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Smallest Stadiums in Premier League History


Smallest Stadiums in Premier League History

The Premier League has been home to many iconic stadiums over the years. The biggest grounds are all very well-known, but here we take a look at the top five smallest stadiums in Premier League history.

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5. The Dell - Southampton (15,200)

Before Southampton made the move to St Mary’s, The Dell was where they called home. The 15,200 seater stadium belonged to the Saints from 1898 until it was closed in 2001. They were in the Premier League for the first ever season in 1992, and enjoyed many special memories in the nine top-flight campaigns they had at The Dell. Legend Matt Le Tissier had spent almost his entire professional career playing there, and provided fans with plenty of thrilling moments including the final ever competitive goal in the stadium.

In May 2001, Southampton hosted Arsenal as they said goodbye to The Dell. And it was a fitting farewell as they secured a 3-2 win thanks to a volley from Le Tissier in the final minutes. They did go on to host one last friendly a week later, against Brighton, which made the Seagulls their first and last-ever opponents at the stadium.

4. County Ground - Swindon Town (14,700)

With a capacity of 14,700, the County Ground played host to just one Premier League season, and it was a season that many Swindon fans will not look back on with much fondness. In their sole top-flight campaign in 1993/94, they conceded 100 goals, which is the most of any club ever in a 42-game season.

They did, however, manage to earn a point against Manchester United in what was a memorable 2-2 draw. The visitors did play with a man less for the final 25 minutes after Eric Cantona was dismissed for a stamp on John Moncur, but Swindon were 2-1 down at the time. An equaliser from Jan Åge Fjørtoft in the 83rd minute gave the home fans something to cheer about in what was otherwise a miserable season.

The Robins now play their football in League Two, where they have been for the last three seasons following a year in League One.

3. Boundary Park - Oldham Athletic (13,559)

Now a National League ground, Boundary Park was once the smallest ground in the Premier League. Oldham were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, having spent a year in the old First Division a year prior. Their Premier League stint lasted just two seasons before they were relegated in 1994. They would then get relegated again to Division Two in 1997 where they stayed for 21 years.

In 2018, they finally escaped League One, but once again dropped down a division as they embarked on their first year in the fourth tier since 1971. Unfortunately for the club, they could not bounce back and have since lost their place in the Football League.

Boundary Park has hosted some Premier League thrillers, including a 5-3 victory against Nottingham Forest in August 1992, Oldham’s first-ever win in the competition. Shock victories over local rivals Manchester United and then Liverpool in 1993 helped the club on their way to survival and will live long in the memory of their fans.

2. Vitality Stadium - Bournemouth (11,364)

Prior to this season, the Vitality Stadium’s capacity of 11,364 was the lowest ever in the Premier League. Formerly known as Dean Court until 2015, Bournemouth’s ground has hosted seven Premier League seasons, with a two-year stint back in the Championship between 2020 and 2022 in the middle.

In six home games this season, the Cherries have won just once and lost three times. They did however earn a point in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.

One of the most memorable fixtures in the club’s history came at the Vitality when they recorded an improbable comeback against Liverpool in December 2016. Down 2-0 at half-time and 3-1 with 15 minutes to go, it seemed almost certain that the three points would be headed back to Merseyside. But two goals in as many minutes levelled the game and set up a thrilling finish. Deep into added time, Nathan Ake completed the dramatic victory as he took advantage of a spilt shot.

1. Kenilworth Road - Luton Town (10,356)

The smallest stadium in Premier League history belongs to newly promoted Luton Town. Due to the lack of broadcasting services and other boxes, the club had to spend close to £10m on stadium upgrades in order to meet the Premier League requirements. This meant that their first game of the season against Burnley had to be postponed.

Kenilworth Road has been the home of Luton since 1905, and this is the first season it has hosted top-flight football since 1992. So far this campaign, they have played five games at home. They have yet to record a win, but gained a point in their latest game against Liverpool, despite leading late on. Their home fixture against Spurs also saw them put up a good fight, however, they ended up losing 1-0. Despite their overall struggles so far, they are backed by a loyal group of supporters who will make it tough on any visiting team.