Stadium is an all-seater football stadium in
England and the home of Premier League
club Stoke City. The stadium was previously called the Britannia
Stadium but was renamed on 1 June 2016 when the club entered into a
new stadium-naming rights agreement with its parent company,
bet365. It has a capacity of 30,089 following the completion of
expansion works in 2017.
The stadium was built in 1997 at a cost of £14.7 million as a
replacement for the Victoria Ground. Former player Sir Stanley
Matthews' ashes were buried beneath the centre circle of the pitch
following his death in February 2000; he had officially opened the
stadium on 30 August 1997. In European competitions it is known as
Stadium due to
UEFA regulations on sponsorship.
2 Structure and facilities
4 Other events
6 External links
Q-railing Stand exterior
The all-seater stadium cost nearly £15 million to build and brought
the club up to standards with the
Taylor Report of January 1990 to end
119 years at the Victoria Ground. Relocation had been considered by
1994 and by early 1996 the decision to build a new stadium had been
By early 1997, the skeletal steel superstructure was in place and the
stadium began to take shape. In August 1997 it opened its doors
for the first time as the Britannia
Stadium thanks to a £1 million,
10-year sponsorship deal with the Britannia Building Society which was
instrumental in the overall funding of the project. Another £3
million was given as a grant by the Football Trust.
The stadium's opening did not go according to plan, as from the outset
there was concern about getting there, as the plans covered only one
access road from the nearby A50, and as a result spectators arriving
from the City or the motorway had to travel up the A50 for over a mile
to a roundabout at
Sideway and double-back the other way, which caused
huge congestion. The stadium was officially opened made by club
legend Sir Stanley Matthews, then aged 82. After he died in February
2000, his ashes were buried beneath the stadium's centre circle and a
statue showing different stages of his career was put up in his honour
outside the ground. On 27 August 1997, Rochdale were the visitors
for the historic first-ever competitive match a 1–1 draw in the
League Cup watched by 15,439 - and four days later the first-ever
league game took place against Swindon Town before a crowd of
23,859. The first season at the new ground was a bad one as Stoke
were relegated from Division One and the supporters protested against
chairman Peter Coates.
Four seasons of third tier football followed with Gunnar Gíslason
taking control of the club in November 1999. In May 2006 he sold
control of the club back to Peter Coates, and soon after the Club
obtained full ownership of the stadium in a deal worth £6 million
following the previous joint-partnership with the
Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration Ltd. The name of the
ground was changed to the bet365
Stadium in June 2016.
Structure and facilities
Stand names and capacities
Boothen End sponsored by Novus
DPD Stand + Family Area
The Sharp Stand
In total, the stadium cost £14.7million and took around ten months to
construct on the former site of Stafford No.2 Colliery, which had been
closed in 1969. Building work began in late autumn 1996 and was
completed in August 1997. The all-seater stadium can hold 28,384
supporters in four cantilever stands. The main West stand consists of
two tiers of seating which house 7,357 spectators, plus all of the
stadiums corporate and media facilities. The L-shaped Boothen and East
stands hold 6,006 and 8,789 people respectively. The South Stand,
which is used by both home and away supporters can hold 4,996 people
but is unlikely to reach capacity due to spectator segregation.
The club's dressing rooms, offices, boardroom, ticket office and club
store are positioned between the West and South stands.
The Boothen End sponsored by Novus and Q-railing Stand
In 2006, work took place on the A50 to allow direct access to the
stadium from the eastbound direction, involving building a bridge
across the road. It is close to the
Sideway junction with the A500. At
the start of the 2010–11 season, the stadium was accessible via a
new underpass under
Stanley Matthews Way, to reduce traffic problems
with exiting the area back onto the A50.
Stoke fans celebrate following promotion to the
Premier League in 2008
In the middle of 2009, surveyors were asked to investigate the
feasibility of filling in one and possibly two of the stadium's open
corners. Filling in a corner of the ground would cost
approximately £3 million, increasing capacity by around 3,000 seats
and taking the total capacity to over 30,000. In November 2009,
Peter Coates said that a decision on expansion would be made
at the end of the season and was dependent on the club's Premier
In February 2010, the club were still considering whether to expand
the 27,500 capacity by filling in the scoreboard corner between the
South and East stands. Chief Executive Tony Scholes cautioned that
expansion might jeopardise the atmosphere at the stadium, one of the
factors credited with Stoke City's resurgence in the top tier of
English football. "The big risk when anyone expands their stadium is
that they could lose that 'sell-out' factor, which would affect the
atmosphere. I would loathe to give that up." At the end of the
Peter Coates indicated that the club would wait at
least another 12 months before deciding whether to spend up to £6
million on expanding the stadium, saying: "You don't do these things
lightly. It is on the drawing board and is something we will consider.
But we want to feel confident we can justify it in terms of getting
the increased capacity, filling it and it making economic sense."
Plans to increase the stadium's capacity to over 30,000 were unveiled
in November 2012. By June 2014 work had not started, and the club
CEO, Tony Scholes, stated that the club were in no rush to expand the
stadium. In April 2016 plans were again revealed for stadium
expansion, with a stated completion to be in time for the beginning of
the 2017–18 season, which was met. Work began on expanding the
stadium in February 2017.
The stadium also has full conference, banqueting and events facilities
and has, as well as football, also staged firework displays and music
concerts. The likes of Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Busted,
Elton John and
Rod Stewart have all played out on the pitch at the ground in addition
to the numerous summer music concerts.
The stadium hosted the 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05 playoff
finals for the
Conference National and on 16 April 2002, it hosted
England’s under-21's international friendly against Portugal’s
under-21’s. The hosts lost 1–0 with 28,000 in attendance.
England U20s and 19s have also used the stadium.
^ a b "bet365 Stadium". Premier League. Retrieved 13 August
Premier League Club Directory" (PDF). Archived from the original
(PDF) on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
^ "Pitch Renovation Work Begins". Stoke City. Retrieved 18 May
^ a b Charles, Andy (21 April 2016). "Stoke City announce expansion
plans for newly-named bet365 Stadium". Sky Sports. Retrieved 21 April
^ "Britannia Stadium". Premier League. Archived from the original on
19 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
^ "Merseyside Potters". merseysidepotters.com. Retrieved 30 October
UEFA Europa League Rules" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 14 July
^ "Stoke City 2011/12
UEFA Europa League". UEFA. Retrieved 14 July
^ a b c Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era - A Complete
Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2.
^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Britannia Stadium". stokecityfc.com.
Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 12 December
^ "Sir Stanley Matthews". BBC News. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 3
^ "Football club finish stadium deal". BBC News. British Broadcasting
Corporation. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
^ "Home Of Stoke City Now Known As bet365 Stadium". Stoke City F.C.
Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 1 June
2016. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
Stadium £1m underpass will ease match-day congestion".
The Sentinel. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
^ "Stoke City: Potters eye stadium expansion". The Sentinel. Retrieved
8 June 2011.
^ "Stoke City: Potters in pledge on ticket prices". The Sentinel.
Retrieved 8 June 2011.
^ "Stoke City:
Stadium expansion put on back-burner". The Sentinel.
Retrieved 8 June 2011.
Stadium Expansion Plan".
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 13 November
^ "'We will not jump gun to fill in Britannia
Stadium corner,' says
Tony Scholes". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
^ "Redevelopment to boost access at Stoke City". Premier League.
Retrieved 28 January 2017.
^ Winter, Henry (16 April 2002). "Under-21 International: Platt's run
is ended by lax moment". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 December
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