Euro 2022: the complete guide to all the stadiums

·11 min read
A view of the stadium nestled in the South Downs.
A view of the stadium nestled in the South Downs. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Community Stadium

Opened: 2011

Tournament capacity: 30,300

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group A:

  • England v Norway, 11 July, 8pm

  • Austria v Norway, 15 July, 8pm

  • Quarter-final, 20 July, 8pm

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Nestled on the edge of the South Downs just outside Brighton, the Amex ranks among one of England’s most scenically situated grounds. The spectacular steel arch roof – complete with Toblerone-style trusses – was designed to mirror the undulations of the Downs and features pleasing curve and tilt. The stadium’s construction involved the excavation of 138,000 cubic metres of chalk as the site morphed into a hard-won home for the localfootball team, now established in the Premier League, who had endured years of ground-sharing and renting before planning permission was finally granted.

Brighton Women in action against West Ham at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton’s women in action against West Ham at the Amex Stadium. Photograph: Kieran Cleeves/PA
The Amex Stadium was opened in 2011 as Brighton finally found a new permanent home.
The Amex Stadium was opened in 2011 as Brighton finally found a new permanent home. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Visiting fans will doubtless be pleased to learn their sandwiches are safe – hawks are released in the ground at set times to deter seagulls swooping in from the nearby Channel beaches. Trains from Falmer station, adjacent to the ground, link with the main line at Brighton.

Wembley, London

Opened: 2007 (the new Wembley)

Tournament capacity: 87,200

Euro 2022 fixture:

  • The final, 31 July, 5pm

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Opened in 2007 on the site of the former, demolished Wembley, this remains the largest stadium in England and the second largest in Europe (only Barcelona’s 99,000-plus capacity Camp Nou is bigger). Now the stage for a series of major football and other sporting finals in addition to major pop concerts, Wembley’s rebuilding cost £798m and, at peak times, necessitated the employment of 3,500 construction workers.

It contains more than 2,618 toilets, more than any other comparable venue in the world. Wembley’s signature feature is its eye-catching, iconic and widely visible circular lattice arch, which is the world’s longest unsupported roof structure. With strict parking restrictions in operation on match days this is an arena best visited via public transport and can be easily accessed by tube, overground train and bus.

Brentford Community Stadium

Opened: 2020

Tournament capacity: 17,600

Euro 2022 Fixtures, Group B:

  • Germany v Denmark, 8 July, 8pm

  • Germany v Spain, 12 July, 8pm

  • Denmark v Spain, 16 July, 8pm

  • Quarter-final, 21 July, 8pm

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Home to Premier League Brentford and London Irish Premiership rugby union club, the stadium is close to Kew Bridge and less than a mile from the football club’s former home at Griffin Park. Situated between a triangle of railway lines, the ground has a distinctive triangular design theme, particularly notable in the architecture of the roof, floodlights and hospitality lounges. Handily placed for, among several other attractions, Kew Gardens and the magnificent Syon House and Park – London’s last Ducal home, which serves as the Duke of Northumberland’s residence in the capital – it is within a 20-minute walk of eight underground and overground stations.

The Brentford Community Stadium rising up from behind terraced housing.
The Brentford Community Stadium rising up from behind terraced housing. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Stairs in the west stand.
Stairs in the west stand. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Less than two miles away sits Boston Manor, home to both one of England’s great Jacobean houses and increasingly rare cedar of Lebanon trees. Although very few English football fans cycle to football matches, the habit is slowly starting to form in parts of London and Brentford has 300 spaces for parking bikes.

The Academy Stadium, Manchester.
The Academy Stadium, Manchester. Photograph: Isaac Parkin/PA

Manchester City Academy Stadium

Opened: 2014

Tournament capacity: 4,700

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group D:

  • Belgium v Iceland, 10 July, 5pm

  • Italy v Iceland, 14 July, 5pm

  • Italy v Belgium, 18 July, 8pm

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Connected to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium via a footbridge and part of an international class training facility featuring 14 full-size practice pitches otherwise known as the Etihad Campus, the modern, compact and often unexpectedly atmospheric Academy Stadium hosts all Manchester City women’s home games and has staged women’s Champions League semi-finals.

An aerial view of the Academy Stadium, Manchester.
An aerial view of the Academy Stadium, Manchester. Photograph: Alamy
Pitch side at the Academy Stadium, Manchester.
Pitch side at the Academy Stadium, Manchester. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Despite being accessible by public transport from Manchester city centre it nonetheless remains a controversial choice for a major tournament. Part of the problem is that the two ends are standing terraces, something not permitted in Uefa competitions dictating that the capacity has been reduced from the usual 7,000. Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, the Iceland midfielder, queried why two of her country’s group games are at such a relatively modest venue. “It’s shocking,” she said. “We have a training ground for Manchester City [men]. It’s just embarrassing.”

Stadium MK will stage Group B fixtures and one of the semi-finals.
Stadium MK will stage Group B fixtures and one of the semi-finals. Photograph: Getty Images

Stadium MK, Milton Keynes

Opened: 2007

Tournament capacity: 28,600

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group B:

  • Spain v Finland, 8 July, 5pm

  • Denmark v Finland, 12 July, 5pm

  • Finland v Germany, 16 July, 8pm

  • Semi-final, 27 July, 8pm

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Opened by the Queen in 2007, Stadium MK offers excellent, fairly upmarket fan infrastructure. There is a Hilton hotel built into the ground’s surrounds with some rooms offering pitch-facing views while food is available at an on-site Marco Pierre White restaurant and a retail and leisure park sit a mere goal-kick away. All this is situated 10 minutes drive from the centre of England’s biggest, and arguably most successful, postwar new town. Big on green space and green technology, the Buckinghamshire home of League One MK Dons also offers excellent transport links.

Pitchside at Stadium MK
Pitchside at Stadium MK Photograph: Joe Toth/Shutterstock

Close to the M1 motorway, 30 minutes from London (and Eurostar links) by train and within easy reach of Heathrow, Luton, Birmingham and Stansted airports it is easy to see why an arena offering abundant parking – not to mention being the first modern English stadium to feature a top-loaded 360-degree open concourse – has been selected to host a semi-final. Visiting fans with an interest in the famous second world war code-breakers can take a trip to their nearby Bletchley Park base.

New York Stadium, Rotherham

Opened: 2012

Tournament capacity: 11,000

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group D:

  • France v Italy, 10 July, 8pm

  • France v Belgium, 14 July, 8pm

  • Iceland v France, 18 July, 8pm

  • Quarter-final, 23 July 8pm

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The home of Championship Rotherham United, it replaced Millmoor a decade ago and sits on the former site of the Guest and Chrimes Foundry. Given that Guest and Chrimes once made the fire hydrants that supplied New York City and the slice of land on which the stadium was constructed has long been known locally as “New York” it was no surprise that the £17m stadium was given that name. Some fans though would have preferred it to have been called “The Foundry” or “The Waterfront”, due to its position beside the river Don.

Centrally positioned close to the heart of Rotherham and handy for the M1 motorway it looks larger than its 12,000 capacity. A fusion of traditional and modern architecture, the ground’s lower-level perimeter is studded with brickwork from the original Guest and Chrimes foundry while the coffered roof is made partly of polycarbonate sheets. These allow natural light to penetrate the stands while also helping defrost the pitch in winter. An acoustician has ensured that fan noise is contained within the stadium with maximum amplification achieved on the pitch.

Bramall Lane, Sheffield

Opened: 1855

Tournament capacity: 30,400

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group C:

  • Netherlands v Sweden, 9 July, 8pm

  • Sweden v Switzerland, 13 July, 5pm

  • Switzerland v Netherlands, 17 July, 5pm

  • Semi-final, 26 July, 8pm

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Sheffield United’s stadium was originally a cricket ground. Football was first played at “The Lane” in 1862 with the inaugural match featuring two of the world’s oldest clubs: Sheffield FC and Hallam FC. A venue once very much at the vanguard of innovation, it was also the scene of the first floodlit football match in 1878. Within walking distance of both Sheffield mainline railway station and the city centre, Bramall Lane is a short drive from the M1 motorway and accessible from Doncaster-Sheffield, East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford and Manchester airports. Pub quiz aficionados may know that it and the Oval are the only two grounds to have staged a cricket Test match, an England football international and an FA Cup final.

Outside the ground.
Outside the ground. Photograph: Phil Oldham/Shutterstock
The pitch at Bramall Lane.
The pitch at Bramall Lane. Photograph: MI News/Shutterstock

Bramall Lane’s Test match was in 1902, England against Australia, there were five England football internationals before 1930 and the FA Cup final involved the replay between Barnsley and West Brom in 1912. A city built on seven hills, Sheffield offers easy access to the nearby Peak District National Park.

Outside St Mary’s Stadium.
Outside St Mary’s Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

St Mary’s, Southampton

Opened: 2001

Tournament capacity: 31,600

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group A

  • Norway v Northern Ireland, 7 July, 8pm

  • Austria v Northern Ireland, 11 July, 5pm

  • Northern Ireland v England, 15 July, 8pm

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Named in honour of the nearby St Mary’s Church whose members founded Southampton FC, this Premier League ground is no stranger to women’s football, having hosted a 2018 World Cup qualifier between England and Wales watched by a crowd of 25,000. When, at the start of the 2001–02 season, Southampton failed to win any of their first five games at their new home after relocating from the Dell, a local white witch suggested it was due to the £32m stadium being sited on a Saxon burial site and duly advised the performance of a pagan ritual in order to placate spirits unsettled by the football being played overhead. A Celtic “goddess”, Ceridwen Dragonoak, was drafted in to conduct a special Pagan ceremony in Welsh that involved the sprinkling of holy water across the pitch.

St Mary’s Stadium, seen from across the river Itchen.
St Mary’s Stadium, seen from across the river Itchen. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock
Sprinklers on the St Mary’s pitch.
Sprinklers on the St Mary’s pitch. Photograph: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Sure enough, Gordon Strachan’s then side proceeded to finally win a game at St Mary’s at the sixth attempt, beating Charlton 1-0 in November 2001. London grounds excepted, Southampton’s home is the largest football ground in southern England and is walkable from the city centre, railway station and cruise ship terminal.

An aerial view of Leigh Sports Village
An aerial view of Leigh Sports Village Photograph: Alamy

Leigh Sports Village, Leigh

Opened: 2009

Tournament capacity: 8,100

Euro 2022 fixtures, Group C:

  • Portugal v Switzerland, 9 July, 5pm

  • Netherlands v Portugal, 13 July, 8pm

  • Sweden v Portugal, 17 July, 5pm

  • Quarter-final, 22 July, 8pm

Interactive

The home of Manchester United women, Manchester United men’s under-23s and the Leigh Centurions Rugby league team is part of a much larger multi-faceted, multi-use facility. An £83m sports, retail, housing and educational development in Greater Manchester intended to drive local regeneration, the village was formally opened by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2009. It now houses, among other things, a Holiday Inn Express hotel, a Morrisons supermarket, a pub and an indoor swimming pool and constitutes part of the Wigan and Leigh sixth form college campus.

The main entrance of Leigh Sports Village.
The main entrance of Leigh Sports Village. Photograph: SPP /Alamy
Pitch side at Leigh Sports Village.
Pitchside at Leigh Sports Village. Photograph: Getty Images

Its choice as a Euro 2022 venue was contentious, partly as one end is standing room only and capacity will need to be reduced during the tournament. Although public transport is available, regular visitors find the ground much easier, and faster, to access by car. Fortunately the parking is excellent. The Village was originally set to host matches involving Russia but they have now been replaced by Portugal.

Old Trafford.
Old Trafford. Photograph: Getty Images

Old Trafford, Manchester

Opened: 1910

Tournament capacity: 73,200

Euro 2022 fixture, Group A

  • Opening match – England v Austria, 6 July, 8pm

Interactive

Dubbed the Theatre of Dreams by Sir Bobby Charlton, the UK’s biggest club football stadium – and the 11th largest in Europe – will be forever synonymous with Manchester United. It remains a place where evocative memories – of the Busby Babes, Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 Treble-winning side, Eric Cantona’s audacity, Roy Keane’s tackles, Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals and so much more – linger.

An aerial view of Old Trafford.
An aerial view of Old Trafford. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Although the stadium is starting to show its age a little these days it seems a fitting venue for the Euro 2022 curtain-raiser between England and Austria. Accessible on public transport (trams are the most convenient option) from Manchester city centre and close to both the motorway network and Manchester airport, Old Trafford is no stranger to hosting major events. Designed by the Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, it sits only 800 metres away from Old Trafford cricket ground, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

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