Sixfields Stadium

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Not to be confused with Sixways Stadium.
Sixfields Stadium
Sixfieldsstadium.JPG
Location Northampton, England
Owner Northampton Town F.C.
Capacity 7,653: Approximately 8,900 after redevelopment
Surface Grass
Construction
Opened 15 October 1994
Expanded 2014
Construction cost £6,000,000 (£18,000,000 after redevelopment)
Tenants
Northampton Town
Coventry City
1994–
2013–2014

Sixfields Stadium is a 7,653-capacity all-seater sports stadium in the Sixfields area on the west side of Northampton, England. It has been the home ground of Northampton Town Football Club following their move from the County Ground in October 1994. It was also rented by Coventry City between July 2013 and August 2014. The site also hosts athletics in the adjacent stadium. Aside from being a sports venue, Sixfields also houses conference facilities.

History[edit]

The stadium had been scheduled to be opened at the start of the 1994–95, but was not ready on time and as a result Northampton began the season still at the County Ground.

The first game to be played there was against Barnet in Division Three on 15 October 1994. The match ended in a 1–1 draw, with striker Martin Aldridge scoring the first goal at the new stadium.[1]

Stands[edit]

West Stand[edit]

The largest of the stands, seating just under 4,000 home supporters on a matchday, the West Stand also accommodates the club offices, changing rooms and supporters bar.

Dave Bowen (North) Stand[edit]

Named after ex-Northampton Town player and manager Dave Bowen, who helped take the club from Division Four to the First Division during the 1960s, the North Stand is behind the goal nearest to the hill. It seats approximately 900.

Alwyn Hargrave (East) Stand[edit]

This is the Family Enclosure and stands opposite the West Stand. It can accommodate approximately 1,700 fans. It is usually reserved for home supporters, although if the opposition sells their allocation in The Paul Cox Panel & Paint (South) Stand, they are usually sent an extra 450 tickets for the south end of this stand. It is named after an ex-Borough Councillor who helped the stadium become reality. This stand is well known for its 'award-winning facilities for disabled supporters' according to The Football Ground Guide.

In the summer of 2014, redevelopment commenced on this stand. The stand was initially due to house at least 4000 supporters, making it similar in size to the West Stand. It is also due to have additional executive facilities and a new family area for supporters.

Scaled down plans were revealed in June, reducing capacity in this stand to approximately 3100. Artist's impressions show a similar design to that of Morecambe F.C.'s Globe Arena main stand. Supporters criticized these new designs, as some seats may be given a restricted view of play.

Paul Cox Panel & Paint (South) Stand[edit]

Standing opposite and identical to The Dave Bowen Stand, this end is reserved for away fans. The only occasion on which this stand has held Northampton Town supporters was against Chester City on 29 April 2006 when the stand was split and supporters segregated to allow the maximum number of home supporters to witness the club's promotion to League One.

Future developments[edit]

Club shop

In December 2003, the football club secured a 150-year lease on the ground from the local council.[2] The owners of Northampton Town, David and Tony Cardoza, propose to redevelop the whole ground into a 15,000-capacity all-seater stadium, starting by adding executive boxes and a further 2,000 seats to the West Stand, whilst expanding the clubs offices and facilities. The other stands would then be expanded and joined to create a 'bowl' stadium. The new complex would also feature a hotel which could potentially be built behind the Paul Cox Panel & Paint (South) Stand. The home end at Northampton Town's old County Ground was called The Hotel End, so it would be quite apt if the new stadium was to also feature its own "Hotel End".

The proposed expansion would be largely financed by associated development, such as new shops and the hotel. As these associated developments would not comply with national government policy on restricting out-of-town retail development,[3] the plans for stadium expansion have not progressed to the stage where a formal planning application has been made. In 2009, the Northampton Retail Strategy was produced by consultants CACI for Northampton Borough Council. This study concluded that further out-of-town retail development would harm the existing town centre.[4] In addition, the average attendances at the stadium (see below) suggest that there is no need for additional seating at the stadium.

On 9 April 2007, before their 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe United, Northampton Town FC fans marched from the Northampton Guildhall, past Northampton Saints' Franklin's Gardens to Sixfields to pressure the council to make a quick and informed decision regarding the re-development.[5]

On 3 July 2013, it was reported that Coventry City F.C, based 34 miles away, would be renting Sixfields stadium for the next three seasons.[6] This was approved by the Football League board on 8 July 2013.[7]

On 15 July 2014, the club announced that the redevelopment of the East Stand would not be complete in time for the opening home match of the 2014–15 League Two season [8]

On 21 August 2014, Northampton became the sole tenants of Sixfields again following Coventry City's return to the Ricoh Arena.

Attendances[edit]

Averages[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of Northampton Town Football Club". Official website. Northampton Town F.C. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ten years of action". Northampton Chronicle & Echo. 16 February 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth". Department for Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Northampton Retail Strategy". Northampton Borough Council. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Protest over delayed stadium plan". BBC News. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Why are the ex-Premier League side leaving their 32,000 stadium to move in at Northampton's 7,500 home that is a whopping 34 miles away?". Daily Mail. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Coventry's Sixfields groundshare given Football League approval". BBC Sport. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Northampton Town's East Stand refurbishment delayed". Stadia Directory. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°14′6.71″N 0°56′0.42″W / 52.2351972°N 0.9334500°W / 52.2351972; -0.9334500