Revealed: The 10 English venues in the running for Euro 2028 – and the ones that missed out

Stadium of Light - Revealed: The 10 English venues in the running for Euro 2028 - and the ones that missed out - ACTION IMAGES
Stadium of Light - Revealed: The 10 English venues in the running for Euro 2028 - and the ones that missed out - ACTION IMAGES

The number of venues vying to be part of a British Isles bid for the 2028 European Championship has been cut to 10 in England, with the homes of Arsenal and Leeds United among those currently out of the running.

Southampton, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest are the other Premier League clubs whose grounds are not on the latest list of 30,000-plus seater arenas in contention to stage football’s second-biggest tournament.

But the homes of League One MK Dons and Championship Sunderland both remain in the race, alongside Wembley, Old Trafford, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London Stadium, Etihad Stadium, Bramley Moore Dock, St James’ Park and Villa Park.

Telegraph Sport can also reveal that two or more of those venues face missing out on inclusion on a draft list of up to 14 bid leaders plan to submit to Uefa in mid-November, which will feature up to six grounds in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Although nothing is set in stone – particularly given Euro 2028 could yet expand from 24 to 32 teams – only 10 stadia are currently certain to make the final cut in April and just five in England, with Wembley guaranteed to be one of them.

The plan is for the remainder to be selected from one of four regions of England – the south, the midlands, the north, and the far north – to ensure matches would be held across the country.

For example, all but one of Old Trafford, the Etihad Stadium and Everton’s planned new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium could miss out on selection.

Anfield and Stamford Bridge have long been ruled out altogether because their pitches are too small to meet the minimum size requirement to host Euros games.

The drop in the number of stadia currently being considered for submission by the bid comes after the Telegraph disclosed debt-ridden cities could boycott it in protest at being forced to foot a multi-million-pound bill for hosting matches.

A number of local authorities in England were left reeling by the terms and conditions for staging games at the tournament and the need to commit to complying with them during a cost-of-living crisis.

There was said to be “deep disquiet” over the “complete lack of awareness of the financial crisis in local government” amid claims there had been “no firm offer of financial support” to help host cities cover their costs, nor of a share of any profits made from the tournament.

The Telegraph has been told that this is among the reasons some venues have dropped out of the process.

Other reasons include an inability to guarantee a stadium would be in a position to stage games or comply with tournament requirements and an unwillingness to enter into a futile contest against bigger grounds.

Uefa announced last year that Euro 2028 would require 10 stadia and plans have been drawn up for up to five of those in the final British Isles submission to include Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Belfast’s Casement Park or Windsor Park and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Croke Park.

The Telegraph has been told Murrayfield in Edinburgh has been all but ruled out due to the cost of staging matches.

Under Uefa’s Host City Agreement, those costs would include providing the governing body, its commercial partners and the host football associations with “all required and necessary public land, public facilities and public infrastructure” and “all basic services”, including electricity, water, waste management and cleaning, free of charge.

It would also include the cost of providing a free fan zone and “free or reduced fares on the national rail system to all match ticket holders and accredited staff and media”.

The Telegraph has been told English host cities would be expected to pay between a quarter and half the total bill involved for staging matches there, with the Government stumping up the remainder.

Although the Euros could provide a nine-figure economic boost to any countries and cities involved, local authorities were said to be in danger of seeing little return themselves on their investment.

The coronavirus pandemic, which saw Euro 2020 postponed by a year and ultimately held last summer amid capped attendances and travel ban, pushed councils towards bankruptcy and there are fears the current cost-of-living crisis could do the same.

Uefa, meanwhile, would be expected to make a profit in excess of £1 billion on Euro 2028 – even more if it voted to expand the competition in the coming weeks.

Italy winning the Euro 2020 trophy - Revealed: The 10 English venues in the running for Euro 2028 - and the ones that missed out - GETTY IMAGES
Italy winning the Euro 2020 trophy - Revealed: The 10 English venues in the running for Euro 2028 - and the ones that missed out - GETTY IMAGES

Local authorities in England were provided with its Host City Agreement for the tournament amid a series of meetings this summer outlining the requirements for venues with a minimum seating capacity of 30,000 to be put forward for consideration as part of the British Isles bid.

Uefa announced last year any bid would require one stadium of at least 60,000 capacity, one or two of at least 50,000 capacity, four of at least 40,000 capacity and three of at least 30,000 capacity.

It also confirmed the final bid dossier submission deadline for the tournament would be 12 April 2023, with the hosts chosen that September.

The British Isles bid had been expected to be unchallenged ahead of March’s deadline for national associations to confirm their interest in staging the event, only for both Turkey and Russia to make shock declarations.

The Russian bid was blocked over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, while repeated Turkish attempts to bring major sporting events to the country have also been unsuccessful.

A British Isles bid for Euro 2028 was launched after plans to try to win the right to host the 2030 World Cup were scrapped over fears the latter was doomed to fail.

British Isles bid leaders declined to comment on the current list of those in contention for submission, having previously expressed confidence any race to host matches would be majorly oversubscribed.

Indeed, with England alone boasting more than 20 eligible venues, the Telegraph has been told consideration has been given to up to 12 stadia in total being submitted as part of any bid.

A bid representative also said: “Whilst there is still further work for bid partners to undertake to fully assess the benefits the tournament would deliver for the UK and Ireland, provisional analysis indicates an economic impact at event time of up to £2.1 to £2.6bn Gross Value Add (GVA) could be realised.

“We would also expect a tournament of this size and scope to deliver significant societal, trade, wellbeing and tourism benefits beyond this figure.”

Which venues do think deserve to host the Euros 2028? Tell us in the comments section below