Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Football Ground and Stadium Shares

San Siro

There are many cities around the world that are home to multiple football clubs. Liverpool, for example, boasts both Liverpool Football Club and Everton, two highly successful teams. However, it is quite rare for two clubs in the same city to share a stadium. In this article, we will explore why some clubs choose to share a stadium, whether it is common for international clubs to do so, and the future of stadium sharing in football.

Football Stadiums With More Than One Club

What Is Stadium Sharing?

Stadium sharing refers to the practice of two sports teams using the same stadium. While it is not uncommon for teams from different sports to share a stadium, we will focus on intra-sport stadium sharing, specifically in football. This occurs when teams within the same sport, whether in different leagues or the same league, share facilities. In most cases, fixture schedulers ensure that teams from the same city play their home games on alternate weeks to prevent fixture congestion.

Famous Football Ground Shares

San Siro

San Siro

The San Siro, officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, is one of the most famous shared stadiums in the world. Initially, AC Milan played exclusively at the stadium, while Inter Milan used the Arena Civica. However, since 1947, both clubs have been joint tenants of the San Siro. What sets this stadium apart is its design, specifically tailored for football as a spectator sport.

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Stadio Olimpico

Stadio Olimpico

The Stadio Olimpico in Rome is home to both SS Lazio and AS Roma. It holds the distinction of being the largest sports facility in the city. Not only do these two clubs share the stadium, but it also serves as the main venue for the Italian national football team and the nation’s rugby team. Additionally, the Coppa Italia final is held at the Stadio Olimpico every year. While Roma and Lazio are planning to build their own stadiums in the next five years, the Stadio Olimpico may become Italy’s national stadium.

Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris

The Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris in Italy is shared by Genoa and Sampdoria. Originally built and used solely by Genoa, Sampdoria was formed by the merger of two of the city’s biggest teams. When Sampdoria was created, it became natural for them to use the larger Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Since then, both clubs have been sharing the stadium.

Allianz Arena

Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich, one of the most successful clubs in Germany, shares the Allianz Arena with TSV 1860 Munich. The two clubs have been sharing a home since 1972 when they moved from Sechzgerstadion. The relationship between the clubs has remained cordial, with Bayern even buying 1860’s share in the Allianz Arena when the club faced financial difficulties.

Hampden Park

Hampden Park

Hampden Park, the national stadium for the Scottish football team, was originally built for Queens Park, the oldest football club in Scotland. Despite being an amateur club, Queens Park has called Hampden Park home since 1903. This ground share is unique and adds a touch of humor to international football.

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Former Shared Grounds

In addition to current ground shares, there have been interesting instances of teams sharing their home in the past:

Maine Road

Maine Road

After Old Trafford suffered bomb damage during World War II, Manchester United paid their neighbors, Manchester City, to host their matches at Maine Road from 1945 to 1949. The stadium set an attendance record during this time, with 83,260 spectators watching a league game against Arsenal.

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace showed generosity when they allowed Charlton Athletic and later Wimbledon to share Selhurst Park. Charlton Athletic were temporary tenants from 1985 to 1991, and Wimbledon remained there for twelve years until they relocated to Milton Keynes and became the MK Dons.

Stadio delle Alpi / Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino

Juventus and Torino, two prominent football clubs from Turin, shared the Stadio delle Alpi from 1990 until its closure in 2006. They returned to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Juventus left in 2011, and Torino still calls it home.

The Future of Ground Shares

Although clubs shared stadiums more commonly in the past, this trend seems to be dwindling. Financial factors, such as television deals and ticket sales, may contribute to this decline. Clubs are less willing to share profits from renting out their facilities for conferences and other events. Temporary ground shares, like Tottenham Hotspur using Wembley Stadium while building their new venue, may be the only form of stadium sharing in the foreseeable future.

FAQs

Q: Do any top-flight English clubs share a stadium?

A: No, top-flight English clubs do not currently share stadiums. Stadium sharing is more common in Italy than in England.

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Q: Is stadium sharing a thing of the past in football?

A: The trend of stadium sharing appears to be declining, as clubs seek greater independence and financial control over their facilities.

Q: Are there any other interesting examples of clubs sharing their home in the past?

A: Yes, Maine Road, Selhurst Park, and the Stadio delle Alpi/Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino are former examples of ground shares that have shaped football history.

Conclusion

Stadium sharing among football clubs has a long and interesting history. While some famous ground shares persist, the trend seems to be fading as clubs focus on financial independence and having their own dedicated venues. However, temporary ground shares may still occur as clubs renovate their stadiums. Only time will tell how the landscape of stadium sharing evolves in the future.

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