In rugby league, there’s nothing quite like soaking up a brilliant atmosphere as you watch your favourite team do battle under the Friday night spotlights or the Sunday afternoon sun.
But, just which venues possess the greatest atmosphere? Here is our top 10…
10. Leigh Sports Village – Leigh
Newly built at the end of the 2000s, the Leigh Sports Village is one of the new stadiums that actually does have a decent atmosphere. Unfortunately, the Centurions rarely get enough fans to fill it, dampening what would otherwise be a cauldron of noise.
9. Craven Park – Barrow
One of the old-school grounds that, when partially or nearly fun, is highly intimidating for any travelling supporter. Its capacity is just under 8,000, but with the stands very close to the pitch, it certainly feels a lot more.
8. Totally Wicked Stadium – St Helens
Saints’ new venue had a lot to live up to considering the reputation of Knowsley Road. And, whilst the Totally Wicked Stadium doesn’t exactly live up to its predecessor, it certainly can be an exciting place to watch rugby league, particularly when the stands are mostly full.
7. Millennium Stadium – Featherstone
If it wasn’t already hostile enough, Featherstone’s purchase of Scarborough FC’s stands in 2015 transformed the now-called Millennium Stadium from pretender to contender. The modernisation alongside the maintenance of one of the old standing terraces makes Featherstone an even more daunting place to visit an away supporter.
6. Fox’s Biscuits Stadium – Batley
A choice out of left field, but Batley’s Fox’s Biscuits Stadium is a terrific little ground. Two new stands have enabled a much greater noise to be generated on matchdays with the old wooden seating in the main stand driving the decibels up even further.
5. KCOM Stadium – Hull FC
Hull FC’s KCOM Stadium is one of the most impressive new builds in the sport and, when it’s packed, it produces a cacophony of noise that very few other venues can generate. Unfortunately, its 25,000-plus capacity means that it is rarely filled on gameday, somewhat limiting its effect.
4. Halliwell Jones Stadium – Warrington
Warrington got it just right with their new stadium. With two sides seated and two sides standing, the balance between comfort for those sitting down and those wanting to sample a more traditional feel is perfect. And, this equilibrium has set the tone perfectly for an incredible atmosphere, especially when the visiting end is full.
3. Hull College Craven Park – Hull KR
Hull KR’s Craven Park has been renowned for its superb atmosphere since it was built in 1989. It went through a period of modernisation in 2013 when a new north stand was created which has only served to enhance the entertainment value. Put it this way, you’ll know when you’ve visited the Robins.
2. Emerald Headingley – Leeds
One of the greatest success stories in modern times, Leeds’ redevelopment of Headingley has surely made their ground one of the best in the business. But, not only that, the club has ensured that the tremendous atmosphere generated in the old south stand has been taken forward to the new build. Under the Friday night lights, there really is no better place to watch a game of rugby league.
1. The Mend-a-Hose Jungle – Castleford
It gets a bad name in the world of rugby league – mainly for its dilapidated nature – but the Jungle is still one of the greatest places to watch the sport. Whether it’s under the cover of the Wheldon Road End or in the open air of the Railway End, there is always sound of a ricocheting quality. The tin stands make for some unusual noise that you wouldn’t get anywhere else, providing the spectator with a unique experience.