For every Old Trafford, Camp Nou and San Siro, there are also tiny stadiums, relatively, in the same leagues, used by teams like QPR, Rayo Vallecano and Siena, that can fit five and six times into the biggest venues in their nation. Small clubs, with tiny fan bases and narrow resources manage to live side by side with financial giants, although usually not with great success.
Loftus Road, London – 18,439
Originally the ground of Sheperd’s Bush FC, it’s been the home stadium of QPR since 1917, almost consecutively. According to Tony Fernandes, the chairman of the club, they’re looking to move into a bigger stadium (40-45 thousand) in order to fulfill the club’s ambitions, which apparently are more than battling against relegation each year.
Trolli Arena, Fürth – 18,000
A stadium that’s been around since 1910 and serves as the home of newly promoted Bundesliga side, Greuther Fürth. They are playing in the Bundesliga for the first time this season, expanding the stadium by 3000 seats in honor of their rise from obscurity. Along with Freiburg, their stadiums are the only under 30,000 seaters in the division.
Artemio Franchi, Siena – 15,373
The Stadio Atemio Franchi got an upgrade to its name in 2007, getting renamed into the Stadio Artemio Franchi – Montepaschi Arena, adding the name of their main sponsor, Monte dei Paschi di Siena. There are plans to leave the stadium (opened in 1923) to a new, modern 20,000 seater in the near future.
Campo de Vallecas, Madrid – 15,500
Stadium of Rayo Vallecano, one of the four Madrid football teams, since 1976. It opened back in 1976 and was previously named as Estadio Teresa Rivero. It’s one of three stadiums in the Spanish La Liga with a capacity smaller than 20,000.
Stade François Coty, Ajaccio – 10,660
It’s been the home of AC Ajaccio since 1969, and was originally named Parc des Sports de l’ACA. It’s informal name is Stade Timizzilo, but it’s oficial name came from far right politician François Coty, renamed in 2002. It is one of six stadiums in Ligue 1 that has a capacity of under 20,000.
Mandemakers Stadion, Waalwijk – 7500
The home of RKC since 1996, it was originally known as Sportpark Olympia, the same name of the ground it replaced, getting its current name in 1999.
Estadio da Madeira, Funchal – 5132
Barely beats Estadio da Mata Real in Pacos de Ferreira for the smallest stadium in the Primeira Liga and serves as the home of CD Nacional since 1998. It was formerly named Estadio Eng. Rui Alves and informally known as Estádio da Choupana.