Championship Stadiums & Stats

Championship
Derby County Second Division Champions 1968-69 - DncnH / Flikr.com

The Football League Championship, sponsored by Sky Bet, is the highest football league division in England and the second highest league overall to the Premier League. The Championship replaced the old first division in 2004 and is the richest second tier league in the world and the 7th richest league overall in Europe.

With three teams promoted and three clubs relegated each year there is a turnover of 6 new teams and stadiums into the league out of 24 total. The league has a fantastic mix of stadia and teams with some very big teams constantly dropping in from the top league while at the same time smaller clubs and ground come up from divisions to create an enthralling division. With the Premier League and its riches beckoning there is a lot of passion in this league with great attendances, away days and a hell of a lot to play for. On this page find guides to all Championship football grounds as well as stats, ticket prices, history and more.

Stadium Stats

Stadium Year Opened Capacity Ave Attendance Record Attendance Record Attendance Match
Ashton Gate
Bristol City
1887 16,600 12,247 43,335 Bristol City v Preston (1935)
Bramall Lane
Sheffield United
1855 32,702 19,805 68,287 Sheffield United v Leeds (1936)
Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City / Wales
2009 33,280 14,492 28,018 Cardiff v Liverpool (2014)
Carrow Road
Norwich City FC
1935 27,244 26,973 43,984 Norwich City v Leicester (1963)
Craven Cottage
Fulham
1896 25,700 17,417 49,335 Fulham v Milwall Dockers (1938)
Deepdale
Preston North End
1878 23,404 14,965 42,684 Preston v Arsenal (1938)
Elland Road
Leeds United
1897 37,914 23,614 57,892 Leeds v Sunderland (1967)
Griffin Park
Brentford
1904 12,300 10,822 38,678 Brentford v Leicester (1949)
Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday
1899 39,732 24,077 72,841 Sheffield Wed v Man City (1934)
Loftus Road
Queens Park Rangers
1904 18,439 17,295 35,353 QPR v Leeds United (1974)
Madjeski Stadium
Reading
1998 24,161 17,903 24,184 Reading v Everton (2012)
Molineux
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1889 31,700 21,387 61,315 Wolves v Liverpool (1939)
Oakwell Stadium
Barnsley
1888 23,009 11,763 40,255 Barnsley v Stoke City (1936)
Pirelli Stadium
Burton Albion
2005 6,912 2,713 6,912 Burton Albion v Oxford (2009)
Portman Road
Ipswich Town
1884 30,311 19,416 38,010 Ipswich v Leeds (1975)
Pride Park (iPro Stadium)
Derby County
1997 33,597 26,020 33,598 England v Mexico (2001)
St Andrew’s
Birmingham City
1906 30,016 19,126 67,341 Birmingham v Everton (1939)
The City Ground
Nottingham Forest
1898 30,576 19,914 49,946 Nottis Forest v ManUnited (1967)
The Den
Millwall
1993 20,146 10,581 20,093 Millwall v Arsenal (1994)
The KC Stadium
Hull City AFC
2002 25,400 20,500 25,280 England v Netherlands U21 (2004)
The Macron Stadium
Bolton Wanderers
1997 28,723 11,965 28,353 Bolton v Leicester (2003)
The Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough FC
1995 34,742 15,748 34,836 Middlesbrough v Norwich (2004)
The Stadium Of Light
Sunderland AFC
1997 48,707 41,287 48,353 Sunderland v Liverpool (2002)
Villa Park
Aston Villa FC
1897 42,682 34,000 76,588 Aston Villa v Derby County (1946)

Team Stats

Team Year Founded Nickname Team Owner
Aston Villa 1874 The Villans, The Villa, Villa Recon Sports Limited
Barnsley 1887 The Tykes, The Reds Patrick Cryne
Birmingham City 1875 The Blues Birmingham International Holdings
Bolton Wanderers 1874 The Trotters, The Wanderers Edwin Davies
Brentford 1889 The Bees, The Reds Matthew Benham
Bristol City 1897 The Robins Stephen Lansdown
Burton Albion 1950 The Brewers Ben Robinson
Cardiff City 1899 The Bluebirds Vincent Tan
Derby County 1884 The Rams Mel Morris
Fulham 1879 Cottagers, Whites, Black and White army Shahid Khan
Hull City 1904 The Tigers Assem Allam
Ipswich Town 1878 Blues, Tractor Boys, "Pride of East Anglia" Marcus Evans
Leeds United 1919 The Whites, United, The Peacocks Eleonora Sport Limited
Middlesbrough 1876 The Boro, Smoggies Steve Gibson
Millwall 1885 The Lions (Formerly known as The Dockers) Millwall Holdings plc
Norwich City 1902 The Canaries, Yellows Norwich City PLC
Nottingham Forest 1865 Forest The Al Hasawi Family
Preston North End 1880 The Lilywhites, PNE, The Whites, Preston, The Invincibles Trevor Hemmings
Queens Park Rangers 1886 The Hoops, The Rs, QPR Tune Group
Reading 1871 The Royals Narin Niruttinanon
Sheffield United 1889 The Blades, Red and White Wizards Abdullah bin Musa'ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kevin McCabe
Sheffield Wednesday 1867 The Owls Dejphon Chansiri
Sunderland 1879 The Black Cats Ellis Short
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1877 Wolves, The Wanderers Steve Morgan

Ticket Prices

Stadium Season Ticket Price (Adult) Season Ticket Price (Conc) Season Ticket Price (Junior) Match Ticket Price (Adult) Match Ticket Price (Conc)
Aston Villa £322 - £595 £235 - £370 £69 - £165 £23 - £45 £23 - £35
Barnsley £330 - £450 £205 - £255 £110 - £110 £20 - £27 £15 - £19
Birmingham City £276 - £690 £246 - £358 £186 - £186 No Info No Info
Bolton Wanderers £312 - £312 £429 - £226 £267 - £205 £205 - £15 £35 - £5
Brentford £365 - £458 £250 - £327 £195 - £254 £23 - £30 £17 - £24
Bristol City £299 - £429 £225 - £329 £89 - £109 £25 - £38 £22 - £35
Burton Albion £323 - £380 £285 - £342 £75 - £190 £19 - £22 £17 - £20
Cardiff City £249 - £519 £149 - £399 £99 - £339 £18 - £29 £10 - £24
Derby County £419 - £645 £295 - £449 £209 - £325 £19.5 - £ £13.5 - £
Fulham £259 - £839 No Info No Info £25 - £45 £20 - £40
Hull City £501 - £572 £260 - £358 £241 - £325 £21 - £36 £9 - £27
Ipswich Town £453 - £704 £318 - £431 £254 - £274 £23.5 - £62.5 £18.5 - £55
Leeds United £440 - £688 £346 - £547 £199 - £445 £26 - £46 £22 - £39
Middlesbrough £461 - £622 £312 - £445 £80 - £150 £22 - £34 £16 - £26
Millwall £412 - £514 £247 - £309 £50 - £185 £22 - £30 £14 - £20
Norwich City £585 - £595 £424 - £430 £358 - £278 £30 - £60 £20 - £60
Nottingham Forest £449 - £633 £314 - £443 £150 - £150 No Info No Info
Preston North End £400 - £535 £280 - £380 £95 - £135 £24 - £30 £16 - £23
Queens Park Rangers £469 - £719 £265 - £479 £106 - £419 £24 - £37 £15 - £26
Reading £395 - £445 £250 - £280 £99 - £125 £28 - £33 £18 - £23
Sheffield United £328.5 - £472.5 £238.5 - £315 £58.5 - £67.5 £20 - £29 £14 - £22
Sheffield Wednesday £415 - £580 £230 - £325 £50 - £100 £20 - £52 £15 - £42
Sunderland £370 - £495 £270 - £270 £190 - £190 £25 - £40 £18 - £18
Wolverhampton Wanderers £384 - £530 £220 - £318 £80 - £260 £24 - £30 £14 - £18

Championship Stadiums

The English Championship possibly has the most diverse mix of football stadiums in the world. Many big teams from the richest league in the world, the Premier League, drop into the Championship each year and this means even the England's second tier can show off some huge modern super stadia. Alongside this there are great traditional British grounds from famous clubs that have been unable to develop their grounds without Premier League cash and finally there are some fantastic small stadiums hosting teams that have emerged from lower divisions. Take a look at some of the stats tables on this page and you will immediately see the range in capacities, attendances and age. Stadiums range from

Attendances in the English Championship both in absolute terms and as a proportion of overall capacity are incredibly high compared to many second tier divisions in Europe, in 2014-15 this was 17,857. This is testament to the stadiums, the teams that play in them and the football quality on offer in this division. With teams like Sunderland (49,000) and Newcastle (52,405) having spent time in the division of late alongside the likes of Brentford (12,763) and Rotherham (12,021) you can see why two away days in the division are never the same.

In our stadium guides you can read about the history of these stadiums and the teams that play in them, see all of the key stats and trivia, find out all of the information you need on how to get there, how to get tickets, tours, seating plans, future developments, hospitality and more. Take a look at our photo galleries too that will give you a great feel for what it is like to visit these English Championship grounds.

About The League

The football league was unified until 1992 when the 22 teams from the old Division One resigned on mass to set up a new league known as the Premier League. The old Division Two that had existed as such for 100 years (1892-1992) immediately became the highest football league division and was renamed to the Football League First Division. Teams were still able to move between the first division and the premier league as previously but the two leagues became separate from a financial and administrative perspective. The first division was again re-branded in 2004 becoming the Football League Championship. The league is often termed the English Championship but can also include Welsh teams, both Cardiff and Swansea have play or have played in this division previously.

As the seventh richest league in the world and the highest attended second division in Europe the Championship and its teams command a lot of global respect. More games are televised from the Championship compared to major European counterparts such as the Spanish Segunda or Italian Serie B. In 2009 Sky signed a £195m three-year deal to broadcast 75 league matches and all play-off games. The league also commands a global audience with broadcast right for the Championship are also held by at least 24 other nations around the world.

With 24 teams and 46 matches to be played the Championship usually begins in the first week of August one week before the start of the Premier League and runs to mid-May. The winners of the Championship earn automatic promotion to the Premier League each year along with the Football League Championship Trophy. The runner-up is promoted directly too with 3rd through 6th place competing in a playoff for the third promotion place. Conversely the three lowest Premier League teams each year are related to the Championship and the three lowest Championship teams relegated to League One with three League One teams promoted.

The play-off involves a two legged semi-final that takes place home and away. The 3rd placed team plays 6th place and 4th and 5th are drawn together. The remaining two teams then compete for the final play off place at Wembley Stadium. This is serious business too with Norwich, the winners of the 2015 play-off final, earning £80m in prize money, enough to make or break a clubs ambitions. In fact, the Championship play off final is worth more in prize money than winning the Champions League. Even teams that are relegated from the Premier League now receive parachute payments of around £25m in year one, £20m in year two and £10m in year three following the drop. You can easily see now why the Championship is the seventh richest league in the world. All this money means there are some fantastic grounds too as well as top players, managers and facilities on offer.

Leicester City and Manchester City have won the English second tier league on the most occasions both with 7 each.

Championship History

The history of the Old First Division (1892-1992) before it changed is covered on our Premier League page. The English Championship, despite taking on the name of the first division between 1993 and 2004, actually derives from the old English Second Division. The 2nd division was established in 1892, four years after the old First Division, when a rival division called the Football Alliance was merged with the existing football league to create a new football league second division. The three top Alliance clubs entered into the 1st division with the 2nd tier mainly made up of Alliance teams. The old football alliance was contested between 1889 and 1892 and hosted 12 teams, many of which have since gone out of existence or have been renamed. The Alliance was won by The Wednesday (now Sheffield Wednesday) in 1889, Stoke (now Stoke City) in 1890 and Nottingham Forest in 1892.

The original 12 members of the second division were Ardwick (now Manchester City), Bootle, Burton Swifts, Crewe Alexandra, Darwen, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Northwich Victoria, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Small Heath (now Birmingham City), and Walsall. In 1893 three more teams were added expanding the league to 15 teams, this increased again to 16 in 1894, 18 in 1898, 20 in 1905, 22 in 1919, 23 in 1987 and finally 24 teams in 1988.

Initially automatic promotion did not happen, instead the top teams from the second division and the bottom teams from division one played a series of matches. Sheffield United became the first team to be promoted from division two in 1894 after Small Heath, the champions in 1893, were denied promotion after losing their test match to Newton Heath. This system was abolished in 1898 due to match fixing between Stoke and Burnley and automatic promotion and relegation introduced. The clubs deliberately drew the test match play-off 0-0 ensuring Burnley were promoted but Stoke could not be relegated.

The league ran for 100 years using with breaks for the two world wars before becoming taking the name of the First Division in 1993 as the old first division became defunct with the creation of the premier league. In 2004 the league was re-branded the Coca-Cola Championship in a new sponsorship deal, the second division (the old third division) becoming League One and the third division (the old fourth division) becoming League Two. Confusing?

Coca-Cola ended their sponsorship in 2009 replaced by Npower until 2013 when current sponsors Sky Bet took on a five-year deal. The latest re-branding in 2004 also came a new trophy for winning the league, the Football League Championship Trophy.

Since the latest name change in 2004 Ipswich Town have been the longest residents, remaining in the division since 2001. Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray is the top goalscorer netting 30 goals in the 2012-13 season.