Football Ground Nearest Station Mark II

When I wrote the blog post “Settling a Coffee Break Debate – Football Travel Distance” It was done to do just that, settle a coffee break debate. Getting the Football Supporters’ Federation to share it came as an afterthought. In doing so the true power of the crowd was unleashed and we received several comments from fans pointing out minor errors in the results. Mainly missing railway stations or errors in the location of the football ground. As such I wanted to prove that the Geospatial Engineering group are nothing short of perfectionists and rectify these results.

Firstly I had to retrieve all the locations of railway stations in the UK. I did this by using the OpenStreetMap extended API and download all features in the UK bounding box that contained the tag “railway=station”. This gave me a selection of nodes and polygons. I generated centroids of the polygons and merged them with the nodes. As a few commenters pointed out the last piece of analysis didn’t include tram, light railway and subways. So for completeness I also carried out the same process on features marked “railway=tram_stop” (light rail and subway stations are included in “railway=station”).


I then had to retrieve the locations of football stadiums. Again I used the OpenStreetMap extended API and downloaded all features that contained both “sport=soccer” & “leisure=stadium” tags. And likewise generated centroid of the polygons and merged with the points. However due to either the stadium not being tagged as such or simply not mapped out yet a few grounds were missing so in these places I have used the previous locations. I also had the problem that the openstreetmap features didn’t contain information on the club and the stadium name were in some cases slightly different to the names I had stored ( e.g. Emirates, and Emirates Stadium) so I had to do some fuzzy text matching to complete this mapping.

Lowestoft fc’s ground is mapped out but Norwich City’s isn’t

Once I had the 2 new datasets it was just a simple case of calculating the nearest station/stop to each stadium and the distance between them. Again I achieved this by loading both datasets into PostgreSQL/PostGIS. Below are the full set of results. With the representing the distance from the centre of station/stop to the centre of the stadium, so not necessarily the distance a fan would walk. Also this does not take into consideration that the station or stop might not be open on match day.


Club Ground Name Railway Station/Tram Stop Distance (m)
Yeovil Town Huish Park Yeovil Pen Mill 4334
Oxford United Kassam Stadium Radley 4059
Wycombe Wanderers Adams Park High Wycombe 3761
Reading Madejski Stadium Reading West 3634
Shrewsbury Town New Meadow Shrewsbury 2575
Colchester United Community Stadium Colchester 2559
Scunthorpe United Glanford Park Althorpe 2500
Cambridge United Abbey Stadium Cambridge 2296
Preston North End Deepdale Preston 2243
Stoke City Britannia Stadium Stoke-on-Trent 2212
Doncaster Rovers Keepmoat Stadium Doncaster 2159
Burton Albion Pirelli Stadium Burton-upon-Trent 2033
Bristol Rovers Memorial Stadium Montpelier 2029
Swansea City Liberty Stadium Swansea 1978
Port Vale Vale Park Longport 1854
Northampton Town Sixfields Stadium Northampton 1831
Leicester City King Power Stadium Leicester 1755
Chesterfield Proact Stadium Chesterfield 1753
Liverpool Anfield Kirkdale 1753
Rochdale Spotland Rochdale Town Centre 1652
Stevenage Broadhall Way Stevenage 1603
Leeds United Elland Road Cottingley 1510
MK Dons Stadium:mk Fenny Stratford 1507
Crawley Town Broadfield Stadium Crawley 1488
Oldham Athletic Boundary Park Westwood 1430
Accrington Stanley Crown Ground Accrington 1403
Hull City KC Stadium Hull Paragon Interchange 1397
Wigan Athletic DW Stadium Wigan Wallgate 1359
Carlisle United Brunton Park Carlisle 1352
York City Bootham Crescent York 1290
Huddersfield Town The John Smiths Stadium Huddersfield 1263
Plymouth Argyle Home Park Plymouth 1252
Southampton St Marys Stadium Woolston Railway Station 1244
Luton Town Kenilworth Road Luton 1217
Fulham Craven Cottage Putney Bridge 1160
Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough 1148
Nottingham Forest City Ground Nottingham Station 1147
Bristol City Ashton Gate Parson Street 1135
Bury Gigg Lane Bury 1131
Blackburn Rovers Ewood Park Mill Hill 1123
Burnley Turf Moor Burnley Central 1108
Derby County Pride Park Derby 1051
Everton Goodison Park Kirkdale 1005
Swindon Town County Ground Swindon 994
Morecambe Globe Arena Morecambe 989
Bournemouth Dean Court Pokesdown 966
Bradford City Valley Parade Bradford Forster Square 907
Newport County Rodney Parade Newport 789
Birmingham City St Andrews Bordesley 760
Wolverhampton Wanderers Molineux Wolverhampton railway station 759
Gillingham Priestfield Stadium Gillingham 753
Sheffield United Bramall Lane Granville Road / The Sheffield College 749
Notts County Meadow Lane Nottingham Station 739
Watford Vicarage Road Watford High Street 722
Crystal Palace Selhurst Park Selhurst 707
AFC Wimbledon Kingsmeadow Berrylands 684
Barnsley Oakwell Barnsley Interchange 682
Portsmouth Fratton Park Fratton 663
Southend United Roots Hall Prittlewell 651
Leyton Orient Brisbane Road Leyton 631
Peterborough United London Road Peterborough (NVR) 602
Barnet The Hive Canons Park 593
Dagenham and Redbridge Victoria Road Dagenham East 560
Queens Park Rangers Loftus Road Shepherd’s Bush Market 552
Rotherham United New York Stadium Rotherham Central 551
Norwich City Carrow Road Norwich 543
Blackpool Bloomfield Road St Chad’s Road 531
Brentford Griffin Park Brentford 494
Ipswich Town Portman Road Ipswich 494
West Ham United Boleyn Ground Upton Park station 484
Sunderland Stadium of Light St Peter’s 481
Mansfield Town Field Mill Mansfield 461
Cardiff City Cardiff City Stadium Ninian Park 449
Hartlepool United Victoria Park Hartlepool Railway Station 418
Bolton Wanderers Reebok Stadium Horwich Parkway 398
Tottenham Hotspur White Hart Lane White Hart Lane 392
Charlton Athletic The Valley Charlton 371
West Bromwich Albion The Hawthorns The Hawthorns 368
Millwall New Den South Bermondsey 362
Aston Villa Villa Park Witton 359
Arsenal Emirates Stadium Drayton Park 344
Walsall Bescot Stadium Bescot Stadium 279
Fleetwood Town Highbury Stadium (Fleetwood) Stanley Road 278
Crewe Alexandra Gresty Road Crewe 272
Brighton and Hove Albion Falmer Stadium Falmer 261
Sheffield Wednesday Hillsborough Leppings Lane 258
Manchester City City of Manchester Stadium Etihad Campus 255
Chelsea Stamford Bridge Fulham Broadway 242
Coventry City Ricoh Arena Coventry Arena 185
Newcastle United St James Park St James 160
Manchester United Old Trafford Manchester United F.C. Halt 122
Exeter City St James Park (Exeter) St James’ Park 113

Author: Neil

Software Engineer/ Research Assistant Urban Observatory

6 thoughts on “Football Ground Nearest Station Mark II”

  1. Thanks for the update. You are probably regretting ever starting this but as a perfectionist you will want to know that I still spotted a couple of small mistakes. Firstly I don’t know why Create Centre comes up for Bristol City as that’s not a station; the nearest should be Parson Street as shown on your original list. Secondly you have the name for Barnet’s new stadium but still the location of their old ground; the closest station should be Canons Park.

      1. Happy to help – after all stations and football grounds are two of my favourite subjects to be nerdy about!

  2. Can’t comment on most, but sheff wed ground is miles away from city centre. I ran a 10k from centre that went to swillsboro and then returned. So by my calves that’s about 5000m. Sheff utd is a stone’s throw

  3. Hi
    An absolutely terrific and painstaking undertaking. Good to see Exeter City on top! One little thing. You mention Drayton Park for Arsenal but that station is closed on match days. I know you mention this. Most people use either Arsenal underground or Highbury and Islington.
    Thanks for a great read!

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