Home Grounds of Soccer Clubs
Association football or Soccer clubs always have the emotional attachments with their home grounds as they also carry the prestige and the heritage of the club itself. Clubs treat their grounds same as an important part of their own culture. Recently, since August 2009, Emirates Stadium has gone under a program of “Arsenalisation” to restore Arsenal’s heritage and history, which will turn the stadium into a “visible stronghold of all things Arsenal through a variety of artistic and creative means,” according to the Arsenal’s CEO Ivan Gazidis. The largest football stadium according to the capacity is the Rungnado May Day Stadium with a seating capacity of 150,000 located in Pyongyang, North Korea, which is the home ground of the Korea DPR national football team. Recently, the second largest football stadium in the world, Salt Lake Stadium, with the seating capacity of 120,000 declared to be the home ground of Indian team Atlético de Kolkata. There are several state-of-the-art and heritage stadiums all over the world which are used as the home grounds of famous soccer team, so here is the list of top 10 home grounds of soccer clubs.
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Top 10 Home Grounds of Soccer Clubs
1. Nou Camp – FC Barcelona
Nou Camp is the home of Spanish La Liga club Nou Camp – FC Barcelona. It is the fifth largest association football stadium in the world in terms of capacity and the largest stadium in Europe. The stadium is situated at Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and was named Estadio del FC Barcelona till it was renamed in 2000. This stadium is FC Barcelona’s home ground since 1957 with a seating capacity of 99,354. Nou Camp hosted several matches of 1982 FIFA World Cup and 1992 Spain Olympics, and also hosted 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup final and UEFA Champions League Final twice till now. Nou Camp was designed by Francesc Mitjans, Josep Soteras, and Lorenzo García-Barbón with an estimated construction cost of 288 million Spanish pesetas in 1954, and was opened for public on 24 September 1957.
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2. Old Trafford – Manchester United F.C.
Old Trafford is the home of English Premier League club Manchester United F.C. It is the ninth-largest stadium in Europe and the second-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom. The stadium is situated at Greater Manchester, England, and had been nicknamed the Theatre of Dreams by the legendary English former footballer Sir Bobby Charlton. This stadium is United’s home ground since 1910 with a seating capacity of 75,635. Old Trafford hosted several matches of 1966 World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, UEFA Euro 1996 and the 2003 Champions League Final. Besides football, the stadium also hosts Rugby league’s annual Super League Grand Final. Old Trafford was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch and was constructed by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester with an estimated construction cost of £90,000 in 1909, and was opened for public on 19 February 1910.
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3. Signal Iduna Park – Borussia Dortmund
Signal Iduna Park is the home of German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. It is the biggest stadium in Germany, the seventh biggest stadium in Europe, and also the third-largest home stadium of Elite European clubs. The stadium is situated at North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the museum of Borussia Dortmund called The Borusseum is located inside the stadium. With the seating capacity of 80,667, this stadium is Borussia Dortmund’s home ground since the day they moved to their new home on 2 April 1974. Signal Iduna Park hosted several matches of 1974 FIFA World Cup and 2006 FIFA World Cup, and also hosted the 2001 UEFA Cup Final. It was designed by Planungsgruppe Drahtler with an estimated construction cost of 32.7 million Deutsche Mark in 1974, and was opened for public on 2 April 1974.
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4. Santiago Bernabéu – Real Madrid C.F.
Santiago Bernabéu is the home of Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid C.F. It is the second-largest stadium in Spain, and also the second-largest home stadium of Elite European clubs. The stadium is situated at Madrid, Spain, and was renamed in honor of the former chairman Santiago Bernabéu Yeste. This stadium is Real Madrid’s home ground since 1947 with a seating capacity of 85.464. Santiago Bernabéu hosted several matches including the finals of 1957, 1969 and 1980 European Cup. It also hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup Final, 1964 European Nations’ Cup Final and 2010 UEFA Champions League Final. It was designed by Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler with an estimated construction cost of 288,342,653 Ptas in 1944, and was opened for public on 14 December 1947. It was again re-designed by Antonio Lamela during its renovation.
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5. San Siro – A.C. Milan and Inter Milan
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza aka the San Siro stadium is the home of both the most popular club in Italian Serie A, A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. The stadium received the UEFA five-star stadium status. It is situated at San Siro district in Milan, Italy, and renamed in honour of Giuseppe Meazza on 3 March 1980. With the recent seating capacity of 80,018, this stadium is A.C. Milan’s home ground since 1926 and Inter Milan’s home ground since 1947. San Siro hosted the UEFA Champions League finals in 1965, 1970 and 2001. It was constructed with the initiative of AC Milan’s president Piero Pirelli in 1925 and was again extensively renovated for 1990 FIFA World Cup with an estimated construction cost of $60 million. It was currently owned by Milan Municipality and was opened for public on 19 September 1926.
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6. Allianz Arena – FC Bayern Munich
Allianz Arena is the home of German Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich. It is the first stadium in the world with a full color-changing exterior walls, and it is the third largest stadium in Germany, and was nicknamed Schlauchboot which stands for inflatable boat. The stadium is situated at Munich, Germany, and the naming rights of the stadium were purchased by the financial service provider Allianz for 30 years in 2005. This stadium is Bayern Munich’s home ground since it was opened in 2005 with a seating capacity of 69,901. Allianz Arena hosted several matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and also hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. It was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and was constructed by Ove Arup & Partners with an estimated construction cost of €340 million, and was finally opened for public on 30 May 2005.
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7. Stadio Olimpico – A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio
Stadio Olimpico is an asset of the Italian National Olympic Committee and currently used as the home ground of two Italian Serie A club A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio. This UEFA category four stadium is the largest sports facility of Italy. The stadium is situated within the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome, Italy. Besides football, the stadium is also used by the Italian national rugby union team and Italy’s national athletic team. With the recent seating capacity of 70,634, Stadio Olimpico is A.S. Roma’s and S.S. Lazio’s home ground since the first organized Series A in 1929. This stadium hosted several matches including the final of 1990 FIFA World Cup and 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, and also annually hosts the final of Coppa Italia. It was designed by architect Enrico Del Debbio and constructed by Turinese engineer Angelo Frisa in 1927 and was again rebuilt for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
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8. Emirates Stadium – Arsenal F.C.
Emirates Stadium is the home of English Premier League club Arsenal F.C. It is the third-largest football stadium in England, and was stated as the “biggest decision in Arsenal’s history” by team’s manager Arsène Wenger. This stadium is Arsenal’s home ground since 2006 with a seating capacity of 60,272. Emirates Stadium hosted various international friendly matches featuring Brazil national football team and besides football, also used for music concerts of various stars like Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay. It was designed by HOK Sport aka Populous under the guidance of Structural engineer Buro Happold with an estimated construction cost of £470 million. The main sponsor for the stadium’s construction was Emirates Airline. After the approval of Islington Council, the construction work started in February 2004, and it was opened for public on 22 July 2006.
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9. Stamford Bridge – Chelsea F.C.
Stamford Bridge is the home of English Premier League club Chelsea F.C. it is often referred simply as The Bridge, and it is the eighth largest ground in the Premier League. This stadium is Chelsea’s home ground since Gus Mears founded Chelsea Football Club in 1905. It was fully renovated into a modern all-seater stadium in 1990s with a seating capacity of 41,798. Stamford Bridge hosted several FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals and Charity Shield matches. Besides football, it has also hosted several matches of various sports such as cricket, baseball, rugby union, American football, speedway and greyhound racing. It was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch in 1887 and was used by the London Athletic Club till 1905. It was opened for public on 28 April 1877 and was gone under its first renovation during 1904 to 1905.
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10. Celtic Park – Celtic F.C.
Celtic Park is the home of Scottish Premiership club Celtic F.C. It is the largest football stadium in Scotland and the Seventh-largest stadium in the UK with the seating capacity of 60,355. The stadium is situated at Glasgow, Scotland and nicknamed “Parkhead” and “Paradise” by the Celtic fans. This stadium is Celtic’s home ground since 1892. Besides several football matches, Celtic Park also hosted the 1897 Track Cycling World Championships and most interestingly First World War recruitment drives were also held here. The stadium was opened for public in 1892, and Celtic F.C. purchased the stadium in 1897 for £100,000. The Main Stand was recreated by Duncan and Kerr in 1929 with an estimated cost of £35,000. Celtic Park is extensively renovated and rebuilt in many phases from 1994 to 1998 by the Percy Johnson-Marshall Associates with an estimated cost of £40 million.
Other notable mentions in this list as the best home ground of the soccer clubs are Club América’s home ground Estadio Azteca, Esteghlal FC’s and Persepolis FC’s home ground Azadi Stadium and İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor’s home ground Atatürk Olympic Stadium. Whatever be the rankings of the stadiums on the basis of studies and surveys, the home grounds were, are and will be the best for for their respective fans, as they are not only attached with the club but also have the attachment with the ground itself.