English Premier League: A Guide to Each Team's Stadium

Davey EdmondsonContributor IIISeptember 23, 2011

English Premier League: A Guide to Each Team's Stadium

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    The Premier League has many different styles of stadiums, from the unchanged traditional stadiums to the modern architecture of the out-of-town newer varieties. 

    Here is a guide to all 20 stadiums with some interesting facts thrown in for good measure.

    All capacities are approximate, and they are listed in order from smallest to largest.

QPR: Loftus Road

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    Based in the London area of Shepherd's Bush, Loftus Road was shared by QPR and Fulham between 2002 and 2004 while Fulham's Craven Cottage was being redeveloped.

    It is the smallest stadium in the Premier League with a capacity of 18,500.

    Before sharing with Fulham, QPR shared with Rugby Union side London Wasps, but they left in 2002 so QPR could share with their fellow football team.

    Loftus Road is occasionally used as a neutral venue for international games and by the Australian national team for European-based friendlies. This could be because the Shepherd's Bush area has a large Australian population. 

    In 1981, Loftus Road was one of the first stadiums to use artificial turf.

Swansea: Liberty Stadium

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    Opened in 2005, the Liberty Stadium is the third largest stadium in Wales with a capacity of 20,500. Swansea share the Liberty Stadium with Rugby Union side, Ospreys.

    The opening match at Liberty Stadium was a friendly against Fulham, and the first goal at the new was scored by Fulham's Steed Malbranque.

    The stadium has also hosted international matches for Wales as well as concerts by The Who, Elton John, and Rod Stewart.

    A statue of former player Ivor Allchurch stands outside the ground.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Molineux

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    Opened in 1889, and with a current capacity of 24,200, Molineux was one of the first grounds to install floodlights. The stadium is currently going through a progressive redevelopment in order to reach a potential capacity of 50,000.

    The stadium occasionally hosts England U-21 matches and held the very first UEFA Cup Final in 1972.

    A statue of former player Billy Wright stands outside the stadium.

    The name of the stadium comes from a local merchant, Benjamin Molineux, who bought the land in 1744.

Wigan: DW Stadium

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    Named after Wigan owner Dave Whelan, the team shares the ground with Rugby League team Wigan Warriors.

    It has a capacity of 25,000 and houses an Italian restaurant inside its walls.

    The first match played at the stadium was against Manchester United in 1999, with Manchester United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, officially opening the stadium.

    It has also hosted Rugby League international matches.

Fulham: Craven Cottage

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    Craven Cottage has been the home of Fulham since 1896. After refurbishment in 2004, the stadium's current capacity is 25,700.

    A hunting lodge used to stand where the pitch is now, but that building was destroyed by fire in 1888. The current stadium stands right next to the River Thames.

    Craven Cottage was the last stadium to have standing terraces, but the club got rid of them in 2002.

    There is a statue of Fulham legend Johnny Haynes outside the stadium, as well as a statue of late singer Michael Jackson.

    Craven Cottage is the only stadium in the Premier League to have a section for neutral supporters.

West Bromwich Albion: The Hawthorns

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    Opened in 1900, West Brom have played here since its inception. The stadium has a capacity of 26,480 and has the highest altitude of any Premier League or Football League stadium.

    In 1949, it was the first stadium in Britain to install an electric turnstile, which counted the exact number of attending spectators.

    The stadium was refurbished in 1994, and outside the Birmingham Road stand is the Jeff Astle Memorial Gates, in tribute to the West Brom legend.

Norwich: Carrow Road

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    Built in 1935 and with a current capacity of 27,000, the grounds have been redeveloped several times. The biggest instance of this came in 1984, after a fire destroyed part of the stands.

    A Holiday Inn hotel stands in one corner of the stadium, with the windows of the rooms facing the pitch.

    As well as football, there have been concerts by Elton John and George Michael held at Carrow Road.

    The stadium used to have an advertisement for a local brand of mustard on the roof of one of the stands.

Stoke City: Britannia Stadium

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    Named after Stoke City's main sponsors, the Britannia Stadium was built in 1997 and has a capacity of 28,300. The stadium was opened by club legend Sir Stanley Matthews, whose ashes are buried underneath the center circle.

    The stadium was originally owned by the Stoke city council, but the club bought it from them in 2007.

    The stadium has held concerts by Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi in addition to its football matches.

Bolton: Reebok Stadium

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    Named after their main sponsor, the Reebok Stadium was opened by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in 1997. It stands in a retail park and has a hotel in the stadium, some rooms with views of the pitch.

    The stadium has a capacity of 28,700.

    The initial move was unpopular with fans as the ground is far out of town, plus they had a strong connection to the team's previous stadium, Burnden Park.

    Reebok Stadium has held many other sporting events, including Rugby League and Union matches, darts, and local boxer Amir Khan has fought there. Concerts by bands such as Oasis and Coldplay have also taken place inside its walls.

Blackburn: Ewood Park

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    Ewood Park opened in 1882, and eight years later Blackburn Rovers moved in. As well as being used for football, it was also previously used for greyhound racing.

    The stadium currently has a capacity of 31,100. Many of the original stands were wooden, but these were all gradually replaced. Refurbishment eventually was completed in 1994.

    A statue of former owner Jack Walker stands outside the stadium, which also hosted the final of the Women's Euro 2005 tournament. In that game, Germany topped Norway 3-1.

Tottenham Hotspur: White Hart Lane

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    Opened in 1899, Spurs have been there from the beginning. After numerous renovations, the current capacity stands at 36,200. 

    A bronze cockerel stands on top of the Westward stand.

    The stadium has also been used for boxing and was the former home of the London Monarchs of the now-defunct NFL Europe.

    After losing out to West Ham in a bid to play in the London 2012 Olympic stadium, Spurs have made plans to move to a new stadium in the near future.

Everton: Goodison Park

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    Goodison Park was finished in 1892, and Everton have been there ever since. It has hosted the most top flight games of any stadium in the history of the league, as well as several World Cup matches in 1966.

    The current capacity is 40,100.

    In one corner of the stadium there is a church called St. Luke's. There is also a statue of Everton legend Dixie Dean outside the Park End area of Goodison Park.

    It hosted the FA Cup final in 1894, and in 1924 hosted a baseball exhibition game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants.

Chelsea: Stamford Bridge

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    Stamford Bridge was opened in 1877, with Chelsea starting play there in 1905. The stadium has undergone major redevelopments throughout its history, with the current incarnation being finished in the 1990s.

    The current capacity is 41,800.

    There is a statue for former player Peter Osgood behind the West stand.

    The stadium has hosted many other sports in its time, including cricket, rugby, and speedway racing. The FA Cup final was held there between 1920 and 1922.

    Due to the inner city nature of the stadium, future redevelopment will be tricky. Chelsea have often contemplated moving but no solid plans have ever been made.

Aston Villa: Villa Park

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    Aston Villa moved into Villa Park, then called the Aston Lower Grounds, in 1897. The current stadium buildings were mostly finished in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The current capacity is 42,700.

    Villa Park has been used to host many FA Cup semifinals, and still holds the record with 55 such games played there.

    The stadium has been used for concerts by Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran, as well as prayer meetings by evangelist Billy Graham and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

    Their is a statue of William McGregor, the founder of the Football League and former Aston Villa chairman, outside the Trinity Road stand.

Liverpool: Anfield

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    Anfield was opened in 1884, and Liverpool have played there ever since. Before they moved to Goodison Park, Everton also used to play there.

    The stadium has a current capacity of 45,200.

    There is a statue of former manager Bill Shankly outside The Kop stand, as well as the Shankly Gates, which stand next to the Hillsborough Memorial. There is also a gate in honor of another former manager, Bob Paisley.

    Anfield has been used for numerous other occasions, such as an exhibition match by the Harlem Globetrotters, and will be a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

    Paul McCartney also performed a concert there in 2008.

    Plans were made for Liverpool to move to neighboring Stanley Park, but the current owners have decided to stay at Anfield and redevelop.

Manchester City: Etihad Stadium

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    Formerly known as the City Of Manchester Stadium, or Eastlands, Etihad Stadium has been home to Manchester City FC since 2003. The stadium was opened in 1999 and hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

    The current capacity is 47,800.

    The original running track was covered by seating when Manchester City took over.

    The stadium was used for the 2008 UEFA Cup final between Zenit St. Petersburg and Rangers, with Zenit winning 2-0.

    Manchester City have made plans to build training facilities on the land around the stadium. 

    The stadium has been used for many music concerts including U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters.

Sunderland: Stadium of Light

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    Sunderland moved into the Stadium of Light in 1997 after leaving previous stadium, Roker Park. The name "Stadium of Light" is thought to be a reference to the area's mining history, as the stadium is built on top of an old mine.

    The current capacity is 49,000, and a statue of former manager Bob Stokoe stands outside the stadium.

    The stadium is used for the graduation ceremonies of the University of Sunderland, as well as music concerts for bands like Oasis and Kings of Leon.

Newcastle: St James' Park

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    The original stadium was opened in 1892, but a massive redevelopment in the late 1990s is what stands today. The main stand is the largest cantilever building in Europe.

    The current capacity is 52,000.

    An inability to develop all sides of the stadium due to one side being close to historical buildings has left the stadium lopsided.

    The Gallowgate stand is so called because it stands where the city's gallows used to be.

    St James' Park will also be used for the London 2012 Olympics as a football venue, as well as a rugby venue for the 2015 World Cup.

    The stadium is the only one in the Premier League without a scoreboard.

Arsenal: Emirates Stadium

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    The Emirates Stadium, also known as Ashburton Grove, opened in 2006. Arsenal moved there from Highbury, which is literally just round the corner from the Emirates Stadium.

    The stadium's current capacity is 60,300 and has become the unofficial European base of the Brazil national team, which has played six friendlies there since the stadium opened.

    The original clock face from Highbury now stands in the South stand of the stadium, while the exterior of the stadium features a mural of legendary Arsenal players.

Manchester United: Old Trafford

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    Old Trafford opened in 1910, with Manchester United residing there ever since. Old Trafford was bombed during World War II, during which time Manchester United temporarily shared Maine Road with rivals Manchester City.

    The current capacity at Old Trafford is 75,900.

    During the redevelopment of Wembley, the England national team played the majority of their matches at Old Trafford. The stadium was also the venue of the 2003 Champions League Final between AC Milan and Juventus, with Milan winning 3-2 on penalties.

    The stadium contains many tributes to the past, including a statue of former manager Sir Matt Busby, another of George Best, Dennis Law, and Bobby Charlton, and a tribute to the victims of the 1958 Munich air disaster.

    The stadium has been used for the rugby Super League Final every year since 1998.

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