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Address: Grove Street,
Capacity: 23,287 (All-Seater)
One of the South Yorkshire town’s landmarks, Oakwell is a very likeable ground that gives both home and away fans a great experience on a matchday.
Oakwell was built in 1887 and has been the home of Barnsley Football Club ever since their formation that same year. The stadium’s name comes from the well and oak trees that were on the site of the ground when it was first built.
It forms part of the Barnsley Academy which includes an indoor training pitch, a smaller stadium with two stands of seating, and the club’s main outdoor training pitches. These can all be found beyond the North Stand of Oakwell Stadium.
Location and Getting There
The ground is very well placed within Barnsley itself.
Just 0.5 miles from the Town Centre, Barnsley Train Station is around a 10-15 minute walk east of the ground, and there’s plenty of street parking available close by for those who do come by car.
Whenever I’ve visited, I’ve tended to park in the housing estate between Eldon Street and Harborough Hill Road, but be careful that you don’t park up in a restricted area.
Coming from here means you have to walk up the fairly steep Harborough Hill Road (A61), and then up Queens Road before descending down the hill towards the stadium. You can get a very good view of the ground though from the top of this hill.
Outside the Stadium
Most of the fans who come from Barnsley Train Station arrive at the western side of Oakwell Stadium first, which is known for sponsorship reasons as the DX West Stand.
Grove Street runs a little away from the stand's exterior, which has worn corrugated iron making up the roof and a deep brown brickwork design at the base.
The turnstiles to the DX West Stand are separate from the stand itself and that leaves an outer concourse right behind the back of the stand which fans often congregate in before going to their seat.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the Palmer Construction North Stand.
Its exterior is mostly made up of corrugated iron with brickwork at the base. The Players' and Officials' entrance can be found along the outer wall, over towards the northwest corner.
The main turnstiles for the Palmer Construction North Stand are off Grove Street next to the stadium's northwest corner, and there is a large open space which fans must walk through before heading into the stand's inner concourse. You pass the stadium control box as you make your way inside here.
Oakwell’s East Stand, sponsored by The Investment Room, has the nicest exterior design.
There is a brickwork base here with white corrugated iron in its upper parts and a red cantilever roof that comes down at the back.
There are four large arches which protrude out of the walls, one at either end of the stand and two in the centre where the executive entrances can be found.
A few of Oakwell's car parking spaces are out beyond The Investment Room Stand, though the vast majority can by found beyond the southern side of the stadium.
Oakwell's South Stand, known for sponsorship reasons as the CK Beckett South Stand, holds the stadium’s Main Reception, Ticket Office and the Official Club Shop.
The exterior of the stand is made up mostly of white corrugated iron but is once again brickwork at the base. Two large arches with glass windows are built into the stand’s exterior as well.
Out beyond the CK Beckett South Stand is the club’s main car park.
Inside the Stadium
The DX West Stand is made up of two tiers.
The stand's roof only covers the top tier, which is much smaller than the bottom tier beneath. This roof also comes down sharply at the front and can restrict the view somewhat if you are in the very back rows. Supporting pillars run regularly along the front of the roof that further restrict your view from inside.
The bottom tier has no such restrictions, but with no roof over your head, you will be exposed to the elements.
Up on the stand's roof is the mezzanine that holds the matchday camera, and the stadium’s dugouts can be found down the very front.
If you are looking for the best view and experience of Oakwell Stadium, the DX West Stand is honestly the last place I would recommend buying a ticket for.
The Palmer Construction North Stand is single-tiered and much taller than the adjacent Hayselden West Stand.
A row of pillars come down towards the back of the stand and can restrict the view of those sat behind here, but for the rest of the stand your view is perfectly clear, with large windshields in place at either end to offer protection from the elements.
Barnsley’s changing rooms are located within this stand, and the stadium’s tunnel is next to the northwest corner. Above this tunnel is an electronic scoreboard which everyone except for the fans in the Palmer Construction North Stand can see.
The Investment Room East Stand is two-tiered much like the Hayselden West Stand opposite.
Both of these tiers however are of fairly equal size, with the letters BARNSLEY F.C spelt out in white seating amongst the rows in the bottom tier.
The two levels are separated from one another by a row of executive boxes, and the cantilever roof on top means that there are no supporting pillars anywhere, so your view from every seat is perfect.
Windshields at the sides of the stand cover the entire top tier but only part of the bottom tier beneath. This means that those in the front row seats are not going to be as protected from the elements as those higher up.
In the southeast corner between The Investment Room East Stand and the CK Beckett South Stand is the Wakefield Audi Corner Stand, a white three-storey building that holds additional executive areas and disabled facilities for matchday and other events. It can seat just over 200 people and is a really considerate touch by Barnsley towards disabled fans, ensuring that they get the best view of the action possible.
The CK Beckett South Stand is made up of a single-tier which is split into two sections.
The blocks of the lower section are slightly off-centre from the blocks in the top section, with the entrances from the South Stand concourse about half-way up.
The windshields on the sides of the stand only run part-way down and so you are not protected from the sides if sat on one of the front rows.
A row of small pillars can be found near the back of the stand, but these do not restrict your view.
Away fans are put behind the goal in the Palmer Construction North Stand.
Depending on the allocation and the expected attendance of the fixture, fans can take up just one side of the stand, usually the one nearest to the tunnel, or the whole of the North Stand.
Covered sheets and stewards have also been used at times to divide the stand into two sections, with the away fans on one side and some home fans put in the other. This normally happens though on days when the home crowd is expected to be exceptionally large. On most matchdays, only away supporters are housed on this side of Oakwell.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Arcade Alehouse (31 The Arcade, S70 2QP) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Barnsley Station)
-Bistro @ the Pocket (1 Elm Row, S71 1HR) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Dove Inn (102 Doncaster Road, S70 1TP) (Popular with Away Supporters)
-Within the Metrodome Leisure Complex (Queens Ground, Queens Road, S71 1AN) (Popular with Away Supporters)
-The Mount (32 Pontefract Road, S71 1AB) (Typically Home Supporters Only)
Oakwell is a very good stadium that gives fans the experience on a matchday that they desire.
Able to accommodate both small and large crowds, its West Stand may be outdated, but the rest of the stadium is very practical and allows fans to enjoy a great view of the action that unfolds in front of them.
Barnsley can be proud to call this place home.
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