There’s something special about a soccer stadium; each team’s home ground holds memories for fans, successes and failures, promotions, and relegations.
The weekly walk to the ground is as much a part of the experience as the match itself. Once the stadium comes into sight, the excitement intensifies, is today the day your team outplays their opponent?
Some stadiums in the Premier League have been home to their club for over a century; some stadiums even look over a century old, as repairs and renovations have to suffice.
Building a new stadium costs hundreds of millions of dollars, and many clubs either can’t or won’t leave. Staying put isn’t always bad; you can’t buy a century of hopes and dreams.
Today we’re going to look at the 15 best Premier League stadiums, and it’s going to be tough to rank the best and the worst. From history, glory nights in Europe, seating capacity, and general looks and atmosphere, all need to be taken into consideration.
As with anything that’s down to personal preference, some of you will love our list; some of you will be outraged that your club isn’t at number one.
15. Craven Cottage (Fulham FC)
- Opened: 1896
- Capacity: 25,700
One of the smallest stadiums in the Premier League, Craven Cottage is a stadium steeped in history, having been home to Fulham FC since 1896.
Before Premier League stadiums were required to be all-seater in 1995, the highest attendance at the club was 49,335.
When the club achieved a surprise promotion in 2001, it hadn’t prepared the stadium and had to play their home games at Queens Park Rangers’ ground instead for a while.
A small, compact, and beautiful ground, Craven Cottage is now back in the Premier League where it belongs, though the club has been promoted and then relegated for the past five consecutive seasons.
14. Dean Court (Bournemouth FC)
- Opened: 1910
- Capacity: 11,364
The smallest Premier League stadium by a country mile, Dean Court, home to Bournemouth FC, has a capacity of just 11,364.
Despite this, the club has been punching well above its weight for some time, surviving five seasons in the top flight before relegation in 2020.
Two seasons later, the South coast club is back in the big time, albeit with the smallest stadium in the league.
Another season of struggle may see Bournemouth relegated, but their tidy stadium is still no easy place to play.
Being so close to the pitch, the fans act as the 12th player for their team, and it will be no surprise if, come the end of the current season, Dean Court is still a premier league stadium.
13. Falmer Stadium (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
- Opened: 2011
- Capacity: 31,800
One of the newer stadiums in the Premier League, the home to Brighton & Hove Albion is a mere 13 years old and holds 31,800 fans.
Known for sponsorship reasons as the American Express Community Stadium (the Amex for short), Brighton’s stadium is a stunning, modern arena that’s allowed the club to progress quickly in recent years.
Once a world-renowned poker player, club owner Tony Bloom guided the club to six consecutive seasons in the top flight.
The stadium has allowed Brighton to increase revenue and establish itself as a real force in the league. The Amex can also host other events, which further increases its importance to the local community.
A fantastic stadium built for an excellent team, the stadium looks set to host a Premier league team for some time, and with fans as loud and as passionate as any in the country, Brighton & Hove Albion looks set for a bright future.
12. City Ground (Nottingham Forest FC)
- Opened: 1898
- Capacity: 30,445
Another historic landmark, the City Ground, has been home to fallen giants Nottingham Forest since 1898.
With a respectable capacity of 30,445, the ground has been host to some of the English league’s greatest games, especially during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Under world-famous manager Brian Clough, the club dominated domestically and in Europe.
After winning promotion to the top division in 1977, the club immediately won the first division in 1978 in their first season. This meant that Forest would be entered into the European Cup for the following season, which they promptly won at the first attempt in 1979.
As if this wasn’t fairytale enough for Nottingham Forest fans, the same season, the club finished runners-up in the league and, as the holders of the European Cup, were entered into the competition the following year.
Forest incredibly retained the European Cup in 1980, and the City Ground was host to some of English soccer’s most extraordinary events.
Decades of languishing in the second tier of English soccer have ensued. Still, a surprise promotion to the Premier League for the current season means that soccer fans will finally get to see the City Ground where it belongs.
11. Goodison Park (Everton FC)
- Opened: 1892
- Capacity: 39,572
One of the few clubs to have never been relegated from the Premier League, Everton plays their home games at Goodison Park, a 39,572-seater stadium that’s been home to the club since 1892.
Goodison Park has hosted more top-flight games than any other stadium in England, as the club has only been outside the top tier for four seasons in its history.
Before moving to Goodison Park in 1892, Everton played their home games at Anfield, the future home of hated cross-city rivals Liverpool FC.
The club spent eight years at Anfield after being forced out of their first stadium, Stanley Park, as the land owner deemed that soccer crowds were too noisy.
10. Elland Road (Leeds United FC)
- Opened: 1897
- Capacity: 37,792
The 14th largest stadium in England, Elland Road has been home to Leeds United since 1919 and is one of the most popular stadiums in the country, thanks to its vocal and passionate fanbase.
Elland Road has four stands, all named after club legends; the Don Revie Stand, The Norman Hunter Stand, the John Charles stand, and the Jack Charlton stand.
Leeds United was at its peak during the 1960s and 1970s, where, under the guidance of Don Revie, the club battled for League Championships for almost a decade.
A massive fall from grace in the 2000s saw the club fall to the third division of English soccer, and it has taken the famous club nearly two decades to return to where its fans feel the club rightly belongs.
9. King Power Stadium (Leicester City FC)
- Opened: 2002
- Capacity: 32,261
The King Power stadium is a 32,261-capacity stadium that has been home to Leicester City since 2002 and is the setting for one of the Premier League’s most outstanding ever achievements.
After winning promotion to the Premier League in 2014, the club made slow but steady progress for the next 18 months, cementing itself as a lower-table team.
In the 2015/16 season, however, the King Power stadium hosted one of the sports’ greatest upsets.
A mere two seasons after promotion, Leicester City defied over 5000-1 odds of winning the Premier League, going top of the table in December and clinging on for the rest of the season, and being dubbed “the Unbelievables” in reference to the “Invincibles” Arsenal team of 2003/4.
8. St James’ Park (Newcastle United FC)
- Opened: 1880
- Capacity: 52,305
One of the most-loved stadiums in England, St James’ Park is home to Newcastle United, or more accurately, home to its fans, the Toon Army.
One of the noisiest, most loyal fans in the Premier League, the stadium holds 52,305 supporters, making it the eighth largest in England.
Newcastle has played its home games at St James’ Park since 1892, and given its cultural importance in the region, the odds of the club moving are slim. Newcastle fans view their soccer as a kind of religion, so leaving their stadium would be blasphemous to the fans.
New ownership has meant Newcastle is a club on the rise; expect European soccer sooner rather than later.
7. London Stadium (West Ham United FC)
- Opened: 2012
- Capacity: 60,000
One of the Premier League’s newest and most spectacular stadiums, the London Stadium was purpose-built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and subsequently became the home stadium for West Ham United.
The decision to make West Ham the tenancy was not popular in London, as many felt the club would be able to take many fans away from other local teams.
A visually stunning venue, the London Stadium also hosts several Major League Baseball games every year. The first was in 2019, when the Boston Red Sox played a two-game series against the New York Yankees.
One criticism of the new stadium is its lack of atmosphere; the fans are a distance from the pitch, which lacks the history and intimacy that the club’s old stadium, Upton Park, enjoyed. Since West Ham was based at Upton Park for over a century, it will take time for the club to adjust.
This minor criticism aside, the stadium does open up huge possibilities for the Hammers, and should their continued rise up the Premier League table be anything to go by, the fans could soon be reveling in the atmosphere of their new stadium.
6. Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC)
- Opened: 1877
- Capacity: 41,837
One of English soccer’s most famous grounds, Stamford Bridge is home to Chelsea FC, one of the most successful clubs in Premier League history.
Despite Chelsea being founded in 1905, the stadium had already been used as a sports venue since 1877, when the London Athletic Club had used the stadium for track and field events.
Famed recently for the club’s rise to European greatness under former owner Roman Abramovich, the club is one of the regular title challengers that consistently excel in the Premier
League. Teams rarely enjoy a visit to the fortress known as Stamford Bridge, the fans are riotous in their club’s support, and many teams simply can’t handle the heat.
5. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
- Opened: 2019
- Capacity: 62,850
The newest, and one of the most impressive stadiums in the Premier League, the only reason this superb stadium hasn’t been placed higher on our list is due to the fact that its history isn’t comparable to many others.
The third-largest stadium in England, the replacement for White Hart Lane is a goliath of a stadium that holds 62,850 fans.
Used as both the home for Tottenham Hotspurs FC and host many NFL games each season, the stadium is one of the best in the world.
Designed to be a multi-purpose, multiple income stream venue, the Tottenham Hotspur stadium is the envy of the league.
With the expected increase in revenue already showing signs of making its way to the team, the future of Tottenham Hotspur, especially under the current coach Antonio Conte, there is a real buzz around the club.
White Hart Lane may be a thing of the past, but the modern Spurs team can go on to become a genuine Premier League powerhouse.
4. Emirates Stadium (Arsenal FC)
- Opened: 2006
- Capacity: 60,704
Leaving their old stadium was a massive wrench for Arsenal FC; not only was Highbury home to their greatest achievements, but the fans also loved the old stadium, and every team in the land hated visiting.
The old stadium was a small, compact venue with fans almost on the touchline. The new Emirates Stadium is a monster, holding 60,704 spectators.
The cost of building the Emirates was also crippling; it’s taken Arsenal the best part of 15 years to get to grips with their finances.
Now that the club is generating huge incomes, the cost of building is less of a problem, and the club simply needs to start being competitive again.
One of the best stadiums in Europe, the Emirates has the potential to bring in vast sums of money, all of which could potentially be reinvested into the team.
If that’s the case, Arsenal fans may have something to cheer for; a packed stadium supporting a team that’s challenging for titles again.
3. Etihad Stadium (Manchester City FC)
- Opened: 2002
- Capacity: 53,400
Etihad Stadium, also known as the City of Manchester Stadium, is the fifth-largest stadium in England and home to League Champions Manchester City.
A 53,400-capacity stadium that hosts the most exciting and dominant team the Premier League has seen in some years, the fans of Manchester City have much to be thankful for.
The club moved to the Etihad from its spiritual home at Maine Road in 2003 and has turned its new stadium into one of the most feared places in the Premier League. With an incredible team led by an incredible manager, Manchester City can tear teams apart on a whim.
New signing Erling Haaland will likely score for fun in front of the home crowd for the coming season, something that will strike fear into the hearts of opposing players and fans alike.
The stadium also hosts music concerts when the club isn’t using the stadium for Premier League or Champions League games.
2. Old Trafford (Manchester United FC)
- Opened: 1910
- Capacity: 74,310
They don’t call it the Theatre of Dreams for nothing, and while Manchester United may not be the force of old, their Stadium is still one of the most imposing in Premier League history.
The largest stadium in the Premier League, and the second largest in the United Kingdom, behind Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford is one of the most well-known soccer arenas in the world.
The spiritual home of Manchester United, this historic stadium has hosted some of the most incredible Premier League and Champions League games in living memory. The 74,310-seater stadium has been home to United since 1910 and has enough scope for expansion to reach over 88,000 seats.
As well as the West and East Stands, there is also the Sir Bobby Charlton stand and Sir Alex Ferguson stand, which until their renaming, were known as the South and North stands, respectively.
Due to its history and locale, it’s unlikely Manchester United will ever leave their stadium, instead preferring to upgrade and expand their current home.
1. Anfield (Liverpool FC)
- Opened: 1884
- Capacity: 53,994
Anfield, even the name invokes an emotional response; while it may only be the seventh largest stadium in England, for sheer history, this landmark of British soccer simply cannot be beaten.
The home to the famous Liverpool FC is one of the best stadiums in the world for its atmosphere, prestige, and history.
With a capacity of 53,394 spectators, the majority of them home fans, singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is one of the most spine-tingling experiences in world soccer. Often voted as one of the world’s best stadiums to visit, Anfield is a cornerstone of English soccer.
Home to the mighty Liverpool since the club’s founding in 1892, the stadium had actually belonged to fierce local rivals Everton from 1884 to 1891 until a dispute caused the Blue half of Liverpool to relocate to Goodison Park.
The iconic statues at the gates to Anfield, of legendary former managers Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly, are identifiable by soccer fans worldwide.
Season ticket holders at Anfield stay for life, passing down their seats from family member to family member. It’s almost impossible to get tickets to see Liverpool; the stadium is rarely anything but full, regardless of opposition. And for European nights, the atmosphere and excitement are beyond compare.
The best stadium in the Premier League is home to one of the best soccer teams in the world, with a history that’s beyond compare.
Liverpool FC is undeniably one of the most supported clubs on earth, with one of the best stadiums in soccer. If the club can figure out a way to increase the stadium capacity to 120,000, the fans would still fill it to the roof.