The Best Place To Sit In A Football Stadium

Seats In A Football Stadium

Football is a competitive game, but it is also one of the most watched sports in the world. The very moment the first club decided to charge people money in order to watch the action it became a spectator sport, with all of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that that fact brings with it. If you’re going to ask for money from people, for example, then they’re going to want something in return for that, they’re going to want to be entertained. If the team on the pitch doesn’t meet their expectations then the players might be heckled or the crowd might vote with its feet.

If you’re heading to a stadium to watch a match for the first time then you might well be wondering where the best place is to sit. The problem with answering that question is that there are so many variables that you need to take into account. On this page we’ll have a quick look at those variables in order to give you some idea of where you might want to sit, should you be attending a football ground that is empty enough to give you a choice. Lower league football doesn’t have the same seating requirements as the top-flight, with standing a regular occurrence. That’s worth bearing in mind as you read on…

The Best Stands To Sit In

Before going any further, it’s worth acknowledging that all of this is entirely subjective. Different supporters will have different opinions, based entirely on their own experience and the stadium that they attend the most. This is all based on generalisations, therefore, and may not be the case in the actual ground that you go to.

Side Stands

Side Stand View at Anfield
El Ronzo /

There’s an argument that, from a purely analytical point of view, the best place to sit in order to watch a match is about halfway up a side stand and directly in line with the halfway line. There’s a reason why that’s where most director’s boxes are, for example, or where managers go to sit if they’ve been sent off from the sideline. That’s because it gives you the clearest view of the play, allowing you to take into account the players formations and yet still be close enough to get a real sense of the action.

As you move away from the middle and down towards the edges of the side stand then this view becomes less desirable. For starters, you might find that it’s more difficult to get a sense of formations and tactics; especially if your depth perception is skewed. You might also find yourself closer to the away supporters and for some fans this isn’t a pleasurable experience. The side stands that run along the edge of the pitch are the most desirable in the ground in terms of point of view, which is normally reflected in the price of the tickets there.

The End Stands

Etihad end stand view
By dom fellowes from UK (Etihad Stadium) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The end stands are usually the cheapest in any given ground. This is because watching football from end on reduces depth perception and doesn’t allow you to understand the formations being played particularly clearly. On top of that, it’s difficult to see the action when it’s at the opposite end of the pitch. The result of this is that the tickets are generally cheaper to sit in the end stands at most football clubs and away fans are usually situated here.

As a consequence of both the cheaper tickets and the fact that away fans tend to be housed in the end stands, this is often where the best atmosphere is at a football ground. If you’re someone that likes to sing, shout and get involved in the action then it’s definitely true that the end stand will be preferable for you. Equally, if you’re the sort of person that enjoys a bit of banter with supporters from other teams then you’ll want to be housed next to them. For a good example of an end stand being the dominant one in a stadium, look at The Kop at Anfield.

Height In The Ground

Nou Camp High View

If you are too high then you won’t feel like you’re part of the experience, whilst if you’re too close to the pitch then you’ll likely find that you can’t really see what’s going on. The middle of the stand is pretty much the best place to be, regardless of which stand you’re sitting in. That said, if you’re close to the front then you’ll almost certainly be able to hear the players communicate with each other, plus you’re more likely to have the ball land by you or for a player to sign something after the full-time whistle.

Other Factors The Influence Where To Sit

San Siro
By oscar federico bodini (originally posted to Flickr as Scudo2009) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re attending a match that is particularly well attended then you might find that it’s quite difficult to get away from the ground after the game is over. Most intelligent supporters don’t want to have to leave the stadium early and miss some of the action, so you could always look for a seat that is close to one of the exits. That will allow you to slip away before the rest of the supporters begin to queue up.

Another thing that you might want to think about is whether or not you use the toilet regularly or would like to get a beverage at half-time. Plenty of football supporters enjoy a drink before and during the match, so sitting on the end of a row will allow you to slip down to the toilets or to get in the queue for the bar as soon as the half-time whistle goes.

If you’re a budding manager or something of a tactician then you might want to get a seat close to the dugout. Being able to listen to what the manager has got to say to his players or assistants could give you a real insight in to how the game is likely to develop. This is obviously helpful for people who enjoy placing a live bet too!

The final thing that you might need to find out is whether or not the supporters tend to stand up in one section of a ground. According to the law, of course, standing is not permitted in top-flight matches in England. Nevertheless, plenty of supporters will do so in some areas and clubs turn a blind eye to this. If you are old or are physically limited for some reason when it comes to standing up, you might want to avoid these areas as best you can.