Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Community Stadium: Colchester United

Colchester United Football Club, founded in 1937, has a rich history that includes playing at Layer Road, their home for 71 years. However, due to safety concerns after the Bradford Stadium Fire and the Hillsborough Disaster, significant sections of the ground had to be closed off, reducing the capacity to less than 5,000. To meet new safety standards set by the football league, the club realized that a new home would be the most sensible solution.

A New Home for Colchester United

In 1998, potential sites for a new stadium were identified, although it would take another decade for the plans to come to fruition. Planning permission was granted in 2003, and the Colchester Council agreed to contribute £10.23 million, with additional funding from the Football Foundation and local government grants. The first match at the club’s new ground, now known as the Jobserve Community Stadium for sponsorship reasons, was played against Spanish side Athletic Bilbao on August 4, 2008.

Key Features of the Community Stadium

  • Year Opened: 2008
  • Capacity: 10,105
  • Average Attendance: 3,586
  • Record Attendance: 10,064 (Colchester Utd v Norwich, 2010)
  • Pitch Size: 101 x 64 (6,464)
  • Former Name: Weston Homes, Colchester Community Stadium
  • Owner: Colchester Borough Council
  • Sponsor: Jobserve
  • Clubs Hosted: Colchester United F.C.
  • First Fixture: Colchester United v Athletic Bilbao (04/08/2008)

Community Stadium

Seating Options at the Community Stadium

The Jobserve Community Stadium features four separate stands, which may have different names depending on sponsorship arrangements. The North Stand, a single-tiered structure, accommodates away supporters. If there is an overflow of away fans, they are seated in the East Jobserve Stand, which also includes the family enclosure. The South Stand, located behind the Southern goal, is typically occupied by the enthusiastic Colchester supporters. The West Stand is considered the main stand, hosting the changing rooms, dugouts, and executive boxes.

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Colchester United Ticket Prices

Colchester United aims to provide supporters with various ticketing options, resulting in a pricing scheme that can appear complex. Ticket categories include Early Bird, Super Saver, Saver, Advance Purchase, and Match Day prices, with different prices for various sections of the ground and age groups. Discounts are also available for purchasing tickets in bulk. Here is a simplified breakdown of the ticket prices for adults and concessions when bought a week in advance:

  • Adult: £21.50 – £30
  • Concession: £16.25 – £23.50

How to Purchase Colchester United Tickets

Tickets can be conveniently purchased online up to an hour before kick-off, over the telephone between 10am and 3pm from Monday to Friday, or directly from the stadium’s ticket office.

Getting to the Community Stadium

Colchester, located in Essex, is easily accessible for fans traveling from the South. Here are the most common methods of transportation:

  • Train: Colchester North Station is the closest to the ground, approximately two miles away, requiring a 40-minute walk.
  • Bus: The Number 65 bus operated by First Group runs from outside Colchester North Station directly to the stadium.
  • Car: From London, take the M25 towards Chelmsford, then the A12 to Junction 28, following the signs for the stadium. If coming from Ipswich, join the A12 and follow the same instructions.
  • Air: London Stansted Airport, just over 35 miles away, is the closest major airport to Colchester.
  • Taxi: A taxi from Colchester North Station to the ground typically costs around £10 and takes approximately five minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Parking Near the Community Stadium

The ground has limited parking spaces, with less than 700 available, all requiring a permit obtained in advance. On match days, parking exclusion zones are in effect in the surrounding areas, making on-street parking less favorable. It is advisable to park in town and utilize public transportation to the stadium.

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Community Stadium Hotels

While there are few hotels in close proximity to the stadium itself, Colchester has plenty of hidden gems worth exploring for accommodation options.

Pubs and Bars Near the Community Stadium

Colchester boasts several charming pubs and bars where you can enjoy a pre-match pint and engage with the locals. Here are a few of our top recommendations:

Facilities at the Community Stadium

As one of the newest grounds in the Football League, the Jobserve Community Stadium offers excellent facilities. Concourses beneath the seats provide the opportunity to purchase drinks, snacks, and even place bets. It may not be the best stadium in the country, but it certainly offers an enjoyable experience for fans.

Prices of Select Items:

  • Programme: £3
  • Pie: £3.25
  • Cup of tea: £1.75
  • Beer: £4

Hospitality Options

The Jobserve Community Stadium offers a range of hospitality lounges to suit various budgets. For example, the Centennial Lounge provides a three-course meal, half-time refreshments, and opportunities to witness player interviews. The Layer Suite offers a one-course meal, tea, coffee, and a match day program. For those seeking VIP treatment, the Vice Presidents Lounge provides an extra level of luxury.

Private Hire

The stadium is available for hire, making it an ideal venue for events ranging from school proms and private parties to exhibitions and conferences. With seven spaces to choose from, there is an option to suit every need and budget.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At present, stadium tours and a museum are not available at the Jobserve Community Stadium. Any changes to these offerings will be updated accordingly.

About Colchester United

Colchester United has a rich history, founded in 1937 and elected to the Football League in 1950. The club experienced success in the Football Conference, winning the title in 1992. One of the most memorable moments in the club’s history was a 3-2 victory over Leeds United in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1971. Lomana LuaLua was voted the club’s cult hero in a BBC poll in 2004.

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Community Stadium History

Initially known as the Colchester Community Stadium, it was later renamed the Weston Homes Community Stadium, thanks to a substantial sponsorship deal. With an opening cost of over £14 million, the ground officially opened in 2008 and is owned by the Colchester Borough Council. The stadium’s current capacity exceeds 10,000, with the record attendance set during a match against Norwich City in January 2010.

Future Developments

As the ground opened relatively recently in 2008, no major changes are expected in the near future. Any potential developments, such as filling in the corners of the stadium, would likely only occur if the club achieves promotion to the Championship.

FAQs

Questions often asked by fans:

  1. Can I purchase tickets online?
  2. How do I get to the stadium?
  3. Are there parking facilities available?
  4. What are the options for hospitality at the stadium?
  5. Can I book the stadium for private events?
  6. Are there stadium tours or a museum available?
  7. When was Colchester United founded?
  8. What is the stadium’s history?

Conclusion

The Jobserve Community Stadium stands as a testament to the growth and ambition of Colchester United Football Club. With state-of-the-art facilities and a rich history, it provides an enjoyable experience for both supporters and visitors alike. Whether you’re attending a match, exploring the vibrant pubs nearby, or considering private hire for a special event, the Community Stadium offers a memorable experience in the heart of Essex.

For more information about Colchester United Football Club and future events, visit Movin993.