English football is known for its rich heritage and unique atmosphere, thanks in part to the new and old stadiums that host clubs from above and below the football pyramid. Even on a football ground, everything and everyone from a rugby league in the rugby union to even the England national team.
But, as any football fan would know, a premier league needs the best atmosphere to play in. These are often the biggest stadiums that usually host major football matches. We’ve come up with a list of some of the best football stadiums in the UK perfect for either a small game to league cup finals:
The Wembley football stadium is arguably one of the most famous stadiums in the world. It’s essentially the home of the England national team. But in addition to that, you can also watch the FA Cup finals and semi-finals at Wembley, as well as the league cup finals and playoff finals for most divisions. Sometimes top-level matches are played here such as the Champions League final and, in the future, the European Championship final. It can host music concerts, with Muse setting the attendance record for her tour in 2007.
Old Trafford is the home of Manchester United and has been in operation since its opening in 1910. The stadium is a reminder of the club’s glorious past. This is definitely one of the finest stadiums on the list, given the history and the fact that it was developed several times and converted to an all-seat stadium in response to the FA’s decision to require all Topflight stadiums to do so.
The capacity was temporarily reduced to 44,000 during this development phase. It has then since recovered and is now the biggest stadium in the UK. In addition to United matches, the site has also been used in the past to host FA Cup semi-finals, rugby league and rugby union matches, and music concerts by various artists.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is one of the most impressive stadiums in Europe, especially during night games when the entire stadium is lit up in a cool neon blue. It’s truly one of the most captivating modern grounds. For many years the team played at White Hart Lane but demolished this ageing stadium to build its current home, which opened in 2019. With a capacity of over 62,000, this ultra-modern stadium is London’s largest club ground. It’s just a few minutes walk from the White Hart Lane train station, which was completely renovated at the same time as the football field.
The Emirates is Arsenal’s home ground. It was built to replace their former home in Highbury. In England, only Wembley and Old Trafford can host more fans than the Emirates. The floor was one of the first to break with the English tradition of having four separate grandstands and instead opted for the more continental style of end-to-end seating. So you can expect to see the main stand, a south stand and north stand, and so forth. In addition to Arsenal matches, Brazil’s international matches were also played randomly. This has happened seven times, with only two of the games against local nations in the form of Scotland national team and the Republic of Ireland. Music concerts can also be held in the Emirates stadium as done by Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay.
The London Stadium, also known for being an Olympic stadium, is an open-air multipurpose stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the London borough of Stratford. The stadium was specially built as an athletics arena for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympic Games and serves as a venue for their opening and closing ceremonies. After the Games, it was renovated for multipurpose use and is primarily used as the home of West Ham United of the Premier League.
The stadium was the site of the 2017 IAAF World Championships and the 2017 World Para-Athletics Championships. This is one of the best stadiums to host a concert since it acts as a multi-purpose stadium that can also host concerts for up to 80,000 spectators and, due to its oval shape and sliding seats, it should have the potential for other sports such as baseball, cricket, and possibly even American football. In June 2019, it hosted the first regular game of Major League Baseball in Europe, in which the Boston Red Sox played a two-game series against the New York Yankees.
Manchester City Stadium
The City of Manchester Stadium, also known as Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is home to Premier League club Manchester City FC with a national football capacity of 53,400. The stadium was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and has since hosted events such as the 2008 UEFA Cup final, English national football games, rugby league games, a fight for the boxing world title, the last game of the English rugby team, and summer music concerts during football’s offseason.
Originally proposed as an athletics stadium in Manchester’s bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics, it was converted from a 38,000-seat stadium to a 48,000 all seater stadium after the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Manchester City FC agreed to rent the stadium to Manchester’s City Council and moved there from Maine Road in the summer of 2003.
Anfield is located in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, which is the seventh-largest stadium in England with 53,394 seats. The stadium has four grandstands: the Spion Kop, the Main Grandstand, the Sir Kenny Dalglish Grandstand and the Anfield Road End. The site was converted in 1994 and this theatre stadium opened with reduced capacity.
Two stadium goals are named after former Liverpool coaches: Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley. Both managers were honoured with statues outside the stadium. In 2002 it was proposed to replace the stadium with a new one adjacent to Stanley Park, but after the takeover of Liverpool F.C., Fenway Sports Group made it clear in 2010 that this would not happen.
St. James’ Park
St James’ Park is a football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It’s home to the Newcastle United F.C. of the Premier League. With over 52,305 seats, it’s the eighth largest football stadium in England.
Throughout its history, the desire to expand has sparked conflict with neighbours and the City Council. This has prompted proposals to move at least twice in the late 1960s, and a controversial move to nearby Leazes Park in 1995. The reluctance to move has resulted in the distinctive crooked appearance of the asymmetrical bleachers of the current stadium.
Stadium of Light
The Stadium of Light is a football ground in Sunderland, England and the eighth and current home of Sunderland A.F.C. With 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light is the ninth-largest stadium in England. The stadium is primarily the home of Sunderland A.F.C. Games at home. It was named by President Bob Murray to reflect the Northeast’s coal mining heritage and the former Monkwearmouth Colliery site on which it stands. At the entrance is a commemorative Davy lamp that reflects the coal mining that brought prosperity to the city.
Villa Park is located in Aston, Birmingham, and has a capacity of over 42,749 seats. It’s been the home of the Premier League club Aston Villa since 1897. Villa Park has played the most 55 FA Cup semi-finals compared to other football stadiums.
In 1897, Aston Villa moved to the Aston Lower Grounds, a sports ground in a Victorian amusement park on the former site of Aston Hall, a Jacobean mansion. This football ground has undergone several phases of renovation and development resulting in the current configuration of the Holte End Grandstand, Trinity Road Stand, North Stand and Doug Ellis Stand. The club has an initial building permit for the redesign of the north stand, increasing this football stadiums capacity from 42,785 to around 50,000.
If you are a sports fanatic or one of those die-hard away fans, a visit to the UK offers many ways to satisfy your passion. You may already know that football was invented in England. In the 1860s, a group of 12 London clubs met in a pub in Covent Garden to discuss the official set of rules for football that had since then become popular across the country. The group was then known as the Football Association.
Football in the UK is a rite of passage. It’s the game of the people and a football stadium is where they meet on match days. Football stadiums in the UK come in all shapes and sizes – from small out-of-league stadiums with muddy pitches to large, expensive Premier League stadiums.
Sure, due to crowd troubles in the 1980s, and regulations imposed after the Taylor Report, several English league stadiums have been built or completely redeveloped in the last few years, some of them sporting separate stands to better cater to fans. But, from Arsenal to the Plymouth Whalers, the largest stadium, oldest stadium, and newest stadium are still iconic come match day. Check them out for the full football experience!