It’s well known that Old Trafford is the largest stadium in the Premier League. A fact that is perhaps not so well known is that the biggest football stadium in the world is actually located in North Korea, seems bizarre but it’s true. In fact, the full capacity crowds at Old Trafford and Goodison Park combined would nearly fit into the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, just to give this fact a bit of context.
Whilst it makes sense that many of the biggest club stadiums in England are the home of teams currently playing in the Premier League, there are several venues in leagues below that would certainly not look out of place in the top flight, in terms of spectator capacity least.
Each of the stadiums listed below has the ability to hold significantly more spectators than the Vitality Stadium, home of A.F.C Bournemouth. In fact, this particular stadium, with a capacity of just north of 11,000, wouldn’t look out of place amongst the majority of grounds found in League 2.
So without further delay, here is a list of the five biggest stadiums in English football, outside of the top fight.
Pride Park Stadium is the 16th largest football ground in England and the 20th largest stadium in the United Kingdom. It boasts a capacity of 33,597 and is the home ground of English Football League club Derby County. The club came close to winning promotion to the Premier League in the 2018/19 Championship season but narrowly lost out in the play-off final against Aston Villa.
In addition to being the home of Derby County, Pride Park Stadium has hosted two England international football matches. The record attendance for a competitive Derby County match at Pride Park is 33,378 for the game against Liverpool in 2010.
Coming in at 4 in our list of the 5 bigger stadiums in the English Football League is the Riverside Stadium. This stadium opened in August 1995 and has a current capacity of 34,742. Middlesbrough play their home football matches at the Riverside Stadium and there is room for expansion to 42,000 seats if required by the club.
The record attendance for a Middlesbrough match is 34,836 vs Norwich City in December 2004 but the overall record is 35,000. This was achieved when England met Slovakia in a European Championship qualifying game in June 2003.
Leeds United have been out of the top flight of English football for some time but this does not stop them from attracting big crowds at their stadium, Elland Road. This stadium has a long history having opened back in 1897. It became the permanent home of Leeds United in 1919, when the football club was formed.
The current capacity of Elland Road is 37,890 but the record attendance is set at 57,892 for the match between Leeds United and Sunderland in 1967. Elland Road has played host to the FA Cup semi-final, England internationals and games at Euro 96.
One of the 5 biggest stadiums in the English Football League is the home of Sheffield Wednesday, Hillsborough. This stadium is just two years younger than Elland Road having opened in September 1899. The current capacity of Hillsborough is 34,854 but the record for the highest attendance is 72,841 for an FA Cup fifth round game in February 1934 against Manchester City.
Currently, the biggest stadium in the English Football League is the Stadium of Light, the home of Sunderland A.F.C. which can hold up to 49,000 fans, although their average attendance since dropping down to league one falls far short of this mark. The Stadium of Light is the 9th largest stadium in England and the capacity increases to 57,556 for music concerts and other events.
Its shares its name with the home of Benfica in Portugal. However, the reason it was named the Stadium of Light is because of the former Monkwearmouth Colliery site on which the stadium now stands. The record attendance at the Stadium of Light is 48,353 when Sunderland played Liverpool in April 2002. The overall record is 54,259 for the Diamonds World Tour in June 2013.