SportsLondon

A Guide to Iconic Stadiums in London: From Wembley to Wimbledon 

Sports and London go hand in hand, with numerous top football clubs calling the city home. But it’s not just football; London has strong connections to various other sports. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some iconic stadiums in London that we love. Please note, there’s no specific order here; these are just a few of our favourites. 

Wembley Stadium 

Year of Opening 2007 
Capacity 90.000 
Home team England National Football Team 

Starting off with arguably the most famous stadium in the entire country, the mighty Wembley Stadium. The new Wembley was opened in 2007. This new stadium was built on the site of the old Wembley. That one was opened in 1923 and was known for the two remarkable towers, nicknamed the Twin Towers. Unfortunately, these eyecatchers were dismantled as a part of the huge renovation in 2000.  

However, Wembley Stadium got another outstanding feature in return. The arch on top of the stadium is now a part of the London landscape. The home of the England National Football Team has also a record to its name: with a capacity of 90,000, it is the biggest covered stadium in the world. Next to the matches of the Three Lions/Lionesses, the FA Cup Final is also played in Wembley every year. It’s a big honour for the clubs to take part in this match. 

Twickenham Stadium 

Year of Opening 1909 
Capacity 82.000 
Home team England National Rugby Union Team 

Located in the Southwest of London, Twickenham Stadium is where the England National Rugby Union Team plays its home matches. It is often referred to as ‘the Home of England Rugby’, but Twickenham also has a different nickname: Cabbage Patch. This is because before the stadium was built, cabbage used to grow on this site.  

Despite it being built in 1909, Twickenham Stadium is, after Wembley, the largest stadium in England. No less than 82,000 spectators can watch England take on the world from the stands. Next to that, the finals of the rugby competition and cup are played here as well. And some of the world’s most influential artists have performed in Twickenham, think of U2, Eminem and the Rolling Stones.  

London Stadium 

Year of Opening 2012 
Capacity 60.000 
Home team West Ham United & UK Athletics 

One of the newer stadiums on this list is London Stadium. During the Olympic Games of 2012, London Stadium was the epicentre of the sports festival. Both the opening and closing ceremony were held in this stadium, as well as all the Olympic disciplines.  

In the season 2016/2017, West Ham United also played their home games at the Olympic Stadium of London. The Hammers moved from Upton Park/Boleyn Ground to London Stadium. From this season onward you can hear the famous song ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ being sung by 62,500 fans.  

Lord’s Cricket Ground 

Year of Opening 1814 
Capacity 31.100 
Home team England & Wales Cricket Board 

Fairly centrally located in the capital of England, you can find Lord’s Cricket Ground, or Lord’s. Named after Thomas Lord, a former English cricket player, the first match at current Lord’s was played in 1814, more than 200 years ago. Of course, there have been plenty of renovations to make the stadium the way it is right now.  

Lord’s Cricket Ground is often referred to as the ‘Home of Cricket’. The stadium is owned by Marleybone Cricket Club, the team of founder Thomas Lord. Next to that, it is used by Middlesex County Cricket Club and England and Wales Cricket Bond among others.  

Fun fact: for the 2012 Olympics and London, there were no cricket players on the field, but arrows were flying across the pitch as Archery was held at Lord’s Cricket Ground.  

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 

Year of Opening 2019 
Capacity 62.850 
Home team Tottenham Hotspur 

The newest stadium on the list is Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and we can all agree it’s an impressive one. The state-of-the-art football temple is famous for a couple of special characteristics. The south stand of the stadium is one tier and on top of it stands the famous golden cockerel.  

North London football club Tottenham Hotspur is the playing team of the stadium, surprise-surprise. After their old White Hart Lane was destroyed, Spurs moved into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019. Next to the Premier League matches of the Lilywhites, NFL London matches are also played in this stadium. It’s an impressive sight to see the retractable pitch being made ready for an American Football match.  

The O2 Arena 

Year of Opening 2007 
Capacity 20.000 
Home team Various events 

One of the stadiums that stands out in the London skyline is the O2 Arena. The big white dome with the big yellow spikes coming out of it is known throughout the world. American rock band Bon Jovi was the first to play in The O2 Arena in 2007. Since then, many of the world’s greatest artists have performed in this multi-purpose venue, including Prince, Madonna and the Spice Girls. 

Next to the different artists, there have also been various sports that have been played in The O2 Arena. Between 2009 and 2020, the 8 best male tennis players battled it out here in the ATP World Tour Finals. O2 was also part of the Olympics, playing host to gymnastics and basketball. Lastly, the O2 also hosts some PDC and BDO darts tournaments. An incredibly versatile venue as you can see!  

Stamford Bridge 

Year of Opening 1877 
Capacity 40.343 
Home team Chelsea FC 

The home of Chelsea FC is also part of the iconic appearance of London. Stamford Bridge hosted its first event in 1877 but has undergone a lot of changes since then. The latest big renovation was in 1990. That’s also when the stadium got its modern look.  

An interesting fact about Stamford Bridge is that it’s grassroots-owned. Chelsea Pitch Owners is an organisation that is part of the club itself, so the future of Stamford Bridge is in blue hands and heritage can be maintained. Fans are encouraged to buy shares in CPO and the Chelsea legend John Terry is the current president. This also means that Stamford Bridge can’t be sold to a property developer. How neat is that! 

The Kia Oval 

Year of Opening 1845 
Capacity 27.500 
Home team England Cricket Team 

The second oldest London stadium is on this list, and it’s another cricket venue. The Kia Oval is the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club, one of the eighteen teams in the domestic cricket league. Next to a lot of cricket matches, The Oval also hosted numerous other events.  

Fun fact: the cricket stadium hosted the first ever international football match of England versus Scotland in 1870.  

The main building of The Kia Oval is The Pavilion. It is very clear that it was built in the Victorian period and must be an impressive sight for cricket players when they look up at the massive pavilion. Also from the outside, the stadium, and especially the pavilion stands out among other buildings in the area.  

Emirates Stadium 

Year of Opening 2006 
Capacity 60.704 
Home team Arsenal FC 

Following their move from Highbury, Emirates Stadium has been the home of Arsenal since 2006. A huge decision in the history of the club, as they had a massive increase in capacity with the new Emirates Stadium. The stadium sponsored by the UAE-based airline is the fourth biggest London stadium. The club has big renovation plans for the coming years, so the Gunners will have a stadium that is built for the future.  

But it’s not just football players that battle on the pitch. Some of the world’s musical greats have performed in the Emirates stadium as well. The first was none other than Bruce Springsteen in 2008. After that Coldplay, Muse and The Killers turned the stadium upside down with their music.  

Wimbledon 

Year of Opening 1922 
Capacity 14.974 
Home team Wimbledon Championships 

Prestigious, reputable and elite. Those are the words that come to mind when you think of Wimbledon. Each year, the best tennis players in the world gather here to compete in this special tournament. The one and only grass Grand Slam of the year is also a highlight when it comes to the complex.  

The main building of course is Centre Court. It is also the stadium with the biggest capacity in the complex. This is the venue where only the best of the best gets to play, as all the finals are held here. Next to this one, Court No. 1 is also very much worth mentioning. It is a little bit smaller than Centre Court, but certainly no less impressive. The giant round stadium with a retractable roof is a delight to play in for every tennis player, or so we’ve heard.  

It’s just impressive how many stadiums fit into a single city. These were just 10 of them, but there’s plenty more. A visit to one of the London stadiums is your ticket to an unforgettable experience. Combine it with a city trip to discover the capital of England, and you’ve got the perfect getaway! 

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