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The five best Super League Stadiums

In the new era of rugby league under IMG, it’s not just about how you play rugby but also where because Super League stadiums are now vital to a team’s Super League status.

That has been evident already in the preliminary grades with Bradford Bulls blaming their stadium for their ranking in 14th as a Grade B team, when they sat just 0.43 points shy of Leigh Leopards in 12th.

Of course, at present the top 12 teams under the IMG rankings ahead of the 2025 season will be confirmed as the 12 teams to compete in Super League meaning that a stadium could genuinely cost teams their Super League status.

Serious About Rugby League have created a list of the five best Super League stadiums heading into the 2024 season, but first, what makes a stadium great?

What makes Super League stadiums great?

Each fan will likely claim that their team’s stadium is the best in Super League but there are certain criteria that separate one ground from another, with some of these being essential for an elite stadium.

The atmosphere within the ground is undoubtedly the biggest requirement for a Super League stadium and in part that does come from the fans, however, certain grounds do seem to hold and maintain an atmosphere far better than others.

For example, when BullsMaina was at its peak Odsal became a fortress with the noise echoing around the oval-shaped structure making it seem almost gladiatorial.

Another key requirement for a top stadium is that there shouldn’t be a bad seat in the house, this isn’t always possible but far too many stadiums fail on this metric.

With that in mind here are the five best Super League stadiums heading into the 2024 season.

Craven Park – Hull Kingston Rovers

Craven Park

Hull KR v Leigh Leopards Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 29/09/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Eliminators – Hull KR v Leigh Leopards – Sewell Group Craven Park, Hull, England – Hull KR s fans celebrate victory over Leigh. Hull Sewell Group Craven Park England Copyright: x xSWpix.comxt/axPhotographyxHubxLtdxAllanxMcKenzie/SWpix.comx SWP-2314-0055

The Robins know how to get Craven Park rocking and with the team currently eyeing up more success in 2024 then this stadium is one that will be brilliant to attend.

Recent developments at Craven Park have seen Craven Streat implemented with the area becoming a hub of activity pre-game, particularly for those with families.

More developments have seen a big screen go in at the stadium during the off-season but the beauty of Craven Park is within the East Stand.

Come game time when that little tune of the Red Robin starts up then the East Stand is one of the strongest atmospheres to be found at a rugby league ground on either side of the equator.

Headingley Stadium – Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos' Headingley Stadium - One of the best Super League stadiums

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 26/05/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 13 – Leeds Rhinos v St Helens – Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Leeds come out to the field of play in front of their fans.

An obvious choice for the list is one of Super League’s most iconic stadiums with Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley home viewed by many as one of the best about.

It’s no coincidence that this is a stadium regularly chosen to host international games or one that is used as a neutral ground either.

Last season Headingley hosted the Challenge Cup semi-final between Hull KR and Wigan Warriors, whilst it also held the third and final test during the England and Tonga international series.

Without doubt, Headingley is one of the best venues in rugby league and it even boasts plenty more than just a good atmosphere, the stadium offering a hotel and more too.

Leigh Sports Village – Leigh Leopards

Leigh Sports Village

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ – 17/02/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Leigh Leopards v Salford Red Devils – Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, England – A General View (GV) of the fireworks display ahead of the game.

How can you not rank Leigh Sports Village as one the best Super League stadiums after the season that we’ve just had?

The LSV was at the epicentre of one of the best rugby league stories in a long time with Leigh’s controversial rebranding proving to be a roaring success.

On top of that every game at the LSV was an event with pre-match entertainment provided before a strong showing of rugby.

Owner Derek Beaumont has tapped into a new way of marketing rugby league and providing something for everyone and long may it continue into 2024 and beyond.

Stade Gilbert Brutus – Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons in Super League semi-final

1/2 Finale Super League 2023: Dragons Catalans/St Helens PHOTOPQR/L INDEPENDANT/Nicolas Parent 06/10/2023 Demi finale de la Super League 2013 opposant les Dragons Catalans à Saint-Helens, au stade Gilbert Brutus à Perpignan. Victoire des dragons Catalans 12 à 6. France PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxBELxSUIxUK Copyright: xPHOTOPQR/L INDEPENDANT/MAXPPPxNicolasxParentx 20231006IND6063 20231006IND6063

It might be a logistical nightmare for English fans to travel over at times but when you’re there in Perpignan you realise it is certainly worth making the trip.

For many of Super League’s hardcore fans, the first date they pick out from the Super League fixture launch is when their team play Catalans away and there’s good reason for that.

Many use it as a mini-break and holiday whereas others simply go for the party atmosphere that consumes you as one of those travelling fans at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Testament to that was the exceptional support that Salford Red Devils’ fans showed in 2023 in spite of them being nilled, as well as the electric atmosphere seen in the playoff semi-final between the Dragons and St Helens.

The Totally Wicked Stadium – St Helens

James Roby waving goodbye to fans at the Totally Wicked Stadium

St Helens v Warrington Wolves Picture by Alex Whitehead/ – 30/09/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Play-off Eliminator – St Helens v Warrington Wolves – Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens, England – St Helens James Roby after playing his last home game at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Copyright: x xSWpix.comxt/axPhotographyxHubxLtdxAlexxWhitehead/SWpix.comx SWP-2316-0067

One of just a couple of purpose-built rugby league stadiums, there was a toss-up between the Totally Wicked and Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium, but St Helens take it with the more modern facility.

Their new home is just over a decade old and it had an iconic ground in Knowsley Road to live up to but the Totally Wicked definitely does that.

A larger capacity helps with that as does the overall modernisation which has seen the stadium used as a neutral venue and for international games, just like Headingley.

It was one of the venues used at the 2021 World Cup and also saw Tonga take on England this past year but the best example of atmosphere in recent times came during James Roby’s final home game against Warrington Wolves, a truly memorable moment.

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