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League Two

League Two Stadiums – Overview

With League Two being the final frontier as far as professional football is concerned in England, it comes with the territory that the various stadiums in this league don’t quite have the financial backing as some of the larger stadiums in higher leagues. But a lack of financial backing doesn’t mean that the various League Two grounds are not full of character, and in fact, there are still a few clubs in League Two that have previously enjoyed Premier League football. This means that while they have now dropped a few divisions, more often than not, the current stadium has been purpose-built to accommodate top-flight football.

Either way, we’ve shortlisted some of our favourite League Two stadiums right here, and they are well worth a visit as and when you get the chance.

The Racecourse Ground – Wrexham

Could we really do a League Two stadium overview and not include Wrexham’s Racecourse ground? The home of Wrexham AFC has certainly seen its fair share of highs and lows. Between 2001 and 2008, Wrexham went into administration and also suffered relegation to the Conference Premier in the 2007-2008 season which in turn ended their 87 year stay in the Football League.

The club’s first season in the Conference Premier ended with Wrexham almost suffering another relegation to the regionalised Conference league. After a few seasons of mediocrity, Wrexham reached the playoff places in their next three seasons, but eventually lost twice to Luton Town and once to fellow Welsh side Newport County.

Wrexham had to wait six more years before getting another chance at promotion but the club yet again suffered defeat in the playoffs, this time against Eastleigh. In November 2022, Wrexham’s prayers were answered when Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny purchased the club.

In the first full season of Hollywood ownership, Wrexham went all the way to the playoff final before suffering defeat in an all-time classic to Grimsby Town, the nine goal thriller ending 5-4 to the Mariners.

Wrexham finally achieved promotion back to the Football League the following season after a title race which caught the attention of people from all four corners of the world. The Welshmen just pipped Notts County to the title as the two sides went head-to-head all season long, as astonishingly both registered over 100 points.

The Racecourse Ground opened its doors in 1807 but it wasn’t until 1864 when football was first played at this historic old ground. The stadium has three permanent stands with one temporary stand following the closure of the Kop End in 2008 due to safety concerns. In 2023, that stand was completely demolished to make way for a new stand which is expected to be complete at some point during the 2024-2025 season. A new and improved Kop End stand would increase the capacity by just over 5,000.

Edgeley Park – Stockport County

Stockport County’s Edgeley Park is one of the oldest stadiums in League Two but is also one of the best looking and most unique stadiums. At one end of Edgeley Park sits a large two-tiered stand which towers over the rest of the stadium while the stand opposite at the Railway End has just eleven rows of seats.

Stockport County recently spent just over a decade in non league after being relegated in the 2010-2011 League Two season. Two seasons later disaster struck as County were relegated once again, but this time to the National League North.

Stockport County spent five years in the wilderness of the National League North but eventually escaped thanks to a 3-0 victory over Nuneaton on the 27th April 2019, a win which saw the club win the league title. Local businessman Mark Stott purchased the club in 2020 and immediately cleared their debts.

Stott pledged to return the club to the Football League, something which was achieved in the 2021-2022 season after Stockport County won the league title. Stockport County’s first season back in the EFL almost ended up with the club earning back-to-back promotions but a penalty shootout with Carlisle United at Wembley Stadium saw them lose in the playoff final.

The Eco-Power stadium – Doncaster Rovers

The Eco-Power stadium, formally the Keepmoat Stadium was built in 2006 at a cost of £20m to replace Doncaster’s iconic former stadium, Belle Vue. Their former home held the record for the UKs largest playing surface from 1923 to the early 1980s when Billy Bremner had the pitch shortened.

In terms of the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster Rovers have had a mixed bag of success here. The club have not only achieved their highest ever finish at the new ground – mid table in the Championship – but also have suffered their lowest finish in around two decades, ending up in 18th position in League Two in the 2022-2023 campaign.

The Eco-Power is a very modern looking stadium with its bowl-like shape but is unique by being the only football league club whose stadium is located next to a lake.

Valley Parade – Bradford City

Speaking of top-flight football, Bradford City has been involved in the Premier League during their time, hence the large stadium that the club currently plays their home games at. In fact, Valley Parade creeps in at number two on the list of largest stadiums in League Two, with a maximum capacity of just over 25,000. The stadium opened its doors all the way back in 1888, and right the way through until 1985, the stadium barely changed. Of course, in 1985 the stadium witnessed the now famous ‘Bradford City fire’, where more than 50 fans lost their lives. This was the catalyst for major change at the club, and it even prompted change all over the country, as the use of wood to build stadiums was essentially scrapped altogether.

But moving beyond that awful day, Valley Parade is now a spectacle – standing tall above the skyline of a city that was once a bit of a Northern powerhouse. Naturally, the multi-million-pound redevelopment that has taken place here was done with the intention of hosting Premier League games, but this has not remained true for very long at the club.

University of Bolton Stadium – Bolton Wanderers

Up until 2018, this stadium was known as the ‘Reebok Stadium’ thanks to the sponsorship deal it had at the time. However, Bolton’s steady decline has resulted in a change of sponsorship, hence the new name that we see today. And out of the many League Two stadiums currently used in this tier, this one is the largest, with a maximum capacity of more than 28,000 fans! The actual aesthetics of the stadium also compliment this record, as the stadium looks pretty cool we must say! It’s not just the visuals that make it stand out either, for the stadium is one of the few that actually has a hotel as part of its design – with some rooms actually being located with a great view of the pitch.

When this stadium was actually built back in 1995, it was one of the very best in the land, and it was built for a price tag of £25 million. And during night games, the stadium really does shine bright above the city of Bolton!

Vale Park – Port Vale

Despite the fact that this stadium has a maximum capacity greater than 19,000, it’s fairly rare that a home game sees more than 10,000 fans enter the ground. While we can’t say for sure, we’d imagine that this is because the club has lost a bit of its appeal given that Port Vale has been struggling in League Two for a while. And concerning the history of the stadium, it has been in its current location since 1950, making it relatively new compared with some of the other League Two grounds we’ve covered. Since this date, the ground has undergone a few changes, even if they haven’t been all that major.

Specifically, the notorious drainage problem has been resolved, and modern floodlights have also been installed to allow for night matches to be played. All of this has been done on a pretty tight budget too, so we must say well done to the clever minds behind the changes.

Prenton Park – Tranmere Rovers

Last but not least, Prenton Park is a stadium that has a fairly solid reputation all over the land. It’s probably not a great place to go and watch a game of football if you are an away fan mind you, as fans are packed into a stand referred to as the ‘cowshed’. Then again, it’s only 90 minutes that you’d need to ensure the cowshed for, and the stadium itself is actually pretty cool to enter. With tall stands on all sides, completely enclosing the pitch, Prenton Park can build an intense atmosphere rather quickly, which makes it very exciting to watch a game of football in!

Since more than 16,000 fans can enter the ground to watch Tranmere Rovers in 2021, it’s towards the larger end of the scale too.