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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Paris Saint Germain

Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Parc des Princes

At the turn of the millenium I worked for a number of months in a south western suburb of Paris and almost certainly passed under the 49,000 seater Parc des Prices, which sits astride the Périphérique, on my way to and from the office, blissfully unaware (as most users of this heavily used route probably are too) that the former French national stadium was right above me. The stadium, superceeded as the home of the French football and rugby national sides, by the Stade France in 1998, had opened it’s doors for the first time in 1972.

It’s current residents are Paris Saint-Germain who, although only founded as recently as 1970, have since managed a rather impressive run of five consecutive European semi-finals (from 1993 to 1997), a UEFA Cup win (1996), clinched two French titles and won the French Cup on seven occasions.

Under pressure from Paris councillors to drop “Saint-Germain” from the club’s name (after Saint-Germain-en-Laye a town some sixteen kilometers outside of Paris), the club split in two in 1972, Paris FC retaining top-flight status and the professional players, while a new amateur side, Paris Saint-Germain, continued in the French third division. By 1974, and with an ironic twist not lost on the followers of the new PSG club, their side had won promotion to the top flight at the same time as Paris FC were relegated out of it. PSG, with the Saint-Germain suffix, have remained in Ligue 1 since.

A panorama of the exterior of the stadium can be found here.

Official website: www.psg.fr

Stadium pictures: www.stadionwelt.de

posted by chevblue at 7:47 pm 0 comments

Stade Français CASG

Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, France

Stade Jean Bouin

Just across the road from the main entrance to the Parc des Princes sits the 12,000 capacity Stade Jean Bouin, the home of the Stade Français CASG rugby club. As well as hosting rugby, the stadium also caters for a number of other sports, athletics included, and according to signage (something that tickled Mrs ExtremeGroundhopping) - Bridge!

Official website: www.stade.fr

posted by chevblue at 6:50 pm 0 comments

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stade de France

Stade de France, Paris, France

Stade de France

The Stade de France is very big. And very grey. It may well dominate its surroundings, as you would expect from a stadium with a capacity of 80,000, but it misses a “Wow” Factor. Misses something that really catches the eye and by which you’ll remember it. Now the arch over Wembley Stadium, as anyone who has driven around the North Circular Road in the past year or so will attest, gives the English national stadium it’s “Wow” factor. Mind you, the French could have built three Stade de Frances’ in the time it has taken the FA to NOT finish one stadium. But there you go.

The Stade de France is a short metro ride north-east out of the centre of Paris, and on non-match days a mere Є10,00 will buy you a 45-minute long guided tour and as long a you like to browse around the stadium museum. Both are a must for stadium buffs. In the later you can watch an introductory film, which includes some great footage of the stadiums construction and a time-lapse sequence showing the turf being laid (which even impressed Mrs ExtremeGroundhopping - who had been dragged kicking and screaming away from the Louvre to visit the French National Stadium).

The tour guides spouts off all kinds of fascinating (and easily forgotten) statistics about the stadium: the millions of tonnes of steel, litres of (grey) paint, cubic metres of concrete, boxes of rivets, etc., etc., that were used in its construction. But ignore all of that, take in the view, and snap away with your camera. And I hope you approve of my efforts which can have been put together to form two panoramas here and here.

Official website: www.stadefrance.fr

Stadium pictures: www.stadionwelt.de

Addendum: A few more pictures can be found here.

posted by chevblue at 7:42 pm 0 comments

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Fratton Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Fratton Park

When I was on tour in Hampshire last year (working in Gosport as a reminder to those that weren’t paying attention at the time) little did I think that less than twelve months later I would be depositing my daughter across the harbour at Pompey University. As one of the great uneducated and unwashed this Uni lark is all a bit new to me I must admit that one of Mrs Extreme Groundhopping and I’s (major) concerns was the accommodation that our young lady would find herself in. But our worries proved to be unfounded and indeed as a bit of a bonus you can see Fratton Park from her bedroom window – although young Ms Extreme Groundhopping didn’t seem to share my excitement!

I’ve been to Fratton Park a couple of times before (for games) but never armed with a camera so as a diversion from lugging boxes and bits and bobs up from the car to the young lady’s digs I stole off to take a few snaps of the place. Despite being Archie Leitch territory the ground is not particularly photogenic (as anyone who entered the stadium through the away end turnstiles will attest) accept when approached from Frogmore Road. There you will find two mock Tudor buildings, one of which used to be a pub but is now the club shop and the other, all that now remains of what was once a grand pavilion, which now serves as office accommodation. I really do hope the pair survive the planned redevelopment of the ground which will see the pitch turned 90 degrees and half of Leitch’s 1925 grandstand chopped off (the other half surviving to takes its place behind one goal in the new pitch configuration).

Incidentally, did you know that Conan Doyle helped found the professional club back in 1898 and previously kept goal for an amateur club in Southsea?

posted by chevblue at 6:36 pm 4 comments

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extreme groundhopping

a (mainly) pictorial account of one man's obsession with football stadia, floodlight pylon's and ipswich town football club

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Ground Visit Record


AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)



Aston Villa
(Villa Park)



Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers

(Hayes Lane)

(Turf Moor)

(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

(Craven Cottage)


(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )


Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)


Long Melford

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

(Ayresome Park)

(The New Den)

(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons

Needham Market

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

(Fratton Park)

Preston North End

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

(Madejski Stadium)

(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

(St Mary's)

(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

(Bescot Stadium)

(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)


Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)


(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)


Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)


SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)


RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge

SV Zulte-Waregem


FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)


FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)


HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)


(G.Guichard Stadium)


1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)


AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)


Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)


Inter Milan
(San Siro)


Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)


Skeid Oslo


Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)


(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

(Luis Casanova)


Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF

Trelleborgs FF

IFK Goteborg


Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)