When naming the most iconic football stadiums in the world, a neutral fan is unlikely to leave out Old Trafford. Aside from the legendary Wembley Stadium, Manchester United’s ground is arguably the most famous in Great Britain. After all, it earned the famous moniker of the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. But is it’s pitch the biggest on English soil?
What are the dimensions of the pitch at the Old Trafford? Is it the largest pitch in the Premier League? And how does it compare to Wembley?
It’s time to reveal the answers.
Old Trafford Pitch Dimensions
The length of the pitch at Old Trafford Stadium is 116 yards (106 meters) while it’s width is 76 yards (69.5 meters).
Interestingly, football pitches don’t all have the same measurements and it’s perfectly legal. That is due to the laws of the sport set by FIFA, which have left large margins for manoeuvre when it comes to authorized dimensions.
The rules state that the length of a football pitch must be between 90 and 120 meters (100 and 130 yards), with a width between 45 and 90 meters (50 and 100 yards).
But since the majority of pitches have adopted average dimensions in-between the two extremes, the difference in sizes is mostly marginal nowadays and barely-noticeable to the naked eye.
Is Old Trafford the Biggest Pitch in the Premier League?
Despite its relatively large size, the Old Trafford isn’t the biggest pitch in Premier League. This honor actually belongs to its crosstown counterpart, the Etihad Stadium, and by the smallest of margins.
As published in another study from SQaF, Manchester City’s pitch is the largest in EPL as it measures 116 x 77 yards. So while it has the same length as the Old Trafford, one extra yard in width is enough to give the Etihad the nod.
Why Does Manchester United Have Such a Big Pitch?
Manchester United’s big pitch can give the home team an important advantage when hosting a side that isn’t accustomed to playing on such large dimensions.
Away players could struggle to cover the extra yards of grass and end up getting exhausted at relatively early stages of the match.
While this advantage was more significant in the past, the size difference of football pitches has become smaller nowadays, especially in the Premier League, which has reduced the Red Devils’ edge in this particular aspect of the game.
However, it’s worth mentioning that other EPL sides still adopt relatively smaller pitches. For instance, the pitches at Anfied (Liverpool’s stadium) and King Power (Leicester City’s ground) are six yards shorter than Old Trafford’s.
Moreover, United’s large pitch allows the players to express themselves and create a more entertaining spectacle that would be hard to pull off on a tighter pitch.
Old Trafford vs Wembley Pitch Size
At 116 x 76 yards, Wembley and Old Trafford virtually share the same pitch dimensions. These are arguably the two most iconic grounds in English football, and coincidentally, they have the pitch size aspect in common.