FIFA 2018 Stadia Inspection

England Hopes to Host the 2018 World Cup
"Of the grounds put forward, eight are current Barclays Premier League club stadia"
Manchester United's Old Trafford (Capacity: 75,797) With Old Trafford regularly hosting big occasions such as Champions League matches, England internationals and FA Cup semi finals (before they were moved to Wembley), not to mention the 2003 Champions League final, the Theatre of Dreams is well equipped to host World Cup fixtures. The ground, which celebrated its 100th anniversary earlier this year, is the only UEFA 5-star rated club facility in the country, and would be a likely semi-final venue in 2018. It has the second largest capacity of any stadium in England, with only Wembley able to hold more spectators.
Arsenal's Emirates Stadium (60,361) Like Anfield and Old Trafford, the Emirates Stadium is well used to dealing with the pressure of hosting big matches, thanks to Arsenal's ongoing participation in the Champions League. The Gunners moved in to their new stadium in time for the start of the 2006/07 campaign, after the £390m replacement for their former Highbury ground had been completed. The stadium was designed to make the most of the club's corporate appeal, with a vast hospitality area incorporated in to the design. With its capacity of 60,355, it is the Barclays Premier League's second largest club stadium. It would be a likely contender to host one of the semi finals.
Manchester City's City of Manchester Stadium (47,715) Originally built as the 2002 Commonwealth Games athletics stadium, the City of Manchester Stadium, or Eastlands as it is also known, has been Manchester City's home since the start of the 2003/04 season. There are plans to increase the capacity to 60,000 as part of a £1bn scheme to create a world class sports and leisure complex in the surrounding area. The ground, which is the fifth largest in the Barclays Premier League, has hosted England internationals and the 2008 UEFA Cup final between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg.
Liverpool's Anfield or new stadium (Anfield: 45,522) Should Anfield still be standing in 2018, it will have an important role to play if the World Cup comes to England. Like Old Trafford, Liverpool's current stadium was used as a venue during Euro 96, and has played host to England internationals and Champions League matches. Alternatively, World Cup matches will be played at the club's proposed new ground in Stanley Park, just 270m away from the existing Anfield site. The construction of the stadium has been put on hold indefinitely due to the current financial climate and while the club search for new owners.
Newcastle United's St James' Park (52,339) St James' Park has the third largest capacity in the Barclays Premier League, and has previously hosted international matches during Euro 96. The stadium will also be used as a football venue for the 2012 Olympics, which will be great preparation ahead of the 2018 World Cup, should the bid be successful.
Aston Villa's Villa Park (42,786) Villa chairman Randy Lerner announced in May 2010 that he was planning to increase the capacity of Villa Park by 8,000 to 50,000 by 2011. Already classed as a UEFA four-star stadium, Villa Park has hosted 16 international matches in the past, including as an official venue during Euro 2006. The ground has also acted a neutral venue for FA Cup semi final matches prior to the decision for them to be played at the new Wembley stadium, hosting 55 in total. In 1999, Villa Park hosted the last ever European Cup Winners' Cup final.
Sunderland's Stadium of Light (49,000) With the fourth largest capacity of any team in the Barclays Premier League, Sunderland's Stadium of Light is already an ample size to host World Cup matches. There is plenty of scope for getting the area around the ground up to the standard that FIFA expect, and the stadium has previously hosted two England internationals. The stadium was built in 1996 as a replacement for Sunderland's old Roker Park ground, with the Black Cats moving in in 1997.
Tottenham Hotspur's proposed new stadium (56,250) Should Tottenham's proposed replacement to their existing White Hart Lane ground be ready in time, it will be the eighth Barclays Premier League ground to host World Cup football in 2018. With planning permission yet to be granted it is as yet unknown whether the stadium will be able to feature should England's bid be granted.

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