Today, the game of soccer is intrinsically tied with the stadiums that it’s played in.
They’re an important part of the professional side of the game, giving players a safe place to play the sport, while also allowing thousands of passionate fans to watch everything that takes place.
The stadiums are often seen as the heart of the game, and over the years they’ve evolved and changed into the venues that we know and love today. With around 2 billion fans and thousands of stadiums across the world, it’s been a long and fascinating journey to reach the modern world of soccer. This is the history of the soccer stadium.
The Origins Of The Stadium
Soccer has been played for thousands of years, but the modern iteration that we enjoy today started around the 18th century in England, and was a popular pastime for most people. Back then, the games were entirely played on pieces of land, such as open fields that were near to their homes. Soccer was still growing back then, and it became a common concern to try and dissuade those passing by not to walk across the field while the game was in play.
As clubs began to develop and the sport began to become more popular, it was clear that there would need to be certain boundaries to allow for organised games to take place. One of the very first was Sandygate Road, which had opened in 1804, and held the first organised football match in the history of England.
The game also set a precedent for the sport, and clubs started to put more effort into marking out fields and keeping them clear for their players.
The Construction of Early Stadiums
It wouldn’t be until the turn of the 19th century that some of the very first stadiums were put under construction. Around 50 clubs from around the country began to move to the new stadiums that were being built, and almost all of them were built close to the centre of urban areas, which proved to be a problem when it came to expanding the stadiums down the road.
They also tended to be fairly basic compared to the stadiums that we have today, often just an open field with one or more grandstands, as well as some seating around the field to help mark it out.
The game exploded in popularity not long after, and before long there were tens of thousands of fans and not nearly enough seating to accommodate them all. This led to a series of accidents that would even cost lives, and officials decided that they needed to build proper stadiums to house the many fans that watched the game.
By the time that 1960 had come, stadium design and size had advanced quickly. They started to replace grass with AstroTurf, to install heating underneath the seating, and enclose the entire field where the game took place.
Fourth generation pitches were introduced in 2010, the same time period that other pastimes, such as real money slots NZ became popular, and marked a step forward in the quality of artificial turf as well as adding various amenities to the stadiums, such as bathrooms, eateries, and much more.