Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

The Biggest Football Stadiums in England: Wembley, Old Trafford, and More

Manchester United’s plans to redevelop Old Trafford have sparked excitement among football enthusiasts. With a current capacity of 74,310, Old Trafford is already one of the largest football grounds in England. However, issues such as a leaking roof have made it clear that the stadium is in need of modernization.

United has enlisted the help of architects Populous, who previously built Tottenham’s state-of-the-art stadium, to undertake the refurbishment. The redevelopment of Old Trafford presents significant challenges in terms of complexity, timing, cost, and disruption due to the constraints around the site.

Let’s take a closer look at the ten largest football stadiums in England, using data from Statista.

10. Villa Park

  • Team: Aston Villa
  • Capacity: 42,657
  • Year Opened: 1897
  • Notable events: Three matches at 1966 World Cup, four matches at Euro 96, 1981 League Cup final, 55 FA Cup semi-finals.

Villa Park, in addition to hosting Aston Villa matches, has had a versatile history of hosting international games, England internationals, and even other sporting events like boxing matches and rugby league fixtures. There are plans to redevelop Villa Park, potentially increasing its capacity to around 55,000.

9. Stadium of Light

  • Team: Sunderland
  • Capacity: 49,000
  • Year Opened: 1997
  • Notable events: England vs. Australia (2016), England vs. Turkey (2004), concerts including Oasis, Rihanna, and Beyonce
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Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, despite the club being in the Championship, boasts a capacity suitable for a Premier League team involved in European football. The stadium has also hosted numerous high-profile concerts, with the capacity sometimes expanded to accommodate more than 55,000 attendees.

8. St James’ Park

  • Team: Newcastle
  • Capacity: 52,305
  • Year Opened: 1892
  • Notable events: England v Albania (2001), England vs. Azerbaijan (2005), three matches at Euro 96, concerts including The Rolling Stones

St James’ Park provides a stunning view of the city of Newcastle. Besides hosting various international fixtures, the stadium creates a fantastic atmosphere when Newcastle is performing well.

St James' Park

7. Anfield

  • Team: Liverpool
  • Capacity: 53,394
  • Year Opened: 1884
  • Notable events: Four matches at Euro 96, several FA Cup semifinals

Anfield, one of the most famous stadiums in world football, is steeped in history. It has witnessed many memorable European nights, including Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 victory over Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semifinals. Anfield has undergone significant redevelopment over the years, showcasing the club’s rich history.

6. Etihad Stadium

  • Team: Manchester City
  • Capacity: 53,400
  • Year Opened: 2002
  • Notable events: 2002 Commonwealth Games, concerts including Take That, 2008 UEFA Cup final, Manchester City vs QPR 2012.

The Etihad Stadium, previously known as the City of Manchester Stadium, witnessed Sergio Aguero’s legendary injury-time winner against QPR in 2012, securing Manchester City’s first league title in over 30 years. While the atmosphere has been criticized at times, the stadium itself upholds high standards. Located near several other sporting venues, it was initially built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

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5. Emirates Stadium

  • Team: Arsenal
  • Capacity: 60,704
  • Year Opened: 2006
  • Notable events: 2022 Rugby League World Cup matches, concerts including Coldplay

When Arsenal moved from Highbury to the futuristic Emirates Stadium in 2006, it marked a new era for the club. Under the guidance of manager Mikel Arteta, Arsenal is experiencing a resurgence, creating a positive atmosphere within their North London home.

4. London Stadium

  • Team: West Ham
  • Capacity: 62,500
  • Year Opened: 2012 (West Ham became tenants in 2016)
  • Notable events: 2012 Olympics, 2019 MLB London Series, 2015 Rugby World Cup

West Ham’s move from Upton Park to the London Stadium initially drew skepticism from fans. Originally designed for athletics competitions during the 2012 Olympics, the stadium now boasts impressive atmospheres when hosting West Ham matches and European teams.

3. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

  • Team: Tottenham
  • Capacity: 62,850
  • Year Opened: 2019
  • Notable events: NFL London Games, Boxing: Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk

Tottenham’s state-of-the-art stadium, situated on the site of their former White Hart Lane home, is purpose-built to host various sports, including football and NFL games. Its striking design makes it one of the most visually appealing venues in football.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

2. Old Trafford

  • Team: Manchester United
  • Capacity: 74,310
  • Year Opened: 1910
  • Notable events: England internationals, three 1966 World Cup games, five Euro 96 games

Old Trafford, synonymous with Manchester United’s illustrious history, has witnessed countless iconic matches. Although it requires revamping, the stadium exudes a sense of occasion and grandeur. During the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford often hosted England’s national team matches.

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1. Wembley

  • Team: England national team
  • Capacity: 90,000
  • Year Opened: 2007
  • Notable events: Euro 2020 final, FA Cup finals, 2011 and 2013 Champions League finals

Wembley Stadium, the venue for England’s 1966 World Cup victory, is the pinnacle of English football. Rebuilt in 2007, it remains the largest football stadium in the country. Hosting a multitude of prestigious events, Wembley has become an iconic symbol of footballing heritage.

Every footballer dreams of playing at Wembley, where history and passion are palpable.


Q: Are there plans to increase the capacity of Old Trafford?
A: Yes, Manchester United has initiated plans to redevelop Old Trafford and potentially increase its capacity.

Q: Which stadium has the highest capacity in England?
A: Wembley Stadium, with a capacity of 90,000, holds the distinction of being the largest football stadium in England.

Q: Has St James’ Park hosted any notable events?
A: Yes, St James’ Park has hosted various international fixtures, including England games, and has also been the venue for concerts featuring renowned artists like The Rolling Stones.


The footballing landscape in England is blessed with impressive stadiums that have witnessed countless iconic moments. From the mighty Wembley Stadium to the historic Old Trafford, these venues encapsulate the essence of football culture.

Whether you’re a fan cheering from the stands or a player stepping onto the hallowed turf, these stadiums evoke a sense of awe and excitement. They serve as a testament to the passion and love for the beautiful game in England.

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