Hardest Football Stadiums To Get To

Rival fans of Liverpool Football Club might be critical of Anfield because there’s no particularly easy way to get to the ground from the centre of the city. There is no train station close to the ground, so people either have to drive and struggle for parking, pay for a bus or a taxi or simply walk. Yet those critics might reconsider when they see some of the stadiums on this list.

A football ground’s location is an important part of the match day experience. Is there a decent pub nearby? Is there somewhere that you can buy a pie? Can you park close to the stadium? All questions that any sensible football fan would think it’s entirely fair to ask. One thing that most people wouldn’t consider is whether the stadium in question is accessible rather than being in the middle of nowhere.

Football Grounds That Are Hard To Get To

floating pitch koh panyee

The important thing to recognise here is that we’re not talking about remote stadiums, necessarily. Indeed, there’s a piece elsewhere on the site that covers exactly that. Instead, we’re looking at real football stadiums that are just a pain in the backside to get to without referring to those that need you to opt for planes, trains and automobiles in order to see some people kick a football around a pitch.

In Tokyo, for example, there’s a football pitch on the top of a department store roof. In Thailand, the folks of Koh Panyee built a football pitch for their floating village (see image above). Both of those examples are ones that there’s not much point in considering here because you’re unlikely to want to head to one of them to watch a match between two well-known football clubs from Europe’s top leagues.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a difference between a stadium that is tough to visit and one that is difficult to get to. Teams that make their home stadium a fortress might well find their grounds considered to be tough to visit, but they could be smack bang in the middle of a city centre and therefore be nice and easy to get to. This piece isn’t about footballing prowess but rather just the struggles in watching a match at a venue.

STADIUM MK

Ok, technically there isn’t much wrong with the location of Stadium MK. The Milton Keynes Dons are, after all, located in Milton Keynes. Yet at the same time the football club is the relocated Wimbledon team, so it is theoretically about sixty miles away from where it should actually be located. Wimbledon relocated in 2004 and Stadium MK opened three years later, with the club playing in it ever since.

As mentioned, the reality is that the club is now called MK Dons so it’s not exactly outrageous that the football ground is based in Milton Keynes. Yet spare a thought for all of those Wimbledon fans who suddenly found that their club had just upped sticks and moved to a place sixty miles away. How would you feel if your club did that? Would you just stop supporting them? That seems unlikely.

There are scores of Wimbledon fans who have to trek across London to a town that was essentially built for commuters just to watch their side play football. Yes, AFC Wimbledon exists and plenty of supporters will have switched allegiance to them, but a good chunk won’t have done and they’ll consider the stadium of the newly named team a pain in the backside to get to, so Stadium MK belongs on our list.

KENILWORTH ROAD

The home of Luton Town Football Club is another one that isn’t technically that difficult to get to, seeing as though it’s just a fifteen minute walk from the centre of Luton. Yet the layout of the ground and the surrounding area means that it’s a particularly interesting place to visit for away supporters. The Oak Stand is accessed by walking down a tight alleyway at the side of the ground.

Once you’ve traversed this particularly unwelcoming sight, you then essentially have to walk through someone’s house and back garden to get into the stand itself. Ok, that isn’t quite true, but it certainly feels like that’s what you’re doing when you head to the stadium. On top of that, the Oak Road Stand is often shared between home and away supporters, who are separated by a sheet of tarpaulin.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Luton Town have been planning to leave Kenilworth Road for years. In January of 2019 the club got planning permission to built a new ground at a location known as Power Court. Located close to Luton Railway Station, the stadium will have a capacity of 17,500 and the ability to increase it to 22,500. Whether this new ground ever actually gets built or not is a different matter.

Stadion Gospin Dolac

Now for a stadium that truly does fit into the category of blooming difficult to get to. Stadion Gospin Dolac is a 4,000-seater football ground located in the small Croatian town of Imotski. Built in 1989, it has been the home stadium of NK Imotski ever since and is named in honour of a local church. You might need to be of a religious persuasion to fancy a trip there, given what you’ll be battling if you do.

That construction for the stadium began in 1976 gives you some indication of just how much of a logistical nightmare the building of it was. It’s fair to say that you’ve got to be sure-footed to head here to watch a match, given that the side opposite the grandstand is a cliff in which you’ll find the remains of a 10th-century fort, plus the church the ground was named after.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a sinkhole that stands alongside the ground that it filled with bright blue water to make it into a lake. The stadium has basically been built into a crater, with access taking you through the houses and buildings that surround it. In other words, it’s about as unwelcoming a football ground as you could hope to visit, even if it is spectacular to look at.

SELHURST PARK

Crystal Palace fans might well wonder why their home ground is on this list, but fans of other teams will not. The main treason for their presence here is that the Eagles are ostensibly classed as a London club, yet Selhurst Park is a nightmare to get to from Central London. It opened its doors for the first time in 1924 but didn’t get a major renovation until 1983, then again in 1995.

We can tell you that it is surrounded by three train stations, each within relatively easy walking distance. That being said, how many of you have heard of Selhurst, Norwood Junction or Thornton Heath? Not exactly well-known places in London terms, then. Not only that, but the stadium isn’t even in the middle of actual Crystal Palace. Bless anyone who heads there thinking the ground will be easy to find.

Selhurst Park is also the worst combination of both things: hard to get to and difficult to get a point from. Having trekked all the way across London to the outskirts of the city, wondering why on earth Palace is thought of as being a London club when you’re basically in France, you’ll then have to make a miserable journey back home more often than not. Not the worst located stadium but far from the best.

ALLIANZ ARENA

The Allianz Arena is one of the best in the world, both in terms of its looks and the impressive facilities that you’ll find within. The home of Bayern Munich, there have been many a team seen trudging out of it without much to show for their efforts. It would be untrue to say that there is no easy way of getting to the Allianz Arena, with public transport in Germany promising relatively easy access.

Have a look at the venue on Google Maps or an equivalent, though, and you’ll see why we’ve added it to our list. The Metro will take you to the stadium within about fifteen minutes but if you want to get there on foot then you’ll soon find that it is essentially found in the middle of waste land. Even if you drive you’ll probably have to park a good distance away from the stadium and there’s nothing to see on the walk up.

Those that like to grab a drink close to the ground before a match and then head in just in time for kick-off will be most disappointed, with very little of interest anywhere near Bayern Munich’s home ground. It would be untrue to say that it’s isolated, but if you’re hoping to gain an experience of German life then you’re going to be disappointed unless you plan on working in a factory.

Bayview Stadium

bayview stadium
James Allan / Bayview Stadium

Imagine the United Kingdom is an alien-looking creature and then picture the nape of its neck. That’s where you’ll find Bayview Stadium, formerly known as New Bayview Stadium. It’s the home ground of East Fife and opened in the town of Methil Fife in 1998 when the club moved from Bayview Park elsewhere in the town. The stadium has the capacity to host just under 2,000 fans, which isn’t unusual in itself.

What is a bit off about, however, is that all of the spectators in attendance fit in one stand that runs along a side of the pitch. The other three sides are blocked off by walls, with one of them being close to the mouth of the River Forth, with the pitch being overshadowed by a power station until it was demolished in April of 2011. It is now surrounded by fields and if you stray too far to one side you’ll end up in Methil Dock.

Whilst it’s far from one of the most important teams in Scottish football, East Fife have had more than their fair share of days in the sun. That might well help to explain the presence of solar panels at one corner of the ground. It’s not likely to see tens of thousands of supporters turn up to watch a match any time soon, but for those that do head there there’ll be a sense of frustration at how difficult the journey is.

THE DEN

the den
Andrew H / Flickr.com

Few teams in world football have supporters that revel in the idea of being hated quite like Millwall. The team, based in south-easy London, moved from the Den to what was known as the New Den when it opened in 1993 and the fans soon went about ensuring that opposition supporters will have wanted to be anywhere else but there. Millwall had long been known as a team with a troublesome crowd, but the new ground didn’t change that.

That is in spite of the fact that the stadium was built specifically with crowd management in mind. South Bermondsey Train Station is a five minute walk away, so it is theoretically close enough to mean that it isn’t hard to get to. That being said, few supporters will be keen to walk the short journey on their own and Canada Water Tube Station is at least 20 minutes away on foot. It’s a ground that’s a nightmare to get to because of locals rather than the geography of the situation.

The good news is that away supporters travelling by train will be able to cross a bridge that leads from the platform straight to the away end of the ground. If you don’t want to use public transport, however, then you’ll be left driving and going through the combined nightmare of both London traffic and an attempt to find a parking space. Even if you succeed, you’ll do well to remove any reference to not being a Millwall supporter from it.