Monday, 22 Jul 2024

St James Park: Exeter City

Not to be confused with the home of Newcastle United, St. James Park is the historic stadium of Exeter City. With a fascinating history dating back to 1904, this iconic venue has seen its fair share of changes and developments over the years. Let’s dive into the rich heritage of St. James Park and discover what makes it so special.

A Rich History

St. James Park has a unique past that stretches back centuries. The land on which the stadium is built was once owned by Lady Anne Clifford in 1654. It was initially used for pig farming, with the profits going towards the apprenticeship of a child from the nearby St. Stephen’s parish.

Even before becoming a football stadium, the ground was inhabited by pigs. However, when Exeter City, then known as St. Sidwell’s United, leased the land in 1904, the pigs had to make way for the beautiful game. The lease agreement strictly prohibited menageries, shows, circuses, or steam roundabouts. While some fans claim that a circus or two might have performed there over the years, the pigs were unceremoniously evicted and left to fend for themselves.

St James Park Stats

  • Year Opened: 1904
  • Capacity: 8,219
  • Average Attendance: 6,846
  • Record Attendance: 20,984 (Exeter vs Sunderland, 1931)
  • Pitch Size: 104 x 64 yards
  • Nickname: The Park, SJP
  • Owner: Exeter City Council
  • Clubs Hosted: Exeter City
  • First Fixture: Exeter vs 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery (10/09/1904)

St James Park Photos

St James Park

St James Park Seating Plan and Where to Sit

St. James Park offers a variety of seating options for fans. The Cliff Bastin/Thatchers Big Bank Stand is a large single-tier terrace known for housing the most passionate and vocal supporters. The Stagecoach Stand, an all-seater area, runs along the side of the pitch. The Selco Stand is home to the club’s main facilities and also accommodates some away fans. Additionally, the Tracks Suzuki St. James Road Terrace is dedicated to hosting away supporters.

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Exeter City Ticket Prices

Attending an Exeter City match offers an exciting experience, and ticket prices vary depending on several factors. Booking in advance generally saves you money, and the location within the stadium also affects the price. Here are the cheapest and most expensive ticket prices for adults and concessions:

  • Adults: £22.00 – £28.00
  • Concessions: £19.00 – £25.00

How to Get Exeter City Tickets

Getting tickets for an Exeter City match is easy. You can purchase them online, over the phone, or in person. If you prefer, you can also have your tickets posted to you, although there may be a slight additional cost.

Where to Buy

For hassle-free ticket purchases, visit Movin993 and explore their convenient ticketing options.

Getting to St James Park

St. James Park is easily accessible via various transportation options:

  • Train: St. James Park Station is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the ground.
  • Bus: Multiple bus routes, including E, F1, F2, 1, 1B, G, K, P, P2 Red, and T, have stops near the stadium from the city center.
  • Car: If you’re driving, take the M5 and exit at Junction 29 onto the A3015. Then, follow the B3183 and the signs to the stadium. From the East, use the A303 or A30 and follow the M5 directions. From the West, follow the signs for Exeter City Centre and join the A3015 before following the above directions.
  • By Air: The closest airport to St. James Park is Exeter International Airport.
  • Taxi: Taking a taxi from Exeter Train Station to the ground will take just over ten minutes and cost approximately £15.

Parking Near St James Park

While there is no parking available at the ground on match days, limited residential parking may be available. Another option is the nearby Belmont Road car park.

St James Park Hotels

Visitors to Exeter are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options. As a vibrant city located in the beautiful county of Devon, Exeter offers a wide range of hotels to suit all budgets and preferences.

Pubs and Bars Near St James Park

Exeter is home to a multitude of charming pubs and bars. Here are three noteworthy establishments worth checking out before or after a match:

  1. Pub 1
  2. Pub 2
  3. Pub 3
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Facilities

St. James Park boasts top-notch facilities that enhance the matchday experience. Food stalls offer a variety of tasty grub, including delectable local produce. There are also plenty of places to grab a refreshing drink. With recent updates, the stadium provides a comfortable and enjoyable setting to watch the beautiful game.

Prices

  • Programme: £3
  • Pie: £3
  • Cup of tea: £2
  • Beer: £3.50

Hospitality

Hospitality options at St. James Park vary depending on the opposition. The Supporters Trust Suite is the main lounge available to fans. By purchasing a hospitality package, you gain access to the lounge up to 3 hours prior to kick-off, a seat in the main stand, a two-course meal, half-time tea and coffee, a matchday program, a dedicated lounge host, pre-match player interview, and the Man of the Match interview and presentation. The suite also features a cash bar with table service.

Private Hire

St. James Park offers excellent facilities for conferences, business meetings, celebrations, and parties. The venue can accommodate events ranging from small gatherings of 2 people to larger gatherings of up to 150 people.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Experience the history of St. James Park with a free stadium tour. Tours take place on matchdays, starting at 11 am and lasting approximately 90 minutes. Explore the boardroom, the players’ changing rooms, the security hub, and more. Be sure to book your spot in advance to secure your place.

About Exeter City

Exeter City has a unique origin story, resulting from the amalgamation of two local clubs in 1904: Exeter United and St. Sidwell’s United. Exeter United originated from a cricket club of the same name, while St. Sidwell’s United was formed by patrons of a popular pub known as The Foresters Inn, colloquially referred to as The Drum & Monkey.

From 1920 to 2003, Exeter City played in the Football League. However, the club was relegated to the Conference for five seasons and eventually returned to League Two in 2009. The team is affectionately nicknamed “The Grecians,” though the origin of the nickname remains elusive. The club boasts a diverse range of celebrity fans, including Chris Martin from Coldplay, Adrian Edmondson, and Noel Edmonds.

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St James Park History

St. James Park faced initial challenges in its early years as visiting teams raised concerns about the field’s length not meeting regulations. Stoke and Reading even refused to play FA Cup matches at the stadium for this reason. However, additional land was purchased in 1920, allowing the club to extend the field and resolve the issue.

In the 1990s, financial difficulties plagued the club, leading to its sale to Beazer Homes, who eventually sold it to Exeter City Council. Various developments took place, including the construction of new stands. However, financial issues resurfaced in the early 2000s, causing further development to be put on hold. Fortunately, the 2005 FA Cup Third Round replay against Manchester United at Old Trafford provided much-needed financial relief, allowing for redevelopment and maintenance work.

Future Developments

In 2020, Exeter City announced a feasibility study to explore the potential for a new ground. However, the club emphasized that this study did not indicate an immediate move. More recently, in 2021, the club confirmed the purchase of a building adjacent to the current ground. They also have plans to install large LCD screens, a new scoreboard, and make improvements to the pitch. These investments suggest that St. James Park will remain in use for the foreseeable future.


FAQs

Is parking available at St James Park?

No, there is no parking available at the ground itself on match days. Limited residential parking may be available, and the nearby Belmont Road car park is a viable option.

Can I buy tickets for Exeter City matches online?

Yes, you can purchase tickets for Exeter City matches conveniently online through Movin993. Alternatively, you can buy tickets over the phone or in person.


Conclusion

St. James Park is more than just Exeter City’s stadium; it’s a place brimming with history and passion. From its humble beginnings as a pig farm to its current status as a beloved football ground, this venue holds a special place in the hearts of fans. Embrace the electric atmosphere, explore the excellent facilities, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of St. James Park.