Address: Princess Road,
Capacity: 6,912 (2,034 Seated)
Certainly not the biggest around, but the Pirelli Stadium is a modern football ground that gives both home and away supporters an equally good experience of the match taking place there.
Opened in 2005, it has been the home of Burton Albion Football Club ever since its creation.
Derby County also briefly used the Pirelli Stadium for their reserve team’s matches during the 2007-08 season.
Plans for a new ground had first come to existence in 2003, when the club’s ambition of promotion to the Football League would require very significant developments to Burton's former home Eton Park, where they had been since September 1958.
The decision was made to build a new ground that would meet Football League standards on land that was part of the Pirelli Sports and Social Club.
Location and Getting There
The Pirelli Stadium is located on the edge of an industrial estate approximately 1.5 miles northeast of the centre of Burton-on-Trent. Eton Road Community Park is due west of the ground, heading south will eventually lead you to the National Brewery Centre, and the River Trent is to the east.
There’s plenty of places to park that are within good range of the Pirelli Stadium.
Official car parks are based out beyond the northern side of the ground, but free parking should be easy to find.
I won’t give away my own preferred parking place, but the industrial estate to the South of the ground and on the other side of the railway is used regularly by both home and away fans.
Burton-on-Trent Station is a good distance away to the southwest and it can take around 30 minutes to get from there to the stadium on foot, although this is pretty much all along one road.
My suggestion if you don’t want to walk would be to take a ride in one of the taxis right outside the station and head straight to the stadium from there.
Outside the Stadium
The South Stand is usually the part of the Pirelli Stadium fans see first. It is the ground’s Main Stand and easily the largest out of the four.
Its exterior is made up mostly of large silver panels with sun-kissed brickwork at the base and a brick tower on either corner. There is a row of windows along the upper parts with offices inside, and a large glass pane in the very middle of the stand which has the Main Reception inside. The Players' Entrance is to the right of this central pane, whilst the Club Shop and Ticket Office are to the left.
The turnstiles leading inside are at the either end of the South Stand’s exterior.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the West Stand, which is surrounded by a metal fence.
Fans enter here through the detached turnstiles and can congregate outside or head into the central bar area to get food before heading to the terrace.
The West Stand has a large brick building protruding out of the middle which the bar is located inside, and the sides are made of grey panels with sun-kissed brickwork underneath.
Fans have to walk up two staircases to get to the inner concourse that leads to the standing terrace.
The North Stand is better known to Burton Albion fans as the Popside (Popular Side).
Its exterior follows a very similar layout to the West Stand, with a metal fence out the back of the outer concourse. There is a bar inside the central building and food stalls either side of it.
You have to enter the stand through the detached turnstiles which themselves are above a small stream. There are two staircases you also must walk up to get into the North Stand terrace itself.
Out beyond the Popside is the Burton Albion Community Centre and a large 3G pitch. Burton offer young fans matchday activities on this pitch in the build-up to kick-off, and the site is used regularly by the club’s community trust to strengthen the link between the Brewers and the town of Burton-upon-Trent.
The East Stand mirrors the design of the West Stand opposite.
The area outside of the turnstiles is usually monitored by stewards as this is the place away fans congregate at before heading into the stadium.
Home fans are therefore encouraged to either walk around past the South Stand or use the entrance next to the northeast car park in order to avoid mixing with away supporters on a matchday.
Inside the Stadium
The South Stand is the only one of the four made up entirely of seating.
It consists of a single tier with a row of executive boxes at the very back. A mezzanine holding the matchday camera is up above these boxes. Seats in the South Stand are predominantly black, but the letters BURTON ALBION are spelt out using yellow seating across the blocks. Burton’s dugouts, changing rooms and tunnel can all be found in the centre of this stand.
Both ends are completely covered by large windshields and with no supporting pillars coming down from the roof, you have a completely clear view of the pitch from any seat.
It is worth noting as well that these seats are much wider than the traditional plastic ones you will find at other football grounds, and also include padding on the bottom and back for additional comfort.
The West Stand is made up of a single tier of standing terrace.
The stand itself is very bland in colour with a plain brick wall at the back which fans usually decorate with flags and banners pre-game that pay homage to important figures in Burton Albion’s history. There is a row of metal bars about half-way up the terrace that fans can also lean on. Down at the front of the stand, next to the southwest corner, is a flat platform and row of black seating that is for disabled supporters to use. The southwest corner itself contains an elevated police box.
Windshields completely cover every row on either side and there are no supporting pillars coming down here either, ensuring a clear view of the pitch from anywhere inside.
The northwest corner is used to store additional equipment such as the warm-up goals but also has a large open space within it that fans from both the North and West Stands usually pass through on their way out of the stadium.
The Popside is essentially a longer version of the West Stand.
There is a row of black seating down at the front for disabled supporters to use, but the majority of the stand is standing terrace, with a row of metal bars half-way up that supporters can lean on.
Windshields completely cover the sides and there is a perfectly clear view from anywhere inside due to an absence of supporting pillars.
The northeast corner next to the Popside holds a very small first aid building.
The East Stand’s interior is an almost complete carbon-copy of the West Stand.
It is a single tier of standing terrace with a metal bar running across the central row. The only difference is the electronic scoreboard hanging down from the roof. This can be seen by every fan in the stadium except for those in the East Stand itself. Down at the front of the stand, next to the northeast corner, is a flat platform and row of black seating that is for disabled supporters to use.
The stadium’s control room is in the southeast corner and there is a windshield at the other end that completely covers the standing terrace area.
Your view from inside is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down.
Where away fans are housed at the Pirelli Stadium depends on the size of the travelling crowd.
Typically, away supporters are housed behind the goal in the East Stand but are also given a few blocks in the South Stand that are next to the southeast corner. When small away crowds visit, the East Stand is closed altogether and supporters are kept in the seating blocks, with stewards used to segregate them from the home fans nearby.
The large away followings will easily pack the East Stand to the brim and take up every seat available to them in the South Stand.
You are unable to see the live scoreboard if you are stood in the East Stand and a number of fans have told me how this can make away games at the Pirelli Stadium tense as you are never quite sure how long has been played in each half. Views from either away section however are perfectly clear and well protected from the sides.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Alfred (51 Derby Street, DE14 2LD) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Beech Inn (Derby Road, DE13 0DL) (Popular with Away Supporters) (Located near to the Pirelli Stadium)
-The Burton Bridge Inn (24 Bridge Street, DE14 1SY) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near the High Street)
-Burton Town Brewery (8 Falcon Close, DE14 1SG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Coopers Tavern (43 Cross Street, DE14 1EG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Burton-on-Trent Station)
-The Devonshire Arms (86 Station Street, DE14 1BT) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Burton-on-Trent Station)
-The Great Northern (120 Wetmore Road, DE14 1QS) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Last Heretic (95 Station Street, DE14 1BT) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Burton-on-Trent Station)
-The Roebuck Inn (101 Station Street, DE14 1BT) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Burton-on-Trent Station)
What the Pirelli Stadium lacks in size, it makes up for in practicality.
You can ensure yourself a great view of the pitch from any of the four stands, and fans have the option to sit in seats much more comfortable and wider than the ones you will find in other football grounds, or pack yourself into one of the terraces, much like how all stadiums used to be decades ago.
Regardless of which stand you choose, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time here.