With the 2009-2010 English Premiership season kicking off in three days, we start by getting to know the biggest stadiums in the league today. Here are the five biggest stadiums used by teams in the Premiership. Oh for you Newcastle fans, if the team wasn’t so bad last year, St. James’ park would be in the top 5.
Number 5 – Anfield, Liverpool, Liverpool FC – 45,276
Liverpool’s home since… forever. After the Everton split in 1892, the birth of the Liverpool Football Club, Anfield became Liverpool’s home, and despite the changes and renovations, 117 years later, Liverpool still play there. They haven’t won a title in a while to bring there, but still, it is one of the more special stadium with a special atmosphere in Europe. Liverpool are set to move to their new stadium in Stanley Park, but the move is being delayed with the financial climate in the world not looking so bright at the moment.
Number 4 – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, Manchester City – 47,726
The City of Manchester Stadium was originally built as part of Manchester’s bid for the 2000 summer Olympics, which didn’t work out if you’ve heard by now. Later it was converted into a soccer stadium, and Manchester City moved in, leaving Maine Road, in 2003. It is also called Eastlands or COMS, for those trying to keep things short.
Number 3 – Stadium of Light, Sunderland, Sunderland AFC – 48,707
After the Taylor report in 1989, all soccer stadiums in the United Kingdom were to be converted into all seating stadiums. Sunderland couldn’t expand or renovate their old stadium and not reduce their capacity severely. So, in 1997, Sunderland moved into the newly built Stadium of Light, after 99 years in Roker Park.
Number 2 – Emirates Stadium, London, Arsenal FC – 60,355
A stadium that was built due to Arsenal’s need to compete financially with the top of Europe’s club, where Wenger’s thinks his club should be. Highbury, seating 38,000 people, wasn’t enough anymore in order to generate enough revenues. It was initially known as Ashburton Grove, until the Emirates airline struck the sponsorship deal with Arsenal. The team moved and opened the stadium in July 2006, but have yet to bring a title to it’s walls.
Number 1 – Old Trafford, Manchester, Manchester United – 76,212
The theatre of dreams in Manchester isn’t the biggest soccer stadium in Europe, but it’s team, Manchester United, do have the highest average attendance in European soccer. The ground was opened in 1910, and will be celebrating it’s centennial this February. The stadium has grown substantially since the Premier League begun, growing from a capacity of 44,000 to the 76,012 seats of today.