Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bizarre Global Football Stadium Names - Past and Present

Here is a list of some of the weirdest, wackiest, off the wall and most amusing football venue names around the globe, both past and present!

The Dripping Pan: 

Lewes Football Club is an English football team based in Lewes, East Sussex. The club are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division, and play at The Dripping Pan (often just called The Pan). Although one of the more obscure stadium names you’ll ever come across it’s a ground steeped in history. Local Lewes legend suggests it was part of the salt making industry run by monks from the Cluniac Lewes Priory.

This also accounted for the pitch being sunk below ground level and being surrounded by grass banks on all sides, allowing spectators to sit at the top and watch the game.

It has been the home of 'The Rooks' since their beginnings in 1885 and has a capacity of 3,000 although only 300 of those are seated. The Dripping Pan was chosen as one of the Top 5 Non-League away days by the football blog 'The Ball is Round' in September 2010.

Wankdorf Stadium:

A headline-writer’s dream became a reality with the birth of the outrageously comical stadium name given to the Swiss club team BSC Young Boys. As a result arguably one the was inspired by the move of Young Boys from the old Wankdorf to their new Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in 2005. ESPN cooked up a storm with the story by using the simple but effective line: ‘Young Boys Wankdorf erection relief’.

The old Wankdorf Stadium (German: Wankdorfstadion) was a football stadium in the Wankdorf quarter of Bern, Switzerland, and the former home of Swiss club BSC Young Boys. It was built in 1925, and as well as serving as a club stadium, it hosted several important matches, including the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1961 European Cup final, and the 1989 Cup Winners' Cup final. The Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf has been built in its place.

The band Muse credits Wankdorf stadium as inspiring the aptly named 'Wankdorf Jam'

Hunky Dorys Park: 

Drogheda United Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Dhroichead Átha Aontaithe) is an Irish football club currently playing in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland. The Boynesiders were once dubbed the 'Chelsea of the Irish league' due to their big-spending ways which landed them the FAI Cup in 2005 and their first ever league title two years later. Things went downhill rapidly shortly afterwards, with the club enduring financial problems. Step forward Ireland’s leading crinkle-cut crisp brand to bail them out and save the day in 2010. They now play in a stadium named after the number one crinkle cut crisp brand in Ireland - Hunky Dorys.

Dubbed ‘the Chelsea of Ireland’ the clubs relaxed mentality when it came to spending landed them in serious financial peril. Everything appears to be hunky dory (forgive me) at Drogahead now as they continue to fight at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division.

Giant Axe:

Lancaster City F.C. is an English football club based in Lancaster, Lancashire. The club are currently members of Northern Premier League Division One North and play at Giant Axe, located close to Lancaster railway station and both Lancaster Castle and Lancaster Priory Church. It has been their home ground since the formation of the original club 1905.

The reason for the idiosyncratic name is that when the ground was first built it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head!

Cashpoint Arena:

The Cashpoint Arena is an Austrian football stadium in Vorarlberg Altach. It is the home of  SC Rheindorf Altach, a football club playing in the Austrian First League, which is the second tier in Austrian football. The stadium was built 1989-90 and was opened on 1st June 1990 under the name Schnabelholz, and has a capacity of 8,500 spectators. It's sponsors are Cashpoint, one of the largest bookmakers in Europe.

The stadium offers a unique atmosphere because the visitors are near to the playing field. But the stadium is not only used for football, but also for open air concerts and other events.

Pizza Hut Park: 

FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS)
The FC Dallas Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium with a 20,500-seat capacity, built and owned by the city of Frisco, Texas. Aside from the main field inside it has 17 grass and artificial football pitches outside.

In 2005, the naming rights to the facility were acquired by the large pizza chain Pizza Hut whose corporate headquarters are in Plano, Texas (a northern Dallas suburb). On 7th January 2012, the naming rights sponsorship ended and the facility is now known as FC Dallas Stadium.

Bargain Booze Stadium:

Wincham Park, home of Witton Albion F.C. is a football stadium in Wincham, a parish on the edge of Northwich, England. The Club was founded in 1887 and currently play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division (seventh tier of the English football league system).

The stadium has had a number of names due to sponsorship deals; these include the Bargain Booze Stadium, Brittania Carpets Stadium and its current name, The Help For Heroes Stadium.

KitKat Crescent:  

The last place you would expect a Swiss sweets manufacturer (Nestlé) to set up a factory would be in the picturesque City of York. But thank goodness they did as in 2005 they bailed out the towns football club, renaming Bootham Crescent after one of their popular chocolate bars.

KitKat Crescent remained for five-years before the naming rights deal expired. The ground returned to being known as Bootham Crescent after this arrangement expired in January 2010. The league two sides ground currently has a capacity of 7,872.

Mitsubishi Forklift Stadion:

Mitsubishi Forklift Stadion is a multi-use stadium in Almere, Netherlands. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Almere City Football Club, a Dutch football club founded in 2001. Almere City play in the Jupiler League, the second tier of Dutch football.

They can trace its history back to 1972, with the merger of DWS, Volewijckers and Blauw-Wit into FC Amsterdam. Disgruntled DWS supporters founded their own club, called De Zwarte Schapen, named after their nickname, which translates as Black Sheep.

In March 2010 the club was renamed AFC Almere City, before being changed again a few weeks later to Almere City F.C. as the AFC prefix was deemed to be too reminiscent of the club's partners AFC Ajax. The stadium is able to hold 3,000 people (500 seated) and was built in 2005.

Gay Meadow:

The Gay Meadow is the former home ground of Shrewsbury Town F.C. The ground closed in June 2007, at the end of the 2006-07 Football League season, as the club moved to a new stadium, the New Meadow, also known as the Greenhous Meadow for sponsorship purposes.

The Gay Meadow's location on the banks of the River Severn meant the club suffered with flooding. Severe floods in 1998, 2000 and frequently since had affected the club, with several matches postponed, a flooded pitch and flooded offices and changing rooms.
Supporters of the move claimed that the risk of flooding along with the Gay Meadow's cramped location, meant that a move to a new ground was essential in order for the club to remain as a Football League club.

Shrewsbury Town went 34 games unbeaten at the Greenhous Meadow between March 2011 and September 2012, a record stretching over three different seasons.

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