OUR fantastic EFL Championship embraces wonderfully evocative stadiums across the land.


Home advantage can play a big part in football betting odds. There are certain trips that seem particularly unappealing, away days that are more daunting than others.

Ranked: Best Championship Stadiums

  1. Loftus Road Stadium – Queens Park Rangers
  2. Elland Road – Leeds United
  3. Hillsborough – Sheffield Wednesday
  4. Riverside Stadium – Middlesbrough
  5. Vicarage Road Stadium – Watford
  6. King Power Stadium – Leicester City
  7. Coventry Building Society Arena – Coventry City
  8. The Den – Millwall
  9. Carrow Road – Norwich City
  10. The New York Stadium - Rotherham United

In this blog, I rank my top 10 venues reflecting personal anecdotes I’ve accumulated throughout a 50 year period...

10th) The AESSEAL New York Stadium - Rotherham United

Offering a capacity of 12,021, this is the smallest ground featuring in Championship predictions. Yet it perfectly suits Rotherham United’s needs. I particularly relish the 10 minute walk to New York Stadium from Rotherham Central railway station.

There is a narrow winding path along the banks of the River Don before you pass an ancient looking mill building to reach the stadium.

9th) Carrow Road – Norwich City

I once got physically accosted by an angry octogenarian at Carrow Road! That was on Saturday 12th March 1994 and Norwich City entertained Queens Park Rangers. The Canaries led 1-0 at half-time but Rangers recovered to win 4-3.

At the time, I worked for top London radio show Capital Gold Sport where reporters were encouraged en masse to hysterically scream on air to build up theatrical excitement.

As the QPR goals rattled in, I became louder and louder in my commentary. And I almost spontaneously combusted when Devon White scored their fourth

Unfortunately though, a group of long-standing Norwich City season ticket holders were sitting directly in front of the press box. And one old boy – he must have been 80 years old – had enough of me and my Capital Gold techniques.

He turned around, grabbed my precious matchday statistical notes, ripped them up and threw them in the air whilst yelling venomously into my microphone: “IT DOESN’T SOUND ANY BETTER IF YOU SHOUT YOU KNOW!”

His heated tirade went out live on Capital Gold and was heard by two million astonished listeners.

8th) The Den – Millwall

I attended the very first competitive match at what was briefly called The New Den on Sunday 22nd August 1993. Millwall lost 4-1 to Southend United and it was screened live by ITV in the London region.

I’ve returned many times. The atmosphere is always raucous. Millwall fans sometimes receive negative publicity but they passionately support their local club which is good enough for me.

7th) Coventry Building Society Arena – Coventry City

Another one I groundhopped for the opening game…Coventry City 3 Queens Park Rangers 0 on Saturday 20th August 2005 enthralling a sell-out safety limit crowd of 23,000.

There was plenty of niggle that day because Rangers had defeated Coventry in the Copa De Ibiza Final a month beforehand prompting totally exaggerated post-match celebrations akin to lifting the European Cup!

6th) King Power Stadium – Leicester City

A theme is developing as I also took in the inaugural fixture at this stadium. It ended 1-1 in a friendly between Leicester City and Athletic Bilbao on Sunday 4th August 2002.

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My abiding recollection was the pitch-side gentleman melodically playing a horn moments prior to kick-off. The tradition precedes every Leicester City home game. 

5th) Vicarage Road Stadium – Watford

On my initial visit to Vicarage Road on Bank Holiday Monday 27th December 1976, I spotted rock star Elton John taking his seat in the directors’ box.

So an exuberant 13 year old me inelegantly clambered over 10 rows of seats to get his autograph on my programme. However, my favourite memory here was broadcasting on QPR’s promotion-clinching match on Saturday 30th April 2011.

The 2-0 victory past hosts Watford terminated a seemingly never-ending 15 year absence from the Premier League for Rangers. I interviewed R’s boss Neil Warnock afterwards for Sky TV in the tunnel and he gave me a huge hug!

4th) Riverside Stadium – Middlesbrough

I actually appeared on BBC1’s Match of the Day Show during my first trip to the Riverside Stadium.

The game versus QPR on Saturday 21st October 1995 attracted global publicity due to the fact Boro had just signed Brazilian superstar Juninho.

But he was unable to play in this fixture as his work permit had not come through. Even so, the Match Of The Day cameras filmed me in the press box reporting for Capital Gold on Juninho’s imminent arrival.

3rd) Hillsborough – Sheffield Wednesday

When I was a child, Hillsborough used to regularly stage FA Cup Semi-Finals before these were eventually switched to Wembley Stadium.

I’ve been to several Sheffield Wednesday home matches but the one which stands out featured QPR sealing promotion to the Championship courtesy of a 3-1 victory on Saturday 8th May 2004.

I was asked to give a pep talk to the Rangers players on Sky Sports News while they were preparing in their hotel on the morning of the game.

Then watching 7,200 travelling R’s fans joyously celebrating on the final whistle brought tears to my eyes.

2nd) Elland Road – Leeds United

If I contemplate Elland Road, I visual the great Leeds United teams of the 1970’s under Don Revie.

The backcloth was magnificent commentary on ITV from Keith Macklin – a nice man I got to know well in later years. And I admired hot-shot Peter Lorimer who could strike the ball harder than anyone I’ve ever seen.

Incidentally, I remember some boisterous kids kicking a football on to the side wall of my mum’s house one time and she ran out screeching in her Dublin accent: "GET AWAY! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? PETER LORIMER?"

1st) MATRADE Loftus Road Stadium – Queens Park Rangers

My second home and a lifelong love affair with my local football team from growing up. Supporters are really close to the action so there is no atmosphere quite like it anywhere else when Loftus Road is full and the place is rocking.

Indeed, online video footage shows the stadium literally shook amidst pulsating crowd celebrations as Paul Furlong scored QPR’s winner against Oldham Athletic in the 2003 Division Two Play-Off Semi-Final.

*Credit for the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*

Tony is an experienced football broadcaster who has worked for Clubcall, Capital Gold, IRN Sport, talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. 

His devotion to Queens Park Rangers saw him reach 50 years without missing a home game in April 2023.

Tony is also a Non-League football expert having visited more than 2,500 different football grounds in his matchday groundhopping.

You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo.