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Enter the arenas

It’s that time of year again! The Premier League has kicked off, completing the start of the 2019/20 football season. So it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of the UK’s most impressive football stadiums – here’s 17 of the best.

Wembley Stadium

Where: London

Home to: England national team

Capacity: 90,000

Opened: 2007

Getting there: Wembley Park tube station on the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines

Other notable events: NFL American football, rugby league’s Coral Challenge Cup Final, EFL Play-offs, music concerts

Pubs nearby: Blue Room, 53 Wembley Hill Road, Wembley HA9 8BE, 020 8903 4747; Flannery’s Bar, 610 High Road, Wembley HA0 2AF, 020 8900 2947; J.J. Moon’s, 397 High Road, Wembley HA9 7DT, 020 8903 4923

Overview: Wembley Stadium opened in 2007, on the site of the original Wembley Stadium (where England won the 1966 World Cup!), which was demolished from 2002–2003. The stadium hosts major football matches including home matches of the England national football team, and the FA Cup semi-finals and finals as well as other major sports and music events.

Wembley Arena Football stadiums UK

Wembley Arena

Celtic Park

Where: Glasgow

Home to: Celtic

Capacity: 60,832

Opened: 1888

Getting there: Buses 61, 62 from Glasgow Central Rail Station, Train to Dalmarnock or Bridgeton rail stations followed by a 15 min walk

Other notable events: Heineken Cup, European Rugby Challenge Cup, Rugby World Cup

Pubs nearby: Hoops Bar, Gallowgate, Glasgow G4 0TR, 07812 074903; Kerrydale Bar, Celtic Park, Glasgow G40 3RE, 0141 551 4405; Waxy O’Connor’s 44, West George Street, Glasgow G2 1DH,  0141 354 5154

Overview: Celtic formed in 1887 and the first Celtic Park opened in Parkhead in 1888. The club moved to the current site in 1892, the stadium was initially oval-shaped with a cycling track, pavilion, and one wooden stand at the Janefield Street side. With 46 Scottish Championships and 36 Scottish Cups in their trophy cabinet, it’s fair to say that Celtic FC is a club synonymous with Scottish football.

St James’ Park

Where: Newcastle upon Tyne

Home to: Newcastle United

Capacity: 52,405

Opened: 1892

Getting there: St. James Park metro stop

Other notable events: Heineken Cup, European Rugby Challenge Cup, Rugby World Cup

Pubs nearby: NINE BAR, St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SF, 0191 201 8688; Shark Club Gastro Bar, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne  NE1 4BT, 0191 229 2615; The Strawberry, 7-8 Strawberry Pl, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SF, 0191 232 6865

Overview: St James’ connection with ‘the beautiful game’ precedes the birth of the club, with the first organised practice match on the site recorded as taking place in 1880 – a full 12 years before the official formation of Newcastle United. In 1892 the first official match as Newcastle United was played, and the rest is history. St James’ Park is now one of the greatest arenas of world football, also hosting many international sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup 2016 and the European Champions Cup Final 2019.

St James' Park Football stadiums UK

St James’ Park

Principality Stadium 

Where: Cardiff

Home to: Welsh national football team

Capacity: 74,500

Opened: 1999

Getting there: Cardiff Central is the nearest station to the Stadium and operates mainline services from West Wales, the Midlands, the South Coast and London.

Other notable events: International Champions Cup, Rugby Union League, Nitro World Games, Rugby World Cup

Pubs nearby: Queens Vaults, 29 Westgate St, Cardiff CF10 1EH, 029 2022 7966; The Gatekeeper, 9-10 Westgate St, Cardiff CF10 1DD, 029 2064 6020; City Arms,  110-12 Quay St, Cardiff CF10 1EA, 029 2064 1913

Overview: Since opening in June 1999, the Principality Stadium (formerly known as the Millennium Stadium until 2016) has welcomed, on average, over 1.3 million visitors per year. Sporting the first fully-retractable roof in the UK, the venue is at the cutting edge as a multi-purpose and adaptable event venue. The stadium boasts a UEFA five-Star rating and has hosted matches from two Rugby World Cups including the Final in 1999, witnessed three Wales Grand Slam successes in the RBS Six Nations and staged six showpiece FA Cup Finals.

Old Trafford

Where: Manchester

Home to: Manchester United

Capacity: 75,811

Opened: 1910

Getting there: Train via Manchester Picadilly Station, Metrolink tram to Old Trafford station, located on Warwick Road, approx. 10 minutes’ walk away

Other notable events: Betfred Super League Grand Final, Ashes Test matches

Pubs nearby: Matchstick Man, Capital Quay, Salford M50 3WL, 0161 876 7463; The Dockyard, Dock House, Media City, Salford M50 2EQ, 0161 713 3810; The Bishop Blaize,  708 Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 0SF, 0161 873 8845

Overview: Bombed during the Second World War, Old Trafford recovered considerably, adopting various guises before morphing into the 75,635-seater home of the Premier League’s most-successful team.

Old Trafford

Old Trafford


Where: Liverpool

Home to: Liverpool

Capacity: 54,074

Opened: 1884

Getting there: Bus via Liverpool City Centre, take the 26 from Liverpool ONE bus station, 17 from Queen Square Bus Station or the 917 from St Johns Lane, directly to the ground

Other notable events: Euro 1996, P!NK – Beautiful Trauma World Tour

Pubs nearby: The Park, 194 Walton Breck Road,L4 0RQ, 0151 261 2734; Oakfield Pub, Oakfield Road Liverpool, L4 0UQ, 07729 242799; The Albert Pub,  105 Walton Breck Road, Liverpool L4 0RD, 0151 263 7967

Overview: Anfield was built in 1884, but got initially rented by Everton FC. In 1891 the newly founded Liverpool moved into the grounds. Anfield underwent developments in the late 19th and early 20th century, including the construction of a new main stand designed by Archibal Leitch in 1895 and a decade later the construction of the famous Spion Kop.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Where: London

Home to: Tottenham Hotspur

Capacity: 62,062

Opened: 2019

Getting there: Travel by bus to the venue, with four stations and up to 144 buses an hour serving the stadium area or take the overground to White Hart Lane

Pubs nearby: The Bricklayers, 803 High Rd, Tottenham, London N17 8ER, 020 8801 4728; The Blue Bar, 782 High Rd, Tottenham, London N17 0BX, 020 8885 0500; The Antwerp Arms,168-170 Church Rd, Tottenham, London N17 8AS, 020 8216 9289

Overview: After an emotional farewell to White Hart Lane at the end of the 2016/17 season, Tottenham Hotspur will now be playing their home games in The Stadium.  Spurs celebrated the opening of their new home on 3rd April 2019. Capacity at this brand new venue is 62,062 with nine floors and only five metres from the first line of seats to the goal.

The Stadium

The Stadium

King Power Stadium

Where: Leicester

Home to: Leicester City

Capacity: 32,312

Opened: 2002

Getting there: Leicester Train Station is approximately 1.2 miles from King Power Stadium, which is roughly a five-minute car journey or a 20-minute walk

Other notable events: Rugby League

Pubs nearby: Blues Bar & Grill, Filbert Way, Raw Dykes Rd, Leicester LE2 7FQ, 0116 448 8962; Local Hero, 84 Aylestone Rd, Leicester LE2 7LB, 0116 275 5330; Counting House,  40 Almond Rd, Leicester LE2 7LH, 0116 275 5527

Overview: In August 2002, Leicester City moved into its new home, only a short distance away from their old Filbert Street ground. Previously called the Walkers Stadium, it was renamed the King Power Stadium in 2011. It has four stands that each join in an enclosed design. The away supporters are situated in the corner between the North and East Stand.

The Etihad

Where: Manchester

Home to: Manchester City

Capacity: 55,097

Opened: 2002

Getting there:  Metrolink, a dedicated tram stop, Etihad Campus is adjacent to the stadium, located in City Square

Other notable events: Metallica, Muse, Spice Girls

Pubs nearby: Mary D’s Beamish Bar, 13 Grey Mare Ln, Manchester M11 3DQ, 0161 223 0687; Grove Inn, 652 Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 4AT, 07827 850245; The Townley,  31 Albert St, Manchester M11 3QW, 07740 781332

Overview: The Etihad Stadium, also known as Eastlands, was originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. After the games, the stadium was converted into a football stadium to provide Manchester City with a modern replacement for their former home at Maine Road and they moved in at the start of the 2003-2004 season. Now expanded to a capacity of over 55,000 it has become one of the best stadiums in the country, not only in terms of size but also in its outstanding facilities.

Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium

St Mary’s Stadium

Where: Southampton

Home to: Southampton

Capacity: 32,505

Opened: 2000

Getting there: Southampton is served by Southampton Central Railway Station, which is approximately a mile from the stadium – roughly a 20 minute walk

Other notable events: Rugby League

Pubs nearby: Blues Bar & Grill, Filbert Way, Raw Dykes Rd, Leicester LE2 7FQ, 0116 448 8962; Local Hero, 84 Aylestone Rd, Leicester LE2 7LB, 0116 275 5330; Counting House,  40 Almond Rd, Leicester LE2 7LH, 0116 275 5527

Overview: St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton has been the home stadium of Premier League club, Southampton F.C. since 2001. The stadium has a capacity of 32,505 and is currently the largest football stadium in South East England.

Emirates Stadium

Where: London

Home to: Arsenal

Capacity: 60,260

Opened: 2006

Getting there:  Arsenal (Piccadilly Line) is the nearest tube station, around three minutes walk from the ground. Finsbury Park (Victoria, Piccadilly Lines and Great Northern rail) and Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line, North London Line and Great Northern rail) stations are around a 10-minute walk – these should be slightly less crowded

Other notable events: 

Pubs nearby: Tollington Arms, 115 Hornsey Rd, London N7 6DN, 020 7700 6419; The Old Crown Public House, 33 New Oxford St, Holborn, London WC1A 1BH, 020 7836 9121; The Gunners,  204 Blackstock Rd, Highbury, London N5 1EN, 020 7359 2467

Overview: Although Highbury was one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, Arsenal realised that in order to be able to compete with the elite clubs in Europe they needed to design a larger stadium to increase capacity and revenue. Enter the award-winning Emirates Stadium. Today, Arsenal continues their legacy of 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 15 FA Community Shields, 1 League Centenary Trophy, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and 1 Inter-Cities in this outstanding stadium.

Emirates Stadium Football stadiums UK Football stadiums UK

Emirates Stadium

Riverside Stadium

Where: Middlesborough

Home to: Middlesborough

Capacity: 34,742

Opened: 1995

Getting there: Middlesbrough Railway Station is located on Albert Road which is a 10 to 15 minutes’ walk from the Riverside Stadium

Other notable events: National Premier League, Take That

Pubs nearby: The Six Medals, Heath Road, Middlesbrough TS3 6AT, 01642 688044; The Nuthatch, 9 – 11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL, 01642 688505; The Isaac Wilson, 61 Wilson St, Middlesbrough TS1 1SF, 01642 247708

Overview: The gates of the Riverside Stadium opened for business on Saturday August 25 1995 when Boro took on Chelsea in the opening weekend in Premier League history. Craig Hignett scored the first goal at the new ground after 39 minutes, a 2-0 victory assured when Jan Aage Fjortoft added a second in the 76th minute.

Villa Park

Where: Birmingham

Home to: Aston Villa

Capacity: 42,785

Opened: 1897

Getting there: The two nearest train stations to Villa Park are Witton and Aston

Other notable events: The Big Villa Sleep Out

Pubs nearby: The Holte, Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE, 0121 326 1570; The Aston Tavern, 10 Aston Hall Rd, Birmingham B6 7FF, 0121 328 0095; The Bartons Arms, 144 High St, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UP, 0121 333 5988

Overview: In the late 19th century, what is now Villa Park was part of a pleasure ground that consisted of a football and cricket pitch, athletics track and a small grandstand. At the time Aston Villa played at the Perry Barr ground, until 1897 when they moved to the bigger and better Villa Park in 1897. Villa Park remains their home to this day, although it has undergone various changes and developments over the years.

Villa Park

Villa Park

London Stadium

Where: London

Home to: West Ham United

Capacity: 66,000

Opened: 2008

Getting there: Travel via tube to Stratford station, followed by a 20 min walk

Other notable events: 2012 London Olympics

Pubs nearby: The Cow, 4 Chesnut Plaza, Montfichet Rd, London E20 1GL, 020 8291 8644; Howling Hops Brewery and Tank Bar, Unit 9A Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln, London E9 5EN, 020 3583 8262; Tap East, 7 International Square, London E20 1EE, 020 8555 4467

Overview: London Stadium is a multi-purpose outdoor stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the Stratford district of London. It was constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, designed as the track and field venue, and as the site of their spectacular opening and closing ceremonies.


Where: South Yorkshire

Home to: Sheffield Wednesday

Capacity: 39,732

Opened: 1899

Getting there: The two nearest train stations to Villa Park are Witton and Aston

Other notable events: The Big Villa Sleep Out

Pubs nearby: The Holte, Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE, 0121 326 1570; The Aston Tavern, 10 Aston Hall Rd, Birmingham B6 7FF, 0121 328 0095; The Bartons Arms, 144 High St, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UP, 0121 333 5988

Overview: Sheffield Wednesday took up residence at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1899. The stadium was the scene of a stadium disaster that cost the lives of 96 Liverpool fans. Known as the Hillsborough disaster, the fans were involved in a fatal crush resulting in 96 fatalities and 766 injuries.

Hillsborough Football stadiums UK


Stadium of Light

Where: Sunderland

Home to: Sunderland

Capacity: 49,000

Opened: 1997

Getting there: Take the metro direct to the Stadium of Light or St Peter’s metro stops

Other notable events: UEFA Euro 2004, Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour 2016,  Spice Girls Spice World Tour 2019

Pubs nearby: Colliery Tavern, 12 Southwick Rd, Sunderland SR5 1EQ, The Cambridge, 88 Fulwell Rd, Sunderland SR6 0JB, The Wolsey, Millem Terrace, Sunderland SR6 0ES

Overview: The Stadium of Light was built in the mid 1990s to replace Sunderland’s old stadium, Roker Park, which could not be expanded or modernised. The stadium was named by chairman Bob Murray to reflect the coal mining heritage of the North East and the former Monkwearmouth Colliery site on which it stands.

Ibrox Park

Where: Glasgow

Home to: Rangers

Capacity: 51,082

Opened: 1899

Getting there: The circular Glasgow subway system links Ibrox with the city centre. Board the metro in the centre, e.g. at Buchanan Street or St Enoch, and get off at station Ibrox.

Other notable events: EUFA Euro 2016, Scottish Cup Final 1997, Frank Sinatra 1990, Elton John and Billy Joel 1998

Pubs nearby: Louden Tavern Ibrox, 111 Copland Rd, Glasgow G51 2SL, 07889 884547; Park Bar, 442 Paisley Rd W, Cessnock, Glasgow G51 1SR, 0141 427 1408; District Bar, 252 Paisley Rd W, Cessnock, Glasgow G51 1BS, 0141 427 5151

Overview: The Ibrox Stadium is located on the south side of the River Clyde, in the Ibrox district of Glasgow. Home to Rangers F.C, it’s the third largest football stadium in Scotland. Ibrox was initially oval-shaped, had a track circling the pitch, and mainly consisted of wooden scaffold type terraces. The first match played at the stadium was a match against Hearts on the 30 December 1899.

Ibrox Stadium Football stadiums UK

Ibrox Stadium

Image credits: ©Atonia Elek/Jack Hunter/Mitch Rosen/Nicholas Doherty/Tim Bechervaise/Unsplash; Aston Villa FC/Celtic FC; Naipung/Savo Ilic/; Neil Kitson/Sheffield Wednesday; Rangers FC; St James Park

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