Nestled in Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, England, lies the Vitality Stadium – the proud home of AFC Bournemouth. With a history spanning over a century, this intimate football ground has seen its fair share of triumphs and hardships. Established in 1899 and originally known as Dean Court, the stadium received its current name due to sponsorship purposes.
With a seating capacity of 11,329, the Vitality Stadium may not be the largest in the Premier League, but it certainly boasts a unique charm and atmosphere. Visitors often remark on the close-knit and passionate local fanbase that fills the stands on match days. The stadium’s facilities have also seen significant improvements in recent years, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience for all who attend.
The journey of AFC Bournemouth has been an incredible one, with the club experiencing a meteoric rise through the English football leagues in recent times. It is at the Vitality Stadium where fans gather to support their beloved Cherries, and it remains a beacon of hope and ambition for both the team and the wider community.
History of Vitality Stadium
The Vitality Stadium, previously known as Dean Court, has been the home ground for AFC Bournemouth since 1910. Located within Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, the stadium was established when the Cooper-Dean family provided a piece of land to Boscombe F.C. The stadium initially acquired its name in honour of the family who donated the land.
Built on the site of a former gravel pit, Dean Court has gone through several alterations and expansions to adapt to the needs of the growing football club. From its original wooden stands, this remarkable stadium has come a long way in more than a century.
In recent times, Dean Court has been renamed as the Vitality Stadium for sponsorship purposes. This change not only reflects the commercial aspect of football but highlights how the stadium continues to evolve over the years. The capacity of the Vitality Stadium is currently 11,700, and it plays host to AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League football matches.
Among the most notable features of the stadium are the modern facilities and the improved accessibility for fans. The venue’s continued development serves as a testament to its ability to keep pace with the ever-evolving demands of professional football in the UK.
In summary, the Vitality Stadium, once known as Dean Court, boasts a rich heritage, representing a significant part of Bournemouth’s football history. Its evolution from humble beginnings to a modern stadium not only reflects the journey of AFC Bournemouth but the growth and development of football in the UK. The stadium remains an essential part of the local community, enabling fans to gather and cheer for their favourite football club.
Structure and Capacity
Vitality Stadium, also known as Dean Court, is the home of AFC Bournemouth. It has been their home since 1910, when the land was generously given to the club by the Cooper-Dean family. The stadium is equipped with a grass pitch that measures 115 x 71 yards. It is situated in Kings Park, Bournemouth, BH7 7AF.
The stadium layout comprises several stands to accommodate various groups of fans. There are four main sections:
- The Vitality Main Stand: Housing the majority of home supporters.
- The Steve Fletcher Stand: Known as the “singing stand”, just under 2,500 die-hard, vocal Cherries fans sit here.
- The Vitality East Stand: Seats roughly 3,500 fans, with 1,500 of them being the designated away supporters.
- The Ted MacDougall Stand: Provides seating for fans and various hospitality facilities.
Vitality Stadium has a total seating capacity of 11,329, with all space being fully seated. The comparatively small capacity makes for an intimate atmosphere, and generates exciting matchday experiences for fans. Due to the relatively limited number of seats, acquiring tickets for matches can be highly competitive.
Throughout its history, the stadium has undergone several renovations and expansions. Some of these improvements include the installation of undersoil heating and modernisation to provide better facilities for supporters. The club always strives to improve the stadium experience for its loyal fans.
The Home of Bournemouth FC
Bournemouth FC at Vitality
Vitality Stadium, originally known as Dean Court, is the home ground of Bournemouth FC, also known as AFC Bournemouth. Located in Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, England, the stadium has a rich history dating back to 1910. At that time, Boscombe FC was granted a piece of land by the Cooper-Dean family, who then named the ground after themselves.
The stadium’s current name, Vitality Stadium, comes from a sponsorship agreement. Throughout the years, the stadium has seen various renovations and upgrades, with the most significant rebuild taking place in 2001. The stadium is surrounded by parkland on its south and main stand, while the east and north stands back onto residential areas.
Key Matches at Vitality
- Promotion to the Premier League (2015): AFC Bournemouth’s journey to the top tier of English football was marked by a memorable match at the Vitality Stadium. On 27 April 2015, Bournemouth defeated Bolton Wanderers 3-0 to secure promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. This achievement was a significant milestone for the club, as it exemplified their remarkable progress.
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Manchester United (2015): One of the most memorable matches at the Vitality Stadium took place on 12 December 2015, when AFC Bournemouth welcomed Manchester United. In a thrilling encounter, Bournemouth came out victorious with a 2-1 win, marking a historic moment for the club as they defeated one of the most successful teams in English football history.
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Liverpool (2016): A match against Liverpool on 4 December 2016 served as another highlight in the Vitality Stadium’s history. Bournemouth found themselves trailing 3-1 in the second half but managed to stage an incredible comeback, ultimately defeating Liverpool 4-3. This victory showcased the fighting spirit of the team and left a lasting impression on the stadium’s supporters.
The Vitality Stadium continues to witness exciting moments and create lasting memories for both the club and its supporters. Whether it’s through historic victories or hard-fought battles, the stadium remains a symbol of pride for the community and the team it represents.
Visiting Vitality Stadium
Visiting the Vitality Stadium can be an exciting and memorable experience for fans of AFC Bournemouth and football enthusiasts alike. Follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Bournemouth FC’s home ground.
How to Get There
The stadium is located in Kings Park, just outside Bournemouth, with the postcode BH7 7AF. When driving to the ground, follow the brown road signs displaying a football logo. Some signs may refer to the stadium as Dean Court, so be aware of that when navigating.
Visiting fans are housed in blocks 23 and 24 of the East Stand, accessed through turnstile F. Turnstiles open 90 minutes before kick-off, allowing ample time to find your seats, explore the concourse, and make use of the food, drink, and toilet facilities.
If you need any assistance or have questions while at the stadium, feel free to ask the friendly and welcoming Matchday Ambassadors or Supporter Services team, who can be found throughout the venue. There are also signed ‘Here to Help’ stations at the front of the Vitality Main Stand.
At the time of writing, specific information regarding stadium tours is not available. It is recommended to contact the club directly at 01202 726300 or visit the official AFC Bournemouth website for up-to-date information on guided tours, museum access, and other stadium-related activities.