The Premier League makes many bold claims about its own brilliance: the best in the world, the most exciting, the most watched, the best place for an agent to make millions of pounds thanks to a bang-average defender they convinced a desperate board to buy for £25m, and so on. Some of these have more truth than others but it cannot be disputed that few sporting events around the world have a higher average attendance than Premier League games.
In football terms, only the Bundesliga is a rival and whilst the German top flight has seen bigger attendances in many years, the worldwide health issues of the past few seasons have skewed those stats somewhat (due to different restrictions in England and Germany). However, with the recent news that Man City are set to increase the capacity of the Etihad, expansion at Anfield almost complete and Everton due to move to a new home (assuming they are still in the Premier League by then!), the Premier League could soon be the clear number one in terms of live attendance when it comes to football.
Whilst those three clubs above are not the only ones with plans for a new or improved and expanded home, we think now is a good time to look at various stadium sizes in the Premier League. Note that these are the official stats based on the teams and capacities for the 2022/23 season.
Premier League Grounds by Maximum Capacity
|1||Manchester United||74,879||Old Trafford|
|2||Tottenham Hotspur||62,062||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|4||West Ham United||60,000||London Stadium|
|5||Manchester City||55,017||Etihad Stadium|
|7||Newcastle United||52,338||St James’ Park|
|8||Aston Villa||42,682||Villa Park|
|11||Leeds United||37,890||Elland Road|
|12||Southampton||32,384||St Mary’s Stadium|
|13||Leicester City||32,273||King Power Stadium|
|14||Wolverhampton Wanderers||32,050||Molineux Stadium|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||31,800||AMEX Stadium|
|16||Nottingham Forest||30,445||The City Ground|
|17||Crystal Palace||26,047||Selhurst Park|
|19||Brentford||18,250||Brentford Community Stadium|
What is the Largest Stadium in the Premier League?
As the table above shows, Man United’s so-called Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, is the largest stadium in the Premier League. It houses almost 75,000 fans, making it around 20% bigger than the league’s next-biggest venue. That is a sizeable difference and whilst United’s tickets are considerably cheaper than many of their London-based rivals, this matchday income is a big reason why their turnover is the league’s biggest.
Old Trafford is always sold out, attracting fans from all over Manchester and the surrounding areas, as well as from further afield in this country. Fans also flock over from Ireland and other parts of the globe, whilst for any football-loving tourist to the North West, a trip to Old Trafford is sure to be on the wish list.
Whilst Old Trafford is the biggest stadium in the Premier League, not even the most fervent Red Devils fan would claim it to be the best. It is tired, the roof leaks and the facilities for fans are poor. Some estimates put the cost to bring it up to scratch, either through renovation or a rebuild, as high as £1.5bn and if the Glazers do sell the club that is sure to be a big part of the new owners’ plans.
What is the Smallest Stadium in the Premier League?
Bournemouth are fighting for their Premier League survival in 2022/23 and if they do survive it will be against the odds when one looks at their stadium size. The Vitality holds a mere 11,329, meaning their home support is less influential on results and their matchday income is much lower than that of their rivals. The grounds of relegation opponents Everton, Leeds and West Ham hold at least three times as many fans, whilst Forest, Southampton, Leicester and Wolves’ grounds all hold not far off that triple benchmark.
For reference, non-league Wrexham are averaging just under 10,000 fans in 2022/23. Wrexham are a special case, perhaps, but even more tellingly Bradford, Carlisle, Tranmere Rovers, Swindon, Doncaster and even Gillingham all have larger stadia – and they are all in League Two!
What is the BEST Stadium in the Premier League?
Size isn’t everything right? And having ascertained that Old Trafford definitely isn’t the best ground in the Premier League, it begs the question as to which is. Well, there will always be a degree of subjectivity in this but many would argue that Spurs’ prosaically named Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the best in the Premier League.
It is the second-biggest stadium in the PL and, opened in 2019 it is ultra-modern. With a total construction cost that hit 10 figures – or £1bn – it offers all spectators exceptional views of the pitch, has brilliant facilities for teams and attendees and is multi-purpose. It has held NFL matches, big boxing contests, rugby under both codes and some huge concerts too. With good transport links, exceptional hospitality fixtures and even plans for a karting track under the South Stand, it looks like a billion quid well spent!
Premier League Stadia of the Future
As mentioned, City hope to increase capacity to 60,000, Everton will move into their new Bramley Moore Dock stadium in the 2024/25 season (capacity around 53,000) and Anfield should hold over 60,000 by 2023/24. In addition, Leeds are hoping to increase capacity, whilst at some point, sooner or later, Man United will surely improve, expand, or possibly demolish, Old Trafford!
Chelsea have submitted plans to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium, whilst Villa have planning permission to increase their capacity to around 50,000 too. In truth, almost every team in the English top flight is either currently expanding their ground, building a new one or planning one or other of those options. For the current season, the average attendance across the league sits at a shade over 40,000 and that only looks set to increase in the years ahead.