New Douglas Park
(Hamilton Academical)

Address: Cadzow Avenue,
Hamilton,
South Lanarkshire,
Scotland,
ML3 0FT

Capacity: 6,018 (All-Seater)

Hamilton Academical

Don’t judge this stadium’s unusual layout until you’ve fully experienced it in person.

Currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Foundation of Youth Stadium, New Douglas Park gets its name from the original Douglas Park which was located immediately south of the current site.

Douglas Park was the home of Hamilton Academical Football Club between 1888 and 1994, when it was eventually sold and converted into a Sainsbury’s supermarket. New Douglas Park was built immediately next to the old site, with work being complete in 2001 and Hamilton Academical moving straight in.

The stadium’s pitch has a variety of different surfaces over the years, including FieldTurf which allowed training sessions and academy matches to be played without severely damaging the quality of the surface. The playing surface currently in place at New Douglas Park is known as Greenfields MX and has been in place since 2018.

Location and Getting There

New Douglas Park is located close to the areas of Burnbank and Whitehill, around 0.5 miles north of Hamilton Town Centre. The River Clyde is around 0.9 miles away to the north, Hamilton Park Racecourse is roughly 0.5 miles away to the east, and Strathclyde Loch is around 0.6 miles further east from the Racecourse.

There are a number of car parking spaces around the northern and western sides of New Douglas Park, but these are for club officials and permit holders only.
You will need to head away from the ground to find free parking, but that should be possible given the number of residential streets that are relatively close by. Ensure though that you are legally allowed to park where you find and do not block the drives of any residents.

The nearest train station to New Douglas Park is Hamilton West, served by ScotRail services that run from Glasgow to the northwest. The station is directly south of the ground, and the walk from here to the can take around 5-10 minutes.
The common route for most is along a road off the A724 that goes by the western side of the rail tracks and then onto William Street, before turning right, heading under the railway, and emerging into the West Car Park.
Alternatively, there is a narrow footpath that runs alongside the eastern side of the rail tracks, heading past the large Sainsbury’s supermarket and dropping down outside the ground’s southwest corner. Which route you take really depends on which platform at Hamilton West Station you arrive at.

I would not recommend getting a train to Hamilton Central Station. This is on the same line as Hamilton West and much further away from New Douglas Park. The walk from here can take upwards of 25 minutes.

Outside the Ground

Fans approaching New Douglas Park from Hamilton West Station will emerge from under the railway and have the ground’s West Stand in front of them.
This is the Main Stand, using an exterior that consists of a mostly brickwork base, white panels and glass windows higher up which hang slightly overhead, and red trim on the roof. The Main Entrance is based in the centre of this underneath a pentagon, and the stand also has several businesses based within it that operate on non-matchdays, including a nursery and physiotherapist. Executive entrances are also in place along this brickwork base as well.
Turnstiles for the Main Stand itself can be found in the ground’s southwest and northwest corners.
The majority of New Douglas Park’s car parking spaces are out beyond the Main Stand, and the railway tracks are out beyond here.

Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the North Stand.
It is near enough the same height as the adjacent West Stand, but is shorter as it runs along the width of the pitch rather than its length. The stand’s exterior has a mostly brickwork base, large white panels and rows of glass windows higher up, and red trim on the roof. Truth be told, the exterior looks more like an office block than the outside of a stand.
The turnstiles for the North Stand can be found in both the ground’s northwest and northeast corners.
Immediately out beyond the North Stand’s exterior are a couple of rows of car parking spaces.

What makes New Douglas Park unique in many ways is that it is essentially a two-sided football ground. There are good-sized stands on its western and northern sides, but there is far less of note on its eastern and southern sides.

The eastern side of New Douglas Park is mainly used for the storage, but there is a small stand here.
It was a temporary structure erected in March 2008 so that Hamilton Academical’s home could meet Scottish Premier League capacity requirements. The stand is till in place today but isn’t that often in use.
Access to it comes via turnstiles in the ground’s northeast corner that are also used by fans in the North Stand.

The southern side of New Douglas Park contains even less to talk about.
There is no stand here, with the space behind the goal instead taken up by a fence that is normally decorated with large advertising sheets. You can find a small 3G pitch in place behind this fence that is often used to store warm-up goals.

Inside the Ground

The Main Stand is single-tiered but elevated above ground.
Supporters enter through the turnstiles and walk around to the front of the stand, then making use of one of several red staircases that lead up to the elevated seating area. There are however flat platforms with white seating down at the very front which are available for disabled supporters to use. Most of the seating blocks inside this stand form red and white horizontal stripes, though there are two columns of red seating in the stand’s centre that are for executive use. The New Douglas Park dugouts, tunnel and changing room are all located on this side of the ground.
Your view from anywhere inside the Main Stand is perfectly clear, and large windshields at either end protect all but the very front row of the elevated seating area.

The North Stand is very similar in design to the adjacent Main Stand.
It is single-tiered but elevated above ground. Supporters enter through the turnstiles and walk around to the front of the stand, then making use of one of several red staircases that lead up to the elevated seating area. The seating blocks inside this stand form red and white horizontal stripes.
Your view from anywhere inside the North Stand is perfectly clear, and large windshields at either end protect all but the very front row of the elevated seating area.

The East Stand is single-tiered and much, much smaller than either the North or Main Stands.
It consists of entirely red seating, and the gantry holding the matchday camera is atop the stand’s roof.
Supporting pillars come down regularly along the front of the East Stand and will restrict the view of most sat behind them. The best views on this side of the stadium are likely to come from the front row seats that are between each pillar.
The stand does have a back wall to it, but both sides are left open with just metal fences in place here to offer support.
The East Stand was a temporary structure when it became erected in March 2008, but still remains to this day, albeit the stand is not that often in use.

There is no stand of any sort on the southern side of New Douglas Park.

Away Fans

Away fans are typically housed behind the goal in the North Stand.
This is a single-tiered stand that has its seating area elevated above ground. Fans reach it by heading through turnstiles in the nearby corners, walking round to the front of the stand, and then heading up one of several red staircases.
Views from anywhere inside here are perfectly clear, and large windshields at either end provide protection to all but the very front row.

On occasions where large away crowds are expected, the East Stand can also be opened and made available for use.
The East Stand is dwarfed by the northern and western sides of the stadium. It is made up of just a few rows of red seating with no protection from the sides.
Supporting poles are in place across the front of the stand and will likely restrict the view for most if not all of the fans sat inside. Your best view in this part of the stadium will likely come from the front rows seats between each pole.
Entry to this side of New Douglas Park comes via turnstiles in the ground’s northeast corner.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Academical Vaults (26 Burnbank Road, ML3 9AA) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Hamilton West Station)

-Bar West (165 Almada Street, ML3 0ET) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Hamilton West Station)

-The Peacock and Ivy (1 Burnbank Road, ML3 9AA) (Popular with Home Supporters) (Located near Hamilton West Station)

-The George Bar (18 Campbell Street, ML3 6AS) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located north of Hamilton Central Station)

-Roxy's Bar (78 Brandon Street, ML3 6AB) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located close to Hamilton Central Station)

-The Victoria Bar (169 Quarry Street, ML3 7HR) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Hamilton Central Station)

Overview

The layout of New Douglas Park can raise eyebrows, but there are plenty of positives here.
The North and West Stands at the stadium offer excellent views from high up and there really can’t be any major faults picked out with their design. Both wouldn’t look out of place at any modern football ground.

The much smaller East Stand and completely absent South Stand however leaves New Douglas Park very open, and it certainly is possible to feel the cold if you come here for evening games in the winter time.

With transport links this good though, it’s a stadium that is well worth checking out first-hand.

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