Nestled in the heart of Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium stands as a testament to the city’s rich footballing history. Since 2001, the stadium has served as the home of the Southampton Football Club, an English Championship side with a dedicated and passionate fan base. The roots of the club can be traced back to 1885 when it was founded by members of St Mary’s Church Young Men’s association, giving the stadium its iconic name.
Boasting a capacity of 32,384, St Mary’s Stadium is currently the largest football stadium in South East England. Its modern design and excellent facilities make it a popular destination for football fans and visitors alike. In addition to hosting thrilling football matches, the stadium also offers behind-the-scenes tours, allowing fans to explore areas usually reserved for players and staff.
The stadium’s close proximity to St Mary’s Church serves as a constant reminder of the club’s origins, ensuring that the rich history and traditions of the Southampton FC are kept alive. As the team continues to grow and evolve, St Mary’s Stadium stands as a beacon of hope for the fans and a symbol of the club’s unwavering commitment to its community.
History of St Mary’s Stadium
Construction and Opening
St Mary’s Stadium was built between December 1999 and July 2001, with a total cost of £32 million. The stadium serves as the home of Southampton FC, who moved from their previous ground, The Dell, after playing there for 103 years. Officially opened on 1 August 2001, it marked a return to the club’s roots, as they were originally founded as ‘Southampton St Marys’, giving rise to their nickname ‘The Saints’.
Major Events and Matches
Since its opening, St Mary’s Stadium has hosted numerous noteworthy football matches, including Premier League and domestic cup games. The venue has also had the privilege of hosting international matches; for example, England’s under-21 team has played several games at the stadium. In addition to football, St Mary’s has been a preferred destination for various other events, such as concerts with notable artists, charity matches, and community events.
Renovations and Expansions
Although there have been no significant renovations or expansions of the St Mary’s Stadium since its construction, it remains a modern and well-equipped venue, with its all-seater capacity of 32,384 making it the largest football stadium in South East England. The stadium is completely enclosed, with all corners filled with seating, creating an enjoyable and intimate atmosphere for both home and away supporters. As a testament to its exemplary design and function, St Mary’s has become a vital part of Southampton’s sporting and cultural landscape.
St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton is a complete bowl design, with all the stands of equal height. This design allows for good visibility from all seats and creates an impressive atmosphere on match days. There are four stands, named after the areas of Southampton they face. The exterior of the Itchen Stand, in particular, is an iconic feature of the stadium. The bowl design of St Mary’s makes it a modern and aesthetically pleasing football ground.
The stadium has a seating capacity of 32,505, which makes it the largest ground in the South of England. The record attendance at St Mary’s is 32,363, set in a match against Coventry City on 28 April 2012. Each stand offers comfortable seating for fans and ensures that everyone can enjoy the excitement of Southampton FC matches.
St Mary’s Stadium provides a variety of facilities for spectators. There are two large screens at either end of the stadium, which can be seen from any seat. This ensures that fans can enjoy replays and stay informed about events during the match. The stadium also offers undersoil heating, which facilitates optimal pitch conditions throughout the year, making it a suitable venue for both home and away teams.
To provide the best possible experience for spectators, St Mary’s Stadium features a number of facilities and amenities, such as:
- Numerous food and drink concessions, offering a range of refreshment options
- Toilet facilities located throughout the stadium
- Speedy telephone and fax services, with contact details available online
- A well-stocked club shop for purchasing official Southampton FC merchandise
St Mary’s Stadium, not only the home of Southampton FC but also a modern and welcoming venue, boasts impressive design, seating capacity, and a variety of facilities to ensure an enjoyable matchday experience for all its visitors.
Southampton FC at St Mary’s
St Mary’s has been the home of Southampton FC since 2001, when the club moved from The Dell. The stadium has seen many iconic matches, and as such, has become intimately intertwined with the club’s history. Some of the record matches held at St Mary’s Stadium include:
- Highest attendance: In a Premier League match against Manchester United on 8 December 2001, St Mary’s witnessed its highest-ever attendance of around 32,000 spectators.
- Biggest win: Southampton enjoyed one of their most significant victories at St Mary’s on 18 October 2014, when they defeated Sunderland 8-0.
- European nights: St Mary’s has hosted a few memorable European encounters, including a Europa League group stage match against Inter Milan on 3 November 2016, which ended in a thrilling 2-1 victory for the Saints.
Southampton’s loyal supporters, known as the Saints, have made St Mary’s Stadium a fortress in which the team thrives. The passionate support and unwavering dedication from the home crowd create an electrifying atmosphere that often inspires the players to push harder on the pitch.
With a capacity of 32,384, St Mary’s is often filled to the brim with fans donning the red and white colours of Southampton. The home crowd enjoys cheering from diverse vantage points, such as the iconic Northam Stand, where the most boisterous fans congregate to relentlessly rally their team throughout the matches.
In summary, St Mary’s Stadium is undoubtedly an integral part of Southampton FC’s identity. Through hosting record matches and cultivating the fervent home crowd, the stadium has played a pivotal role in enhancing the club’s fortunes and etching indelible memories in fans’ hearts.
St Mary’s Stadium, the home of Southampton FC, is continuously evolving to provide a first-class supporter experience. In celebration of the stadium’s 20-year anniversary, the club has announced a £2.5 million investment for planned improvements1.
One of the recently proposed developments in the surrounding area includes a plan to build between 400 and 500 private rent flats at the gasholder site next to St Mary’s2. This would create additional housing options in the vicinity of the stadium, further promoting growth and development in the area.
Southampton FC has been working closely with the city council, which released a 2020 vision document highlighting the potential regeneration of the area surrounding the stadium3. This collaboration indicates strong support for the club and their plans, contributing to a promising future for St Mary’s Stadium.
The planned improvements within the stadium itself aim to elevate the fan experience. While specific details regarding these improvements have not been disclosed, it is expected that the investment will bring significant benefits for both the club and its supporters4.
In summary, the future of St Mary’s Stadium looks bright, with a series of developments in the pipeline to enhance both the stadium’s facilities and its surrounding area.
St Mary’s Stadium is the home of Southampton Football Club, also known as The Saints. For those visiting the stadium, there are several options for getting there. If you are driving, there are numerous multi-storey car parks nearby, such as:
- Westquay Shopping Centre (SO15 1ST)
- Ocean Village (SO14 3TL)
- Bedford Place (SO15 2DB)
- Grosvenor Square (SO15 2UA)
- West Park Road (SO15 1FZ)
- Marlands (SO15 1BA)
- Eastgate (SO14 3HB)
In addition to car parks, St Mary’s Stadium can be easily reached via public transportation. Buses and trains run frequently, with Southampton Central railway station being just a 20-minute walk from the stadium.
Tickets and Tours
If you’re planning to attend a match at St Mary’s Stadium, you can purchase tickets through the official Southampton FC website or at the stadium’s ticket office. Advance booking is recommended, especially for high-profile matches.
For a unique experience, consider booking a stadium tour. These tours offer behind-the-scenes access and the chance to explore parts of the stadium that are normally off-limits on matchdays. Participants can visit the St Mary’s changing rooms, walk down the tunnel, and gain an insight into the workings of the club. Tours can be booked online through the Southampton FC Official Site.