5 stadiums that are shared by rival teams
To many football fans, the home stadium of their team represents sacred ground, something special and unique to be cherished about their club.
From the clock that adorns Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in tribute to their old home at Highbury to the iconic Esplanade that sprawls out in front of Manchester United’s Old Trafford home, these are instantly recognisable landmarks that can be readily and instantly associated with the clubs.
Some supporters, though, are not quite so lucky. In mainland Europe, where the grounds are typically rented to their teams by the city councils, it would be unwieldy and inefficient to have multiple giant stadiums in such close proximity, so the issue is regularly resolved by use of a ground share.
Indeed, many of Europe’s biggest and most storied clubs do not have a home to call their own, and yet they play at some of the grandest venues around.
Here are some of the most prominent teams who are forced to share:
#5 Stadio Olimpico (Lazio & AS Roma)
Italy is king when it comes to ground sharing between rival clubs, with Lazio and Roma splitting the rights to play in the capital’s Stadio Olimpico since its renovation in 1953.
It has not brought great success for either of its tenants, though. Between them, the two great capital clubs have won only five Scudetti, and the first of these was claimed by Roma before they moved into their current home.
In any case, the Stadio Olimpico is a giant bowl of a venue that holds upwards of 70,000 spectators, albeit distant from the action due to an athletics track that hints at its multi-sport capacity and history of hosting athletic events.
To complicate matters further in the stadium, not only is it used by the Italy national football team, but since 2012 it has also been used by the rugby team, bringing additional pressure to the pitch in the fragile spring months.
The stadium itself is rather antiquated, with solid plastic seats on hard concrete bases making for an uncomfortable experience, and highlighting the investment needed in grounds generally in Italy to reach what many spectators feel is a modern standard.
Nevertheless, this does not appear to concern the ultras of the two clubs, who can still generate quite an atmosphere given the distance from the pitch to the stands.