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Championship


A quick overview of Championship Stadiums

Being the second-highest division in English football, and having 24 teams that currently compete in this division, it’s fair to say that there’s a decent and impressive range of Championship grounds right now. Of course, these grounds are located all over England, and given the diversity, there’s a fair chance that you won’t be all that far away from some of the stadiums mentioned here. Naturally, the stadiums vary quite substantially both in terms of their aesthetics and their overall quality, which is why we’ve narrowed things down and covered the top stadiums for teams currently in this division.

Championship football grounds map

The beauty of the UK being a rather small nation is that some of the top football stadiums are never too far away. This is particularly evident in England’s second-highest division, The Championship. This division currently consists of 24 teams, which equates to 24 different football grounds that you can find information about right here. Just like stadiums in some of the other divisions, many of the Championship stadiums have been built more than 100 years ago, which already means that many of them are shrouded in history.

And to add to this, given that the Championship is home to many teams that have enjoyed some brief spells in the Premier League, some of the stadiums are seriously impressive. However, this is no surprise given that some of the stadiums have been completely refurbished to support Premier League football. As you can see on the map, the Championship has a decent balance of stadiums in both the North and South regions of the country, but in our opinion, there are a few stadiums that truly stand out from the rest.

Hillsborough – Sheffield Wednesday

The first stadium we’d like to cover here is one that most people have likely heard about, and not for the best reasons. Of course, this is the stadium where the tragic ‘Hillsborough Disaster’ occurred, and the impact of this event changed the scope of spectators at football games forever. But looking beyond the horrific events of that day, Hillsborough is still one of the best Championship stadiums in 2021. Having been established in 1899, Hillsborough has remained in place and received plenty of investment behind the improvements we see today.

These days, Hillsborough has a capacity of almost 40,000, it has a fantastic drainage system for the pitch, as well as under-pitch heating (perfect for the English winters!), and there are still more plans to improve the stadium to ultimately host World Cup games in the future. If you want to visit this ground, you’ll have to travel to the South of Yorkshire, and since it’s not that far from Sheffield United’s ground, you could check them both out if you really wanted to.

Riverside Stadium – Middlesborough

The reason that we believe this to be one of the top Championship grounds is largely due to how modern the stadium is. Then again, it was first built back in 1995, so you would expect it to have a more modern design, as well as other leading features. As you may recall, Middlesbrough actually gained promotion to the Premier League just a few years ago, and as a direct result of this achievement, £5 million was ploughed into stadium development. But unfortunately for Middlesborough and their fans, while the new stadium appearance went down well, the team’s performance did not match the aesthetic upgrade.

At the time of writing, Middlesbrough is fighting to get back up to the top-flight of English football, and on a good day, there can be more than 34,000 Middlesborough fans backing their team.

Cardiff City Stadium – Cardiff

To enjoy this one, you’d need to take a trip across the border into Wales, but since this is actually the second-largest stadium in Wales, it’s worth it. Besides being the home stadium for Cardiff City, it’s also the designated stadium for international games involving Wales, with a capacity of more than 33,000. The stadium was actually built just over 10 years ago, back in 2009, and it came with a cool price tag of £48 million. We quite enjoy the style of this stadium too, as it’s a pretty open ground with two tiers on all sides – perfect to develop a great atmosphere during games!

Much like some of the other Championship stadiums, this one is also used as a bit of a multi-purpose stadium, with rugby games, concerts, and other events taking place here. It’s all the more impressive that despite all of the activity, the quality of the stadium is maintained year-round.

Elland Road – Leeds United

Elland Road is one of the most well known stadiums in the UK due to the success Leeds United have had at the stadium in the past. Leeds United have been at Elland Road for 105 years and have won twelve trophies in that time, as well as having played host to European matches in the 60s and 70s.

Leeds United suffered a collapse in the early 2000s which began with relegation from the top flight and ended up with another relegation to the third tier towards the end of the 2000s. Leeds United spent three seasons in the third tier having finally achieved promotion back to the Championship in 2010. Leeds started a rise back to the Premier League in 2017 when Andrea Radrizzani bought 100% of the club.

In June 2018, Leeds United hired Marcelo Bielsa which is where the journey back to the top flight really started. Just two years later, Leeds United were back in the big time which gave fans the chance to see Elland Road in England’s top tier for the first time in almost two decades. There was talk in 2019 of possibly increasing the capacity at Elland Road from just under 38,000 to 55,000 but there are still no firm plans in place for the extension. Despite being an old stadium, Elland Road is a fantastic stadium with an incredible playing surface which has undersoil heating and a fantastic drainage system. That’s pretty useful when you play in a cold and wet West Yorkshire.

MKM Stadium – Hull City

We believe that Hull City’s MKM Stadium is one of the best stadiums in the Championship, having been built relatively recently. The ground has a very modern look to it but it comes with a low roof which keeps the atmosphere locked inside. There is also a large two-tiered stand where the dugouts are located.

Hull City spent the majority of the latter end of the 1900s in the fourth tier. Yet the early 2000s saw the club enjoy great success, as the Tigers earned back-to-back promotions and reached the Championship in 2005.

Hull City finished in 18th place in their first season back in the Championship which was the clubs highest league finish since the 1989-1990 season. In the 2007-2008 season, Hull City finished in the playoff places in the Championship and came up against Bristol City in the final. Hull City fan and star striker Dean Windass scored the game’s only goal to send Hull City to the Premier League for the first time in their history.

The MKM Stadium is a striking stadium with its unusual black seats. The MKM Stadium was built at a cost of £44m, which began in December 2001 and was completed ten months later in October 2002.