever league game played in English history. On 7 September 1889 Wolves beat Notts County 2-0.
Molineux is a 32,050 all-seater stadium, but it consistently attracted much greater attendances when it was mostly terracing. In 1939, Molineux recorded its highest attendance when 61,315 fans saw Wolves play Liverpool in an FA Cup match.
In May 2010, Wolves announced a £40 million redevelopment programme of Molineux. Under the plans, three stands would gradually get rebuilt and linked up, which would lead to a capacity of 38,000 seats.
Works started in 2011 on the Stan Cullis Stand, which was completed in 2012. The next two stages, however, were postponed as the club stated to want to use the limited funds available for the development of the Wolves youth academy. There are provisional plans for a longer term redevelopment of every stand that could create a 50,000 capacity.
19. Hillsborough Stadium (Sheffield Wednesday)
Hillsborough Stadium has been the home of Sheffield Wednesday since its opening in 1899. They played their first match at their new ground on 2 September 1899 against Chesterfield (5-1). At that time, the stadium was still called Owlerton Stadium.
Hillsborough set its record attendance in 1934 when 72,841 people attended an FA Cup match between Wednesday and Manchester City.
It has two large two-tiered stands and two large single-tiered stands, all of them covered. All four stands are of a similar capacity with the South Stand being the largest and the West Stand, usually housing the away supporters, the smallest.
Supporters have ranked this stadium among the best football stadiums in England.
18. Craven Cottage (Fulham)
Craven Cottage has been the home of Fulham Football Club since 1896. The Club played at various grounds in west London before finally settling on Craven Cottage.
The stadium is located in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, bounded by the River Thames to the west and Stevenage and Bishops Parks to the north and south respectively.
Craven Cottage reached its record attendance in 1938 when a total of 49,335 spectators attended a game against Millwall. One decade later, Craven Cottage hosted a few games during the 1948 Olympic Games.
The Club now regularly sells out its matches and has gained approval to redevelop the Riverside Stand. The new design will bring the capacity of Craven Cottage up to 30,000 and bring landmark improvements for both the Club and the local community.
17. Elland Road (Leeds United)
Elland Road has been the home of Leeds United since the club’s formation in 1919. The stadium is the 14th largest football stadium in England, and the fourth largest outside the Premier League, with an an all-seated capacity of 37,890.
Elland Road has four stands – the Don Revie (North) Stand, the East Stand, the South Stand and the John Charles (West) Stand. The record attendance of the stadium is 57,892, which was set on 15 March 1967 in an FA Cup 5th round replay against Sunderland.
Elland Road was one of the playing venues of the Euro 1996 Championships, during which it hosted three group matches.
In the early 2000s, Leeds investigated a move to a brand new 55,000-stadium, however these plans were shelved after the club’s finances severely deteriorated. Only smaller renovations have been made to the stadium since. It is definitely, one of the best football stadiums in England.
16. New York Stadium (Rotherham United)
New York Stadium was built to provide Rotherham United with a new permanent home after they were forced to leave their traditional home Millmoor and temporarily move into Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.
Rotherham obtained planning permission in 2010, and started construction in the summer of 2011. The stadium came at a cost of £20 million.
Rotherham gradually opened the New York Stadium in the summer of 2012 with a series of events. They played their first league match at the New York Stadium on the 18th of August 2012 against Burton Albion (3-0).
One of the best football stadiums in England, New York Stadium has a current capacity of the stadium is 12,021, which can be easily expanded with another 4,000 seats.
15. King Power Stadium (Leicester City)
King Power Stadium has been the home of Leicester City since its opening in 2002. The all-seater stadium has a capacity of 32,313, the 20th largest football ground in England.
The King Power Stadium, then still called Walkers Stadium, officially opened on 23 July 2002. The first match at the stadium, a friendly between Leicester and Athletic Club de Bilbao (1-1), was played twelve days later.
In 2011, the stadium got renamed King Power Stadium after the company of the club’s new Thai owners.
The King Power Stadium has four stands (i.e. The North, East, South and West stands respectively) that each join in an enclosed design. The away supporters are situated in the corner between the North and East Stand.
The North and South stands have original names dating back to when the stadium was built. The North Stand called the Lineker Stand, after club legend Gary Lineker, and the South Stand named as the Fosse Stand, after Leicester’s original club name Leicester Fosse.
14. Pride Park Stadium (Derby County)
Pride Park Stadium has been Derby County’s home ground since 1997 when the club relocated from its former home, The Baseball Ground.
With a capacity of 33,597, it is the 16th-largest football ground in England and the 20th-largest stadium in the United Kingdom. As well as Rams’ home games, the stadium is used for a range of non-matchday activities including conferences, weddings and other sporting events.
In recent years, the stadium has hosted concerts by major international music artists, monster trucks and international friendly football matches. This can easily be regarded as one of the best football stadiums in England.
13. City Ground (Nottingham Forest)
City Ground has been home to Nottingham Forest since 1898. It was initially a rather small ground consisting of mainly wooden stands. The East Stand was opened in 1957. The opening match of the new East Stand also meant a new record attendance for the City Ground. A total of 49,946 people saw Forest play Manchester United that day.
In 1962, a fire heavily damaged the wooden main stand, but it was successfully restored. Six years later, another fire completely destroyed the same stand, which was subsequently rebuilt. The stadium could at that time hold about 43,000 people, of which 17,500 seated.
The City Ground was one of the playing venues of the 1996 European Championships, during which it hosted three first-round group matches.
In recent years, the club has investigated the possibilities of building a new stadium. These at one time became rather concrete as part of the England 2018 World Cup bid, but the failed bid and recurring resident opposition at proposed sites have thus far halted any progress.
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12. St. Mary’s Stadium (Southampton)
St. Mary’s stadium has been the home of Premier League club Southampton F.C. since 2001. The stadium has a capacity of 32,505.
St Mary’s Stadium was built between December 1999 and July 2001 at a total cost of £32 million. It officially opened on 1 August 2001 with a friendly between Southampton and Espanyol (3-4).
The stadium is a complete bowl, with all stands of equal height. There are two large screens at either end that can be seen from any seat.
The stadium has four stands, which are named after the areas of Southampton they face. The main (east) stand is the Itchen Stand, and faces the River Itchen. The opposite stand is called the Kingsland Stand. Behind the south goal is the Chapel Stand, and to the north is the Northam Stand.
Saints have looked at the possibility of expanding St Mary’s Stadium in recent years, but have shelved these plans for the moment until the club consistently sells out.
11. Stamford Bridge (Chelsea)
Stamford Bridge has been the home of Chelsea since 1905. The stadium was opened in 1877 and was used by the London Athletic Club until 1905.
It has undergone major changes over the years, most recently in the 1990s when it was renovated into a modern, all-seater stadium. The capacity of the stadium is 41,837, making it the ninth largest venue of the 2019–20 Premier League season. The club has plans to expand capacity to 63,000 by the 2023–24 season.
The Bridge pitch is surrounded on each side by four covered all-seater stands, officially known as the Matthew Harding Stand (North), East stand, The Shed End (South) and West Stand. Each stand has at least two tiers & was constructed for entirely different reasons as part of separate expansion plans.
Stamford Bridge recorded its highest attendance in 1935 during a match against Arsenal when a total of 82,905 fans attended the match.
Stamford Bridge has been a venue for England international matches, FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals and Charity Shield games. The Bridge , undoubtedly, ranks among the best football stadiums in England.
10. Stadium of Light (Sunderland)
The Stadium of Light’s current capacity of 48,707 makes the club’s home the sixth-biggest football ground in England. It has been the home ground of Sunderland since its opening in 1997. It replaced the club’s former home of 99 years, Roker Park, located less than two miles away.
The original capacity was 42,000, which subsequently increased when an extension to add another tier to the north end of the ground opened in 2000. The club’s fans have always been famous for producing an intense atmosphere, and the traditions of Roker Park have remained at the Stadium of Light.
The stadium’s attendance record currently stands at 48,335, set when Liverpool visited Wearside in April 2002.
The Stadium of Light hosted its first full international in 1999 when England took on Belgium in a friendly, and housed its first competitive international in April 2003 as England faced Turkey in a Euro 2004 qualifier.
9. Amex Stadium (Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.)
After years of hard work, the club moved into the American Express Community Stadium in 2011. Since a memorable 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers in front of 20,219 supporters, Albion’s home has grown to holding over 30,000 fans and now stages Premier League football after the club’s rise to the top tier in 2017.
The West Stand is a three-tiered stand, which holds 11,833 fans, including 14 luxury boxes. The East Stand (including the Family Stand and the premium fans’ 1901 Club) holds 13,654 fans, with 10% reserved for away fans during cup games. The North Stand has 2,688 seats. The South Stand, is for visiting away supporters which contains 2,575 seats.
8. Villa Park (Aston Villa)
Villa Park has been the home of Aston Villa since its opening in 1897. The Stadium has hosted sixteen England internationals at senior level, the first in 1899 and the most recent in 2005. Villa Park has hosted 55 FA Cup semi-finals, more than any other stadium.
Villa Park recorded its highest attendance in 1946 when 76,588 people attended a match against Derby County.
It was one of the playing venues of the 1966 World Cup, hosting three group matches. Villa Park also hosted three group matches and a quarter-final during the 1996 European Championships. In 1999, it hosted the last ever European Cup Winners’ Cup final between Real Mallorca and Lazio Roma (1-2).
The stadium has gone through various stages of renovation and development, resulting in the current stand configuration of the Holte End, Trinity Road Stand, North Stand and Doug Ellis Stand. The club has initial planning permission to redevelop the North Stand, which will increase the capacity of Villa Park from 42,785 to about 50,000.
7. Anfield (Liverpool)
Anfield has been the home of Liverpool F.C. since their formation in 1892. It was originally the home of Everton F.C. from 1884 to 1891, before they moved to Goodison Park after a dispute over rent.
It has a seating capacity of 54,074 making it the sixth largest football stadium in England. The stadium has four stands: the Spion Kop, the Main Stand, the Kenny Dalglish Stand and Anfield Road.
The atmosphere generated inside the stadium is electric and very few clubs can rival this. You’ll Never Walk Alone sang by 50,000+ supporters is an experience you will never forget. This makes it one of the best football stadiums in England.
The Kops are considered to be one among the loudest of all fans around the world. There are so many occasions where the Anfield crowd has won games for Liverpool being the 12th man. The stadium tours also give a great look back at the history of LFC.
6. Etihad Stadium (Manchester City)
The City of Manchester Stadium or the Etihad Stadium has been the home ground of Manchester City since 2003. With a capacity of 55,097, it is the sixth-largest in the Premier League and tenth-largest in the United Kingdom.
The stadium design has received much praise and many accolades, including an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004 for its innovative inclusive building design and a special award in 2003 from the Institution of Structural Engineers for its unique structural design.
In 2008, Etihad Stadium hosted the UEFA Cup final between Zenit St Petersburg and Rangers FC (2-0). The stadium was initially called City of Manchester Stadium, but was renamed Etihad Stadium in 2011 following a 10-year sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.
If there is sufficient demand, the club may add a third tier to the North Stand as well, which will raise capacity to an approximate 61,000 seats.
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5. Old Trafford (Manchester United)
Old Trafford has been the home ground of Manchester United since 1910. With a capacity of 74,879, it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom, and the eleventh-largest in Europe.
In 1939, Old Trafford recorded its highest attendance of 76,962 during an FA Cup semi-final match between Wolves and Grimsby Town.
Due to its proximity to Trafford Park industrial estate, Old Trafford got heavily damaged by German air raids during World War 2. It took eight years to rebuilt the stadium, the delays being caused by limited post-war resources, and during that time United played at Maine Road, the ground of rivals Manchester City.
Old Trafford was one of the playing venues of the 1966 World Cup, during which it hosted three group matches. In those years, the capacity of the stadium fluctuated around 60,000.
In 2006, the stadium reached its current capacity when stands got built in the upper-tier corners on both sides of the North Stand.
4. St. James’s Park (Newcastle United)
St James’ Park has been the home ground of Newcastle United since 1892 and has been used for football since 1880. With a seating capacity of 52,405 it is the seventh largest football stadium in England.
As well as the normal Premiership football stadium facilities, the stadium contains conference and banqueting facilities. These comprise a total of 6 suites with a total capacity of 2,050, including the 1,000 capacity Bamburgh Suite containing a stage, dance floor and 3 bars, and the New Magpie Room, on two levels with a pitch view.
The atmosphere on a matchday is arguably the best in Premier League and it is an experience every football fan should enjoy atleast once. It is one of the best football stadiums in England.
3. Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
Emirates Stadium has been the home of Arsenal since its opening in 2006. With a capacity of 60,704 it is the fourth-largest football stadium in England.
Due to the competition of nearby Wembley Stadium, the Emirates Stadium has never hosted the English national team, however the Brazilian national team has regularly staged friendlies at the stadium.
The crowd at Emirates used to be the biggest asset for the Gunners. But it has gone down in the recent years. There are times that Arsenal players have said that the support at the stadium is little silent. According to many fan logics, it happens only because the supporters of Arsenal are immersed in the match. This leads them often in tension. Keeping this aside, some songs are played at regular intervals, the rounds of chants go again and again in which people take active participation.
2. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a stadium that serves as the home for Tottenham Hotspur in north London, replacing the club’s previous stadium, White Hart Lane. It has a capacity of 62,062, making it one of the largest stadiums in the Premier League and the largest club stadium in London.
It is designed to be a multi-purpose stadium and features the world’s first dividing, retractable football pitch, which reveals a synthetic turf pitch underneath for NFL London Games, concerts and other events.
It’s an absolute landslide victory for Tottenham among the Premier League clubs in terms of overall facilities, who take top spot with their state-of-the-art stadium which only opened recently. It is definitely one of the best stadiums in England.
1. Wembley Stadium
This stadium is located in Wembley, London, and was opened in 2007. It is made on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002 to 2003.
Wembley is one of the most famous stadium’s in the world. It is a world class venue that attracts some of the biggest events in sport, music and entertainment and more than 2 million visitors per year.
Wembley is the home of the England national football team, as well as the FA Cup Final and Semi Finals, The Football League Cup Final, The FA Community Shield, The Football League Play Off Finals and The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. The stadium also regularly hosts other major sporting events including regular season NFL games and is known worldwide for its epic music concerts.
Wembley Stadium is owned by The Football Association and operated by Wembley National Stadium Limited, part of The FA Group. Located in Wembley in north-west London, the stadium is a public transport destination linked to major international and regional transport routes. It is conveniently accessible through London’s public rail and underground network, and is served by three stations and five train lines.