Like the players, managers and board members, football stadiums come and go. Once a ground has reached the end of the road it is often knocked down and replaced with a new facility.
But the process isn’t always swift. Many stadiums are left to gather dust for many years before demolition and here, Express Sport takes a look at five of them including one that is bigger than six Premier League grounds.
The Stadio Flaminio in Rome has hosted many important sporting events over the years but now it lies in ruin. Stadio Flaminio was built in 1959 to serve as a venue for the 1960 Summer Olympics and went on to become the home of the Italian national rugby team for Six Nations home matches from 2000 to 2011.
Meanwhile, during the 1989–90 season both Roma and Lazio played at Stadio Flaminio during the renovations of Stadio Olimpico. Its 30,000-seater capacity is bigger than six current Premier League grounds, including Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park and Fulham’s Craven Cottage. Yet despite its impressive size and history, it has been left to rot over the last decade.
The Millmoor Ground
The Millmoor Ground has been described as the “spiritual home” of Rotherham United, who played at the stadium between 1925 and 2008. In May 2008, Rotherham United were forced to leave Millmoor after talks with its owners collapsed. Rotherham went on to play their football at the Don Valley athletics stadium in Sheffield for four years before eventually relocating to the New York Stadium, which was opened in 2012.
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Millmoor briefly hosted non-league side Westfield United and some local youth teams in the proceeding years but has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
Leyton Football Club Stadium
Leyton Football Club Stadium stands (barely) as a reminder of the harsh realities of financial woes in non-league football. Leyton FC, not to be mistaken for the League One side Leyton Orient, played in the eighth tier of English football before they went under in 2011. While the club ceased operations, so too did the stadium, which has been abandoned for well over a decade.
No football was ever played at Nou Mestella, the unfinished 80,000-seater in the heart of Valencia which was supposed to be listed as a 2030 World Cup venue. Building began in 2007 but two years later it was halted for financial reasons. It has now been sitting partially built for over a decade.
Guangzhou FC Stadium
It’s a similar story for the Guangzhou FC stadium, which began construction in 2020 to house former Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande. The stadium would have had seating for 100,000 people.
However, the club’s owners, The Evergrande Group, one of China’s largest property developers, has since racked up debts of around £220b leading to the Chinese government seizing and cancelling the operation.
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