FourFourTwo, a sports-dedicated portal, has selected the 100 best stadiums in Great Britain. As the author of the list ironically stated, "We’re convinced there’ll be absolutely no arguing about it…”. So, let's take a look at which stadiums made it into the ranking.
What were the rules?
The premise is simple. What is being assessed is the matchday atmosphere in football arenas. And how many stadiums are there? In our database you will find 125 venues from England, 33 from Scotland and seven from Wales, for a total of 165 arenas. That’s plenty to choose from!
In practice, of course, the ranking is very subjective, because for one fan it will be the modernity that counts, another will praise the old walls of a tottering venue and a third will be interested in the attractions on match day. Having that in mind, author Chris Flanagan shouted
anyway and got down to judging.
Who's at the end?
The list opens with the inaugurated in 2020 Plough Lane ranked 100th, whose best feature is said to be that it is "not situated in Milton Keynes or Kingston". The venue plays host to AFC Wimbledon, a team playing in League Two, the fourth tier of the competition.
Surprisingly, the 98th ranked MKM Stadium is a decent venue for second tier Hull City. Vicarage Road ranks not much better, at 90th. A better atmosphere than the facilities of Championship teams is provided, according to the author...by the pitch, not even the stadium, owned by Eriskay AFC. Situated on the Scottish island of Eriskay, it provides beautiful sea views, but fans don't even have anywhere to sit.
Who's the lowest of the top leagues?
In 79th and 78th places you'll find the venues of the two top Welsh teams - Swansea City's 21,088-capacity Swansea.com Stadium. The venue is followed immediately by Cardiff City Stadium, where, it is evident, Cardiff City play their matches. Just behind them comes St James Park in 80th position.
Out of the 20 Premier League venues, the lowest ranked is Turf Moor, where Burnley, 19th in the table, play their matches. The venue is in 67th position in the table, followed by another Premier League stadium, Selhurst Park, owned by Crystal Palace, in 64th position. Interestingly, West Ham’s London Stadium is the de facto lowest of the premier leagues, as it is... not listed at all!
Picturesque pitches beat professional stadiums
Exactly in the middle of the pile is the Gtech Community Stadium, which opened in 2020 and hosts Premier League team Brentford, but is overtaken by Cae Clyd. Before the 46th ranked pitch became the home of Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateur F.C. it was... a rubbish dump. Since 1956, it has not only offered beautiful views of the surrounding area, but also football matches.
A similar situation occurred higher up the rankings, as the famous Stadium of Light, ranked 42nd, where historic Sunderland play in the Championship was overtaken by one position by Earls Orchard, a pitch located just below the almost 1,000-year-old Richmond Castle. However, it's hard to argue with such a decision, as the views are spectacular and visiting fans have probably missed a goal on more than one occasion while looking at the historic walls.
And there was another such case - Etihad Stadium, Manchester City's monumental venue came 36th, while Blendy Park, the pitch of Garw S.B.G.C., whose changing rooms are in... a two-storey old cottage, was ranked 32nd.
Surprises and controversies
Approaching the top spots we can find Hampden Park, the Scottish national stadium, in 28th place, and King Power Stadium of Leicester City, Premier League in 26th. From later on, there is just one exception among the top stadiums - The Dripping Pan, with a capacity of just 3,000 spectators.
Outside the top 10 are: Goodison Park (19th), Easter Road Stadium (18th), Stamford Bridge (13th) and even Emirates Stadium (11th). This is, in turn, according to the author, the top 10 arenas in the UK in terms of atmosphere:
|Manchester United FC
|Aston Villa FC
|Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
|Tottenham Hotspur FC
|St. James’ Park
|Heart of Midlothian FC