The Oldest Football Stadiums in the World

While state-of-the-art modern stadiums may get our mouths watering, like Tottenham’s £1 billion arena with its magic beer taps, glass walkway and retractable pitch, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a football ground that’s grown old gracefully.

The wooden seats. The stone pillars. The creaking of the gantry. The obstructed views. Granted, they may not even pass safety tests soon, and they’ve certainly seen better days, but they’ve also seen a lifetime of footballing memories and more.

Let’s take a look at the oldest football stadium in England, as well as some of the oldest football stadiums further afield, still opening their doors today (once coronavirus is over, anyway):

*Note: how old a stadium is will be defined by when it started hosting football matches, not when its building was completed.

What is the Oldest Football Stadium In The World?

If we’re talking about football at any level (i.e. not just professional), then this honour goes to Sandygate Road, home of Hallam FC in Crosspool, Sheffield.

The ground, which can hold up to 700 and is situated some 800 feet above sea level, opened its gates in 1804, but following the creation of the world’s oldest club, Sheffield FC, in 1857, members of the Hallam Cricket Club then decided to form their own football team, and did so in 1860 with Hallam FC.

The first game Sandygate Road hosted was on Boxing Day of 1860, between Hallam and Sheffield, and the stadium has even gone on to be recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest as far as football is concerned (Sheffield FC moved to their first permanent home, the BT Local Business Stadium, in 2001).

Today, Hallam play in the Northern Counties East League Division One, way down in the tenth tier of the English football pyramid.

In terms of the oldest stadium still hosting professional football, that honours goes to League Two Mansfield Town’s Field Mill; now known as the ‘One Call Stadium’, it has hosted the beautiful game since 1861, edged out by just a year by Sandygate Road.

Which is the Oldest Premier League Stadium?

Of the 20 sides competing in England’s top tier in 2020-21, Sheffield United boast the oldest stadium in Bramall Lane, a footballing theatre since, again, the 1860s.

Initially opened as a cricket ground in 1855, it was not until December 29, 1862 that Bramall Lane hosted its first football match which, like Sandygate Road’s first game, was contested between Hallam FC and Sheffield FC. In a bid to raise money for the ‘Lancashire Mills Distress Fund,’ the clash lasted a goalless three hours.

The stadium has hosted much more than just Sheffield United home games, though, from FA Cup semi-finals and final replays to Bruce Springsteen concerts and evangelist rallies.

But it was after the Lane’s first FA Cup semi-final in 1889, between Preston and West Brom, that Sheffield United were formed. With paltry gate receipts in the region of £500, the stadium needed its own club to be resident – and so the Blades were formed.

Bramall Lane also played host to the world’s first floodlit football match in October 1878, as well the Premier League’s first goal in 1992, when Brian Deane netted for the Blades against Manchester United.

Running Bramall Lane close for this title, meanwhile, include Everton’s Goodison Park (first match in 1892), Newcastle’s St James’ Park (1892) and Liverpool’s Anfield (1893).

What is the Oldest Football Stadium in Europe (Excluding UK)?

That title would seem to go to Milan’s Arena Civica, built in 1807 at the request of Napoleon Bonaparte, crowned King of Italy in 1805.

In one of the first football matches to be played in the city, AC Milan beat both Mediolanum and Juventus in the space of two days at the stadium in May 1900 to win the Medaglia del Re (Medal of the King). Milan also used the ground as a training pitch and occasionally for league matches until 1914.

When Inter Milan formed in 1908, they first took up residency at ‘Ripa di porta Ticinese’, but the pitch was often in such dreadful shape that they soon moved to Arena Civica for their winter home matches. Back then, the stadium was also used for such events as pigeon shoots and naval battles, too.

The Nerazzurri moved to ‘Via Goldoni’ in 1913, but even then, their biggest home matches were played at Arena Civica due to its larger seating capacity. Their 1920 and 1930 league titles, in fact, were both clinched at this oldest of grounds.

When a stand at Via Goldoni collapsed, Arena Civica became Inter’s permanent home from the 1930-31 season until 1947, when they moved into the Giuseppe Meazza, otherwise known as the ‘San Siro’.

The ground, which also hosted the Italian national side’s first match, a 6-2 triumph against France in 1910, today hosts Prima Categoria outfit Brera Calcio, as well as a variety of events from rugby matches, athletics events and concerts.

Similarly old grounds across the continent include Italy’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris, which opened in 1911 and housed solely Genoa until 1946, when Sampdoria became co-hosts, and a plethora of stadiums which opened in 1923, namely Valencia’s Mestalla, Villarreal’s El Madrigal, Parma’s Stadio Ennio Tardini and Braunschweig’s Eintracht-Stadion.

Read More:

DISCOVER: Best Gifts for Football Fans

SaleBestseller No. 1
Mitre Impel Training Football Without Ball Pump, Orange, Size 5
  • The Impel is fast becoming a player favourite as the ideal all-weather soft-touch training ball
  • The disruptive organic shapes work with the impactful graphic design to be more visual for the player
  • Developed to help serious players get the most out of training
  • Machine stitched TPU ball offers a well-balanced soft touch
  • Ball is shipped ready to inflate
SaleBestseller No. 2
adidas Men's UNIFO TRN Soccer Ball, White/Black/Signal Green/Bright Cyan, 5
  • Soccer ball
  • Resistant material
  • It must be inflated
  • Model number: FU1549
Bestseller No. 3
England Unisex's Football, Red/White, 5
  • Suitable for grass or astro, the ideal football gift
  • Machine stitched ball offers a well-balanced soft touch
  • Soft foam backing helps improve first touch
  • The 30 panel design enables a reliable performance and durable lifespan
  • Show your support for the England Football Team
Bestseller No. 5
adidas Champions League Football Professional Europe Tournament Ball Adults Size 5
  • Adidas Size 5 2019 Finale Capitano Football which is the Largest size, the professional size 5 for adults and all ages.
  • Finished with the adidas logo and UEFA Champions League Logo 2019 branding for this years Champions League.
  • Machine sewn and made from durable tpu for a soft bounce and durability. Please be noted that Footballs are delivered deflated. You will need a ball pump to inflate.
  • Built to handle the demands of training.
Bestseller No. 6
Highliving Football Size 5 Match Training Soccer ball
  • High quality training football: the high living football is crafted for football enthusiasts and players that allows them to have full control of their football game. The ball comes deflated
  • Suitable for all weather or surface Type: high quality soccer ball is suitable for all type of Weather and For all type of surfaces i-e a grass or AstroTurf surface. Soft foam lining ensures first touch and cushioned impact to aid development
  • Lightweight and durable design: lightweight design helps to improve player confidence when stepping Up to the next size ball - helping develop the players of tomorrow. Suitable for young players making the step up to the senior game
  • Available in all your favourite colours: our quality footballs are available in multiple unique colours now i-e Black, Blue, Silver/ Orange
  • Warranty: high living is known to for creating top quality products that guarantee Customer satisfaction. If there is any problem or you don't like the product, you can contact seller for solution, return, Refund and replacement
Bestseller No. 7
meteor Football Training Ball Every Size 5 4 3 1 Official Match Adults Junior Kids Soccer Futsal Professional Club Team Indoor Outdoor Play Toy Many Colors (FBX #3, blue)
  • FOR EVERYONE- Are you looking for the perfect solution for spending time with your family? You don't know what to interest your children with? Are you wondering how to detach them from TV screens and computer? FBX BALL from METEOR is the simplest and the best solution! There is no age restriction, no space restriction, absolutely no restriction! We give you the ball and you get a lot of fun and ideas on how to use it.
  • PERFECT MATCH- The FBX BALL from METEOR gives you the power to perfectly match your needs. You don't have to worry about it being too big or too small for your family. We give you 4 sizes of our ball! The smallest is perfect for the smallest children and the largest is a full-size ball for the game. Your whole family will be happy that each of its members will be able to have their perfect ball.
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN- Our balls are made with attention to the smallest details. They consist of 32 panels sewn together using the latest technology, so you can be sure that the ball will not get damaged. The use of a latex bladder guarantees the correct shape and the used butyl valve ensures high tightness, so you don't have to worry about losing air during the game. It is perfect for any type of game, both amateur and professional.
  • UNIQUE PATTERNS- Our reliable METEOR FBX balls are available in four color versions. They perfectly reflect the sporty design and character. Each of our balls is unique, not only due to the quality of workmanship, but also due to the colors used. This makes it much more visible and easier to see on the pitch. You can rest assured that you won't lose it or lose sight of it, no matter where you are.
  • TECHNICAL DATA- Model: FBX / Material: PVC, latex tube, butyl valve / Coating: Matte / Designed for grassy surfaces / Characteristic features: machine-sewn panels / Ball comes deflated, without a pump
SaleBestseller No. 8
adidas Champions League Football Professional Europe Tournament Ball Adults Silver/Green Size 5
  • Adidas Size 5 2019 Finale Capitano Football which is the Largest size, the professional size 5 for adults and all ages.
  • Finished with the adidas logo and UEFA Champions League Logo 2019 branding for this years Champions League.
  • Machine sewn and made from durable tpu for a soft bounce and durability. Please be noted that Footballs are delivered deflated. You will need a ball pump to inflate.
  • Built to handle the demands of training.
Bestseller No. 9
Mitre Unisex's Delta Replica Football, Yellow/Black/Blue, 5
  • The Official Replica of the EFL Delta, Mitre's most advanced football.
  • High performance training football developed to perform consistently during intense training sessions - it'll become one of the team.
  • Foam backed lining ensures smoother control, designed to enhance a players skill set and confidence on the ball.
  • Durable outer and superior air-retention bladder makes sure it'll withstand use week in, week out - whatever the weather.
  • Ball is shipped deflated
Bestseller No. 10
adidas Unisex Adult Team Glider Football - White/Black/Silver Metallic, Size 4
  • Machine stitched for durability
  • Butyl bladder for long lasting air retention
  • Durable TPU material
  • Modern pattern for good visibility
  • Requires inflation
Bestseller No. 11
Real Football Flick Shoot Soccer Championship 2018
  • flick kick
  • football games
  • flick shoot
  • kick shoot
  • football champion
Bestseller No. 12
Mitre Kids' Flare Recreational Mini Football, Blue/White, One Size
  • Mitre's base-level recreational ball.
  • A great 30 panel kick-about ball for the next generation.
  • Lightweight & durable, perfect for parks and gardens.
  • Built for basic skills and the youngest of players to hone their kicking.
  • Football comes deflated so ensure you purchase your Mitre pump to inflate your ball. Available in size 5, 4 and 3 and suitable for a grass or AstroTurf surface.
Bestseller No. 13
Nike Unisex's Pitch Team Soccer Ball Football Training, Total Orange/Blue, 4
  • Soccer ball
  • Resistant material
  • High visibility in the field
  • Model number: SC3992
Bestseller No. 14
Nike Pitch Premier League Football 2019-2020 Size 5
  • Nike Football 2019-2020 New season
  • Machine stitched - Ball arrives deflated and will require a ball pump
  • 12 panel design and after kicking the ball it offers true accurate distant directional flight.
  • Nike Swoosh branding
SaleBestseller No. 15
Traditional Size 5 Black And White PU Leather Football
  • At Last a normal SIZE 5 black and white PU Leather football just like they used to be.
  • AS SEEN ON TV CHANNEL 4 SECRET LIVES OF 5 YEAR OLDS
  • Fantastic black and white recreational football size 5
  • Great for a kickaround with friends.Ball play helps to develop motor skills
  • Ideal to take to the park,beach or Lido or just fun in the back garden
Bestseller No. 16
The Football Factory
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Tamer Hassan (Actors)
  • Nick Love (Director)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: Suitable for 18 years and over
Bestseller No. 17
Season 1 Official Teaser
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, German, Dutch (Playback Language)
  • Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, German, Dutch (Subtitles)
SaleBestseller No. 18
adidas Champions League Football Europe Tournament Ball Silver/Green Youth Size 4
  • Adidas Size 4 Champions leauge Capitano Football which is the size for ages 8-12 Years
  • Finished with the adidas logo and UEFA Champions League Logo branding for this years Champions League.
  • Machine sewn and made from durable tpu for a soft bounce and durability. Please be noted that Footballs are delivered deflated. You will need a ball pump to inflate.
  • Built to handle the demands of training.
Bestseller No. 19
adidas Champions League Football Europe Tournament Ball Youth Size 4 age 8-12 Years
  • Adidas Size 4 Champions leauge Capitano Football which is the size for ages 8-12 Years
  • Finished with the adidas logo and UEFA Champions League Logo branding for this years Champions League.
  • Machine sewn and made from durable tpu for a soft bounce and durability. Please be noted that Footballs are delivered deflated. You will need a ball pump to inflate.
  • Built to handle the demands of training.
SaleBestseller No. 20
Nike NK Pitch TEAM Ball, Unisex, Orange (Total Orange/Black), 4
  • Tpu casing for durability
  • Reinforced rubber
  • Durable casing
  • 60% rubber, 15% polyurethane, 13% polyester, 12% EVA

Matthew Chandler
Latest posts by Matthew Chandler (see all)

Leave a Comment