Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

St Mary’s: Southampton FC

For fans of Southampton Football Club, the memories of their old stomping ground, The Dell, will always hold a special place. However, in 2001, the club moved to their new home, St Mary’s, located in the heart of the city. Let’s take a closer look at this iconic stadium and the history behind it.

A Rich History

St Mary’s Football Club, which eventually became Southampton FC, was formed in 1885 as St. Mary’s Church Of England Young Men’s Association. The club’s nickname, “The Saints,” originated from its roots as a church football team. The name St Mary’s was chosen for the new stadium due to its proximity to St. Mary’s church, where the club was founded.

Stadium Stats

  • Year Opened: 2001
  • Capacity: 32,384
  • Average Attendance: 28,283
  • Record Attendance: 32,363 (Southampton vs Coventry – 2012)
  • Pitch Size: 102 x 68 (6,936 sq. ft.)
  • Nickname: St. Mary’s
  • Former Name: The Friends Provident St Mary’s Stadium
  • Owner: Southampton F.C.

Stadium Design and Seating

St. Mary’s adopts a modern bowl-style design with four stands of equal height. Unlike other clubs that name their stands after famous personalities, Southampton has chosen to name them after the areas of the city they face:

  • The Itchen Stand: This stand, facing the river Itchen, houses executive boxes, club offices, press facilities, changing rooms, and corporate hospitality suites.
  • The Northam Stand: Located opposite the away fans, this stand is known for its passionate home supporters.
  • The Chapel Stand: Situated behind the goal, this stand has a large section for disabled supporters and creates a vibrant atmosphere. The corner connecting Chapel and Kingsland stands is the designated family section.
  • The Kingsland Stand: Many dedicated Saints fans call this stand home. It offers premium seating options and excellent facilities for disabled supporters.

Ticket Prices and How to Purchase

Southampton FC offers various ticket categories: A, B, and C. Prices vary depending on the category and seating preferences. Official club members can avail discounts. To purchase tickets, visit the official Southampton FC website, call the ticket booking line, or visit the stadium’s box office. Avoid purchasing tickets from unauthorized sources near the stadium on match days.

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Getting to St Mary’s

Located on the South coast, Southampton is easily accessible by various means of transportation:

  • Train: Southampton Central Train Station is conveniently situated in the city center. Shuttle bus services run from the station to the stadium on match days, or you can enjoy a short 15-minute walk.
  • Bus: Local bus services operate throughout the town, providing easy access to the stadium. Buses 8A and 18 connect the train station to St. Mary’s.
  • Car: Southampton’s location allows for easy car access. Major roads such as the M3 and A33 connect the city from the North and London. Follow a sat-nav or use specific directions when driving.
  • Air: Southampton Airport is well-connected to major airports around the country. Southampton Parkway Train Station provides transportation to the city center, offering various options to reach the stadium.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available from the train station, offering a quick and convenient way to reach St. Mary’s.

Parking Near St Mary’s

Parking restrictions around the stadium on match days make driving to the ground challenging. Southampton FC strongly advises against driving. However, if you still choose to drive, the official website provides a list of council car parks in the vicinity.

St Mary’s Hotels

As a seaside town, Southampton offers a wide range of accommodation options, including bed and breakfasts. Numerous hotels cater to different budgets and preferences, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors.

Pubs and Bars Near St Mary’s

Southampton’s dockside location means there is no shortage of pubs and bars to enjoy before or after a match. Explore the city’s vibrant drinking scene and choose from a variety of establishments that cater to different tastes.

Facilities

St Mary’s boasts modern facilities that surpass those found in many older Premier League stadiums. The concourses offer a selection of hot and cold food and drinks. Betting kiosks are available, and the toilets are clean and well-maintained.

  • Programme: £4
  • Pie: £3.50
  • Cup of tea: £2
  • Beer: £5.50
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Hospitality

St. Mary’s offers top-notch hospitality packages. Whether you’re seeking a relaxed pub-style atmosphere or an upscale fine dining experience, the club has options to suit various preferences and budgets.

  • Saints Bar: Enjoy pub-style food, a cash bar, and a drink at half-time.
  • Aspire: Indulge in fine dining with food sourced locally. Exclusive padded seating and the chance to meet former Saints players enhance the experience.
  • The Markus Liebherr Lounge: This premium package includes a three-course fine dining experience, an all-inclusive premium drinks package, and a full-time cheese board. The lounge may also feature a player appearance, and each group receives one parking space.

Private Hire

St. Mary’s Stadium offers various spaces for private hire, making it an ideal venue for events of all kinds. From boardrooms and press conference rooms to executive boxes and lounges, the stadium can accommodate anything from awards ceremonies and weddings to family gatherings.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Take a guided tour of St. Mary’s Stadium and explore the inner workings of this iconic venue. Tours typically last around 90 minutes and include visits to the changing rooms, warm-up rooms, and pitchside areas. Please note that tours are only available on non-match weekends and during the summer holidays. Booking in advance is recommended.

About Southampton FC

Southampton FC won the FA Cup in 1976 and came close to securing the league title in 1984. They have a rich history and were a permanent fixture in the Premier League until their relegation in 2005. However, the club has since experienced a resurgence, establishing itself as a strong competitor in the league.

St Mary’s History and Future Developments

St. Mary’s Stadium replaced the club’s previous ground, The Dell, to accommodate a larger number of fans. While plans to expand the stadium in the future to increase its capacity have been discussed, no concrete steps have been taken yet. In 2021, the stadium underwent renovations, including the addition of new jumbo-sized big screens and improvements to various lounges and boxes.

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Q: How can I purchase Southampton FC tickets?
A: To purchase tickets, visit the official Southampton FC website, call the ticket booking line, or visit the stadium’s box office. It is recommended to avoid purchasing tickets from unauthorized sources near the stadium on match days.

Q: What are the ticket prices for Southampton FC matches?
A: Southampton FC categorizes their matches into different categories: A, B, and C. Prices vary depending on the category and seating preferences. Discounts are available for official club members.

Q: How do I get to St Mary’s Stadium?
A: Southampton is accessible by train, bus, car, and air. Southampton Central Train Station is conveniently located in the city center, and various bus services operate throughout the town. If driving, major roads such as the M3 and A33 provide access to the city. Southampton Airport offers flights from major airports, and Southampton Parkway Train Station connects to the city center. Taxis are also readily available.

Q: Can I park near St Mary’s Stadium?
A: Due to parking restrictions on match days, it is strongly advised to avoid driving to the stadium. However, if you still wish to drive, the official Southampton FC website provides a list of council car parks in the vicinity.

Q: Is there a stadium tour available at St Mary’s?
A: Yes, St. Mary’s Stadium offers guided tours that provide insight into the inner workings of the venue. Tours typically last around 90 minutes and include visits to various areas of the stadium. Booking in advance is recommended, as tours are only available on non-match weekends and during the summer holidays.

St Mary’s Stadium, the home of Southampton FC, holds a special place in the hearts of fans. With its rich history, modern facilities, and fantastic hospitality options, it offers an exceptional matchday experience. Whether you’re a die-hard supporter or a curious visitor, a visit to St Mary’s is sure to leave you with lasting memories. Book your tickets and immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of this iconic Premier League stadium.

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