Up into the big league with an old bike track, a sausage train and a couple of places you'll never walk alone...
- Location Liverpool, England
- Opened 1884
- Tenants Liverpool
- Capacity 45,276
- Record attendance 61,905
Older than the club itself – the ground was Everton’s from 1884 until the 1892 rent dispute that caused the creation of Liverpool FC – Anfield is one of football’s most evocative names, with the Kop one of its most famous stands.
It helped that the club spent two decades hoovering trophies, encouraging a colourful mythology around the stadium’s sacred spaces. Underneath the Main Stand, the revered Boot Room think-tank hatched the plans that prompted the 30,000-capacity Kop into delighted song: few terraces were so renowned for their wit and, frankly, intimidation of opponents and officials.
Much has changed since that golden period – the Boot Room is gone and the Kop now a 12,000-seater, while the Anfield Road and Kemlyn Road stands are now overhauled two-tiered affairs, the latter renamed the Centenary Stand – but the history remains. And so will the club, with relocation shelved in favour of expansion to as much as 59,000. Will it bring back the good times? – GP
- Located Hamburg, Germany
- Opened 1963
- Tenants St. Pauli
- Capacity 29,546
- Record attendance 29,546
Sausage train. Need we say more when explaining why the German zweite bundesliga outfit’s ground features here? How many other stadiums have a stand containing personal beer pumps located under each seat and a train running past serving hot German sausage every five minutes?
If that doesn’t get your pork juices flowing, then how about the renowned ambience in situ at one of Germany’s most popular ‘kult’ clubs? In the December 2015 issue of FourFourTwo we said its club shop is arguably the best in the world – and that’s before you even get into the stands, wherein a cracking match atmosphere marries football passion and heavy metal music with skull-and-crossbones flags.
Terraced sections, beer in the ground, no trouble, and a community-supporting club campaigning against racism and the far-right via football and rock music. The distinguished-looking arena is in the shadow of a huge Second World War bunker and located on the edge of Hamburg’s infamous Reeperbahn, the popular after-hours zone which The Beatles frequented at the time the stadium was being built. – GM
#FFT100STADIUMS The 100 Best Stadiums in the World: list and features here