It is a well-established fact that the Premier League is the king of leagues and the one with the most focus from the footballing world. The revenue generated from this attention inevitably means that Premier League stadiums are more spectacular than those of the other leagues. The extent of the greatness of each Premier League stadium is up for debate, however, according to my assessment below are the UK's 5 best Premiership Stadium choices that a majority of true football fans can likely agree upon. Unfortunately, you won't find the like of Wigan's DW Stadium here because this page is reserved for only..the very best of them all.
(5) St James' Park Stadium - Newcastle
Not even its renaming as the SportsDirect.com stadium can sully the reputation of and experience at Newcastle United's sacred ground. This is a 52,000+ capacity stadium, a number that isn't hugely impressive. The charm of this stadium is in its design, however. This feels like a city-center stadium due to the presence of the two smaller stands that back onto the city's roads and some impressive listed buildings. These two stands aren't mirrored on the opposite end, though, there you'll find two asymmetrically astronomical stands. These newer stands are very impressive, though they do sit fans rather far away from the action should they be sitting at the top.
This stadium's charm is evident in the design, but it's perhaps best embodied in the words "Howay the Lads", which are engraved above the player's tunnel.
Main events hosted: Olympics (2012), FIFA WC (2006) qualifying and Rugby WC (2015)
Upcoming events: Newcastle & Exeter league matches, Workshop on International trade
(4) Anfield Stadium - Liverpool
One of the best, probably the oldest and most famous football stadiums not only in the UK but the entire world sits rather unassumingly (from the outside, anyhow) in the north of Liverpool. This stadium can seat just over 45,000 spectators, though its capacity isn't what makes this stadium so great. This greatness comes from the team instead, who can call it their home as well as the incredible matches that have taken place there.
One of the more amusing facts about the stadium is that it can even be seen from the stadium of Everton football club. Visitors can enjoy a tour of Anfield Stadium in the daytime, being afforded the opportunity to see its innards up close. Because of its size and seating capacity, the legroom is expected to be noticeably poor and don't expect some spectacular corner views, but the presence of the most famous (and arguably the loudest) stand in the UK is the renowned Kop stand more than makes up for the limited legroom.
Main events hosted: FA Cup semi-finals, British Boxing Championships, World Club Rugby Challenge 1991, Rugby league 4-nationals final 2016.
(3) Etihad Stadium - Manchester City
This used to be known as the City of Manchester Stadium, but these days goes by the "Etihad Stadium", such is the nature and power of sponsorship in football these days. This stadium's original purpose was to house the Commonwealth Games of 2002, but it wasn't long after that Manchester City moved into the stadium to make it their home.
Its 48,000 capacity is nothing spectacular when compared to Old Trafford, but again, it isn't the size that makes this stadium impressive. Due to various developments including the Etihad Campus for state of the art training facilities, this stadium is effectively one of the most advanced sporting sites anywhere in the UK (comparable to the London Olympic Park). Furthermore, the stadium's design allows for virtually unobstructed views, regardless of which stand one sits in. There's a bit of a problem, however, its design has also left a large gap between the pitch perimeter and the start of the stands, making it a more impersonal experience than others on the list.
Main events hosted: UEFA Cup final (2008), Commonwealth Games (2002), Rugby World Cup (2015) and international boxing title matches.
(2) Emirates Stadium - Arsenal
The home of none other than Arsenal Football Club, the Emirates stadium isn't just another expensive example of the power of sponsorship in the Premier League. Fans of a certain age will remember when Highbury was the home of Arsenal, but that's all in the past: Emirates is a stunning stadium, and stunningly large compared to its tiny predecessor. In all, this stadium seats precisely 60,260 persons (due to newly-imposed safety regulations), and it even has a gigantic shopping center within its walls.
One of the main criticisms directed at the stadium though is that it lacks the character that Highbury once had. You can't seat 60,000+ in just character, however, for these numbers, you need serious seating, and not just in terms of quantity. Luckily, this stadium has some of the roomiest and comfortable seats in the whole of the Premier League, and its design, in general, provides a lot of open spaces to allow for the dense crowds that accumulate here on a regular basis during the season. Arsenal has enjoyed a serious number of victories here, and its ticket waiting list stands in the tens of thousands.
Main events hosted: International fixtures including UEFA Europa, Champions league.
(1) Old Trafford - Manchester United
Obviously, you guys know who I am a loyal fan of here, so I would forgive you for being a little suspicious as to my motives for classing Old Trafford the top stadium in the EPL. However, irrespective of the loyalty, let me try to convince you of my case for it getting the top spot below:
Old Trafford is one of the stadiums that even non-football fans know about. The home of the world-famous Manchester United, this stadium has a rich history both in terms of the matches played there as well as in the design of the stadium itself. This isn't the only stadium to have been converted from the old-school mixed seating/standing design to the modern all-seating one, but it is generally considered to be the best-converted stadium in the whole of the Premier League.
One thing to note about Old Trafford is, of course, its sheer size. While other stadiums on this list can seat respectable numbers such as 40,000 to 50,000, Old Trafford seats a staggering 76,100 spectators. Its size dwarfs rival Premier League stadiums by quite some margin. Bobby Charlton called this stadium the "Theatre of Dreams", and that's a description that's difficult to argue with. One of the most interesting and history-steeped aspects of the stadium is the presence of a commemorative clock reminding everyone of the tragic Munich Air Disaster of 1958, not to mention the Matt Busby statue outside the stadium's east gate.
Main events hosted: FIFA World Cup (1966), Champions League Final (2003), Rugby Super League Grand Final, Summer Olympics (2012), first ever FA Women's Cup.
Old Trafford & Etihad are surely on my bucket list and I would love to have an opportunity to watch a live game there someday. Which of them are on your bucket list? Also,