League One Stadiums & Stats

League One
1891-92 Sheffield United Team -See page for author [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t get confused by its misleading name, League One is actually the second highest division in the Football League. If that’s not confusing enough then it’s also the third highest league in England, owing to the fact that the Premier League is actually a separate entity from the Football League. ‘Why is it called League One?’ we hear you ask. Well don’t ask because you’re probably only going to get confused by the answer.

It is technically known as Sky Bet League 1 at the time of writing because of the fact that Sky Bet sponsor it. That means that in its recent history its had about 700 names. Ok that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight. The name changed to League One in 2004 and prior to that it had been known as the Football League Second Division. Before that, and the invention of modern football with the Premier League, it was called the Football League Third Division. Is that clear? Thought not.

Stadium Stats

Stadium Year Opened Capacity Ave Attendance Record Attendance Record Attendance Match
Abbey Stadium
Cambridge United
1932 8,127 4,178 14,000 Cambridge Utd v Chelsea (1970)
Adams Park
Wycombe Wanderers
1990 10,137 5,389 10,000 Wycombe v Chelsea (2005)
Alexandra Stadium
Crewe Alexandra
1906 10,153 3,680 20,000 Crewe v Tottenham (1960)
Crown Ground
Accrington Stanley
1968 5,450 2,764 5,397 Accrington v Derby (Jan 2019)
DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic
1999 25,138 11,661 25,133 Wigan v Man United (2008)
Fratton Park
Portsmouth
1898 19,670 18,223 51,385 Portsmouth v Derby (1949)
Globe Arena
Morecambe
2010 6,476 2,264 5,003 Morcambe v Burnley (2010)
Highbury Stadium
Fleetwood Town
1939 5,327 3,165 6,150 Fleetwood v Rochdale (1965)
Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday
1899 39,732 24,429 72,841 Sheffield Wed v Man City (1934)
Home Park
Plymouth Argyle
1893 16,388 9,652 43,596 Plymouth v Aston Villa (1936)
Kassam Stadium
Oxford United
2001 12,400 7,636 12,243 Oxford v Leyton Orient (2006)
Keepmoat Stadium
Doncaster Rovers
2007 15,231 8,252 15,001 Doncaster Rovers v Leeds (2008)
New Meadow
Shrewsbury Town
2007 9,875 6,327 10,210 Shrewsbury v Chelsea (2014)
New York Stadium
Rotherham United
2012 12,021 9,783 11,758 Rotherham v Sheffield Utd (2013)
Pirelli Stadium
Burton Albion
2005 6,912 2,986 6,912 Burton Albion v Oxford (2009)
Plough Lane
AFC Wimbledon
2020 9,215 4,073 9,215 AFC Wimbledon 3-3 Bolton Wanderers (14/8/21)
Portman Road
Ipswich Town
1884 30,311 19,855 38,010 Ipswich v Leeds (1975)
Priestfield Stadium
Gillingham
1893 11,582 5,128 23,002 Gillingham v QPR (1948)
Sincil Bank
Lincoln City
1895 10,120 8,986 23,196 Lincoln City v Derby County (1967)
Stadium mk
MK Dons
2007 30,500 8,785 30,048 Rugby World Cup Fiji vs Uruguay 2015
The Stadium Of Light
Sunderland AFC
1997 49,000 30,118 48,353 Sunderland v Liverpool (2002)
The University of Bolton Stadium
Bolton Wanderers
1997 28,723 11,480 28,353 Bolton v Leicester (2003)
The Valley
Charlton Athletic
1919 27,111 11,827 75,031 Charlton v Aston Villa (1938)
Whaddon Road
Cheltenham Town
1927 7,066 3,203 8,326 Cheltenham v Reading (1956)

Team Stats

Team Year Founded Nickname Team Owner
Accrington Stanley 1968 Stanley, Accy Stanley Andy Holt
AFC Wimbledon 2002 The Dons, The Wombles The Dons Trust
Bolton Wanderers 1874 The Trotters, The Wanderers Football Ventures (Whites) Ltd
Burton Albion 1950 The Brewers Ben Robinson
Cambridge United 1912 United, The U's Paul Barry
Charlton Athletic 1905 The Addicks, Red Robins, The Valiants East Street Investments
Cheltenham Town 1887 The Robins Andy Wilcox
Crewe Alexandra 1877 The Railwaymen, The Alex Crewe Alexandra Group Limited
Doncaster Rovers 1879 The Rovers, Donny, Vikings Doncaster Rovers Limited
Fleetwood Town 1908 The Cod Army Andrew Pilley
Gillingham 1893 The Gills Paul Scally
Ipswich Town 1878 Blues, Tractor Boys, "Pride of East Anglia" Marcus Evans
Lincoln City 1884 The Imps Lincoln City Holdings
MK Dons 2004 The Dons Pete Winkelman
Morecambe 1920 The Shrimps, Red and White Army (Now Red and Black Army), Seasiders Bond Group Investments
Oxford United 1893 The U's, Yellows, The Boys from Up the Hill Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth
Plymouth Argyle 1886 The Pilgrims, Argyle, The Green Army James Brent
Portsmouth 1898 Pompey Michael Eisner (Tornante Group)
Rotherham United 1925 The Millers Tony Stewart
Sheffield Wednesday 1867 The Owls Dejphon Chansiri
Shrewsbury Town 1886 Salop, The Blues, The Town, The Shrews Roland Wycherley
Sunderland 1879 The Black Cats Stewart Donald
Wigan Athletic 1932 The Latics Phoenix 2021 Limited
Wycombe Wanderers 1887 The Chairboys, The Blues Wycombe Wanderers Trust

Ticket Prices

Stadium Season Ticket Price (Adult) Season Ticket Price (Conc) Season Ticket Price (Junior) Match Ticket Price (Adult) Match Ticket Price (Conc)
Accrington Stanley £219.5 - £274.5 £179 - £217 £79 - £109 £20 - £20 £15 - £15
AFC Wimbledon £400 - £525 £265 - £350 £40 - £120 £24 - £32 £15 - £22
Bolton Wanderers £275 - £349 £174 - £219 £51 - £69 £15 - £35 £7 - £29
Burton Albion £357 - £420 £315 - £378 £75 - £237 £18 - £24 £16 - £22
Cambridge United £319 - £425 £239 - £319 £23 - £319 £18 - £24 £14 - £20
Charlton Athletic £210 - £520 £155 - £405 £110 - £110 £20 - £34 £16 - £25
Cheltenham Town €255 - €407 €187 - €286 €50 - €110 €17 - €22 €13 - €16
Crewe Alexandra £395 - £395 £293 - £293 £49 - £222 £23 - £25 £17.5 - £19
Doncaster Rovers £299 - £399 £219 - £309 £35 - £35 £21 - £22 £17 - £18
Fleetwood Town £170 - £300 £120 - £240 £23 - £50 £20 - £28 £15 - £23
Gillingham £330 - £430 £285 - £365 £45 - £140 £22 - £25 £16 - £19
Ipswich Town £476 - £1026 £332 - £895 £131 - £742 £25 - £40 £18 - £25
Lincoln City £339 - £349 £234 - £244 £20 - £79 £24 - £26 £19 - £21
MK Dons £336 - £396 £216 - £264 £30 - £84 £22 - £27 £17 - £22
Morecambe £150 - £275 £150 - £275 £20 - £70 £20 - £25 £15 - £20
Oxford United £329 - £500 £190 - £310 £62.5 - £255 £20 - £28 £14 - £21
Plymouth Argyle £399 - £399 £304 - £304 £126 - £126 £21 - £23 £16 - £18
Portsmouth £389 - £439 £295 - £335 £255 - £295 £24 - £26 £18 - £20
Rotherham United £395 - £435 £240 - £265 £35 - £145 £23 - £27 £13 - £17
Sheffield Wednesday £365 - £495 £205 - £280 £23 - £150 £20 - £32 £10 - £22
Shrewsbury Town £400 - £460 £305 - £345 £130 - £150 £20 - £22 £15 - £17
Sunderland £370 - £495 £270 - £270 £190 - £190 £25 - £40 £18 - £18
Wigan Athletic £349 - £369 £269 - £299 £23 - £99 £17 - £39 £14 - £26
Wycombe Wanderers £288 - £396 £252 - £342 £216 - £306 £18 - £24 £16 - £21

League One Stadiums

Priestfield Stadium Gillingham
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Steve Daniels via Geograph

The grounds in League One are, more often than not, single-tier affairs that don’t even come close to the modern day behemoths you’d expect to find in the Premier League or even the Championship. There are sometimes some exceptions, of course, with teams receiving an influx of cash or being bought out by new owners and deciding to doll their new football club’s home up a bit, but generally they are small grounds that could cruelly be described as parochial.

We’re not cruel, though, so we’d rather describe them as ‘characterful’. More than a couple of the grounds have taken advantage of the fact that only the top two divisions in England have to have all-seater stadiums, meaning that you’ll often find safe-standing areas, or terracing as they’re also known. Should a club be promoted to the Championship, or England’s second tier if you remember, they then have three years to convert their stadium to all-seater. If they get relegated during that time then when they are next promoted any previously served time counts towards the three years.

As well as newly cash-rich clubs developing their stadiums to look all posh and swanky, there are also a number of former Premier League clubs that find themselves relegated through the divisions who have stadiums that are better than some of those around them. Teams like Bradford City, Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic have all spent some time in England’s third tier and visitors to the grounds will have been impressed with what they saw compared to the more threadbare options around them.

About The League

League One Map

Until 1992 the Football League was one big, united and happy family. Then the teams in the top division realised they could get significantly richer if they broke away from all of the other clubs and formed their own premier division that would be a separate entity. Thus the Premier League was born, abandoning its brethren and enjoying the exclusivity that comes with being a sole enterprise.

The Second Division then became the Football League’s First Division and the Third Division its Second Division. There were rumours that the entire thing was invented just so that the word ‘Division’ could be used an unhealthy amount of times, but they were never substantiated. The re-branding of the leagues as we know them know came about in 2004 when, as we’ve already explained, the Football League’s three divisions became known as the Championship, League One and League Two.

Each of the Football League’s divisions contain 24 clubs and each team plays each other once at home and once at the other club’s home. Three points are awarded if a team wins their game and a point is awarded to each team if they draw. If a team loses then, as you’d imagine, they get nothing. The more points a team has earned by the end of the season the higher in the division they finish. The top two clubs are automatically promoted to the Championship, whilst the clubs that finished between third and sixth have play-offs against each other to determine which one of them will also be promoted. The bottom three clubs are relegated to League Two. See, it’s easy when you know what you’re talking about.

League One History

Division Three, as it was known at the time, was founded in 1920 by leading clubs that had previously been playing in the Southern League, something that was separate from the Football League. Just to make things even more confusing it was rebranded as the Third Division South in 1921, with more clubs added to another league called the Third Division North at the same time. The top team at the end of the season was promoted to the Second Division.

Sunderland 1884

The entire Football League was suspended in 1939 because of the outbreak of World War Two, with the resumption of activities seven years later also coinciding with the decision to expand both Northern and Southern Third Divisions to 24 teams. That brought the total number of teams in the Football League up to 92, a number that, with some exceptions, it has remained at since.

In 1958 the choice was made to abandon the notion of a regionalised Third Division. Instead the top half of the Northern and Southern Third Divisions joined together to create a unified Third Division, whilst the bottom halves of each league became the Fourth Division. Other than the re-branding of names it has stayed that way since then.

Until 1974 two teams could gain access to the Second Division, whilst four would be relegated from the Third Division into the Fourth and four would also be promoted between the bottom two tiers. In that year the number of clubs promoted moved from two to three. Before 1981 clubs that won a match were awarded only two points, with three points becoming standard at the start of the new season that year. Meanwhile, at the start of the 1990s the plan was to expand the league to include Football League to include 94 clubs, but two of them went bust meaning that the number never rose past 92 for long.