If you’ve opened this article and are reading my words, chances are that you are a sports fan through and through (if not, not to worry, this shall be educational for you!). If sports course through your DNA, if your weekdays are spent looking forward to sports packed weekends, if the ICC Cricket World Cup is not satiating your gargantuan sports appetite adequately, then make the most of your time in England by visiting these fabled, celebrated, highly spirited football stadiums.
Old Trafford (Manchester United F.C.)
The largest club football stadium (and the second largest football stadium overall after Wembley) in England, home to record 20 time English champions Manchester United and nicknamed ‘The Theatre of Dreams’. Old Trafford is perhaps the most iconic football stadium of them all and largely representative of English football. The 74,994 seater stadium is where reputations are made, sometimes tarnished and given the history made within its confines (Manchester United are also the most successful club in England, having won more trophies than anyone) you could hardly call it a stadium tour if The Theatre of Dreams isn’t on the agenda.
Emirates Stadium (Arsenal F.C.)
Another English heavyweight, the home of Arsenal Football Club – the Emirates Stadium is the fourth largest football stadium in England (after Wembley, Old Trafford & Tottenham), standing at a capacity of 60,260. Having a global fan following never hurts, as arrayed by the average attendance of 60,045 reported in the 2005-2006 season, showcasing that Arsenal fans do not muck about when it comes to their beloved club and that their support is absolute, come hail, rain or snow.
Stamford Bridge (Chelsea F.C.)
Customarily referred to as ‘The Bridge’, the 41,631 capacity stadium is at present ranked the eighth largest. With expansion plans scheduled, and a capability to host 63,000 by 2023-2024 eagerly anticipated. Stamford Bridge has undergone a series of upgradation works, nonetheless, the foundation stone still remains the very same (since its establishment in 1877 & since 1905 when Chelsea was constituted). Chelsea saw mild success at best in their early years, having won only one First Division title in 1955, that is, until Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich purchased the club and altered their fortunes as Chelsea went on to win a series of titles in the recent past.
Anfield (Liverpool F.C.)
There are few stadiums around Europe where the atmosphere is as rapturous, as vocal, and as intense as it is at Anfield. A cauldron in recent years, Liverpool's home ground is packed to its brim on every match day. The 55,000-capacity stadium is over a century old, and over the decades has witnessed some out-of-this-world matches. A statue of Bill Shankly paying homage to the legendary manager welcomes you to the historic ground. If you're lucky enough to catch a Liverpool match, get ready to be swept off your feet by an atmosphere that is for sure to give you goose bumps.
Tottenham Hotspurs Football Stadium (Tottenham Hotspur F.C.)
Not as historic as some of the other grounds in the list, the Hotspurs home turf has just opened up earlier this year, replacing their previous home, White Hart Lane. A modern example of astounding sporting architecture, the newly inaugurated stadium seeks influence from others around Europe. The South Stand in particular takes inspiration from the ferocious Yellow Wall in Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium. In addition, do stop by the world's first microbrewery in a stadium if you are looking to relax with a drink whilst catching a game.
Having hosted numerous Champions League Finals and several noteworthy international matches, Wembley is all about that special feeling. A venue for so many magnificent occasions like the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, this massive stadium is a sacred destination for those who breathe England's intense footballing culture. Do not forget to make your way to this sporting cathedral if you are in London and on your stadium tour around the city.
St. James' Park (Newcastle United F.C.)
St. James' Park holds a symbolic status in English football. One of the oldest grounds in the country, it along with a chosen few grounds laid the foundation of the sport back in the 1890s. If you happen to look for off-beat destinations around England, Newcastle United's home ground is one you simply have to visit. Outside of London, Manchester, and Merseyside - Tyneside must make your wish-list if you are a football fan.
So, if you are a sports fan in England during the ICC Cricket World Cup, you know the places you have to go to on your off days!