New Football Stadiums

Why do all the big clubs that rebuild go to a max of 60000 knowing they will sell out every week? Is to do with planning and transport?   Spurs built (I think) the worlds most expensive stadium - it is a cracking venue -  but why not an 80000 or even 90000 stadium?

what about the environmental cost of building these unnecessarily big stadiums? especially when millions can just watch it on tv

I would guess it's partly something to do with the cost of policing which no doubts increases as you have more seats.

Only big clubs with strong local fanbases - Man City, Newcastle, Chelsea - would get those numbers on the reg though.

The tourist clubs would struggle as they do when eg there is an airline strike. 

Supply and demand also a factor.

Enables them to keep the prices high, and a full stadium looks good on TV.

Guy- yes they definitely benefit from being in London and great local transport links tbf

But for clubs like UTD and Liverpool, I’m not sure the transport infrastructure from the Home Counties and aboard could take the strain of the extra 20-30k people.

United are already at 75k and sell out every week to be fair Tom.  I think they are the one club thinking of expanding to around 90k (an extra tier can still be added to one side).

Not sure about Liverpool's maximum potential support.

90000 seems to be the natural limit for all seater stadiums though, guess any more and people are just too far away to see anything much.

Large stadiums are fooking expensive to build and maintain and clubs make most of their money from tv rights these days.

There were empty seats at o*d tra*f*ord last season and early this season for some games when the glazer protests were going on. Strangely, that seems to have died down.

But they need to focus on fixing the leaky roof and chartering more planes from the far east before expanding any further.

Man Utd had the highest average attendance of any club in world football in 2022 Chinorder you prat.

I think there are fully covered stadiums in the US which seat 100,000.  I always find it amazing that their college NFL matches attract more spectators than our premiership football games.

I think most of those are uncovered Sails, I agree it is weird that their college teams have bigger stadiums than the NFL.

oh thats not what you said.  It is in fact the case though - the biggest stadiums are college not NFL

True but even some of the colleges have huge stadiums.  Just a quick Google shows Notre Dame has a 77,000 capacity.

In short only two clubs would sell more. Most small clubs actually reducing numbers of seats but putting prices up and increasing hospitality - eg spurs west ham and city. 

Interestingly spurs has the highest matchday revenue because it's stadium is equipped to sell lots of extras to fans and has a high proportion of hospitality. 

But then it's also incredibly expensive. Spurs did a very low interest deal for a long time but they have stable owners (club currently being put on trust for when Lewis dies). Most club owners have short term profit ambitions - e.g glazers, fsg - or medium term sportswashing ambitions - Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia Qatar etc. 

They may have chosen to sacrifice some seats for more hospitality in a fixed sized stadium but that is not at all the same thing as purposely reducing capacity.  The broader point is that West Ham and Spurs have recently moved stadiums to far larger grounds and are still selling out every week.  If they had bigger stadiums they would sell more - Spurs in particular.  I agree with you though that the revenue from the average bog standard seat is not nearly as significant to overall revenue as it was.   

As well as Spurs and Arsenal, Chelsea would definitely sell more with a bigger stadium - probably 80-90k too.   I agree though it is London where the potentially much larger crowds are. 

I generally agree but then it comes down to money and location etc. 

Bigger stadiums don't always make atmospheres better - the stadiums created for athletics tournaments are awful on game days. Might increase organic revenue but is terrible for the average punter.

I do enjoy visiting spurs.   Even for the average punter the facilities are excellent and the food actually edible and not horribly over priced and beer served in what feels more like a proper bar experience.  Spurs is definitely a glimpse into the football experience evolving in the next 20 years.   

The Big House in Michigan sells out every game Guy. Its open air but the game is visible even from the top seats. Also big TV screens everywhere inside. There are four or five other similar college stadiums elsewhere.

They tend to take up a lot of space though, so rather unsuitable for a UK city centre.

True but even some of the colleges have huge stadiums.  Just a quick Google shows Notre Dame has a 77,000 capacity.

It’s either 7 or 8 of the top 10 largest stadiums in the world are US college football stadiums. I guess with only 32 NFL teams a large chunk of the US population have a major college closer than a team and attend those games.  

The nfl I think has a rule that only a sold out game can be broadcast. They certainly used to. So this militates against super massive stadiums. 
Good work on the chambo bait mentioning the Big House. Takes him back to the days in Ann Arbor, tossing the pigskin with Jom Harbaugh. 

Spuds - great stadium, pain in the arse to get to and even worse to escape 

Wet Spam - diabolically shit football stadium, amazing transpo options

I’m not sure anything matches the national rugby stadium for that ‘I wonder if I’m ever going to fvcking get out of here?’ feeling

I didn’t mind the London stadium. They do need to sort the ends out though. As for transport links, great getting there but when the Met want you out of London the options are severely limited. 

The key with Twickenham is not to attempt to leave for an hour or two - they keep the bars open and put on a band or two, so just hang around.

The returns will peter out above a certain size as I expect engineering challenges become greater and therefore costs. The Millenium Stadium virtually bankrupted Laing. Also the spread of the stadium means real estate costs (or profit from selling it) become a factor. 

Spurs hold the world record for the largest comedy venue. 

I’ve done that many times, by which time the trains have dwindled to fvck all and the last train towards Reading has long gone. And there are still queues round the station. 

Good memory there Warwick, I only ever posted about that on here years ago. Yes, I did know Jim Harbaugh, we're the same age. He was the quarterback at the time and I was this big English kid who knew about rugby, liked American Football but knew little about it. Around 1983.

The nfl I think has a rule that only a sold out game can be broadcast. They certainly used to. So this militates against super massive stadiums. 

it used to be the case that a game which wasn’t mostly sold out couldn’t be broadcast in in its local market - ie the Cowboys couldn’t be shown within 100 miles (or whatever) of Dallas  - which worked because of the size of the US and the way the nfl and us tv were organised. so occasionally you used to get some local car dealer or something buying enough last minute tickets to get the sales over the line and giving them to kids groups etc
the rules have changed - at least partly but I don’t know what the new ones are

The cost of building stadia to hold very large crowds gets disproportionately expensive once you go over 60k seats, especially in London where land prices and availability also come into play. 

I’ve not got recent figures to hand but circa 10 years ago a 60k seat stadium could be built for about £10k per seat (£600m). However every seat over 60k costs closer to £25k and once you go over 100k each extra seat costs nearer to £100k. 

In this country we need to put a roof over the seats which doesn’t happen to the same extent in the USA or at the Nou Camp for example. That’s where the extra cost is that just makes the economics not balance out. 

Ranking of highest average stadiums in the world below:…

Interesting because Premier League clubs (and Celtic and Rangers) appear to get the measure of it vastly better than any other clubs in the world.

For example, Leeds and Everton might be itching for an expansion as their average attendances in 2022 was 36,402/37,890 (96.1%) and 38,999/39,571 (98.6%) - but does this justify an extra (for example) 10,000 seats?  Villa's numbers are comparable too (97.3%).

Whereas the numbers for Barca and Madrid, arguably the most famous clubs in the world, are terrible at 71,564/99,354 (72%) and 51,526/81,044 (63.6%) respectively.  AC Milan is a comparably meagre 57,748/75,923 (76.1%).

Best in Prem seem to be:

Newcastle 52,177/52,338 (99.7%)

Liverpool 53,120/54,074 (98.2%)

Arsenal 60,028/60,704 (98.9%)

United 73,690/74,879 (98.4%)

West Ham 61,118/60,000 (100.2%)

If Newcastle and West Ham are hitting those numbers over an enduring amount of time, there could be a decent case for expansion I reckon!

I just noticed someone described City as a big club earlier, worst attempt at trolling I've seen since the trans threads stopped

Also football attendance figures are pure fantasy as the clubs count season ticket holders as present for every game

United definitely do. Sat there with red seats empty in every part of the ground as they announce another 76k+ attendance plenty of times

I think it is industry practice to count season ticket holders as present.    In any event they cannot resell them unless the season ticket holder tells them in advance so it is not related to a lack of demand for tickets.

One exception I believe is Bradford City who sell ludicrously cheap season tickets which people buy and then just pick and choose matches, but announce huge (by league two standards) attendances is each week when the actual crowd is maybe half that.


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