Address: Jack Brownsword Way,
North East Lincolnshire,
Capacity: 9,088 (All but North Stand seated)
A football ground that is very well balanced on all four sides. Glanford Park is certainly practical, but its design does feel slightly outdated when compared to newer stadiums in the country.
Known for sponsorship reasons as The Sands Venue Stadium, Glanford Park opened in 1988 and has been the home of Scunthorpe United Football Club ever since.
The Iron had previously played at the Old Showground for almost 90 years, but in the wake of the Bradford City Disaster in 1985, when Valley Parade’s old wooden Grandstand was accidentally burned down, it became regulation for wooden Grandstands to be removed.
Scunthorpe could not afford the necessary improvements and the decision was taken instead to relocate to a site out of town and build a completely new ground.
Glanford Park was opened by Princess Alexandra on 14th August 1988 and was the first brand new Football League stadium in England since Southend United’s Roots Hall in 1955.
Location and Getting There
Glanford Park is based next to the M181 Motorway, on the western outskirts of Scunthorpe and around two miles away from the Town Centre. The Gallagher Retail Park is to the north, the Quibell Park Stadium is to the southeast and heading west along Doncaster Road (A18) eventually brings you to the River Trent.
Parking spaces are located around Glanford Park’s exterior, but you should be able to find free spaces in the residential estate over to the east.
The Gallagher Retail Park is not suitable for parking on a matchday, though it does serve as a very useful place for food either before or after the match has taken place.
Scunthorpe Station is close to the Town Centre and walking from there to the ground can take around 40 minutes.
To save time, you can alternatively catch a taxi or walk north from the station to Frances Street, taking the Number 1 bus service to the Dronfield Court stop and then walking the final part from there.
Glanford Park in truth is not easy to get to for anyone living outside of Scunthorpe, and if you are able to get to the stadium by car, I would recommend doing so.
Outside the Ground
Most fans approach Glanford Park from the north, walking under the metal entrance and then continuing down the road to the North Stand.
It is known for sponsorship reasons as the Britcon Stand but has also been known as the Doncaster Road End after the street running along beyond it.
The stand’s exterior consists of a brickwork base with corrugated iron up above, and this area is decorated with images from some of Scunthorpe United’s greatest moments, from memorable players to wins at Wembley.
There is a small entrance protruding out of the Britcon Stand and inside here is The Iron Bar.
Turnstiles are in place either side of this entrance and over towards the northeast and northwest corners.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the East Stand, better known as the Clugston Stand as it was sponsored by the now defunct Clugston Group.
The stand is the same height as the Britcon Stand and is directly connected to it by the northeast corner. The exterior once again has a brickwork base with corrugated iron higher up, though the array of Scunthorpe United photos does not continue the whole way along it.
Turnstiles are spread along the stand’s outer wall, and out beyond the Clugston Stand is the main bulk of the stadium’s car parking spaces.
There’s a small path at the far end of this car park which eventually leads back up to Doncaster Road, and is another way that fans can get from the main road to the stadium.
The South Stand is known for sponsorship reasons as the AMS Stand, although is has also been referred to as the Railway End because the tracks run along behind it.
It is the same height as both the Britcon and Clugston Stands and is connected to the latter by the southeast corner.
The exterior here is made up mostly of white brickwork with red doors leading to the turnstiles that are spread across the outer wall.
The West Stand is known for sponsorship reason as the SPB Stand and is the main one of the four at Glanford Park.
It is the same height as the rest of the stadium and continues the common brickwork and corrugated iron exterior design, but has a large building protruding out of it. Inside here are Scunthorpe United’s Club Offices, as well as the Players’ Entrance, Changing Rooms, Main Ticket Office and Club Shop which are based towards the middle.
The turnstiles into the SPB Stand can be found either side of the Club Office building, towards both the northwest and southwest corners.
The rest of Glanford Park’s car parking spaces stretches out beyond the SPB Stand.
Inside the Ground
The Britcon Stand is single-tiered and the only one of the four that consists entirely of standing terrace. There are three rows of metal bars running across the terraced area which fans can lean on during a match.
Supporting pillars come down towards the front of the stand and so there is a good chance that your view from inside will be slightly restricted, particularly if you are stood on the rows towards the back.
There is no seating or standing terrace in any of Glanford Park’s four corners, though they are all covered from above and the roof of the stadium forms a rounded-rectangle shape as a result.
The Clugston Stand consists of a single tier of seating.
The blocks in the centre of this stand are claret in colour and have the letters SUFC spelt out in blue across them, whilst the blocks at either end of the stand are blue in colour. Up at the back of the central blocks in this stand is Glanford Park’s stadium control box.
Four disabled seating areas are in place right down at the front of the stand.
Supporting pillars also come down at the front of the Clugston Stand but they are quite well spread out and so should not restrict your view too much. There’s a good chance they won’t get in the way at all if you are sat down towards the front.
The AMS Stand consists of a single tier of claret seating.
When the stand was converted from terracing in 1991, blue seats were sourced from Villa Park as part of the deal for Neil Cox being sold from Scunthorpe United to Aston Villa. These blue seats were replaced by the current claret ones ahead of the 2007-08 season.
There are supporting pillars coming down towards the front of the stand and these will as a result restrict the view for most fans sat inside here. Only those sat in the very front rows will have a perfectly clear view.
An electronic scoreboard hangs down from the roof which can be seen by all fans except for those sat in the AMS Stand.
The SPB Stand consists of a single tier of seating with a row of executive boxes along the back.
In a reversal of the Clugston Stand opposite, the central seating blocks in the SPB Stand are blue in colour, with the letters SUFC spelt out in claret across the centre, whilst the outer blocks are claret in colour.
The executive seating boxes are based up at the back of the stand and are made up of black seating. The press area is over towards the northwest corner and a gap in the roof above holds the matchday camera.
Scunthorpe’s changing rooms, dugouts and tunnel are all based in the centre of the SPB Stand.
Supporting pillars do come down from the roof but only in front of the claret seating blocks. The central blue blocks have a very clear view of the pitch in front of them, though it can be slightly restricted from the side depending on where you are sat.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the AMS Stand.
Small crowds tend to congregate in the central blocks right behind the south goal, but larger crowds will take up much more of the stand.
They are already well segregated from the home fans in the rest of the stadium given that there is no seating in any of Glanford Park’s four corners, but stewards are of course still in place to monitor the crowd’s behaviour.
Supporting pillars come down towards the front of the stand and your view will likely be restricted somewhat as a result. Those sat in the front row however will have a clear view of the action.
Given this stand is also the only one that can’t see the electronic scoreboard, away fans are often left unsure as to how much of the game has been played and exactly how long is left until the final whistle.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Blue Bell Inn (1-7 Oswald Road, DN15 7PU) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near central Scunthorpe)
-The Honest Lawyer (70 Oswald Road, DN15 7PG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Scunthorpe Station)
-The Iron Bar (DN15 8TD) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located at Glanford Park itself)
-The Old Farmhouse (Doncaster Road, DN15 8TE) (Away Supporters Welcome if Discreet) (Located near to Glanford Park itself)
*You can find plenty of places to eat and drink along Doncaster Road which goes from central Scunthorpe out towards Glanford Park. A retail park shortly north of the stadium also offers restaurants.
Glanford Park is certainly not a bad football ground. At the time of its opening in the late 1980s it would have been seen as one of the newer-looking stadiums, but since then plenty of other clubs have built new homes and the design here now feels out of date and in need of a makeover.
Scunthorpe announced plans in July 2019 to completely redevelop Glanford Park. Over the course of a few seasons they will build a new stadium on the site of the current one, working through it one stand at a time so that matches can still take place here.
It will be very interesting to see the final result, but until then, Glanford Park is a perfectly fine place for watching professional football.