It’s the international break and there’s no football to talk about. So in such times as these, what do we have to fall back on as a discussion point?
That’s right, #banter. The Times of London is reporting this morning that Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is one of the football grounds in contention to host matches as part of the UK and Ireland’s bid to host the 2028 European Championships. And do you know which stadium is NOT in contention to host EURO 28 matches?
That’s right, the Emirates.
According to The Times, Spurs’ stadium is on a final list of ten English stadia that could host matches in the tournament, along with Wembley, Old Trafford (Manchester United), the London Stadium (West Ham), Villa Park (Aston Villa), the Etihad (Manchester City), the Stadium of Light (Sunderland), St. James’ Park (Newcastle), stadium:MK (MK Dons), and Everton’s new stadium, currently in the planning stages. The Times also notes that Anfield (Liverpool) and the Emirates (Arsenal) are off the list because their pitches are too small (lol). Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium has an outside chance if they were to upgrade their hosting facilities, while Leeds United’s Elland Road is unlikely as the club has not been able to convince local authorities to handle security concerns surrounding hosting EURO matches.
Tottenham’s stadium is an obvious choice. It’s the newest stadium in the UK and also considered one of the best, universally praised for its facilities and ability to host not only football, but also American football, rugby, and concerts. That unofficial title of “best stadium in the UK” is unlikely to be eclipsed until Everton finish their stadium, whenever that happens.
England could have six or seven stadiums in the joint bid when finalized, with Ireland expected to have two (the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park) and one stadium in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The favorites for England’s representation are currently Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Villa Park, Old Trafford, St. James’ Park, and Everton’s ground.
The UK/Ireland joint bid is considered a strong contender to win hosting for the EURO 28 tournament. UEFA recently rejected Russia’s bids for EURO 28 and EURO 32 due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, meaning UK/Ireland’s only competition is Turkey, which has yet to host a European Championship. England served as the host of EURO 96. UEFA is not set to announce who will host the tournament until September of 2023.