top of page
Address: Holmesdale Road,
Capacity: 25,486 (All-Seater)
A long-standing football ground with a big future in the works and an atmosphere you likely won’t forget for a while.
One of many stadiums designed by famous Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, it has been home to Crystal Palace Football Club since opening.
Palace has previously taken over the Croydon Community Athletic Ground, more commonly known as the Nest, in 1917 but began looking for land to build a new stadium on two years later. The site of a former brickfield was bought by the club in 1922.
Construction began that year and was completed in 1924, opening on 30th August by the Lord Mayor of London. Crystal Palace played against Sheffield Wednesday that same day and lost 1-0.
Selhurst Park was used for two football matches at the 1948 Summer Olympics, had its first floodlights installed in 1953, and then remained largely undeveloped until 1969 when a new stand was built.
Charlton Athletic would groundshare Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace between 1985 and 1991 following issues around the ownership of their regular home The Valley. The Addicks would return to southeast London in 1992 after a short spell at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground.
In their place at Selhurst Park however came Wimbledon Football Club who initially agreed the move whilst looking for a new location to build their own stadium. That agreement ended up lasting 12 years and eventually saw Wimbledon FC relocate to Milton Keynes, become known as Milton Keynes Dons, and later move into Stadium:MK.
Location and Getting There
Selhurst Park gets its name from the suburb it is located in.
Selhurst itself is based in the Borough of Croydon, and the ground is around nine miles south of the Centre of London. Grangewood Park is roughly 0.2 miles northwest of the stadium, South Norwood Country Park is roughly one mile away to the east, and Croydon University Hospital is roughly 1.2 miles away to the southwest.
As with all London-based football grounds, I do not recommend coming to Selhurst Park by car.
The stadium does have a car park within its vicinity, but this is part of the adjacent Sainsbury’s and not available for supporters on a matchday. The streets surrounding the ground are also subject to time restrictions and permit-only requirements. You will likely have to make use of car parks some distance away from the stadium or spend a good amount of time trying to find free, legal parking.
The roads immediately around Selhurst Park are also closed on a matchday, two hours before kick-off and until approximately one hour after the final whistle. This is to allow pedestrians to safely leave the stadium.
It is a lot simpler to get to Selhurst Park via public transport. Norwood Junction, served by Southern Rail, Thameslink and Overground, is a 15 minute walk east of the stadium.
Within similar distance are Thornton Heath to the west of the ground and Selhurst to the south. Both of these stations are on the same Southern Rail line.
You should completely ignore Crystal Palace Station. This is not for the football club, but rather for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre which is around 1.7 miles north of Selhurst Park.
There are plenty of frequent bus services that come from all directions to Selhurst Park, including the 130, 468, N68 and X68 services. All four of these stop at the Selhurst Park Stadium stop.
Outside the Stadium
If you are approaching Selhurst Park from Norwood Junction, you will likely arrive at the southeast corner between Park Road and Holmesdale Road. Continuing down Holmesdale Road from here brings you to the stadium’s South Stand which is better known as the Holmesdale Road Stand.
The exterior of this stand is split into two sections and is mostly brickwork, brown at the base and grey towards the top and roof. The section of the exterior further back has a row of semi-circular glass windows up towards the top and smaller, rectangular windows lower down.
There is a Matchday Ticket Office in the centre of the Holmesdale Road Stand’s exterior, with the turnstiles spread across the front section. Entrance 3 is over by the stadium’s southeast corner, Entrance 2 is to the right of the Ticket Office, and Entrance 1 is to the left of the Ticket Office.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction and through a set of black gates brings you to West Stand, which is the Main Stand at Selhurst Park.
There is a white block of offices next to the stadium’s southeast corner, and continuing along from here brings you to the Main Stand exterior. It mostly consists of large white panels and white corrugated iron roof, but also has several brick buildings protruding out of it. These buildings provide access to many of the stand’s bars and executive areas, some of which are named after famous figures in Crystal Palace’s history.
Turnstiles for the Main Stand (Entrances 9-14) are spread across the exterior. There is a Matchday Ticket Office by Entrance 9, The Main Reception Entrance is by Entrance 10, and Entrance 14 is off Holmesdale Road by the stadium’s southwest corner.
Right out in front of the Main Stand is the Crystal Palace Fan Zone, and out beyond here is the VIP Car Park.
Selhurst Park’s North Stand is known as the Whitehorse Lane Stand after the road that runs past it.
There is a row of houses out beyond it, but the area immediately outside the stand is taken up by a large Sainsbury’s. This deal was made back in 1981 to help with Crystal Palace’s financial problems, and its presence means that you can only really see the upper parts of the Whitehorse Lane Stand’s exterior.
Crystal Palace’s Club Shop and Main Ticket Office is housed in a brick building on the corner between Whitehorse Lane and the road leading into the Sainsbury’s Car Park. To the right of the Main Ticket Office is a staircase that leads up to the Legends Lounge and Executive Boxes in the Whitehorse Lane Stand. The route takes you up onto the roof of the Sainsbury’s Supermarket.
There are two sets of turnstiles for the Whitehorse Lane Stand, based on opposite sides of the stadium. Entrance 8 is next to the Sainsbury’s Supermarket Entrance on the western side of the ground, with a Merchandise Click and Collect Point based alongside it.
Entrance 7 is located on Park Road on the eastern side of the stadium. You can get round to it by heading past the Club Shop, turning right onto Whitehorse Lane and taking the first right onto Park Road. The Entrance is next to the Sainsbury’s Delivery Depot.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Entrance 7 is not always open on a matchday and will require you to head round to Entrance 8 instead should you have a seat in the Whitehorse Lane Stand.
The East Stand of Selhurst Park is named after Arthur Wait.
Born in Croydon in 1910, Wait was a local builder and lifelong Crystal Palace who joined the club’s board in the late 1940s, ran as chairman between 1958 and 1972, and became Life President up until 1981. He oversaw a highly successful period for the club, including promotion to the old First Division (now the Premier League) in 1969. He passed away on 27th June 1981 at the age of 71.
The most visible part of the Arthur Wait Stand’s exterior is the brick wall that runs along Park Road. The white corrugated iron roof is up behind here.
Turnstiles for the Arthur Wait Stand (Entrances 4-6) are spread across the brick wall on Park Road. Entrance 6 is by Entrance 7 for the Whitehorse Lane Stand, Entrance 5 is more towards the middle of the stand’s exterior, and Entrance 4 is up by the stadium’s southeast corner.
The Away Ticket Office is by the corner between Park Road and Holmesdale Road, but the Away Turnstiles are Entrance 6 down at the opposite end of Park Road.
Inside the Stadium
The Holmesdale Road Stand is divided into two tiers of similar size, with the front of the upper tier hanging over the back of the lower tier.
The bottom tier consists of mostly blue seating with the letters EAGLES! spelt out in red across the blocks and a sliver of white seating used to give each letter a 3D effect.
The upper tier consists of mostly red seating with the letters PALACE spelt out in blue across the blocks and a sliver of white seating used to give each letter a 3D effect. This tier also has a couple of rows of red seating down the very front that are separated from the main seating blocks by a walkway.
The large curved roof above the tiers is cantilever but has four pillars coming down and into the back of the upper tier. Your view from anywhere inside the lower tier is perfectly clear and your view is almost clear from anywhere inside the upper tier. The only restriction that may come in place here are the cantilever pillars up at the back which may cause slight restrictions to those sat in the seats next to them.
Large windshields are in place at either end of the Holmesdale Road Stand. They only provide protection to the upper tier rows though, with just small walls in place to offer protection for the lower tier rows. Surrounding buildings, including the stadium’s TV Studio and Sensory Room in the southeast corner, can aid in providing protection from the elements for those sat in the lower tier.
The Main Stand consists of a single tier of seating.
The majority of the seating blocks are coloured blue, but the central seating blocks are coloured red instead. Additionally, the letters CPFC are spelt out in red across the blue seating blocks, with a sliver of white seating used to give each letter a 3D effect.
The central, red seating blocks are the designated Directors’ Area. The stadium’s dugouts are down at the front of this Directors’ Area, whilst the stadium tunnel is at one end of the Main Stand next to the stadium’s southwest corner.
Supporting pillars come down at regular intervals from the Main Stand’s roof and whilst these pillars are spread out, they will likely cause some restriction to your view if you are sat in the rows behind them. They will not cause any restriction to your view if you are sat in the front rows of the Main Stand.
Windshields are in place at either end which provide a good level of protection to all but the rows of the stand.
The Whitehorse Lane Stand consists of a single tier with two rows of executive boxes stacked up behind it.
Most of the seats in the single tier are coloured blue, but the letters EAGLES are spelt out in red across the blocks with a sliver of white seating used to give each letter a 3D effect. A large electronic screen hangs down from the stand’s roof which can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the Whitehorse Lane Stand is perfectly clear, and windshields at either end provide protection to every row inside.
The Arthur Wait Stand is single tiered but split into two sections that you can freely get between.
The main section at the front is made up of tall, blue seating blocks, and the second section right at the back is made up of smaller red seating blocks. Hanging down towards the front of the Arthur Wait Stand’s roof is the gantry that holds the matchday camera.
Supporting pillars come down at regular intervals from the roof and will cause some form of restriction to those sat behind it. I would actively discourage you from buying a seat at the very back of this stand (between rows 41 and 50) as the gantry above means you can hardly see the other side of the pitch from your seat. The further back in this stand you go, the worse your view can get, though your view will be completely unrestricted if you are sat in the rows towards the front of the stand.
Windshields are in place on either side of the Arthur Wait Stand, but only provide protection to the back rows. The front rows are left exposed from the sides.
Away fans are housed in the Arthur Wait Stand on the eastern side of the pitch.
Smaller crowds will take up the blocks next to the stadium’s northeast corner, and more blocks are made available for larger away followings. Rows of stewards and large sheets are used to segregate this away section from any home supporters sat elsewhere in the stand.
Views from this part of the stadium are not that great overall. Whilst the front rows offer an unrestricted view of the action, the presence of supporting pillars part way along the roof will restrict the view of anyone sat behind them. The view gets even worse the further back in the stand you are, as the gantry overhead limits your ability to see over to the far side of the pitch.
The Away Turnstiles are Entrance 6 off Park Road, but the Away Ticket Office is based much further along Park Road by the stadium’s southeast corner.
Pubs available for supporters on a matchday include:
-The Builder's Arms (65 Leslie Park Road, CR0 6TP) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Cricketers (47 Shirley Road, CR0 7ER) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Prince George (2 High Street, CR7 8LE) (Popular with Away Supporters)
-The Railway Telegraph (19 Brigstock Road, CR7 7JJ) (Popular with Away Supporters) (Right next to Thornton Heath Station)
-The Spread Eagle (39-41 Katherine Street, CR0 1NX) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
Selhurst Park is a truly nostalgic football ground that has received plenty of praise for the atmosphere generated on a matchday. Possessing four stands of differing shapes and sizes, there are certainly parts of the stadium that offer better quality views than others, in particular its East Stand which has back rows with very restricted views.
Crystal Palace have negotiated an expansion of Selhurst Park with Croydon Council. The plan involves a newly built Main Stand and hospitality areas, with an attractive glass façade and a total capacity of around 34,000 that is designed to bring Selhurst Park into the modern era of football grounds.
It will be exciting to see how the stadium looks when this redevelopment project is brought to a close.
bottom of page