Stadium Journey EFL Sky Bet Championship Stadium Ranking
For the first time, Stadium Journey presents its rankings of the stadium experience for the 24 clubs in the EFL Sky Bet Championship. There are several categories in the ground reviews: food & beverage in the arena, atmosphere, the local neighborhood, fans, access (including parking, restrooms, and ability to move around on the grounds), overall return on investment, and a catchall category for all extras. We use the rating of our correspondents as our primary ranking, with the crowd reviews of our members as the secondary factor. In cases where there is still a tie, we have an internal discussion to determine which arena experience might be slightly better. Click on the stadium or team name to read each stadium review. As with any list of stadium rankings, there will be some disagreements and a few headscratchers. You are more than willing to let us know what you think in the comment section, and perhaps we could see a change next year, but until then, here is the 2023 Stadium Journey EFL Sky Bet Championship Stadium Ranking.
1. Bramall Lane - Sheffield United 4.14
Bramall Lane boasts so many different things, it’s quite fascinating. Firstly, the away stand is dedicated to Sheffield-born, Olympic hero, Jessica Ennis-Hill. As an away supporter, it gives your stadium experience just that little extra touch. The historical impact always plays in the back of your mind, as after all, it is the oldest major football stadium in the world. In addition to this, another key extra is that it’s just minutes away from the city centre, which is a must-see.
2. Kenilworth Road - Luton Town 4.00
Visiting Kenilworth Road was fulfilling a childhood ambition! I was fascinated with their artificial surface in the 80s and how they always defied the odds to survive in the top flight! This is a very old ground, compact with very little room to manoeuvre due to the surrounding houses and busy roads, and a venue that all enthusiasts should visit.
3. Loftus Road - QPR 3.71
Walking to the ground through the narrow streets and sitting near other fans is what gives the ground such character and will be hard to create once they move. That said, those characteristics are what has stopped the ground from being developed, which is both a blessing and a curse.
4. Stoke City - Bet365 Stadium 3.57
The stadium consists of four cantilever stands with the L-shaped Boothen and East stands being of a separate structure from the rest of the stadium. The main West stand, consisting of two tiers, houses the club's corporate and media facilities. The legendary Sir Stanley Mathews who officially opened the stadium had his ashes buried under the stadium’s centre circle following his death in 2000. Statues outside the stadium show his career at different stages.
5. Swansea City - Liberty Stadium 3.57
Swansea City fans have known what it has been like to suffer through lean years and also know what it’s like to revel in glory seasons. You can’t break the heart and souls of its fans and supporters. Liberty Stadium is providing a fitting symbol for their continuing rise.
6. Bristol City - Ashton Gate 3.57
It is certainly exciting times for Bristol City fans off the pitch as the club continues to invest and grow its profile and infrastructure. The stadium is now fit for big matches, the most recent being the Vanarama Promotion Cup Final between Torquay United and Hartlepool United which was switched from Wembley due to its Euro 2020 commitments. This demonstrates that this venue is on its way to becoming the first-class facility that chairman Stephen Lansdown has always dreamed of.
7. Coventry City - CBS Arena 3.43
CBS Arena is a very non-descript stadium but offers a few advantages for the atmosphere. While it's located outside the city for easy access by car or train, it doesn't stand out from other venues in the league in terms of aesthetics. Is it worth checking out of the match, Of course? However, it sort of falls in the middle-of-the-road category.
8. Reading - Select Car Leasing Stadium 3.43
Select Car Leasing Stadium is home to the English Football Championship club Reading and was formerly named Madejski Stadium after their Chairman Sir John Madejski. The stadium was built in 1998 following the club's departure from their Elm Park residence of over one hundred years. The stadium has an all-seated capacity of 24,161.
9. Sunderland - Stadium of Light 3.43
Visiting the Stadium of Light is something you should do. It’s a program ground, which at times can be very full of atmosphere. My only problem is that when you get there, you will be disappointed with the contest. However, overall I would recommend visiting this stadium, as it is reasonably priced to get in and has well-designed many-around all-around features that not many other stadiums have.
10. Blackpool - Bloomfield Road 3.29
Attending a Blackpool match is a fun experience in a great location in England for Championship football. It is an ideal destination if you are with the family, but great if you are ground-hopping alone or with a few friends. Bloomfield Road has plenty to see, along with the rest of Blackpool.
11. Millwall - The Den 3.29
The Den offers great views from almost every part of the grounds and is the perfect size for being close to the action. It is clean, comfortable, and a serviceable stadium that has shown its age in certain places but offers an array of food kiosks and social quarters. The Den and its supporters have their reputation but for the most part, makes for an ideal afternoon for football in London.
12. Norwich City - Carrow Road 3.29
When you are enjoying a stay in the English countryside (Anglia) and if you want something else then visit its beautiful villages, castles ruins, and cathedrals, then a visit to a match of Norwich City Football Club is a welcome break. You can experience the real football atmosphere created by passionate Canaries fans. The atmosphere you will experience at Carrow Road is probably better than you will find at some of the top teams in the league.
13. Watford - Vicarage Road 3.29
Watford fans are great and this is a nice stadium overall The grounds are at near capacity crowds that are up close and personal to the players on the pitch. The cheering echoes throughout the stands and the atmosphere is full of history at the facility that blends both modern and classic styles.
14. Wigan Athletic - DW Stadium 3.29
The DW Stadium was built in 1999 as a home for the Wigan Athletic soccer team. Wigan’s previous home was Springfield Park, where most of the success came towards the end of their 67-year stay. The DW has a capacity of 25,133 and also provides a home for the Wigan Warriors Rugby League Team. Like most newly built stadiums in England, The DW is situated in the middle of a vast retail park.
15. Cardiff City - Cardiff City Stadium 3.29
Cardiff City Stadium comes alive on match day with local pubs and restaurants near the grounds packed with fans. Once inside the stadium, the crowd becomes electric against bigger opponents but halftime takes for a fine day of footy on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
16. Huddersfield Town - John Smith's Stadium 3.14
The John Smith Stadium is a modern, comfortable football stadium that is inexpensive, features a good range of concession items, and overall has a very good time. The home of the Terriers should not be overlooked when visiting English Football grounds,
17. Birmingham City - St. Andrew's Stadium 3.00
The stadium features four stands: Spion Kop Stand, The Main Stand, Gil Merrick Stand, and the Tilton Road Stand. Away supporters enter through the Gil Merrick Stand and The Main Stand offers both the Cookhouse and Family section. The best spot for the atmosphere is in the Tilton Road Stand but some seats feature an obstructed view.
18. Burnley - Turf Moor 3.00
Burnley has occupied its ground since 1883 and holds the record for the longest period in one place in England. When it first opened it was home to an 800-capacity grandstand and served as the home venue for Burnley Rovers FC. The plot of land was first occupied by Burnley’s cricket club in 1833.
19. Middlesbrough - Riverside Stadium 3.00
The Riverside Stadium has opened in 1995 following Middlesbrough's relocation from their historic but outdated Ayresome Park home a little over a mile away. The Riverside was one of the first newly built larger stadiums within Britain at that time and now has an all-seated capacity of 35,100.
20. Preston North End - Deepdale 3.00
Although the atmosphere of old Deepdale can never be replaced, the new version when full can become a close second. If North End can one day return to the top flight of English soccer where they were once one of the top dogs back in the 40s and 50s, then this will certainly be an outstanding venue to view English football.
21. Rotherham - New York Stadium 3.00
It would take very little to improve the atmosphere compared to the club’s temporary Don Valley experience. However Rotherham United has tried extremely hard to ensure the New York experience will bring supporters back to the club. Home supporters generate most of the noise from the KCM Recycling Stand.
22. West Bromich - The Hawthorns 3.00
In the stadium, there is plenty of noise from the home and away ends. Two big screens show replays as well. Leg space is slightly cramped especially if you are tall. Concourses are narrow so can be quite cramped at halftime or pregame. Views of the game are great from any seat and you are never far away from the action. There are electronic ticket scanners at the turnstiles when entering the ground resulting in quick queue times.
23. Hull City - MKM Stadium 2.86
The design of the stadium ensures that it retains its atmosphere and this remains the case when the stadium is not full which tends to be the case now that the club is back in the Championship League.
24. Blackburn - Ewood Park 2.29
There are a lot of things that need improving at the club. A good manager needs to be given time to work with his players, and the fans need to be more supportive of their team. Oh, and the Venky’s need to get a grip. Once this is all done, Blackburn may return to the Premier League and hopefully, the stadium experience will improve.