As the Premier League gets bigger and bigger, so – it seems – do the stadiums that play host to it.
The vast majority of clubs in the top flight have either drawn up plans to expand their grounds to service the overwhelming demand or are poised to open gleaming new stands – or, in some cases, open new stadiums altogether.
Here, our experts guide you through what each club has done to their home ground and what could come next, plus how we rated each stadium in our rankings published last month.
Arsenal: Emirates Stadium
Current capacity: 60,704
What The Athletic said: “The Emirates has its critics, but it now delivers the atmosphere, facilities, accessibility and product any sports fan would expect from the Premier League.”
The Athletic ranking: 4th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Arsenal have not redeveloped Emirates Stadium in regards to size since moving from Highbury in 2006.
The most recent work done was the revamped artwork around the outside of the stadium in January 2023. The decision to redecorate was made a year earlier and was brought to life by consulting with fans before artists and specialists, such as Reuben Dangoor, Jeremy Deller and David Rudnick, were commissioned to make the artwork.
Eight panels were created in total to display the club’s international, local and historic impact across men’s, women’s and academy football.
What comes next? As things stand, no redevelopment work is planned. Alongside the new stadium artwork rolled out earlier this year, Arsenal unveiled a statue of former manager Arsene Wenger outside the Emirates.
The Frenchman, who managed the club for 22 years and won three league titles, visited the stadium ahead of the new season to see the work.
The Emirates has the fifth largest capacity in the Premier League, with three of the four larger stadiums (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London Stadium and Anfield) either built or redeveloped after that date.
Current capacity: 42,530
What The Athletic said: “A packed-out Villa Park is a special place to be. When it gets going, there is no place quite like it.”
The Athletic ranking: 7th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Villa Park last underwent major redevelopment in the 2000-01 campaign, building a bigger Trinity Road Stand, which was built from scratch. There has been an appetite for further expansion since, with the club now closer to the desired redevelopment than they have been in over two decades.
What comes next? So this is the tricky part. The intention is to increase the capacity by 8,000, expanding Villa Park to 50,000 by 2027, the season before Euro 2028, for which it is a host stadium. This involves knocking down the North Stand completely before wrapping it into the connecting Trinity Road Stand.
However, progress has been slow and new, revised plans are expected to be released before the end of the year. Inflation has taken hold since initial plans were drawn up and other problems, such as the lack of transport and on-site parking around Villa Park, require further feasibility studies, as do changes to the proposed work outside of Villa Park, such as a ‘Box Park’-type area named ‘Villa Live’.
A stadium rebuild is likely to need an agreement with Birmingham City Council and Mayor Andy Street over talks about the redevelopment of the local train station, Witton. It will cost the council around £30million and is critical in easing the footfall around the stadium and meeting UEFA guidelines of having between 60-80 per cent of supporters attending the European Championship arriving on public transport.
There has been no agreement yet and, under time constraints at risk of not adhering to UEFA guidelines, there is a pressing need for plans to be finalised. But there are question marks as to whether the council will spend the money on the station when its budget is already stretched.
Current capacity: 11,307
What The Athletic said: “There’s little discernible character. The support is welcoming, but everything feels a bit temporary.”
The Athletic ranking: 20th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Despite cosmetic touches to the stadium since Bill Foley’s arrival as owner, Bournemouth’s previous redevelopment was done in 2013, two years before the club were promoted to the Premier League for the first time, with the Ted MacDougall Stand being unveiled by the man himself. Incredibly, Real Madrid took part in an exhibition match to mark the occasion.
What comes next? With Foley keen to increase revenue streams and drive the commercial value of the club, Bournemouth are assessing whether to redevelop the Vitality Stadium or build a new ground. Presently, they are looking at plans, using data, ticketing information and feasibility studies, to scope the right side for a stadium which would increase the capacity. Previously, Foley has outlined his desire for a 20,000-seater stadium.
The immediate priority is building a new training ground at Canford Magna, moving away from the temporary training pavilion adjacent to Vitality Stadium. A 3G pitch has been installed and once the complex is in operation, players will move there, with the pavilion to be used for office staff, possibly freeing up space inside the stadium for hospitality renovation. In that period, Bournemouth could look to press ahead with plans on what next to do with the current stadium.
Brentford: Gtech Community Stadium
Current capacity: 17,250
What The Athletic said: “It is one of the smallest grounds in the top two divisions, but none of that detracts from its charm.”
The Athletic ranking: 8th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Brentford only moved from Griffin Park to their new ground in September 2020. There have been a few minor cosmetic changes, with a new poster installed on the side, but the biggest work has been to install safe standing.
Barriers were installed on 1,700 seats in the West Stand and were tested at matches during the Women’s European Championship last year before being fully rolled out for the 2022-23 season.
What comes next? The Gtech Community Stadium is built on a tight triangular piece of land, which is sandwiched between multiple railway lines and blocks of flats. Even if Brentford wanted to increase the capacity in the future, the tight restrictions make it impossible. For now, they are more than happy in their shiny new home, which chief executive Jon Varney calls “small but perfectly formed”.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Amex Stadium
Current capacity: 31,876
What The Athletic said: “Neat, well-equipped and fit for purpose, it symbolises the spirit of the club and its supporters.”
The Athletic ranking: 16th
When was the last redevelopment work done? A tunnel club opened at the start of the season, joining similar facilities at Manchester City and Tottenham.
For a total cost of just under £30,000 for a minimum of three years, members see the players in the tunnel through one-way glass in a fine dining restaurant before watching matches in luxury heated seats above the tunnel in the three-tier west stand.
What comes next? There are no plans for further major works inside the Amex, which opened in 2011. The capacity increased from 22,500 to close to the current figure a year later, with the addition of the upper tier to the two-tier east stand.
A major facelift is in the pipeline on the walkway surrounding the stadium, with plans submitted to Brighton & Hove Council for a covered fan zone, which will be available on non-match days for sports screenings, music gigs and other leisure events. The project is expected to open next season.
Meanwhile, Brighton are pressing ahead with plans to build a second stadium in the city, designed specifically for women’s football.
Burnley: Turf Moor
Current capacity: 21,744
What The Athletic said: “Burnley is a proper football town and it feels like it. But while all places get cold, it can feel particularly chilly.”
The Athletic ranking: 17th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The last addition to the stadium was the two corner stands, either side of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, built to improve disability facilities and stadium accessibility. They were opened in 2019.
Since ALK Capital’s arrival, improving the experience at Turf Moor has been a key priority. They have added LED electronic signs inside and around the ground and revamped and upgraded the club’s hospitality areas around the ground.
What comes next? There appear to be no imminent plans for any radical changes at Turf Moor. The ground’s position, so close to a road and neighbouring Burnley Cricket Club’s ground, makes any extension a challenge and is arguably not required anyway.
The ownership group remains committed to continuing to make minor improvements and upgrades to the stadium as and when required, as what they inherited needed modernising.
The club did recently commit to implementing safe standing in an area of the ground, as they aim to find ways to improve Turf Moor’s atmosphere. Those plans are still in the early stages.
Chelsea: Stamford Bridge
Current capacity: 40,173
What The Athletic said: “As each year goes by, the ground shows more signs of age, but there is no other place Chelsea fans would rather be.”
The Athletic ranking: 9th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The last significant change made was the building of a new West Stand, which opened in 2001. It seats 13,500 and is also where VIP boxes, function halls and suites are housed.
Since Chelsea were bought by the Todd Boehly-Clearlake consortium in 2022, some minor changes, mainly decorative, have been made to try to improve the fan experience.
What comes next? This is a question still to be answered. The Athletic cover the current situation in a lot more depth here and it is certainly complex.
Chelsea’s ground now ranks as only the 10th biggest club venue in England. From the moment the takeover was completed, figuring out whether to rebuild or move elsewhere has been a priority.
They spent in the region of £70m-£80m to purchase 1.2 acres of land next to Stamford Bridge from Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions, but have yet to commit to building a new ground on site.
Redeveloping Stamford Bridge will mean playing at another venue for up to five years while work is carried out. Building somewhere else is an option and going to where the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre used to be is being considered.
But last week, the company in charge of overseeing the redevelopment of the 40-acre site – Earls Court Development Company – denied that a new ground was part of their plans.
Crystal Palace: Selhurst Park
Current capacity: 25,486
What The Athletic said: “The ground’s soul is among the best in the country. There is a community warmth that can be hard to find at other London clubs.”
The Athletic ranking: 18th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Selhurst Park has not undergone major work for decades. Minor improvements have been undertaken since promotion to the Premier League in 2013 and the Main Stand had an internal refit, but there have been no substantial changes since the Holmesdale Road End was converted from terracing in 1994, while a TV gantry required upon promotion has significantly obstructed the view from the back of the Arthur Wait stand, a point not lost on visiting fans.
What comes next? The start of building work on a new 13,500-capacity Main Stand stand and improving other areas of the ground that celebrates its 100th anniversary next year has moved significantly closer after the relocation of nearby residents was completed.
The expectation is that work will commence at the end of the season and potentially open in time for the start of the 2026-27 season, but costs have already ballooned to around £150million. It is expected to be funded through a capital call of the club’s shareholders.
Everton: Goodison Park
Current capacity: 39,414
What The Athletic said: “The Old Lady may be a pensioner, but it is a venerable old dear, bursting with history.”
The Athletic ranking: 14th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Improvements are made to Goodison on a fairly regular basis, although the last stand to undergo a major redevelopment was the Park End in 1994. The main focus for Everton has been developing the new site at Bramley-Moore Dock.
What comes next? Everton maintain that the new stadium project is both on time and on budget, with work scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024.
A move-in date for the stadium – which has been selected as one of the host venues for Euro 2028 – has yet to be finalised, but the club is liaising with supporters on various options, including a potential opening at the start of the 2025-26 season.
Fans are still waiting to hear how the remainder of the project, which is expected to cost around £760million including ancillary works, will be funded, although Miami-based 777 Partners has committed to ensuring its completion as part of their takeover agreement with Farhad Moshiri. Last week’s Premier League points deduction for breaking profit and sustainability rules is not expected to affect the stadium plans.
Fulham: Craven Cottage
Current capacity: 24,500
What The Athletic said: “The walk to Craven Cottage sets it apart. There is no football stadium like it.”
The Athletic ranking: 15th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The last major work undertaken at Craven Cottage was in the early 2000s when the ground was transformed into an all-seater arena in the aftermath of their top-flight promotion in 2001. Since then, there have been cosmetic changes around the ground, with small capacity increases. The most recent saw the dressing rooms expanded inside the Cottage in 2022 to accommodate the extra substitutes required in the Premier League.
What comes next? The redevelopment of the Riverside Stand has been years in the making. It was first mooted before Mohamed Al Fayed sold the club in 2013, but it has now been realised under Shahid Khan. The aim is to bring year-round revenue streams into Fulham through a four-star hotel, a members club, a health club and restaurants, bars and other amenities.
Work began in 2019 and it was originally expected to open in 2021. However, due to a range of issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the complexity of building on the river itself, the full re-opening has been pushed back three times. As it stands, the project is in the fit-out stage, with only 4,968 spectator seats available. Hospitality areas will open next year, with additional seating ahead of the 2024-25 season. The hotel and private members club may not open until 2025.
Once completed, the new stand will increase Craven Cottage’s capacity to 29,600. It has proven expensive for Khan, with costs over £130million. It is hoped the facilities will ensure Fulham can be run sustainably at the highest level, as well as providing a new walkway along the River Thames. In the long term, Fulham also intend to build a pier on the river. However, this remains in the pre-planning stages.
Current capacity: 54,074
What The Athletic said: “You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off is one of football’s special experiences. Anfield can take you on a wild ride you may not want to end.”
The Athletic ranking: 5th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The last major development at Anfield was the redevelopment of the Main Stand, which was completed in 2016. The £100million project added a further 8,500 seats to Anfield, increasing the capacity to 54,000.
What comes next? Liverpool are in the process of completing the £80million redevelopment of the Anfield Road stand, which has been hit by delays since work began in September 2021 and will not be fully open until 2024.
The new stand will add 7,000 seats to Anfield and increase the capacity to 61,000. Initial plans were to have the stand ready for the start of the 2023-24 season, but the club announced in July that only the lower tier would be open for the first home game of the season against Bournemouth as work continued on the upper tier.
The aim was to have the upper tier open following the September international break. However, Buckingham Group, who were chosen to oversee the construction, entered administration in early September. Work on the stand stopped for a period. It caused Liverpool to delay the timeframe again from October 2023 to an unspecified date in 2024.
With tickets already sold for the upper tier, the club had to ask fans with tickets elsewhere in the ground to return them to the club if they were not planning on attending.
The process to find a new contractor was extensive, with Preston-based Rayner Rowen installed and the site is now fully functional again. The next steps are ongoing as work towards completion continues, although the stand is not set to be fully open until well into 2024, according to multiple people contacted by The Athletic. It is a significant financial blow, with Liverpool missing out on extra revenue of approximately £750,000 per match with capacity down 11,000.
Luton Town: Kenilworth Road
Current capacity: 11,050
What The Athletic said: “You won’t hear an atmosphere like it. The walk into the away end through neighbouring terraced housing really is fun, too.”
The Athletic ranking: 19th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Luton Town spent around £10million to upgrade Kenilworth Road ahead of the 2023-23 season to bring it up to Premier League standards and requirements. The upgrades increased the stadium’s capacity from 10,356 – which would have made it the lowest-ever capacity in the Premier League.
The main body of renovations centred on renewing the Bobbers Stand, which houses a television gantry as well as seats for fans. The first Premier League home game against Burnley had to be postponed as works were completed.
What comes next? Power Court Stadium. Luton are saying goodbye to their home since 1905 and are hoping to commence works on a new site in the city centre next to Luton railway station, which will have an initial capacity of 19,500. A second phase of development could see 4,000 seats added.
“The next phase now is an engagement with Luton Council and key stakeholders, such as the Environment Agency and Historic England, as we take them all through our detailed design process,” chief operating officer Michael Moran said in May 2023. “We are also engaging with contractors as we finalise certain construction features, but our target for completion is 2026, regardless of the club’s league position.”
Manchester City: Etihad Stadium
Current capacity: 53,400
What The Athletic said: “It is akin to visiting a football theme park, but it may never have that final piece of intangible soul that Maine Road had.”
The Athletic ranking: 11th
When was the last redevelopment work done? City unveiled their new-look South Stand in a game against Chelsea in August 2015, an occasion also remembered for Eliaquim Mangala’s fine debut. The expansion added 6,250 seats to a new third tier, another 1,500 seats around the pitch and extra hospitality areas.
What comes next? An even more ambitious expansion that will add 5,000 seats to the North Stand is now full steam ahead. According to the club’s website, the plans include a “larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier”, which will increase the Etihad’s capacity to over 60,000.
There will also be a covered fan area with capacity for 3,000 people as well as a new club shop, museum, office spaces and a 400-bed hotel. The hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2026, will also serve the new 23,500-capacity Co-op Live music arena, which opens close to the stadium in May.
Building on the north stand is scheduled for completion in August 2025.
Current capacity: 74,031
What The Athletic said: “Parts look out of date and the roof is leaking, but the scale of the place is mighty and it comes with a special atmosphere.”
The Athletic ranking: 3rd
When was the last redevelopment work done? United have invested millions of pounds in small improvements in recent years, mainly on hospitality areas, disabled facilities and adding safe-standing areas. A paint job was completed in 2022 and quickly gave it a much smarter appearance. At Erik ten Hag’s request, the club built a new lounge for the club’s manager and his players to use before matches at Old Trafford from the beginning of this season, replacing a hospitality area in the Sir Bobby Charlton stand.
What comes next? United announced in April last year that they had appointed architects Populous and management firm Legends International as master planners and consultants for a revamp of Old Trafford. Several different options were assessed, including increasing Old Trafford’s capacity, building a completely new stadium next to the current one, and development centred around a new main stand.
These were presented at a fans’ advisory board meeting. Major redevelopment work, however, has remained at a standstill during United’s strategic review, which started last November. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire and owner of petrochemicals company INEOS, is set to purchase a 25 per cent stake in United from the Glazer family.
The Athletic detailed how Ratcliffe is prepared to commit $300million (£245m) of his personal wealth for infrastructure upgrades at Manchester United.
Current capacity: 52,257
What The Athletic said: “It’s slap-bang in the middle of the city, looming over it, setting the mood and drawing people towards it.”
The Athletic ranking: 2nd
When was the last redevelopment work done? Aside from changes to corporate boxes, the last proper redevelopment was in 2005. Shearer’s Bar was added to the Gallowgate End, which was itself upgraded as part of an expansion throughout the 1990s, raising capacity to present levels. The Milburn Stand and Leazes End were expanded after the Gallowgate, while corporate boxes were moved from the East Stand elsewhere.
What comes next? The next phase of redevelopment will not alter the stadium itself, rather the area on Strawberry Place behind the Gallowgate. Mike Ashley sold the lease on that land, but the current owners bought it back and a fan zone, featuring bars, restaurants and big screens, is being built and is due to open within months.
Planning permission has been granted for three years on that site but, beyond, Newcastle are exploring how to raise the capacity to 60,000-65,000. That would likely involve expansion of the Gallowgate End and East Stand, but road and Metro infrastructure, as well as listed buildings on Leazes Terrace behind the latter, make increasing capacity difficult and expensive. It will cost tens of millions and is very much a long-term aspiration rather than a confirmed plan.
However, the owners insist they want to remain at Newcastle’s historic St James’ home rather than move to a ground outside the heart of the city centre.
Nottingham Forest: City Ground
Current capacity: 30,404
What The Athletic said: “It’s in a beautiful spot at the heart of Nottingham and the home atmosphere has been rejuvenated in recent seasons.”
The Athletic ranking: 12th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The club undertook a cosmetic revamp of many areas of the City Ground over the summer.
That included a refurbishment of the dressing rooms and tunnel area and the construction of an entirely new media suite, in the area where Brian Clough’s office used to be.
What comes next? In the short term, there is a desire among the Forest hierarchy to get the capacity further above the 30,000 mark and there are early plans to use shipping containers to add roughly 500 extra seats.
The idea is inspired by one of the venues used during the Qatar World Cup, Stadium 974, which was built entirely out of shipping containers.
There are also plans in place to further improve the fan experience around the stadium.
In the longer term, Forest announced plans in February 2019 to knock down the Peter Taylor Stand and rebuild it with Champions League-standard facilities, which would take the capacity up to 35,000.
The club hope that the appointment of Tom Cartledge, a lifelong Forest fan, as chairman will help accelerate the progress of those plans. Cartledge is chief executive of Handley House Group, which includes Benoy, the firm of architects who designed the proposed development.
Current capacity: 32,050
What The Athletic said: “There can be few more intimidating atmospheres in English football. The noise lingers and swells as if stuck under the roof.”
The Athletic ranking: 13th
When was the last redevelopment work done? A general brush-up took place last summer, including a new lick of paint to smarten up the back of the South Stand. But the last tangible upgrade came in 2009 when the gap between the South Stand and the Bramall Lane Stand (where away fans are situated) was finally filled in via a new corner stand that included a hotel.
What comes next? There has been previous talk by the current owners of improving the Kop stand by removing the pillars that currently restrict the view from hundreds of seats. But United’s struggle to compete financially with the rest of the Premier League, even with the riches that accompany promotion, suggests these plans will be firmly on the back-burner until a change of ownership.
Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Current capacity: 62,850
What The Athletic said: “Sit inside the stadium and you soon realise its draw: an experience comparable to any live sport stadium across the world.”
The Athletic ranking: 1st
When was the last redevelopment work done? There have been no major development works since the stadium opened four years ago. There have been ongoing small improvements and the player’s lounge was refurbished at a not-inconsiderable cost in the summer of 2019.
What comes next? Spurs are always looking to improve the stadium, but it’s so young and remains the best in class in the Premier League, so there are no big plans in place for redevelopment work.
Current capacity: 62,500
What The Athletic said: “It has the feel of a big, international venue, but the pitch feels distant and so does everyone else in the stadium.”
The Athletic ranking: 10th
When was the last redevelopment work done? Ahead of the 2022-23 season, capacity at the London Stadium increased from 60,000 to 62,500 following redevelopment work in the West Stand. In April 2019, the club installed a claret carpet to surround the outside of the playing field.
What comes next? As it stands, there are no plans for redevelopment work at the London Stadium.
Current capacity: 31,750
What The Athletic said: “A perfect balance of modern facilities and an authentic atmosphere to rival anywhere in the country.”
The Athletic ranking: 6th
When was the last redevelopment work done? The modern two-tier Stan Cullis Stand (still known locally as the North Bank) was opened in 2012, taking Molineux to its current capacity. That was the first significant rebuild since 1993, when the Jack Harris Stand (now the Sir Jack Hayward Stand) was opened, replacing the final section of old Molineux terracing.
What comes next? Wolves have an idea of what comes next, but there is currently no clear picture of when. In 2019, Wolves owners Fosun announced their intention to increase capacity to 50,000 by replacing the Steve Bull and Sir Jack Hayward Stands in the image of the Stand Cullis Stand and filling in the ground’s open corners.
But Covid-19 and other factors meant the plans were put on hold, where they remain. Wolves have researched a range of options, but there remains no clear timescale.
(Top photos: Clive Brunskill/Naomi Baker/Catherine Ivill/Getty Images; design: Samuel Richardson)