The Bowl (Douglas)

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The Bowl
Location Pulrose Road,
Douglas, Isle of Man
Owner Douglas Borough Council
Operator Parks Department
Surface Astro Turf
Capacity 3,000 (est.)
Saint Marys F.C.
Isle of Man official football team
Ellan Vannin football team

The King George V Bowl (commonly known as The Bowl) is a multi-use stadium in Douglas, Isle of Man. It is currently used mostly for football matches and serves as the home of the Isle of Man national football team. The stadium has a capacity of about 3,000.


The Bowl is owned by Douglas Borough Council.[1] It is the home of the Isle of Man Football Association and St Marys A.F.C. who play in the Isle of Man Football League. They play their home matches at The Bowl but their changing rooms for home matches are at the nearby National Sports Centre.[2] The stadium hosts the Isle of Man Football League's annual cup competitions finals such as the Manx FA Cup, the Charity Shield, Hospital Cup and the Railway Cup, as well as the Isle of Man Tournament, an annual four team football competition between the amateur FA teams of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.[3] The now defunct annual Isle of Man Steam Packet Football Festival was also held at The Bowl.

The Bowl was the most regularly used venue for the Rugby League Charity Shield (Great Britain), which was a trophy for British rugby league clubs that was held as a one-off match at the beginning of a new season. The stadium hosted the contest on four occasions in the 1980s.

The Bowl has also staged pop concerts such as a Toyah Willcox concert held at the venue in front of an audience of 4,000 on 11 June 2002 as part of her "Here and Now 2002" Tour[4] and Status Quo who played there in the early 1990s.[5]

The stadium is one of the venues for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games which is to be staged on the Isle of Man. It is due to stage the rugby sevens and the opening ceremony.[6]


In April 2008, Douglas Borough Council confirmed that they were looking to redevelop The Bowl, and that it could become a national stadium for the Isle of Man.[7] The scheme which would see pitch improvements and better spectator facilities which the council hope to have in place in time for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games which will be staged on the island, would see capacity at the stadium rise to 8,000 including 4,000 temporary seats in a covered section as well as the installation of a giant screen. The plan being for the stadium to be used for different sports as well as staging concerts and to be used as a community facility complementing the nearby National Sports Centre (NSC), which is owned and run by the Department of Tourism and Leisure of the Isle of Man Government. The council stated that they would be submitting a report to the Isle of Man Government's Tourism and Leisure Minister and possibly the Council of Ministers of the Isle of Man to seek their support and that they hoped to partner with organisations such as the Isle of Man Football Association and the Isle of Man Sports Council, and also with the private sector.[1]

The Council leader, Councillor David Christian said, "The bowl has not had any major investment for a number of years. It will become a national stadium, a national facility but in Corporation ownership. It's an exciting project and we think it's the right place for a national stadium, which will complement the NSC."[8] The Isle of Man Sports Council has pledged to cover the cost of new floodlights at the stadium.[8]

However, after it was announced in August 2008, that building tests were to be made to find out whether the stadium is suitable to convert into a larger venue with bore holes sunk at the venue to check ground conditions[9] David Cretney the Member of the House of Keys (MHK) for Douglas South and current Minister of Trade and Industry raised concerns over the cost to ratepayers of drilling boreholes to test whether the ground was suitable for the stadium scheme, although he did confirm that he supported the scheme.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Bowl could become 'national stadium'". Douglas Borough Council. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  2. ^ "Isle of Man clubs". Isle of Man Referees Society. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Isle of Man football team aim for Umbro success". Isle of Man Newspapers. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  4. ^ "News June 2002". Retrieved 2008-09-21. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Status Quo confirmed for TT 2008". Isle of Man Newspapers. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  6. ^ "2011 venues". 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  7. ^ "Stadium planned for sports ground". BBC News. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  8. ^ a b c "Plans to turn the Bowl into national stadium". Isle of Man Newspapers. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Stadium expansion tests conducted". BBC News. 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 

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Coordinates: 54°09′06″N 4°30′06″W / 54.15167°N 4.50167°W / 54.15167; -4.50167