Tranmere’s Prenton Park: Why National League’s sleeping giant deserves an awakening

When rivals Chester visited Prenton Park on Saturday, a season record 7,172 fans, including just under 6,000 supporting the Super White Army, turned out to view the spectacle.

Boss Micky Mellon said of the game: “There will be a good crowd there and we will enjoy that, we enjoy the atmosphere of these games.”

And although the 0-0 draw didn’t quite give the travelling following much to shout about, the turnout did solidify Rovers’ stadium as the biggest and best in the division.

Dubbing Prenton Park the ‘best’ in the league may seem like a hot take, but it’s not an unfounded claim.

The stadium’s capacity of 16,567 is the largest in the league and, save for Halifax’s 14,061, far surpasses any other stadium in the division – Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground sits 3rd but holds just 10,771 fans.

Tranmere Fans

Rovers fans watch on as their side look to find the winner against Chester

And despite the team’s failures on the pitch over the last decade or so, spectators nonetheless continue to flock in their droves to watch the side, with Rovers boasting the highest average attendance, highest minimum attendance AND record attendance in the 2017-18 season.

In fact, the Super Whites would sit 7th in League Two for average attendances, 6th for minimum attendances and 8th for highest attendance, rendering Prenton Park and the Tranmere faithful more than worthy of competing back in the Football League.

Obviously, football is decided on the pitch, not in the stands, but the 105-year-old stadium, which once played host to 24,424 spectators in an FA Cup clash against Stoke in 1972, epitomises what it means to be a member of the Football League, and although performances on the pitch this season have not indicated that might happen any time soon, it’s a ground that would certainly not feel out of place if it did.

Results have to change on the pitch, and quickly, but if Tranmere’s fortunes were ever to improve, they and everyone else around the division would be under no illusion that Prenton Park is more than adequately equipped to handle life back in the League.

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