The Fan-Friendly Stadium Index is a European ranking evaluating the biggest football stadiums in Europe by their overall capacity, accessibility, services provided, number of restaurants and stores, and their physical structure. The index evaluates a series of important metrics for football fans around the world.
The COVID pandemic halted all sports events in Europe and around the world. Until recently, many matches and games were behind closed doors – meaning that fans were not allowed to watch them in person. Now, with vaccination rollout at full speed, many countries have decided to remove some of the COVID restrictions on sports events, and football fans could not be more excited about it.
To help consumers and fans understand many of the perks, features, benefits and services available on each stadium, the Consumer Choice Center analyzed the 20 biggest stadiums by capacity, to identify which one is the most fan-friendly.
We analyzed the 20 biggest stadiums by capacity attributing points for each of the items that fans and consumers value the most. For capacity, Camp Nou – the biggest stadium in Europe – was the benchmark and received 10 points. Each of the stadiums that came after received a score (in decimals) based on how smaller they were compared to the benchmark. For the number of seats, stadiums that are all-seater received 10 points. All other stadiums received a decimal score based on the percentage of tickets that were on seating areas. If season seats – fixed or not – were sold by the Stadium owner or tenant, 10 additional points were awarded.
All stadiums that were Public Transport Accessible and Wheelchair Accessible received 10 points for each. If parking was available, the stadium received 10 additional points.
In terms of cultural experience, stadiums that offered Tours and/or Museums received 10 points for each of the experiences available.
Stadiums that maximized the fan experience by offering VIP Lounges and/or Membership Program were awarded 10 extra points per each offering. Additional points were awarded for stadiums that offer free wifi, a kids zone, and are fully covered (by a dome or retractable roof) – 10 points for each of the categories when available.
We also evaluated the offering and options of restaurants, shops and team-branded stores and we awarded 10 points for each of those categories when available.
The availability of alcoholic beverages, especially beer is an important part of the fan experience in the stadium. At the moment of our research, all stadiums claimed to sell beer and were awarded 10 points. Since regulation and restrictions on beers occur from time to time, we will keep this metric on our index for future reference.
Lastly, stadiums that fell into the UEFA’s Stadium Infrastructure Regulations – the so-called UEFA 5 Star Stadiums – were awarded 10 additional points.