Thursday, October 7, 2010

World's closest stadiums

There is truly nothing like it - calling home just across the street from your most hated and reviled nemesis. You could argue that party lines are blurred when the stadia are so close, whereas places with grounds on opposite sides of the city make it easier to claim "your side of the tracks." It allows for social and cultural lines to be drawn between the clubs.

And to be honest I prefer it that way. But such proximity brings a different element the former does not have. Imagine walking to your ground having to pass your rival's stadium. Perhaps they are the more successful club, and purposely flaunt their trophies and accolades for all to see, especially their struggling neighbor. Imagine gameday when both teams host matches. Sub-consciously, each club and their supporters would hate to face the specter of losing when the other wins. The following work week would be hell!

Such proximity breeds more bitterness and resentment between the supporters - not the hatred and fundamental loathing rival supporters of different social classes would exhibit.

It's a tough way to live as a supporter, but fascinating nonetheless.  Here are the world's closest venues:

Dundee United's Tannadine Park (top) and Dundee FC's Dens Park

Notts County's Meadow Lane (top) and Nottingham Forest's City Ground

Liverpool's Anfield Road (top) and Everton's Goodison Park

Partizan Belgrade's Partizan Stadium (top) and Red Star Belgrade's Crvena Zvezda aka the Marakana

 Sporting Lisbon's Estádio José Alvalade (top right) and Benfica's Estádio da Luz

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