Kassam Stadium
(Oxford United)

Address: Grenoble Road,
Littlemore,
Oxford,
Oxfordshire,
England,
OX4 4XP

Capacity: 12,500 (All-Seater)

Oxford United

Three stands in this stadium are very good. The fourth, quite simply, does not exist.

Otherwise known as Grenoble Road after the street that passes by its southern side, the Kassam Stadium name comes after the ground’s owner and former chairman of Oxford United Football Club, Firoz Kassam.

Oxford United had previously been based at the Manor Ground since 1925, but plans were announced in the mid 1990s for a new stadium that would replaced the ‘cramped and outdated’ ground.
Construction began in 1996 but suffered a setback the following year due to financial problems. Work didn’t restart until February 2000, after Firoz Kassam had purchased Oxford United, reduced most of the club’s unsecured debt and changed the stadium’s contractors.

Work was finally complete in 2001, with its first competitive football match taking place on 11th August. Oxford United lost 2-1 to Rochdale in what was then the Football League Third Division (now League Two).

Location and Getting There

The Kassam Stadium is based in the Littlemore district of Oxford, around 3.5 miles southeast of Oxford City Centre. Blackbird Leys Park is roughly 0.5 miles to the northeast of the stadium, and the River Thames is roughly one mile away to the west.

Because of its location well away from central Oxford, getting to the Kassam Stadium is by car is considered much simpler than getting to the stadium by public transport.
The ground has around 2,000 car parking spaces within its vicinity, that are available for free on a first come first served basis. It is generally advised to make use of these by getting to the stadium as soon as possible, particularly ahead of big games when the car parks are expected to be filled up well before kick-off.
Should the spaces around the stadium be taken up before you arrive, Oxford United recommend heading east and making use of road parking spaces between the stadium and roundabout on Watlington Road. Be sure to respect the ‘Residents Only’ schemes that are in place on nearby streets and to ensure that you are legally allowed to park in a particular place. You are actively discouraged from parking on the grass verges along the edge of the road.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR USING THE STADIUM PARKING SPACES: Oxford United put a fence up behind the stadium’s North Stand on matchdays which means that supporters are not able to walk from one end of the ground to the other. This is done to segregate home and away fans from one another when outside the stadium. You are therefore encouraged to park at the end of the ground most relevant to where your matchday ticket says you are sat.

Getting to the Kassam Stadium by rail can prove trickier.
Oxford Station, served by CrossCountry and Greater Western Rail, is based near the City Centre and some four miles away from the stadium.
Oxford United recommend either taking a taxi from the rank outside the station (roughly a 15 minute journey), or by taking the Stagecoach Route 1 or Oxford Bus Company Route City 5 from outside the station. Both routes stop off on Knights Road, which is roughly five minutes walk northeast of the football ground.

Outside the Stadium

The Kassam Stadium’s North Stand has a very simple exterior, consisting of a black brickwork base, blue corrugated iron in the middle, white corrugated iron higher up and dark blue cantilever up top.
Turnstiles for the North Stand are based in the middle and towards either end of the exterior, with an Away Ticket Office next to the stadium’s northwest corner and Oxford United’s Family Room Entrance next to the stadium’s northeast corner. Turnstiles 26-30 are at the western end of the exterior, Turnstiles 24-25 are in the middle, and Turnstiles 19-23 are at the eastern end of the exterior.
Right out beyond the North Stand’s exterior are two rows of disabled car parking spaces.

Continuing round in a clockwise direction, past the open northeast corner which has a row of disabled parking spaces in place, brings you to the East Stand.
It has a similar height and design to the adjacent North Stand, utilising a black brickwork base, blue corrugated iron in the middle, white corrugated iron higher up and dark blue cantilever up top. The centre of the stand’s exterior however is curved and protrudes outwards, consisting of blue corrugated iron at the base rather than brickwork. An Oxford United club crest is also in place towards the top.
Turnstiles for the East Stand can be found towards either end of the exterior, with Turnstiles 15-18 at the northern end and Turnstiles 11-14 at the southern end. Out beyond the East stand are the two Yellow Car Parks.

Like the northeast corner, the southeast corner of the Kassam Stadium is open and contains nothing more than a gate and a row of disabled parking spaces.
A Holiday Inn Express is located out beyond here.

The largest stand at the Kassam Stadium is the South Stand.
Its exterior consists mostly of a brickwork base, large silver and blue panels higher up, and a cantilever roof on top. There is additionally a large brick building and glass façade protruding out of the centre, and its here that you can find the Main Reception Entrance and Oxford United’s Main Ticket Office.
Turnstiles for the South Stand itself can be found towards either end of the exterior, with Turnstiles 6-10 at the eastern end and Turnstiles 1-5 at the western end. Out beyond the South Stand is one of the Red Car Parks.

The southwest corner of the Kassam Stadium is the same as the aforementioned northeast and southeast corner. An open space that simply contains a gate and a row of disabled parking spaces. The second Red Car Park is out beyond here.
You can find a large bronze statue of an Ox in the centre of this Red Car Park. It was erected there in March 2008, and has been known to have been vandalised in the past.

The western side of the Kassam Stadium is its most infamous feature.
There is no stand in place here, and there never has been. There have been talks about working on this undeveloped side of the ground, but only time will tell if those plans ever materialise.
For now, the space close to the pitch is taken up by one of the two Green Car Parks, and this side of the stadium has been dubbed ‘The Car Park End’ as a result. The other Green Car Park is a short distance further out beyond here, as well as one of the two Blue Car Parks.

The northwest corner of the Kassam Stadium, much like its other three corners, has a gate and a row of disabled parking spaces in place.
Out beyond here is the larger of the Blue Car Parks, and further out beyond there is a complex that includes a Cinema, Bowling Alley and Hotel. You will need to head over towards the far end of this complex to find Oxford United’s Club Shop, as well as one of the overflow car parks.

Inside the Stadium

The North Stand consists of a single tier of entirely blue seating. Down towards the front and centre of the stand are two flat platforms for disabled supporters to use.
Your view from anywhere inside the North Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof on top.
Large windshields are in place at either end, but they only provide protection to the rows further back. The rows down towards the front only have small walls in place at either end to offer protection.

The East Stand is similar in shape and design to the adjacent North Stand.
It consists of a single tier of entirely blue seating, but there are no flat platforms in place within the stand.
Your view from anywhere inside the East Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above.
Large windshields are in place at either end, but they only provide protection to the rows further back. The rows down towards the front only have small walls in place at either end to offer protection.

The South Stand is split into two tiers of blue seating, with a row of executive boxes based between them. Oxford United’s changing rooms are located inside this stand, with the dugouts and tunnel based down at the front.
The central blocks of the upper tier consist of executive seating, with the gantry up at the back available for use by the press and also holding the matchday camera. The Stadium Control Box is also located at the back of the upper tier.
Above the row of executive boxes are yellow plaques which list the years of some of Oxford United's most important achievements.
Your view from anywhere inside the South Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above.
Large windshields are in place at either end, but they only provide protection to the upper tier rows. The lower tier rows only have small walls in place at either end to offer protection.

Away Fans

Away fans are housed in the North Stand, taking up the seating blocks nearest to the stadium’s northwest corner. They are segregated from any home supporters present in the stand by large sheets and a row of stewards.
Your view from inside this stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, but the windshield in place at the end only protects the rows up towards the back. There is just a small wall in place to offer protection for those sat towards the front of the stand.

The Away Ticket Office can be found next to the away turnstiles. Turnstiles 26-30 are for use by away supporters.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Catherine Wheel (38 Henley Road, OX4 4YP) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in Sandford-on-Thames to the west of the Kassam Stadium)

-The George Inn (5 Sandford Road, OX4 4PU) (Typically Home and Away Supporters, though High-Profile Games may be different) (Located in Littlemore to the west of the Kassam Stadium)

-The Holiday Inn Express Oxford-Kassam Stadium (Grenoble Road, OX4 4XP) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Not really a pub, but located in close proximity to the Kassam Stadium itself)

-The Kings Arms (Church Road, OX4 4YB) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in near Sandford Lock in Sandford-on-Thames, to the west of the Kassam Stadium)

-The Oxford Retreat (1-2 Hythe Bridge Street, OX1 2EW) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near to Oxford Station)

*The location of the Kassam Stadium means that there are next to no pubs within close vicinity. There is a bar inside the bowling alley and cinema complex to the northwest. You will likely have to head into more Central Oxford to find a drink before heading to the game.

Overview

People visiting the Kassam Stadium for the first time will undoubtedly be drawn to the absence of a West Stand, but that should not be how you judge this ground.
Any venue that offers some 2,000 free parking spaces within close range deserves a lot of plaudits, and the three stands on its northern, eastern and southern sides all offer excellent quality views of the pitch from every seat, with great accessibility as well.

The Kassam Stadium is already a very good ground that’s more than fit for the modern game, and if one day in the future we get to see to that West Stand built and put into use, it will become even better.

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