Football teams and their stadiums are inextricably linked. They have been the home of generations of players and spectators who regard the stadium to be an important part of their life. Stadiums are live, breathing aspects of the football environment, representing a club’s history, objectives, and ideals.
However, a club’s relationship with their stadium may come to an end at some point. Many clubs have had to adapt to fulfill demands for increased capacity and accommodations as the world progressed and populations grew at a rapid rate.
Their old stadiums became obsolete as a result, and were either demolished or abandoned. We’ll take a look at five of the most famous stadiums that have been demolished to make way for new ones.
#5 Estadio das Antas – FC Porto
Estádio das Antas, formerly the home of FC Porto, was Portugal’s third-largest stadium. When Porto moved from their former stadium, Campo da Constituiço, in 1952, it went into effect. It was also the home of a few other sports, in addition to football.
The stadium had a capacity of 55,000, but after the athletic track was removed during renovations in 1986, it reached a peak of 95,000. Porto spent the most of their trophy-laden supremacy at Estádio das Antas, and it will always be recognized as the birthplace of one of Portugal’s best teams.
In 2004, the stadium, which had served as the home of the Portuguese national team for more than half a century, was demolished. Despite the fact that some elements of the stadium remain intact, it is today a desolate wasteland with no possibility of being repaired.
#4 Maine Road – Manchester City
Maine Road, which opened in 1923 and served as Manchester City’s home for 80 years before being decommissioned as a football stadium, was built in 1923. It was erected after the club’s previous stadium could no longer be expanded. The stadium has had numerous renovations over the years, with the most recent substantial extension occurring in 1935.
When finished, the stadium will have a maximum capacity of 88,000 people. The club updated the field in the late twentieth century by pulling down several stands and replacing them with new ones. The stadium, however, had become a dangerous site as a result of the numerous modifications, as all sides were now of varying heights and designs.
Plans for additional improvements to boost seating capacity were shelved. In 2003, Manchester City relocated to the City of Manchester Stadium, also known as the Etihad Stadium. Maine Road was dismantled after attempts to utilize it for other sports failed, and it is now a parking lot.
#3 Vicente Calderón Stadium – Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid, the current La Liga champions, played in the Vicente Calderón Stadium, one of Spain’s most iconic venues. It was originally known as Estadio Manzanares before being renamed to honor the club’s long-serving president, Vicente Calderon. The stadium, which first opened its doors in 1966, hosted a number of memorable matches till 2017.
In 1966, Atlético Madrid relocated from the Estado Metropolitano de Madrid to the Vicente Calderón Stadium. The ground’s final match was a charity match between Atlético Madrid and World XI. The stadium was dismantled in 2020 after being abandoned and rebuilt into a seaside park.
In 2017, Atlético Madrid relocated to the Metropolitano Stadium. They were supposed to relocate in 2013, but Madrid’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games caused the relocation to be postponed. The stadium was substantially refurbished after Atlético Madrid took over control, and it now seats 68,456 people.
#2 Camp de Les Corts – Barcelona
Camp de Les Corts was the training ground for Barcelona’s legendary club. Barcelona called this stadium home during one of their most successful periods. The Catalan club dominated the pre-La Liga era, with several great players on its roster. They went on to win the inaugural La Liga title, building on their success.
The group had grown to the point where the Camp de Les Corts could no longer accommodate any more members. Despite enlarging the stadium to its full capacity, the 60,000 capacity was not enough. Barcelona built Spain’s largest stadium, the Camp Nou, in 1957 to battle against their closest rivals, Real Madrid. Camp de Les Corts was sold and turned into a housing development.
#1 Arsenal Stadium – Arsenal
Despite being named Arsenal Stadium, it was more commonly referred to as Higbury due to its location. Highbury, dubbed the “Home of Football,” had been the home of Arsenal Football Club for nearly a century.
The stadium has had two major restorations since it was opened in 1913. Highbury, the home of Arsenal’s most illustrious days, has a maximum capacity of 73,000 spectators. After the terraces were replaced in 1993, the club became an all-seater. Attempts to expand the stadium were met with opposition from the neighborhood.
Arsenal was unable to meet the club’s financial obligations due to a lack of seats, so they opted to construct a new stadium. Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium, one of England’s largest, towards the end of the 2005/06 season. The Arsenal Stadium was eventually turned into Highbury Square, a residential complex.