Buddy, what is the oldest football stadium in the world? Talking about the oldest football stadiums, some of these stadiums have stood the test of time from hosting historic matches to witnessing the rise of legendary players, these iconic arenas have become honored grounds for football fans.
In this post, I will list, and discuss the top 10 oldest football stadiums in the world, and you will learn about its foundation. And story past which includes the year the stadium was built.
Do not be surprised, these stadiums were built way back in 1803, and they are still in use to date.
Top 10 Oldest Football Stadiums In The World
- Racecourse Ground
- Bramall Lane
- One Call Stadium
- Tannadice Park
- Rodney Parade
- Stamford Bridge
- Ewood Park
- Turf Moor
- Portman Road
1. Racecourse Ground
The Racecourse Ground, also known as the STōK Cae Ras due to a recent sponsorship deal, stands as the home of Wrexham A.F.C.
It is the world’s oldest international football stadium that still hosts international matches, a legacy dating back to 1877 when it witnessed Wales’ inaugural home international match though it was opened in 1807.
With a storied past that stretches over a century, the Racecourse Ground has played host to more Wales international matches than any other venue.
The stadium witnessed a record attendance in 1957 when 34,445 supporters flocked to witness a clash between Wrexham and Manchester United.
The Racecourse Ground has witnessed various sporting events. Rugby league club North Wales Crusaders, rugby union club Scarlets, and Liverpool Reserves have all graced its turf.
The Racecourse Ground boasts an impressive array of stands, each with its different character.
The Kop, named after the famous Battle of Spion Kop, once held the record for being the largest all-standing terrace in the English Football League.
Plans for its restoration, including the addition of seating and modern facilities, have been approved, revitalizing this iconic section of the stadium for the upcoming 2024/25 season.
Another point is the Wrexham Lager Stand, built in 1972 in preparation for the club’s European ventures, and featuring dressing rooms, club offices, and entertainment suites.
Meanwhile, the Wrexrent Stand provides excellent views for supporters, and the Macron Stand, funded through a lottery, houses TV studios, private boxes, and a renowned restaurant called “The Changing Rooms.”
However, the Racecourse Ground has made strides in providing amazing facilities for disabled supporters.
With designated parking spaces, toilets, and a viewing platform offering protection from the elements, the stadium has been recognized as autism-friendly.
2. Bramall Lane
As the second-oldest football venue in the world capable of hosting international matches, it follows in the footsteps of the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
Since its establishment, Bramall Lane has been the home of Sheffield United, making its place the oldest major stadium still hosting professional association football matches.
Originally a cricket ground, Bramall Lane gained prominence as the largest stadium in Sheffield during the 19th century.
It witnessed numerous crucial matches, including the final of the world’s first football tournament and the unification of rules between the Sheffield and London Football Associations.
Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield FC also use the ground for their matches. Bramall Lane boasts an impressive historical legacy, having hosted a diverse range of sporting and cultural events.
The stadium has seen England football internationals, an England Test cricket match, and an FA Cup Final. It has been a regular venue for FA Cup semi-finals and replays.
In 2022, Bramall Lane had the honor of hosting matches for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. Bramall Lane has been a versatile stadium, hosting rugby league games, boxing matches, revivals, and rock concerts.
It has seen the triumphs and triumphs of various sports and provided a stage for renowned artists like Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Def Leppard, and Mötley Crüe.
The ground’s record attendance of 68,287 fans was set during an FA Cup fifth-round tie in 1936. Following renovations in response to the Taylor Report, Bramall Lane now boasts an all-seated capacity of 31,884.
In 1889, the club was formed in the wake of a FA Cup semi-final match that drew a crowd of 22,688 passionate supporters.
Since then, Bramall Lane has been a symbol of the city’s sporting prowess.
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3. One Call Stadium
One Call Stadium has been a hub of footballing action since 1861, with some reports even tracing its origins back to 1850.
It is the oldest ground in the Football League, and it boasts a capacity of 10,000 when fully open, although current safety restrictions limit its capacity to 9,186.
Initially, it was the site of a large stone-built textile mill with its mill pond, located just across the road from the present-day ground.
The mill, known as Field Mill, was part of a cluster of mills along the River Maun water course. However, the mill was eventually demolished in 1925.
The club site on Quarry Lane, where One Call Stadium is located, was originally used as a recreational area for employees of the Greenhalgh & Sons Works.
Harwood Greenhalgh, a Mansfield-born footballer who represented England in the first-ever international football match, was associated with the Greenhalgh family.
Under various names like Greenhalgh F.CField Mill Football Club, and Mansfield Greenhalgh, the team representing Greenhalgh & Sons played at Field Mill, which also saw cricket, athletics, and cycle racing.
However, Mansfield Town began playing their matches at Field Mill in the 1919–20 season.
Also, the ground was used for cricket by the Mansfield branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Disabled ex-Servicemen’s Societies.
In 1921, the ground was sold on the condition that it would only be used for sporting purposes.
Field Mill underwent several developments over the years, including the installation of floodlights in 1961 and the construction of grandstands and terracing.
The stadium experienced significant modernization in the late 1990s, with the demolition of the North Stand, Quarry Lane End, and West Stand, and the construction of new stands, including a two-tier stand on the west side.
The fully redeveloped, all-seater stadium was officially opened in July 2001.
4. Tannadice Park
Tannadice is the home ground of Dundee United F.C., and since the club’s inception as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, Tannadice has seen countless footballing triumphs.
With a capacity of 14,223, the stadium has been an all-seater venue since 1994, providing a comfortable and engaging atmosphere for fans.
Tannadice Park is located just a mere 200 yards (183 meters) from the neighboring stadium of Dundee F.C., Dens Park, making them the closest senior football grounds in the UK.
Before it acquired its current name, Tannadice Park was previously known as Clepington Park and was the home ground for several local teams in the 19th century.
From 1894 to 1909, it was the home of Dundee Wanderers F.C., including their only season in the Scottish Football League in 1894-95.
The ground’s transformation into Tannadice took place when Dundee Hibernian assumed the lease in 1909.
The roots of football at what is now Tannadice can be traced back to the 1870s when the surrounding area of Dundee was open countryside.
In July 1882, Dundee East End secured the use of Clepington Park for the upcoming season before moving to Madeira Park the following year.
The ground also was the home of the newly formed junior club Dundee Violet during the 1883-84 season. In 1884, both East End and Violet left Clepington Park.
Violet relocated to Fairmuir, while East End had stints at Madeira Park and Pitkerro Park before returning to Clepington in 1887.
However, in 1891, East End moved to Carolina Port, which was considered the most developed ground in Dundee at that time.
It was decided to enclose Clepington Park in 1891, allowing the club to charge for admission. The natural slope to the west of Clepington was used to improve spectator views, and a modest grandstand was constructed.
In January 1894, Johnstone Wanderers merged with Strathmore to form Dundee Wanderers, and Clepington Park hosted its first Scottish League fixture against Motherwell in August 1894.
Despite their early Scottish Football League membership, the Wanderers faced challenges and were not re-elected at the end of the season, eventually dropping down to the Northern League.
From 1899 onward, Wanderers faced stiff competition for local support with the opening of Dens Park, the newly constructed home ground of Dundee F.C. located approximately 200 yards away from Clepington Park, the two grounds are the closest senior football grounds in Britain, and among the closest in all of Europe.
Only the grounds of two Budapest clubs, MTK and BKV Elore, are closer, as they back onto each other.
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5. Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade is the home ground of the Dragons regional rugby union team, and it hosts Newport County Football Club, making it the second-oldest sports venue in the Football League, trailing only Deepdale.
For football matches, the stadium capacity is reduced from its rugby levels.
In 2021, the former owners of Rodney Parade, Newport RFC, relocated their home matches to Newport Stadium, reaching an agreement with the WRU to host two matches per season at Rodney Parade.
Within Rodney Parade, the Newport Squash Club boasts four courts, providing an additional sporting facet.
However, the stadium’s history dates back to 1875 when the Newport Athletic Club secured the use of land from Lord Tredegar, allowing them to establish cricket, tennis, rugby, and athletics teams at Rodney Parade.
Then a significant milestone occurred in October 1879 when Newport RFC played Cardiff RFC in a floodlit game, making Rodney Parade the first ground in Wales to be lit up.
Newport RFC enjoyed a remarkable six unbeaten seasons, proving their dominance. While the team experienced their first defeat in the 1870s, they achieved more unbeaten seasons in 1891-92 and 1922-23.
Monmouthshire County Cricket Club also made Rodney Parade their home from 1901 to 1934, and throughout the years, Newport RFC provided players for each of the four home countries and even South Africa.
They regularly faced Bristol, a team comprising Welsh, English, Irish, and Scottish internationals.
The cricket ground, located on the south side of the stadium, has since made way for the Maindee Primary School, which was built on the site in 1993.
With the introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales, the Newport Gwent Dragons were formed on April 1, 2003, and have shared Rodney Parade with Newport RFC ever since.
On September 4, 2007, plans were unveiled to redevelop Rodney Parade into a 15,000-capacity stadium by the beginning of the 2010-11 rugby union season.
The redevelopment received planning consent on March 11, 2009, supported by Newport City Council, Newport Unlimited, Newport RFC, and Newport Gwent Dragons.
The project included covered stands at the north and south ends, as well as cover provisions for the west touchline terrace.
Although the completion of the full redevelopment was initially delayed, the new east stand named the Bisley Stand for sponsorship purposes, was opened in October 2011.
6. Stamford Bridge
Since its opening on 28 April 1877, this stadium has noticed the evolution of football and has transformed to become the modern, all-seater stadium it is today, boasting a capacity of 40,343 fans.
In the 2023-24 Premier League season, it ranks as the ninth-largest venue and the eleventh-largest football stadium in England.
Originally, the stadium was used by the London Athletic Club until 1905 when Gus Mears, the new owner, established Chelsea Football Club to occupy the ground.
And since then, Stamford Bridge has been the home of Chelsea, hosting matches and events.
It has not only been a football stadium but has also accommodated other sports, including cricket, rugby union, rugby league, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball, and even American football.
Stamford Bridge holds the record for the highest official attendance of 82,905 supporters, set during a league match between Chelsea and Arsenal on 12 October 1935.
Deepdale is widely recognized as the oldest continuously used football stadium in the world, The stadium was Initially used for cricket and rugby, but it hosted its first football match on 5 October 1878.
As football gained popularity, the need for raised areas became clear, leading to the creation of football terracing.
In the 1890s, Preston constructed the West Paddock, a raised area along the touchline, accompanied by a tent to serve as changing rooms. By the turn of the century, the stadium observed crowds exceeding 10,000 regularly.
In 1921, further expansion was required, resulting in the construction of the Spion Kop and an extension of the West Paddock to meet the Kop end.
The pitch was relocated to make way for the Town End, completed in 1928 but tragically destroyed by fire five years later. In 1934, the Pavilion Stand was a modest two-tiered structure housing changing rooms and offices.
A record league attendance of 42,684 fans was recorded at Deepdale during a match between Preston North End and Arsenal on 23 April 1938.
Additionally, Deepdale was also the venue for the successful women’s team, Dick, Kerr’s Ladies, who often defeated men’s professional teams, drawing large crowds.
However, a change took place in the 1960s and 1980s to modernize the stadium. Roofs were added to the stands, seating was installed, and terracing was expanded.
In 1986, Preston North End decided to install an all-weather pitch at Deepdale to generate additional income by renting it to local teams and reducing the number of postponed matches.
Deepdale was one of only four football stadiums in the English League to feature a plastic pitch.
But the decision was met with disapproval from fans, leading to its removal in 1994, making it the last remaining plastic pitch in the English league.
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8. Ewood Park
Ewood Park is the home to Blackburn Rovers F.C., and it boasts a capacity of 31,367.
It is an all-seater multi-sports facility with four sections: the Bryan Douglas Darwen End, Blackburn Stand, Ronnie Clayton Riverside End, and Jack Walker Stand.
The football pitch within the stadium measures 115 by 76 yards (105 m × 69 m), providing an ideal setting for the beautiful game.
Ewood Park has been a football stadium since 1881 when Rovers played their first match against Sheffield Wednesday.
At the time, the site was known as Ewood Bridge and likely consisted of nothing more than a field.
But was officially opened in April 1882 and became a venue for football, athletics, and even some form of non-oval greyhound racing during the 1880s.
In 1890, Blackburn Rovers returned to Ewood Park, signing a ten-year lease at an initial annual rent of £60. The club’s first match at the ground after their return was against Accrington in September of that year.
In 1893, Blackburn Rovers took the step of purchasing the freehold of the ground for £2500.
However, they faced a potential disaster when part of a stand collapsed under the weight of a crowd of 20,000 during Everton’s visit.
Despite being Blackburn Rovers’ home ground, Ewood Park has hosted other events.
Notable occasions include hosting the 1941 Football League War Cup Final Replay and international matches such as England vs. Scotland in 1891 and England vs. Wales in 1924.
The stadium has also seen six FA Cup semi-finals between 1893 and 1947.
Additionally, it has been a venue for rugby league, hosting Great Britain’s test match against New Zealand in 2002, as well as England U21 internationals and matches during the Women’s Euro 2005 competition.
In 2014, Ewood Park received recognition as an Asset of Community Value when the official supporters’ trust of the club, Rovers Trust, successfully registered the stadium.
In all, the ground has continued to be a venue for diverse events, including a pop concert by Elton John in June 2017 and the opening for Muslims to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer in May 2022.
9. Turf Moor
Turf Moor claims the title of the second-longest continuously used ground in English professional football.
Located on Harry Potts Way, a fitting tribute to the manager who led the club to the 1959–60 First Division victory, the stadium boasts a capacity of 21,944.
Turf Moor encompasses a pitch measuring 105 by 68 meters (114.8 yds × 74.4 yds) and is enclosed by the Bob Lord Stand, the Cricket Field Stand, the North Stand, and the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.
In 1883, the cricket club extended an invitation to Burnley F.C. to use a pitch opposite their cricket field.
The first grandstand was not constructed until 1885, and that same year saw the addition of terraces at each end of the ground.
A transformation took place between the mid-1950s and mid-1970s when all stands underwent reconstruction.
Turf Moor now comprises four stands: the Bob Lord Stand, the Cricket Field Stand, the North Stand, and the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.
In 1886, Turf Moor made history when it became the first football ground to be graced by a member of the Royal Family.
Prince Albert Victor attended a friendly match between Burnley and Bolton Wanderers. The first Football League match at the ground took place in October 1888, with Fred Poland scoring the inaugural league goal.
Turf Moor hosted its only FA Cup semi-final in 1922 and saw an international match between England and Wales in 1927.
The stadium’s record attendance was established in 1924 when a staggering 54,775 fans gathered to watch an FA Cup third-round clash between Burnley and Huddersfield Town.
10. Portman Road
Portman Road has hosted many England youth international matches and one senior England friendly international match against Croatia since its establishment in 1884.
The stadium has also witnessed a range of events, including athletics meetings, international hockey matches, musical concerts, and Christian gatherings.
In the early 2000s, Portman Road underwent redevelopments that moved its capacity from 22,600 to its current impressive figure of 29,673, making it the largest-capacity football ground in East Anglia.
Following the recommendations of the Taylor Report, all four stands within the stadium have been transformed into all-seater sections, prioritizing fans’ comfort and safety.
Notably, Portman Road boasts a remarkable attendance record, with the highest-ever recorded a turnout of 38,010 supporters during a FA Cup sixth-round match against Leeds United on March 8, 1975.
The record for the highest attendance in the modern era of all-seated stadiums stands at 30,152, set on December 21, 2003, during a clash against local rivals Norwich City in the Football League Division One.
Moreover, an impressive non-competitive game crowd of over 23,000 gathered at Portman Road for Bobby Robson’s testimonial, where Ipswich, featuring the legendary George Best, faced off against an England XI.
In Ipswich Town’s history, Portman Road has seen different seasonal attendance averages.
The highest average attendance recorded at the stadium occurred during the 1976–77 season, when Ipswich competed in the First Division, with a figure of 26,431 fans.
In contrast, the club’s inaugural league season, the 1936–37 season in the Southern League, saw the lowest average attendance at Portman Road, with 8,741 dedicated supporters.
The total seasonal attendance was reached in the 1980–81 season, where the aggregate exceeded 814,000 fans. This season saw Ipswich triumph in the UEFA Cup Final and secure a second-place finish in the First Division.
Portman Road made its name in Ipswich Town’s European football history in 1962 by hosting the club’s inaugural appearance in a European competition.
Ipswich Town recorded a 10–0 victory over Floriana of Malta, a record that still stands to this day. They have maintained an impressive record at Portman Road, remaining undefeated across 31 matches in 40 years.
This record was held until December 2007 when it was surpassed by AZ Alkmaar.
So, buddies, you have the top 10 oldest football stadiums in the world.
These stadiums, including Racecourse Ground, Bramall Lane, One Call Stadium, Tannadice Park, Rodney Parade, Stamford Bridge, Deepdale, Ewood Park, Turf Moor, and Portman Road, have stood the test of time and continue to host matches to this day.
They have undergone various renovations and developments over the years to provide modern facilities while preserving their historical gist.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.