Best and worst football stadiums

With the proliferation of standardised sterilised stadia, which ones are the best, and which ones are the worst?

Best

Everton – Goodison Park
Oh I do love pillars me, and there’s genuinely something quite brilliant about knowing that there is a chance of only seeing 30% of the pitch. It remains one of the best for passion and atmosphere, and it’ll be a loss to football when it goes.

Raith Rovers – Stark’s Park
“What do we want?”
“Half a main stand!”
“When do we want it?”
“Oh never mind, we already have one.”

Basel – St Jakob-Park
Flags, so many flags. The joy of straining your neck to see above seven-foot-high flags while bouncing to a 15-minute-long chant never dies.

Borussia Dortmund – Westfalenstadion
“Oh of course!” I hear you cry. “It’s the most predictable choice ever,” I hear you scoff. But that doesn’t take away from the pure thrill of seeing a giant wall of German football fans rain audible terror down on opposition teams like a great yellow tidal wave crashing against sand dunes.

Newcastle – St James’ Park
When all you can think about is how to get out of Newcastle as quickly as possible to escape the large stomach of Mike Ashley, you glance up and marvel at the stunningly beautiful view of the great northern city. Never mind football, that’s a view for the ages (not Ashley’s stomach).

Worst

Scotland – Hampden Park
Situated in the misleadingly titled area of Glasgow called Mount Florida (which is neither mountainous nor sunny), the joyous quirk of a supporter standing up ten rows in front of you does nothing to distract you from the fact that you may as well be in Florida considering the distance from seat to pitch.

Bayern Munich – Allianz Arena
Who wouldn’t want to watch football in a glorified advertising hoarding, surrounded by the lights of a slightly deranged version of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind alien ships?

England – Wembley
Does anyone actually remember the old Wembley? You know the one, the powerful forts of the twin towers, the pitch that didn’t cut up into an unusable mess within thirty minutes? It was good, wasn’t it?

Manchester City – The Etihad
This is a boring corporate monstrosity that is only ever half full and is about as attractive as the squirrel your bus ran over on your way there.

West Ham – London Stadium
Oh god why? Who did this to you, West Ham? Was Lady Boleyn’s ground not good enough for you? A soulless mess.

 

Image courtesy of The Stadium Guide @flickr

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