Groundhopping as a hobby is a thrilling way to explore the world of football and experience the passion of fans around the globe.
From local leagues to international competitions, groundhopping allows you to discover new teams, cultures, and stadiums.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just starting out, groundhopping as a hobby offers endless opportunities for adventure and excitement.
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What is Groundhopping?
Groundhopping is a hobby where you travel to different stadiums and sports venues to watch games.
It is not just limited to football; it can include other sports like basketball, hockey, and baseball.
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The term “groundhopping” originated in the UK, where football fans would travel to different stadiums to watch matches.
As a groundhopper, you have the opportunity to attend matches, meet fellow fans, and collect memories that will last a lifetime. You get to experience the unique atmosphere, traditions, and cultures of different clubs and stadiums. It’s a great way to explore new places and connect with people who share your passion for sports.
Football is the most popular sport for groundhoppers, and many fans aim to visit as many stadiums as possible. Some groundhoppers even set themselves the challenge of visiting all 92 English Football League grounds or all 20 Premier League stadiums.
Groundhoppers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. They can be young or old, male or female, and come from any part of the world. What unites them is their love for sport and their desire to explore new places and meet new people.
If you’re interested in becoming a groundhopper, there are a few things you should know. It can be an expensive hobby, with travel and ticket costs adding up quickly. However, there are ways to keep costs down, such as booking tickets in advance or staying in budget accommodation.
Overall, groundhopping is a fantastic hobby for anyone who loves sports and enjoys exploring new places. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people and experience the unique atmosphere of different clubs and stadiums.
The History of Groundhopping
If you are a groundhopper, you are part of a hobby that has its roots in football in the United Kingdom.
The term groundhopping was coined in the 1970s, and it refers to the practice of attending matches at as many different stadiums or grounds as possible.
Groundhoppers are football fans who usually have a neutral opinion regarding football clubs and try to attend as many football games in as many football grounds as possible.
In the early days of groundhopping, the hobby was limited to a small group of fans who traveled around the UK to watch lower league football matches.
In the 1980s, the hobby started to gain popularity in Germany, with fans traveling around the country to watch matches at different stadiums. In the Netherlands, the hobby is known as ‘stadionhoppen’, and it has a similar following to that in Germany and the UK.
The Football League in the UK has played a significant role in the development of groundhopping. The Football League consists of 92 clubs, and in the UK, the term ‘doing the 92′ is used to describe the challenge of watching a match at every one of these clubs. Groundhoppers who complete this challenge are often referred to as ’92ers.’
In Germany, the Vereinigung der Groundhopper Deutschlands (VGD) was formed in 1995. The VGD is an association of groundhoppers that aims to promote the hobby of groundhopping and to provide a platform for fans to share information about football grounds.
The VGD has a database of over 4,000 football grounds worldwide, and its members have visited over 2,000 of these grounds.
Groundhopping has become a global phenomenon, with fans traveling to different countries to watch football matches and visit new stadiums. The hobby has also evolved to include other sports, such as rugby, cricket, and baseball. Today, groundhopping is a popular pastime for sports fans around the world, and it continues to grow in popularity.
Here is a table summarizing the history of groundhopping in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands:
|Term ‘groundhopping’ coined in the 1970s; ‘doing the 92’ challenge; popular among lower league football fans
|Hobby gains popularity in the 1980s; Vereinigung der Groundhopper Deutschlands formed in 1995
|Hobby known as ‘stadionhoppen’; similar following to Germany and the UK
The 92 Club
If you’re serious about groundhopping, you’ve probably heard of The 92 Club. This exclusive society is made up of football fans who have visited every stadium in the Premier League and Football League. To become a member, you need to attend a match at all 92 stadiums, including all current Premier League and Football League grounds.
The 92 Club is more than just a club for groundhoppers, it’s a community of passionate football fans who share a love of the game and the experiences that come with it. Members often travel together to matches, sharing stories and making memories along the way.
One of the benefits of being a member of The 92 Club is the sense of achievement that comes with completing the challenge. It’s not an easy feat, and it requires a lot of time, effort, and money. But the feeling of accomplishment when you finally visit that last stadium is indescribable.
Another benefit of being part of The 92 Club is the opportunity to experience football in all its forms.
To keep track of their progress, members of The 92 Club often use a variety of tools, including spreadsheets, apps, and even physical maps. Some members also collect memorabilia from each stadium they visit, such as programmes, scarves, and badges.
To learn more about The 92 Club, visit their official website at https://www.the92.net/.
Groundhopping in Different Leagues
As a groundhopper, you have the opportunity to visit football stadiums in different leagues around the world.
Each league has its unique characteristics, traditions, and atmosphere that make groundhopping an exciting experience. In this section, we will take a look at some of the popular leagues you can visit as a groundhopper.
UK League Grounds
The United Kingdom has a rich football culture, and groundhopping in the UK is a popular pastime for many fans.
The English Premier League is the most popular league in the UK, and it attracts fans from all over the world.
The Scottish League is also a popular destination for groundhoppers, with stadiums like Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium attracting fans from all over the world.
German League Grounds
Groundhopping in Germany has become increasingly popular over the years, and the Bundesliga is one of the most visited leagues in the world.
The league has a unique atmosphere, with fans known for their passion and dedication. The Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich, Signal Iduna Park, home of Borussia Dortmund, and the Olympiastadion are some of the most popular stadiums in the league.
Dutch League Grounds
The Netherlands is home to some of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, and groundhopping in the Dutch league is a must-do for any football fan.
Swedish and Norwegian League Grounds
The Swedish and Norwegian leagues are also popular destinations for groundhoppers.
The Allsvenskan in Sweden and the Eliteserien in Norway have some of the most picturesque stadiums in the world, with unique designs that make them stand out. The Friends Arena in Sweden and the Ullevaal Stadium in Norway are some of the popular stadiums in the leagues.
Belgian League Grounds
The Belgian league is also a popular destination for groundhoppers, with some of the most historic stadiums in the world. The Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, home of RSC Anderlecht, the Jan Breydel Stadium, home of Club Brugge, and the Ghelamco Arena, home of KAA Gent, are some of the popular stadiums in the league.
Groundhopping is not only about watching football matches in different stadiums or grounds, but it is also about the experiences and memories that you create along the way.
Every matchday is unique, and every ground has its own charm and character. As a groundhopper, you have the opportunity to explore different cities, meet new people, and make lasting friendships.
One of the best things about groundhopping is the passion that it brings out in people. Whether you are a neutral supporter or a die-hard fan of Bristol Rovers, you will be able to share your love of the beautiful game with others who share your passion.
You will be able to witness the dedication and support that fans have for their clubs, and you will be able to experience the thrill of being part of a crowd.
As a groundhopper, you will also have the opportunity to visit some of the most unique and interesting stadiums in the world. From the ultra-modern to the historic, each ground has its own story to tell.
Whether you are visiting Club 92 to complete your quest or exploring a lesser-known ground, you will be able to appreciate the individualization and character that each stadium has to offer.
Groundhopping is also about the people that you meet along the way. You will have the opportunity to interview fellow groundhoppers and learn about their experiences and perspectives. You will be able to share stories and tips, and you may even make lasting friendships with people from all over the world.
The Groundhopping Informer is a great resource for anyone who is interested in groundhopping. It provides valuable information about different stadiums and grounds, as well as tips for making the most of your experiences.
Whether you are a seasoned groundhopper or just starting out, the Groundhopping Informer can help you plan your next adventure.
The Future of Groundhopping
Groundhopping has come a long way over the years, and it’s only going to get better. With newly constructed stadiums popping up all over the world, there will always be new venues to explore. As the world becomes more global, groundhopping will continue to expand to new countries and continents. Social media has also played a huge role in the growth of groundhopping, allowing fans to connect with each other and share their experiences.
Futbology, the study of football, is another area that is set to have a big impact on groundhopping. As more research is done into the history and culture of the sport, fans will have a deeper understanding of the teams and stadiums they visit. This will add a new level of appreciation to the hobby and make it even more rewarding.
Officially organised groundhopping tours are also becoming more common, providing fans with a hassle-free way to explore new stadiums and cities. These tours often include behind-the-scenes access and expert guides, making them a great option for both new and experienced groundhoppers.
Escapism is another aspect of groundhopping that is likely to become more important in the future. With the stresses of modern life, many people are looking for ways to escape and unwind. Groundhopping provides a perfect opportunity to do just that, allowing you to immerse yourself in the excitement of a live game and forget about your worries for a while.
Ascents and descents are also an important part of groundhopping. Climbing to the top of a stadium and taking in the view is a thrilling experience, and one that is sure to remain popular in the future. Similarly, descending into the depths of a stadium and exploring the tunnels and dressing rooms is another exciting aspect of the hobby.
Finally, communal relationships are an important part of groundhopping. Whether it’s meeting up with old friends or making new ones, the sense of community that comes with being a groundhopper is something that will always be valued. As the hobby continues to grow and evolve, these relationships will become even more important.
Overall, the future of groundhopping is bright. With new stadiums, global expansion, social media, futbology, officially organised tours, escapism, ascents and descents, and communal relationships, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what’s to come.
In conclusion, groundhopping is an excellent hobby that offers a range of benefits.
By attending matches at different stadiums, you get to experience the excitement of live sports, explore new places, and meet new people.
It is a great way to learn about different cultures and ways of life. So why not get started with groundhopping today?