Dean Court
(AFC Bournemouth)

Address: Kings Park,
Boscombe,
Bournemouth,
Dorset,
England,
BH7 7BT

Capacity: 11,364 (All-Seater)

AFC Bournemouth

Renovations since the turn of the 21st century have created a very practical, modern football stadium. Its tenants desire to further expand their facilities has not gone away though.

Currently known as the Vitality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, it has been the home of AFC Bournemouth since opening in 1910.
The club, who were the known as Boscombe Football Club, were given the land the stadium is based on by the Cooper-Dean family. The Dean Court name comes from this family. Originally an old gravel pit, it wasn’t fully built until December 1910, forcing its tenants to play at the adjacent King’s Park and change in a nearby hotel during the 1910-11 season.

Multiple changes to Dean Court took place over the following decades, with the most notable one coming in 2001. The stadium was completely rebuilt, with the pitch being rotated 90 degrees from its original position and moved away from nearby housing. AFC Bournemouth played their games at Dorchester Town’s Avenue Stadium whilst they waited for the rebuild to be complete, and the stadium reopened on 10th November 2001 with a game against Wrexham.
The new look ground has gone through several further developments and named changes since the turn of the century, with the Vitality Stadium name being in use since July 2015.

Location and Getting There

Dean Court is located in Kings Park, Boscombe, roughly two miles northeast of Bournemouth Town Centre. The Kings Park Cricket Ground is directly southwest of the stadium, the Bournemouth Indoor Bowls Centre is to the south, and the Kings Park Athletic Stadium is to the southeast.

Coming to Dean Court by car is certainly possible.
There are good-sized cheap car parks outside the stadium’s western and southern sides, though these will fill up quickly on a matchday.
Parking is also available at the Avonbourne Boys Academy a short while east of the stadium, and many fans also look to find free, legal street parking in Boscombe itself, walking a short distance over to Dean Court.

The nearest railway station to Dean Court is Pokesdown, served by South Western Railway and a 15-20 minute walk southeast of the stadium.
Alternatively, Bournemouth Station is on the same line as Pokesdown, served by both South Western Railway and CrossCountry. The walk from here to the stadium is around 30 minutes in an easterly direction, though you can potentially half this time by taking the Number 2 bus service from outside Bournemouth Station and getting off at the Kings Park stop outside Kings Park Academy, walking the short distance to Dean Court from there.

Outside the Stadium

It is worth noting that Dean Court is a cashless stadium, both inside and out.

Fans approaching Dean Court from Bournemouth Station will likely first arrive at the stadium’s West Stand.
This is the stadium’s largest and main stand, with most of its exterior consisting of a brickwork base, large white and silver panels higher up and a red cantilever roof at the top.
Down towards the southern end of the stand is the 1910 Club Bar Entrance and the Press Entrance.
The very centre of the Main Stand’s exterior consists of a large glass façade and holds the Main Reception Entrance. Immediately to the left of here is the is the Red Zone Entrance, followed by the Main Ticket Office and then the entrance to the Junior Fan Zone.
Head up towards the stadium's northwest corner and you will find the AFC Bournemouth Superstore which takes up a large part of the exterior here.
Turnstiles for the Main Stand itself (Entrances A and B) can be found in the stadium’s southwest and northwest corners respectively. Entrance B is round the far side of the AFC Bournemouth Superstore.
Out beyond the Main Stand exterior is one of the stadium’s car parks, mainly for VIPs, and the Kings Park Cricket Ground. The presence of a fence and hedges restricts how many access points there are between the car park and the West Stand.

Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the North Stand, which is named after Steve Fletcher.
Born in Hartlepool on 26th July 1972, Fletcher moved to AFC Bournemouth in 1992, playing well over 550 times for the Cherries and scoring over 100 goals across the next 15 seasons. After two seasons away with Chesterfield and Crawley Town, he returned to AFC Bournemouth in 2009, making another 146 competitive appearances for the club between then and 2013. Steve Fletcher still holds the appearance record for AFC Bournemouth and has had several non-playing roles at the club since retiring in 2013.
The exterior of the Steve Fletcher Stand consists of a brickwork base with grey corrugated iron higher up and a red cantilever roof coming down from the top.
Two small brick buildings protrude out of the stand’s base and there is a turnstile located in each of these. Entrance C is the one nearest to the stadium’s northwest and Entrance D is the one nearest to the stadium’s northeast corner. The space between these two entrances is taken up by a food kiosk.
With a row of houses out beyond the Steve Fletcher Stand’s exterior, the path immediately outside this stand is tighter than on other sides of the stadium.

The East Stand has an exterior that mostly continues the design of the adjacent Steve Fletcher Stand.
It consists of a brickwork base with grey corrugated iron higher up and a red cantilever roof coming down from the top. Around two thirds of the exterior here is made from silver panels which protrude outwards above ground level. This is the AFC Bournemouth Performance Centre.
Turnstiles for the East Stand itself can be found in the stadium’s northeast and southeast corners. Entrance E is in the northeast corner, and Entrance F, which is for away fans, is in the stadium's southeast corner.
A brick wall that separates Middleton Gardens from the East Stand is the base for the AFC Bournemouth Wall of Fame. It contains multiple large images of important players from throughout the Cherries' history.

Out beyond the southeast corner of Dean Court is the AFC Bournemouth Training Complex.

The South Stand at Dean Court is named after Ted MacDougall.
Born in Inverness on 8th January 1947, MacDougall was a prolific forward, scoring over well over 100 goals for AFC Bournemouth across two spells between 1969 and 1980. Capped seven times by Scotland, one of MacDougall’s biggest claims to fame came in 1971, when he scored nine goals during Bournemouth’s 11-0 FA Cup win over Margate. It is still the record number of goals by one player in a single FA Cup Proper Round match.
The Ted MacDougall Stand is the smallest of the four at Dean Court. Its exterior is very simple in design, consisting mostly of white corrugated iron with red trim on the edges and drainage pipes coming from the top.
The stand has two sets of turnstiles along its back wall and a pair of red exit doors in place between them. Entrance G is closer to the stadium’s southeast corner and Entrance H is closer to the stadium’s southwest corner.

Inside the Stadium

The Main Stand consists of a single tier of mostly red seating, though the very front and very back rows are coloured black instead. Towards either end of the stand are the letters AFCB, spelt out in white with a slither of black seating to give each letter a 3D effect. At the back of the central blocks are slightly darker red seating that is dedicated to executives, and up at the very back of the stand is a row of executive boxes which each have a couple of rows of black seating in front of them. The stadium’s dugouts and tunnel are based down at the very front of the stand and the changing rooms are located inside.
Your view from anywhere inside the Main Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above.
Large windshields at either end, which have images of notable AFC Bournemouth moments printed on them, provide protection for every row in the stand.

A television studio is set up in the northwest corner between the Main Stand and the Steve Fletcher Stand.

The Steve Fletcher Stand consists of a single tier of mostly red seating, though the back rows and very front row are coloured black instead.
Your view from anywhere inside the Steve Fletcher Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above.
Large windshields at either end, which have images of notable AFC Bournemouth moments printed on them, provide protection for every row in the stand.

A large electronic television screen is in place in the northeast corner between the Steve Fletcher Stand and the East Stand.

The East Stand consists of a single tier of mostly red seating, though the back rows and very front rows are coloured black instead. Towards either end of the stand are the letters AFCB, spelt out in white with a sliver of black seating to give each letter a 3D effect. Towards the back of the stand’s central block is a flat platform for disabled supporters to use, and the area holding the matchday camera is up behind here.
Your view from anywhere inside the East Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above.
Large windshields at either end, which have images of notable AFC Bournemouth moments printed on them, provide protection for every row in the stand.

The Ted MacDougall Stand consists of a single tier of entirely red seating that is slightly darker in colour than in other parts of the stadium.
Your view from most of the Ted MacDougall Stand is clear, but there are two white pillars coming down at the front of the stand. These will likely restrict your view of the south goal slightly if you are sat behind them, but should not get in your way if you sat down towards the front.
Large windshields at either end, which have images of notable AFC Bournemouth moments printed on them, provide protection for every row in the stand.

A large electronic television screen is in place in the southwest corner between the Ted MacDougall Stand and the Main Stand.

Away Fans

Away fans are housed in the East Stand, taking up the blocks nearest to the stadium’s southeast corner.
More blocks can be allocated to larger away followings, with rows of stewards and large sheets used to segregate the away crowd from any home supporters sat elsewhere in the stand.

Away fans enter this part of the stadium via Entrance F by the stadium’s southeast corner, and are given a perfectly clear, well-protected view of the action taking place in front of them.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The 1910 Supporters Bar (Home Supporters Only) (Located at Dean Court itself)

-The Bell Inn (915 Christchurch Road, BH7 6AX) (Away Supporters Welcome)

-MELLO MELLO BAR (677 Christchurch Road, BH7 6AA) (Away Supporters Welcome)

-The Queens Park Hotel (482 Holdenhurst Road, BH8 9AR) (Home Supporters Only)

-Walkabout (156-164 Christchurch Road, BH1 1NL) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

*Pubs around Dean Court itself are very limited in number and the recommendation is to find a drink in the centre of Bournemouth or Boscombe instead.

Overview

AFC Bournemouth and Dean Court have a long history together, and notable developments since the turn of the 21st century have created a very practical stadium.
Easy to navigate around, accessible by either car or public transport, and offering clear views from almost every seat inside, this is a very nice, well-balanced ground.

With Bournemouth’s history in the topflight, criticism naturally came about the stadium’s size when compared to other elite football grounds. AFC Bournemouth have been in discussion about the construction of a new home for several years now, and if it follows the practical layout and design of what Dean Court currently has, it will end up being an excellent stadium.

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