Address: Cattell Road,
Capacity: 29,409 (All-Seater)
An underrated stadium that isn't really appreciated until you've been there in person.
St. Andrew’s was built in 1906 and its current tenants Birmingham City Football Club moved into it for their opening ceremony on Boxing Day of that year.
Birmingham City moved here from their previous home near Muntz Street after it became clear that the ground simply could not cope with the increasing numbers of spectators, particularly for the games against local rivals Aston Villa.
During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, St. Andrew's was also home to Coventry City Football Club. The Sky Blues have since moved back to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Location and Getting There
St. Andrew’s is approximately two miles southeast of Birmingham City Centre.
There are several free parking areas within a one mile radius of the ground if you know where to look.
Getting to Birmingham isn't always the smoothest of drives, but it is certainly possible with free parking available at the end.
The City’s main station, Birmingham New Street, is west of the ground and can set you back a walk of anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes depending on how quickly you go.
Alternatively, the two closest stations to St. Andrew’s are Bordesley, 10-15 minutes walk southwest of the stadium, and Adderley Park, around 20 minutes walk northeast of the stadium.
Outside the Stadium
The Main Stand on the northern side of St. Andrew's is both the smallest and the oldest looking. It is otherwise known as the Garrison Lane Stand after the road out beyond it.
Most fans get to the stand through a set of blue gates off Tilton Road to the east, but you can sometimes also get to here from along St. Andrew's Street near to the stadium's northwest corner.
The stand's exterior does show its age in places, but is still practical, with the Reception and Executive Entrances towards the centre.
The Press Reception is near to the northwest corner, with turnstiles spread across the rest of the stand's base.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the East Stand. It is known as the Tilton Road Stand, or more simply the Tilton, after the road that runs along outside of it.
A good amount of the space right outside the stand is taken up by warehouses, and so the turnstiles leading into the Tilton are based next to the executive car park near the northeast corner of the ground. It is very easy to get to from off Tilton Road.
Heading round past a large warehouse and onto Cattell Road (B4127) brings you to more turnstiles, which are for the seats in the southeast corner. The Blues Superstore is in a large building right next to Cattell Road, and heading past there through one of two gates brings you the South Stand, better known as the Kop.
It is the largest stand at St. Andrew's and the most modern-looking, with a brickwork base, rows of glass windows and white panels higher up, and a cantilever roof coming down from the very top. The Kop Reception Entrance is in the very centre, with the Main Ticket Office a little away to the left from here.
Turnstiles are spread across the stand's brickwork base, and out beyond the exterior is the main St. Andrew's Car Park.
The West Stand is named after Gil Merrick, and it was previously known as the Railway Stand because of the tracks that run along outside of it.
Born within Birmingham on 26th January 1922, Merrick was a goalkeeper who spent his entire playing career with Birmingham City, more than 700 appearances between 1939 and 1960, 485 of them in the Football League. He would also earn 23 caps for England between 1951 and 1954, later going on to manage Birmingham City alongside Bromsgrove Rovers and Atherstone Town.
The first-choice goalkeeper at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, Merrick passed away on 3rd February 2010 at the age of 88. The West Stand at St. Andrew's has been named after him since April 2009.
The Gil Merrick Stand's is made up mostly of blue and white corrugated iron, with a cantilever roof on top, and though there is a path leading up to it from Emmeline Street, this only leads up to an exit gate and it is rarely opened by Birmingham City.
You can find the turnstiles slightly away from the Gil Merrick Stand in both the northwest and southwest corners. It is normally only the southwest turnstiles that are open on a matchday, for use by away supporters, and you get to them off Coventry Road. The whole area leading up to these turnstiles is segregated from the Kop Car Park next door to prevent home and away fans from mixing before they head inside.
The turnstiles in the northwest corner are only open for use when the Gil Merrick Stand is set to be split between home and away supporters.
Inside the Stadium
The Main Stand is made up of two tiers with the upper tier larger than the one underneath. A row of executive boxes separates the two levels from one another, and some of the stand’s executive seating can be found in the centre of the upper tier, with the press box close by.
There are a couple of pillars holding the roof up but these will only restrict your view if you are in the back rows of the upper tier. If you are anywhere in the lower tier then your view of the pitch will be clear, but there aren't any windshields here protecting you from the sides.
St. Andrew's dugouts are based at the front of the stand, with a large blue path in front of them that makes each manager's technical area much larger than at other stadiums.
The Tilton Road Stand is divided into two equally-sized tiers, though fans can freely get between the lower and upper levels. A row of executive boxes can be found right at the very back.
Two diagonal sashes and the letters THE are made out in white along the blue blocks of the upper tier, whilst the letters BLUES are spelt out in white along the bottom tier. A sliver of black seating is also in use to give each letter a 3D effect.
A small row of pillars comes down towards the back of the stand, but these will only restrict the view of those sat in the very back rows. Anywhere else in the Tilton Road Stand offers a perfectly clear view of the pitch.
There is however only a small windshield next to the northeast corner and it only covers the back rows of the upper tier. The rest of the stand is left exposed to the elements from this side.
The Tilton Road Stand is directly connected to the Kop by two tiers of blue seating in the southeast corner.
The Kop Stand follows the same structure as the Tilton Road Stand, being divided into two levels with fans able to easily access both the upper and lower parts of the stand. The letters BCFC are spelt out in white along the bottom tier blocks, once again using a sliver of black seating to create a 3D effect. Between the first C and the F is a basic form of the Birmingham City Club Badge, which is a globe resting on top of a football with a scarf wrapped around them. The badge in the Kop Stand is of course far less detailed than the one which features on Birmingham City's shirts, but it's still a nice design feature.
Executive boxes and seating blocks can be found at the back and centre of the upper tier respectively, with two white sashes made out amongst the blue seating blocks on either side.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above and so your view from anywhere inside the Kop is perfectly clear, though much like the adjacent Tilton Road Stand there is a only a very small windshield in place next to the open southwest corner.
The Gil Merrick Stand is just about the tallest of the four at St. Andrew’s.
It is also two-tiered, but the lower tier is far, far bigger than the one above. The letters BCFC are spelt out in white in this lower tier, and each of these four letters is a different shape and size, similar to how Birmingham City designed the Club Badge for their 140th anniversary in 2015. White seating is also used to make a large diagonal sash either side of these letters.
The St. Andrew's changing rooms are based inside the Gil Merrick Stand, with the stadium tunnel in the northwest corner and a large electronic screen placed above here.
Your view is perfectly clear from anywhere inside the stand because of the cantilever roof above, but windshields at either side only protect the upper tier rows and those towards the back of the lower tier.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the Gil Merrick Stand.
Depending on the travelling allocation that Birmingham City give, the whole stand, including the upper tier, can be used to house away supporters, or just part of the stand, usually the side next to the southwest corner, is used.
The Gil Merrick Stand has also been split 50/50 between home and away fans for games, usually the Second City Derby against Aston Villa, which you can guarantee will be a sell-out at St. Andrew’s every time.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Cricketers Arms (48 Little Green Lane, B9 5AX) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Old Crown (188 High Street, B12 0LD) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Shakespeare (Lower Temple Street, B2 4JD) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Birmingham New Street Station)
-The Wellington (37 Bennetts Hill, B2 5SN) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Food not served, but Welcome to bring own food)
*Pubs close to St. Andrew's are generally not recommended for away supporters. Finding a drink in Central Birmingham and then travelling to the stadium is a better option.
Birmingham City have a fantastic stadium that they call home. St. Andrew’s at times does not get the credit it perhaps deserves.
Whilst it isn’t the most appealing from the outside, you get a good view of the action from any of the four stands and when the Tilton Road and Kop are full, it can make for a very hostile atmosphere from the loyal Blues fanbase.
Don’t judge St. Andrew’s based purely on pictures, check it out first hand to see exactly why it is such a top football ground.