Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Victoria Park: A Historical Gem for Hartlepool United

Victoria Park

Victoria Park, affectionately known as “The Vic” by Hartlepool supporters, holds a special place in the hearts of football fans. Built on the grounds of a former limestone quarry owned by the North-Eastern Railway Company, this historic stadium has been the home of Hartlepool United since its inception in 1908. Let’s dive into the rich history and unique features that make Victoria Park a must-visit for football enthusiasts.

A Limestone Quarry turned Football Sanctuary

Victoria Park traces its roots back to 1886 when it was originally built as a rugby stadium for West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club. The venue underwent development to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and was later registered as The Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company Limited. Steeped in history, the stadium absorbed the assets and liabilities of West Hartlepool Football Club, who had achieved the remarkable feat of winning the FA Amateur Cup in 1905.

A Glimpse into the Stats

  • Year Opened: 1886
  • Capacity: 7,864
  • Average Attendance: 3,125
  • Record Attendance: 17,264 (Hartlepool vs. Manchester United in 1957)
  • Pitch Size: 103 x 70 yards
  • Nickname: The Vic, Viccy Park
  • Owner: Hartlepool United F.C.
  • Clubs Hosted: Hartlepool United F.C., West Hartlepool R.F.C.
  • First Fixture: Hartlepool United vs. Newcastle United on September 2, 1908

Get a Feel for the Layout

Victoria Park embodies the traditional English football stadium design, consisting of four individual stands along the sides and ends of the pitch. The Town End Terrace can accommodate 1,775 passionate fans, while the Niramax Stand offers seating for 1,617 and standing space for 1,832. The Cyril Knowles Stand has an official capacity of 1,599, and the Rink End Stand can hold 1,033 supporters.

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A Matchday Experience Worth Every Penny

Tickets for Hartlepool United matches are priced competitively to ensure fans of all ages can enjoy the thrill of live football. Here are the current ticket prices:

  • Adults: £20.00
  • Concessions: £14.00

To secure your tickets hassle-free, the club’s website is the best place to make your purchase. However, if you prefer spontaneity, tickets are often available at the turnstile, over the phone, or in person at the ticket office. Please note that there is a £1.50 charge for card payments.

Getting to Victoria Park

By Train

Hartlepool Railway Station is conveniently located within a ten-minute walk of the stadium, making it an ideal option for train travelers. Booking your tickets in advance can save you a bit on costs.

By Bus

Various bus routes, including the number 1, 36, 3, 3A, 6, and 20, have stops near the stadium. If you’d rather take the bus than walk, keep an eye out for these options.

By Car

If you’re driving to Victoria Park, you can reach it via the A689 or A179, depending on your direction. Clear signage will guide you closer to the ground.

By Air

While Durham MME Airport is the closest option at approximately 15.1 miles away, Newcastle Airport is a more prominent airport for those traveling from further afield.

By Taxi

There are several private taxi companies in Hartlepool, offering convenient transportation from the town center to Victoria Park for around £5.

Parking Near Victoria Park

Victoria Park offers a decent-sized car park with limited spaces on match days. If the car park is full, there is ample on-street parking available. As you park, be mindful of local restrictions to avoid any penalties. The Millhouse Car Park, located behind The Niramax Stand, is another nearby option.

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Victoria Park Hotels

In Hartlepool, a coastal town, you’ll find numerous accommodation options for a comfortable stay during your visit.

Pubs and Bars Near Victoria Park

For those seeking a pint and a lively atmosphere, Hartlepool boasts charming pubs and bars that will cater to your needs.

Excellent Facilities to Enhance Your Experience

While Victoria Park may not rival Premier League or Championship grounds in terms of lavishness, it provides all the essentials that football supporters desire in a stadium.

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

Hospitality and Private Hire Options

Hartlepool United offers match day hospitality tailored to your preferences. You can choose an executive box for up to 12 guests, enjoying a two-course meal, half-time refreshments, and seats in the CK Stand. Alternatively, the Maidens Restaurant provides a two-course meal and the possibility of a half-time visit from players.

The club also offers private hire options, accommodating your needs, whether it’s a box or even the pitch itself. Victoria Park serves as one of Hartlepool’s premier conference venues, equipped with excellent facilities that can host up to 120 people. Meeting rooms can be arranged for theater-style presentations or classroom-style gatherings.

Discovering Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United, supported by the charismatic Jeff Stelling of Soccer Saturday fame, has attracted attention from famous fans like musician Meatloaf and film director Ridley Scott. Notably, in 2002, Hartlepool United’s mascot, H’Angus the Monkey, was elected as the mayor of Hartlepool. Away from the whimsical side, the club has maintained a sturdy existence since its establishment in 1908. From Brian Clough’s managerial start to promotion from non-league football and their subsequent return to the Football League, the club’s journey is one of resilience.

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A Glimpse into Victoria Park’s History

Originally purchased by West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club in 1886, Victoria Park served as a rugby ground until 1908. Subsequently, a newly formed football team took over the stadium, renaming it Victoria Park to commemorate the significant renovations it had undergone over the years. Notably, it was the last Football League club to install floodlights at its ground and had the honor of hosting matches for both Hartlepool United and Middlesbrough in 1986 due to Middlesbrough’s temporary stadium unavailability.

Future Developments

Following Hartlepool United’s promotion back to the Football League, plans for significant changes at Victoria Park are underway. While progress has been gradual, further developments may be on the horizon if the club maintains its position. Stay tuned for updates in this regard.

Conclusion

Victoria Park, with its rich history and warm atmosphere, offers a truly unforgettable matchday experience for Hartlepool United fans and football enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in the passion of the game at this iconic stadium and witness the legacy that Hartlepool United has built over the years.

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