More great stadiums, including a Mersey paradise, a Dragons' lair and a cylinder
70. Borg El Arab Stadium
- Located Alexandria, Egypt
- Opened 2007
- Tenants Egypt
- Capacity 86,000
- Record attendance Unknown
Africa's second-biggest stadium is in fact situated 50km west of Alexandria, in the resort town whose name it shares. Originally planned as the showpiece of an Egyptian bid for the 2010 World Cup that fell flat, the ground – built by the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineer Branch – settled for hosting the opening match of the 2009 Under-20 World Cup and has since been a regular venue for the senior national team and big domestic occasions.
One example of the latter was the 110th Cairo derby between Al Ahly and Zamalek in July, although the game was played behind closed doors, as is the case with most domestic Egyptian games after recent crowd violence and deaths.
Borg El Arab is a modern venue that, at a time when stadia and crowd control in Egypt are firmly under the spotlight, will hopefully serve the country well for years to come – and the atmosphere when the Pharaohs are in town is certainly something to behold. – NA
69. Goodison Park
- Location Liverpool, England
- Opened 1892
- Tenants Everton
- Capacity 39,572
- Record attendance 78,299
A grand old ground of English football, Everton’s home since 1882 has recently been accused of hindering the financial development of a club once proudly among the country’s “Big Five”. But what price heritage?
Goodison was the first English ground to have four double-decker stands, three of them designed by football’s favourite architect Archibald Leitch. A replacement Main Stand in 1971 respected the vernacular style – a timeless, synchronised blue and white – although the new Park End is sadly single-tier. Well, “new” for Everton – that 1994 redevelopment was the last major change.
FEATURE Simon Inglis on the early history of football stadiums
FEATURE Simon Inglis on Archibald Leitch, the man who invented football grounds
Mind you, that’s part of the appeal. Approached via tight terraced streets, it’s an archetypal old-school football ground, one of the few where a fan can genuinely imagine the old days. Fierce, too, especially when the atmosphere gets going in the Gwladys Street End, one of the few stands to feature a church: St Luke’s nestles somewhat awkwardly in the corner, putting the God into Goodison. Would you get that at a new stadium? – GP
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