Which league is the best? – the stadiums

Whilst the English Premier League is the self-proclaimed greatest league in the world, and attracts the most viewers from a worldwide audience, is it actually the best league regarding quality of players, teams and football played, or is it just that the increased media coverage makes people believe that it is the finest on offer? I decided to take a closer look at how it compares with other European leagues by focusing on the stadiums in each country.

There is no doubt that the Premier League has the greatest collection of mythical and modern stadiums of any European league. From Old Trafford to the newly built Emirates, fans in England are able to watch their team in relative luxury and also benefit from a range of services whilst attending a match. Not every stadium is a brand new, multi-purpose, money making machine however, but it is hard to imagine teams such as Fulham playing anywhere other than the famous cottage or Liverpool moving away from Anfield, despite numerous attempts and plans to do so. 

Each arena has a unique character and history and the majority hold a very decent attendance as well. Compared to the council owned, crumbling stadiums in Italy (with the exception of Juventus) there is no argument as to which country is better. Spain has the mythical Bernabeu and Camp Nou, but clubs such as Valencia and Atletico Madrid don’t regularly sell out unless they are playing a huge match and they are outdated compared with their Premier League rivals. Valencia began to construct a new stadium several years ago but the project has come to a standstill due to the collapse of the construction industry and the economic problems in Spain. They recognised that they needed to modernise the Mestalla if they were to continue to compete at the highest level and because they have been unable to do this they are struggling as part of the second tier of clubs in Europe.

Germany is probably the biggest threat to the English dominance in this field, with an overall average attendance for the Bundesliga actually higher than the Premiership. They also have standing areas for fans, which is something that has been outlawed in England, and many fans feel that this adds to the experience and atmosphere created. Indeed, English fans have called upon certain sections of grounds to be allowed this privilege but it looks almost certain to be refused.

Whilst it is very close between these old foes, I believe that England wins it on the basis that there are more well-known stadiums in existence and clubs are actively modernising and improving their facilities. Teams such as Swansea, who were only promoted just over a year ago, have a wonderful arena and it is not simply a case of only the biggest and richest clubs being able to develop. There is great variety in the style of English stadiums and whilst Germany does have some advantages, it doesn’t quite topple the Premier League in this category.

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