The 10 Best Football Stadiums in the UK

The 10 Best Football Stadiums in the UK

English football is globally known for its beautiful stadiums and the fantastic atmosphere that the fans create. 

Every stadium in the United Kingdom is unique, and they are truly beautiful temples where football fans gather to cheer on their teams. Fortunately, again came the time to enjoy the exciting sights from the stands once more.

In this article, we will go through some of the best football stadiums in the UK, so keep them in mind if you plan a future trip.

Wembley

  • Opened: 1923, (reconstructions 2007)
  • City: Wembley, London, England
  • Cost of construction: £757 million in 2007 (£1.1 billion in 2022 value)

Located in Wembley, a suburb in northwest London, England, the eponymous stadium Wembley is undoubtedly the best stadium in England and one of the biggest stadiums in the world.

It is the home of the England national team, and it has hosted many events, such as the Champions League finals, domestic cup finals, and even music concerts.

It was built in 2007 on top of the original Wembley Stadium, which opened in 1923, and has a capacity of 90,000, making it Europe’s second-largest. The highest attendance that Wembley has ever witnessed was at the FA Cup final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham in 1923, with a record of 126,047 spectators.

The famous arch that stretches over the stadium is a beautiful feature that can be seen across the city, which is also the stadium’s well-known landmark.

Old Trafford

  • Opened: 1910
  • City: Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester, England
  • Cost of construction: £60,000 in 1910 (£5 million in 2022 value)

Globally known as the home of one of the teams with the biggest fanbase worldwide, Manchester United FC, Old Trafford is one of the most iconic stadiums, with a capacity of 74,140.

This astonishing venue was once described as “The Theatre of Dreams” by the club’s legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who has a stand there named in his honour.

The stadium entrance is adorned with statues of renowned Manchester United legends, like Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby, but the most famous of all is the Trinity statue of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law.

It has hosted many competition semi-finals, FA Cup finals, national team fixtures, UEFA Championships, including the CL final in 2003, and many more since its inception in 1910.

Its attendance record remains unbroken, with 76,962 spectators in the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town. However, it also has the record for the lowest attendance ever, with only 13 fans attending a game between Stockport and Leicester in 1921.

Principality Stadium

  • Opened: 1999
  • City: Cardiff, Wales
  • Cost of construction: £127 million in 1999 (£217 million in 2022 value)

It is most commonly known as the Millennium Stadium, but as of 2016, it was renamed Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons. It is where the Wales national football team plays its home games. The stadium was originally built to host the Rugby World Cup in 1999, with the first rugby game ever played in front of around 29,000 fans between Wales and South Africa.

Principality Stadium hosted FA Cup and League Cup finals during Wembley’s redevelopment from 2001 to 2007. However, the venue is not only limited to sports games such as soccer and rugby. Many famous artists have performed there, including Madonna, Bon Jovi, and The Rolling Stones.

Principality stadium’s full capacity is 73,931, and until today, its record attendance stands at 74,576 during the Six Nations Championship in 2008 when Wales played Scotland.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

  • Opened: 2019
  • City: London, England
  • Cost of construction: £1 billion in 2019 (£1 billion in 2022 value)

With captivating modern features and a retractable pitch, the brand new stadium that opened in 2019 is one of Europe’s most fascinating facilities. This ultra-modern, technologically advanced stadium is just a few minutes away from Tottenham’s first home, White Hart Lane, and can accommodate 62,850 supporters.

Because of its multifunctionality, it can also host NFL games and concerts. Since its opening in 2019, the match Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal in 2022 was the most visited with 62,027 spectators, but the crowd is also almost always full, with an average attendance of over 56,000.

Among all the facilities for the players and staff, there are many bars for the fans to gather before matches, and a microbrewery and two Sky Lounges on the top floor with London views. This year there will be Champions League football played in this stadium and the whole credit goes to one of the best managers Antonio Conte.

London Stadium

  • Opened: 2012 (renovations 2014-2016)
  • City: London, England
  • Cost of construction: £486 million in 2012 and £323 million in 2016 (£990 million in 2022 value)

Next on our list of famous football stadiums UK edition is the London Stadium, also known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which was initially constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics but was renovated for West Ham to move there in 2016. It has a capacity of 60,000 for football matches, but it can hold around 80,000 people when it comes to concerts.

It can also be used as a pitch for sports such as cricket, American football, or baseball because of its oval shape and sliding seats. Furthermore, the London Stadium hosted the MLB in June 2019, when the Boston Red Sox faced the New York Yankees.

The London Stadium’s highest attendance was recorded in March 2019 during a game between the Hammers and Everton, when 59,988 fans packed the stands.

Celtic Park 

  • Opened: 1892 (renovations 1929, 1994-98)
  • City: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Cost of construction: £35,000 in 1929 and £40 million in 1998 (£69 million in 2022 value)

The home stadium of Celtic FC was opened in 1892 but renovated in the 1990s, and it’s the largest stadium in Scotland, with a capacity of 60,411 seats. This stadium has also hosted Scotland international matches, rugby games, athletics, and, most notably, the Cycling World Championship in 1897 because of its original oval shape.

In 1938, the eternal derby between Celtic and Rangers, known as the Old Firm, drew an incredible number of 83,500 fans, the most in the club’s history.

Celtic Park is well-known for its amazing atmosphere during every home game, and even football stars like Messi, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic have confirmed this when playing there.

Emirates Stadium

  • Opened: 2006
  • City: London, England
  • Cost of construction: £390 million (£601 million in 2022 value)

Arsenal’s home stadium is one of the most famous football stadiums in the UK and the fourth-largest in England, with a capacity of 60,260. It was one of the first grounds that stood out from the traditional “bowl” style appearance. Instead, the architect chose a three-tiered bowl.

The upper and lower stands have standard seating, while the middle tier has premium seating and is referred to as ‘Club Level’. Aside from Arsenal games, the Emirates Stadium has also hosted several Brazil national teams for friendly matches and some music concerts.

Aside from sports events, the stadium is used as a conference centre, a location for the audition stage of popular reality shows The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Big Brother, and also a music venue with an increased capacity of 72,000.

Back in 2007, in Arsenal’s derby against Manchester United, an audience of 60,161 fans packed the stands, leaving only a few seats empty.

The Etihad

  • Opened: 2002
  • City: Manchester, England
  • Cost of construction: £110 million (£169 million in 2022 value)

The City of Manchester Stadium renamed The Etihad for sponsorship reasons, is one of the most popular venues in England and some of the best last-minute goals have been scored in this particular stadium.

It has hosted many events, including the 2008 UEFA Cup Final, rugby league games, national league games, and music concerts, but its original purpose was to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The stadium’s architecture is modelled after a gladiatorial arena, and the pitch levels, which are six metres below ground, are modelled after Roman amphitheatres.

Etihad Stadium, with a capacity of 55,097 for football matches and 60,000 for music events, is the fifth-largest stadium in the Premier League and the tenth-largest in the United Kingdom, with a record attendance of 54,693 fans for city’s home game against Leicester.

Anfield

  • Opened: 1884, (reconstructions 2012-14, 2023)
  • City: Anfield, Liverpool, England
  • Cost of construction: £114 million in 2014 and £80 million by 2023 (£217 million in 2022 value)

For decades, Anfield has been one of the most iconic football stadiums in the UK, with a seating capacity of 53,394, making it the seventh-largest stadium in the country. It had been Everton’s stadium since 1884 until a disagreement with the club president forced them to relocate to Goodison Park.

Two of the stadium’s gates are named after former managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley, and there are also statues in their honour at the entrance.

It was one of the venues that hosted the UEFA Euro 1996, and also rugby, boxing and tennis matches were played on this field. However, Anfield’s highest recorded attendance is still unbeaten since 1952, when 61,905 fans came to watch Liverpool’s match against Wolves.

Anfield is best known for its incredible fans and their songs that resonate throughout the stadium. As a result, besides being one of the most successful clubs in Europe, Liverpool was named the Premier League team with the best stadium atmosphere.

St James’ Park

  • Opened: 1880, (renovations 1998-2000)
  • City: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
  • Cost of construction: £42 million in 2000 (£69 million in 2022 value)

The home ground of Newcastle FC, St James’ Park, is one of the UK’s oldest and most recognisable football stadiums.

It’s the place where part of the 2012 Olympics football fixtures was performed, international football and rugby matches were played, and even movie scenes were filmed. St James’ Park has been expanding several times throughout the years and now has a total seating capacity of 52,405.

Besides the football grounds and facilities, the stadium contains conference facilities, lounges and bars for gathering before matches and at half-time. 

The match between Newcastle and Chelsea in 1930 attracted 68,386 fans to come to St James’ Park, which is still the record number. Still, the average attendance is always high (over 51,000), but no wonder since Newcastle has one of the biggest fanatics.

Bottom Line

A common thing for these stadiums is that all of them captivate with their beauty and uniqueness. In the UK, a big and well-designed stadium is something to be proud of, as we all know what football means for the British people and how passionate are they for their teams.

Each stadium breathes life into football clubs and serves as a home for the most loyal supporters. So, here we have captured ten of the best football stadiums in the UK, and don’t hesitate to visit at least one of them to witness the modernity and sophistication that these arenas can boast with.

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