Discover the captivating realm of soccer, where boundless passion reigns supreme and stadiums vary in shape and size. While certain soccer arenas are celebrated for their immense scale and vibrant atmospheres, our focus today is on a distinct and frequently unnoticed category of sports venues: the tiniest soccer stadiums across the globe.
Borisov Arena – Location: Barysaw, Belarus | Capacity: 13,126
The Borisov Arena has hosted numerous continental fixtures due to FC BATE Borisov’s representation of Belarus in multiple UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League tournaments. Additionally, it has been the venue for 12 international fixtures played by the Belarus soccer national team. The inaugural game at this stadium welcomed a full capacity crowd of over 11,000 passionate soccer fans. Notably, it holds a UEFA Category 4 classification as a soccer stadium.
Slavutych-Arena – Location: Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine | Capacity: 12,500
The Slavutych Arena serves solely as a venue for football matches and stands as the replacement for Metalurh Zaporizhya’s former home ground, the Central Stadium Metalurh. Situated in the heart of Zaporizhya, it enjoys proximity to the central train station and airport. Noteworthy events at this soccer stadium include hosting the Ukrainian Cup final, which was claimed by the formidable team Shakhtar Donetsk. Additionally, due to the persisting conflict in Luhansk, FC Zorya Luhansk has relocated their home games to the Slavutych Arena. Recently, it hosted a Europa League fixture against Leicester City earlier this month.
HaMoshava (Petah Tikva Stadium) – Location: Petah Tikva, Israel | Capacity: 11,500
Since its inauguration, the HaMoshava Stadium has been utilized by both Hapoel Petah Tikva and Maccabi Petah Tikva. Notably, it was among the stadiums selected to host the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. This all-seater stadium offers the possibility of expansion, accommodating up to 20,000 spectators. Additionally, within the HaMoshava complex, there’s a versatile 3,000-seat arena and artificial turf training fields. Interestingly, despite completion, the stadium remained unopened for nearly two years. It gained attention by hosting the 2014 United Supercup, a tournament involving four soccer clubs from Russia and Ukraine.
Guldfågeln Arena – Location: Kalmar, Sweden | Capacity: 11,000
Sweden is fortunate to possess some of the finest soccer stadiums, including the Guldfågeln Arena situated near Hansa City. The country boasts one of the world’s premier women’s teams, and this arena proudly served as a host venue during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 tournament. The stadium features a natural grass playing field and houses three additional pitches suitable for practice sessions. Notably, one of these training facilities is equipped with artificial turf.
New Meadow – Location: Shrewsbury, England | Capacity: 10,210
This stadium has hosted significant clashes in both the FA Cup and League Cup. A memorable recent event featured Shrewsbury Town facing the formidable Liverpool team, resulting in a thrilling 2-2 draw where Shrewsbury held their ground admirably. The atmosphere that night was electric, and it was a fortunate moment for the club, transpiring before the global pandemic mandated games to be played without fans. In 2007, this stadium replaced Shrewsbury Town’s previous ground, Gay Meadow, which had been their home for almost a century.
Estadio Regional de Chinquihue – Location: Puerto Montt, Chile | Capacity: 10,000
Following renovations in 2011 and 2013, this multi-use stadium’s current seated capacity is limited to 10,000 individuals, slightly reduced from its original capacity of 11,300. The highest attendance ever recorded was an impressive 12,217 in 1998. Chile, much like several other South American countries, is deeply passionate about football. The atmosphere within stadiums can be intense, causing nerves for both coaches and players, and this particular stadium is no exception to the thrilling, pressure-packed environment.
Haladás Sportkomplexum – Location: Szombathely, Hungary | Capacity: 8,903
The construction of Haladas Stadium commenced in 2016, representing one of the most substantial infrastructure developments in Szombathely over the last twenty years. This stadium’s funding was entirely provided by the Hungarian state, making the city of Szombathely the official owner. True to its name (Haladas means Progress), the stadium stands as a commendable replacement for the city’s former Rohonci úti Stadion.
Toyota Soccer Field – Location: Texas, United States | Capacity: 8,296
The high-tech Toyota Soccer Field is designed for expansion, capable of accommodating up to 18,000 seats in its ultimate phase. Presently, as Phase 1, it serves as a soccer-specific stadium. While its soccer configuration holds a capacity of 13,000, it can host concerts and festivals with a larger crowd. Notably, last year, the stadium even welcomed a rugby game attended by 1,000 fans. Its small-stadium design is versatile, allowing for the accommodation of sports like American football, boxing, and lacrosse in addition to soccer.
Ipurua Stadium – Location: Eibar, Spain | Capacity: 8,164
Staying in Spain, the underdog team Eibar consistently exceeds expectations in La Liga. Their all-seater Ipurua Stadium stands as one of the smallest stadiums among Europe’s top five leagues. Even the newly-promoted side Huesca’s ground, El Alcoraz Stadium, has a slightly smaller capacity. In many aspects, Eibar draws comparisons to Bournemouth, whose Dean Court was the smallest stadium in the Premier League before their relegation.
Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium – Location: Madrid, Spain | Capacity: 6,000
Real Madrid currently utilizes a part of their training facilities as their home arena for matches. Following soccer’s resumption after lockdown, Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded team has been playing here in a closed-door setup to facilitate the ongoing renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu. This decision by the most decorated European soccer club to stage their games in this ground was preceded by the Spain national team hosting a UEFA Nations League match at the multi-purpose Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.