Home to one of London’s leading football (soccer) clubs, Queens Park Rangers, Loftus Road Stadium is in Shepherd’s Bush to the west of the city center. Four teams call the stadium home: the juniors, under 21s, the women’s side, and the first team, who play in the Premier Division – the highest level in English football – and count internationally capped defender Rio Ferdinand and midfielder Joey Barton among their star players.
Football is something of a national obsession in the UK and match days have all the wholesome fun and excitement of family days out. Matches last 90 minutes in two halves, with plenty of food and drink outlets to keep fans’ energy levels up. QPR fans dress in a sea of blue and white hats, scarves and football shorts while chanting in support of their sporting heroes; popular songs include ‘We are QPR’ and ‘Rangers Till I Die’, which can be heard across west London when the home team score a goal.
The current Loftus Road Stadium was built in its present form in the early 1970s and seats 18,439 in its four stands. It is one of the smallest of London’s football grounds and there is talk of a new stadium being built in west London that will seat a whopping 40,000 QPR fans, but this will not happen for several years.