St. Mary's Stadium
(Southampton)

Address: Britannia Road,
Southampton,
Hampshire,
England,
SO14 5FP

Capacity: 32,384 (All-Seater)

Southampton

Generic in design? Sure. Practical in design? Absolutely.

Plans for St. Mary’s Stadium date back to the 1980s. Southampton Football Club at the time had been playing at The Dell elsewhere in the city since 1898, but the ground’s cramped location would have made expansion work difficult.
In 1990, the Taylor Report was published, making it mandatory for all clubs in England’s two highest tiers to have all-seater stadiums within four years. The initial plan for Southampton’s directors was to convert The Dell to an all-seater venue, but that would drop the capacity to a little over 15,000 and speculation around the move to a new home continued to exist.

Southampton had an unsuccessful attempt to build a 25,000-seater stadium in Stoneham, but afterwards were offered a disused gas work site by Southampton City Council.
Construction on the site began in late 1999 and was completed by July 2001, with Southampton’s first game at the new St. Mary’s Stadium being a 4-3 defeat to Spanish side RCD Espanyol in a friendly on 1st August.

Alongside Southampton, St. Mary’s reputation as the largest stadium on the South Coast has seen it be used to host multiple International matches at both senior and youth level. It is set to be one of the host venues for the 2022 UEFA Women’s Championship.

Location and Getting There

The St. Mary’s Stadium name comes from the area of Southampton it is located in, less than one mile northeast of the City Centre. St. Mary’s Church, where several of its members formed the team that would go on to become Southampton Football Club, is roughly 0.2 miles southwest of the stadium. The River Itchen runs less than 0.2 miles away past the stadium’s eastern side, and Southampton’s former home The Dell was located roughly one mile away to the northwest. It is a now a housing estate but the apartment blocks bear the names of former Southampton FC players.

It is certainly possible to get to St. Mary’s Stadium by car but parking can be difficult, especially as an away fan. There are car parks around the ground’s vicinity but do of course charge and are for home supporters to use. The area around the stadium also has parking restrictions in place and that will force you to head further into Southampton in order to find parking.
Many fans head west to the City Centre and make use of the paid car parks around there, and you may find luck with free, legal parking if you check out the residential streets to the north and northwest of the stadium. Resident permit schemes affect how easy free parking is to find though.

There are two train stations within similar distance of St. Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton Central, served by Southern Western Railway, Southern Rail, CrossCountry and Great Western Rail, is based roughly one mile to the west of the stadium. Walking from here takes around 25-30 minutes along a fairly simple route. On matchdays, there is a shuttle bus service that runs from Blechynden Terrace just north of Southampton Central and runs all the way to the stadium. A return for Adults is £3 and a return for U15s is £2.
Alternatively, you can use St. Denys Station, served by South Western Railway and Southern Rail, and a roughly 25 minute walk north of St. Mary’s Stadium.

Outside the Stadium

If you are walking to St. Mary’s Stadium from Southampton Central, the route should take you down Melbourne Street alongside rail tracks, and that leads you first to the northwest corner and the stadium’s North Stand. It is better known as the Northam Stand after the area of Southampton out beyond it.
The stand has a nice exterior design, consisting of a brickwork base with silver corrugated iron higher up, translucent panels above here and a white cantilever roof coming down from the top.
Turnstiles for the Northam Stand (H, J, K, L and M) are spread across the brickwork base, with Turnstiles L and M for use by away supporters. The Away Ticket Office is in place between Turnstiles L and M.
One of the St. Mary’s Stadium’s Main Car Parks is out beyond the Northam Stand’s exterior.

The northeast corner of the stadium follows a similar exterior design to the adjacent Northam Stand, but the uppermost section is white and protrudes outwards, held in place by long white poles. A banner displaying the letters WE MARCH ON runs along the corner's base.
Southampton’s Main Ticket Office is located in this corner of the stadium. It is split into two offices, number one being for purchases and number two being for collections. An executive entrance is in place between these two ticket offices.

Continuing round from here in a clockwise direction brings you to the East Stand, better known as the Itchen Stand after the river and area of Southampton that are out beyond it.
It is the clear largest of the four sides of St. Mary’s Stadium, using an exterior that is brickwork at the base with large white and silver panels higher up. The centre of this exterior contains a large glass façade which holds the entrance to the Main Reception as well as the entrances for Players, Executive Boxes 28-43 and the Saints Bar.
There is a set of turnstiles either side of this central façade, and these lead into the Itchen Stand itself. Turnstile A is nearer to the stadium’s northeast corner and Turnstile B is nearer to the stadium’s southeast corner. The 1885 and Press Entrances can be found next to Turnstile B.

In front of the Itchen Stand’s central glass façade is a statue of Ted Bates. Born in Thetford on 3rd May 1918, Bates was a centre-forward who joined Southampton on his 19th birthday in 1937. He would play over 200 times for the Saints and score more than 60 goals during a career that was interrupted by the Second World War.
After retiring from playing in 1953, Bates moved from coaching to becoming Southampton’s manager in September 1955. He would lead the club from the regional Third Division South (the same level as League One) into the First Division (the same level as the Premier League) and would even take Southampton into European Competition.
‘Mr Southampton’ as he is known would step down as manager in December 1973 after more than 18 years, acting as assistant to Lawrie McMenemy for the next few seasons and later serving as part of the Saints’ board and club president for more than 20 years.
Ted Bates passed away on 28th November 2003 at the age of 85, having been associated with Southampton Football Club for 66 years. The statue of him that you can find outside the Itchen Stand nowadays has been in place since March 2008 following a redesign that better matched his likeness.

The southeast corner of St. Mary’s Stadium is similar in design to the northeast corner.
Its exterior uses a brickwork base, silver corrugated iron in the middle, and has a white top that protrudes outwards, held in place by long white poles.
This corner also often has pictures of Southampton players and club mottos attached to its upper parts, and the Saints Store is located inside this part of the stadium. Head across the other side of the access road outside the southeast corner and you will come to The Dell Fan Zone.

The South Stand, better known as the Chapel Stand after the area of Southampton out beyond it, has a very similar exterior design to the Northam Stand opposite.
It consists of a brickwork base with silver corrugated iron higher up, translucent panels above here and a white cantilever roof coming down from the top.
Turnstiles for this stand (C and D) are located towards the middle of the brickwork base, and out beyond the Chapel Stand is the other St. Mary’s Stadium Car Park. The Saints Foundation Entrance is in place between Turnstiles C and D.

The southwest corner of St. Mary’s Stadium is considered the Family Stand.
It continues the exterior design of the adjacent Chapel Stand, using a brickwork base, silver corrugated iron higher up, translucent panels above here and a white cantilever roof coming down from the top.
Turnstile E is for this part of the stadium, as well as the Mascot Zone.

The West Stand is better known as the Kingsland Stand after the area of Southampton out beyond it and follows a very similar exterior design to the adjacent Northam and Chapel Stands.
It consists of a brickwork base with silver corrugated iron higher up, translucent panels above here and a white cantilever roof coming down from the top. The big difference in this stand’s exterior however is in the very centre, where a small section of glass and panels holds the entrance to the Gasworks Bar and Kitchen.
Turnstiles for the Kingsland Stand itself (F and G) are located along the brickwork base either side of the Bar and Kitchen entrance.
Slightly out beyond the Kingsland Stand is a long covered bicycle shed and rail tracks that lead down to the docks.

The northwest corner of St. Mary’s Stadium follows the same design as the southwest corner.
Its exterior uses a brickwork base, silver corrugated iron higher up, translucent panels above here and a white cantilever roof coming down from the top.
Southampton often have a small merchandise hub open right outside this part of the stadium.

Inside the Stadium

The Northam Stand consists of a single tier of red seating with the letters SAINTS spelt out in white up towards the back. Part way up the stand’s centre is a flat platform for disabled supporters to use.
Translucent panels up behind the back row allow light to access the pitch, and there is a large electronic screen attached to the roof which can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the Northam Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides and from behind.

The Itchen Stand’s interior includes both the stadium’s northeast and southeast corners.
It consists of a single tier of entirely red seating that is near enough the same height as the adjacent Northam Stand. This side of the stadium additionally has a row of executive and hospitality boxes up at the very back, and the back rows of the stand’s central blocks are dedicated executive seating. Flat platforms for disabled supporters can also be found just in front and to one side of this executive seating area. Southampton’s dugouts and tunnel are based down at the very front of the Itchen Stand, with the changing rooms located inside.
Your view from anywhere inside the Itchen Stand and its corners is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides and from behind.

The Chapel Stand is very similar in design to the Northam Stand opposite.
It consists of a single tier of red seating with the letters SAINTS spelt out in white up towards the back. Part way up the stand’s central blocks are flat platforms for disabled supporters to use.
Translucent panels up behind the back row allow light to access the pitch, and there is a large electronic screen attached to the roof which can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the Chapel Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides and from behind.

The Family Stand in the stadium’s southwest corner is a single tier of red seating that is the exact same height as the adjacent Chapel and Kingsland Stands.
The translucent panels continue here behind the back row and allow light to access the pitch.
Your view from anywhere inside the Family Stand is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides and from behind.

The Kingsland Stand is a single tier stand that is the same height as the adjacent Chapel, Family and Northam Stands. The vast majority of the seats in here are coloured red, but the more central blocks contain too thick white vertical lines and the letters SFC spelt out in white down the front. Right above the letters F and C are flat platforms for disabled supporters to use, whilst up at the back is the stand’s premium seating area and the gantry that holds the matchday camera.
Translucent panels up behind the back row allow light to access the pitch.
Your view from anywhere inside the Kingsland Stand and the northwest corner is perfectly clear because of the cantilever roof above, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides and from behind.

Away Fans

Away fans are housed behind the goal in the Northam Stand.
Smaller crowds usually take up a couple of blocks right of centre, separated from home supporters nearby by rows of stewards and large sheets. Larger away crowds will take up more blocks nearer to and including part of the stadium’s northeast corner.
This away section will always include a flat platform in the centre so that disabled supporters will always feel fully part of the travelling crowd on a matchday.

Regardless of the size of the away section, the views from any seat are perfectly clear and very well protected by the stadium’s enclosed design.
Translucent panels up behind the back row allow light to access the pitch and help make the away section brighter during non-evening kick-offs.
Spacious and comfortable, the away section offers everything you could want from a modern stadium.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include
-Brown's (70 Millbank Street, SO14 5QN) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

-The Kingsland Tavern (76 St Mary Street, SO14 1NY) (Home Supporters Only)

-The Rockstone (63 Onslow Road, SO14 0JL) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

-The Standing Order (30 High Street, SO14 2DF) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Southampton City Centre)

-Tap It Brewing Company (William Street, SO14 5QH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

Overview

There isn’t very much that’s unique about St. Mary’s Stadium in truth. Plenty of new stadiums up and down the country follow a similar design and layout.
That should not be seen as a negative though. This is a football ground fully suited to the modern game that offers great accessibility for all fans and fantastic views of the pitch from every seat.

The Dell may still carry fond memories to longer-standing Southampton fans, but the home they have moved to is quite simply an International-standard venue.
Should England ever host a FIFA World Cup again, I would fully expect St. Mary’s Stadium to be one of the host locations selected.

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