UEFA stadium categories are categories for football stadiums laid out in the UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations. Using these regulations, stadiums are rated as category one, two, three, or four (renamed from elite) in ascending ranking order. These categories replaced the previous method of ranking stadiums on one to five star scale in 2006. A stadium must be category four to host games in the playoffs of the qualifying stage for the UEFA Champions League or any game in the main competition. Category four is also required to host any game in the main competition of the UEFA Europa League or the UEFA European Football Championship.
If a retractable roof is present, its use will be directed by consultation between the UEFA delegate and the main assigned referee.
Although the minimum stadium capacity for category four is 8,000, no stadium with a capacity less than 40,000 has been selected to host a UEFA Europa League Final, and no stadium with a capacity less than 60,000 has been selected to host a UEFA Champions League Final, since these regulations were introduced in 2006.
After the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final, UEFA President Michel Platini stated that he wanted European Cup finals to be held at stadiums with an average capacity of 70,000 to solve security issues. Both the Santiago Bernabéu and Wembley Stadium, hosts for the 2010 and 2011 Champions League finals, respectively, have capacities greater than 70,000, as does the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, which hosted the 2009 Champions League Final. Wembley Stadium, the venue of the 2011 and 2013 Champions League Finals, holds 90,000 spectators. Allianz Arena, the host venue of the 2012 Champions League Final, holds 69,000 spectators.
Main differences between categories
|Criteria||Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4|
|Field of play||100 to 105 m long, 64 to 68 m wide||105 m long, 68 m wide|
|Minimum size of referee's dressing room||n/a||20 m2|
|Minimum floodlighting||to suit broadcaster||800 lux, to fixed cameras||1400 lux, to fixed cameras||1400 lux, all directions|
|Spectator standing allowed||yes||no|
|Minimum Seated capacity||200||1,500||4,500||8,000|
|Minimum total VIP seats||50||100||250||500|
|VIP seats for visiting team||10||20||50||100|
|VIP hospitality area||n/a||400 m2|
|Minimum media working area||50 m2||100 m2 for 50 people||200 m2 for 75 people|
|Minimum number of photographers||n/a||15||25|
|Minimum space for main camera platform||4 m2 for at least 1 camera||6 m2 for 2 cameras||10 m2 for 4 cameras|
|Minimum number of seats in the press box||20, 5 with desks||20, 10 with desks||50, 25 with desks||100, 50 with desks|
|Minimum number of commentary positions||2||3||5||25|
|Minimum number of TV studios||1 room that can be converted||1||2||2, at least 1 with a view of the pitch|
|Minimum post-match interview positions||n/a||4|
|Minimum outside broadcast van area||100 m2||200 m2||1,000 m2|
|Minimum number of seats in press conference room||1||30||50||75|