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Bloomfield Road

Bloomfield Road

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Bloomfield Road is an all-seater
All-seater stadium
An all-seater stadium is a sports stadium in which every spectator has a seat. This is commonplace in football stadiums in nations such as the United Kingdom, Spain, and the Netherlands. Most soccer and American football stadiums in the United States and Canada are all-seaters, as are most baseball...

 football stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

 in the English town of Blackpool
Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England. It is situated along England's west coast by the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, northwest of Preston, north of Liverpool, and northwest of Manchester...

, Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

. It has been the permanent home of Blackpool F.C.
Blackpool F.C.
Blackpool Football Club are an English football club founded in 1887 from the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool. They are competing in the 2011–12 season of the The Championship, the second tier of professional football in England, having been relegated from the Premier League at the end of the...

 since 1901 and is named after the road on which the stadium's main entrance used to stand. The stadium has been in a process of redevelopment since 2000. June of that year saw the demolition of the Spion Kop at the north end of the ground; an all-seated stand has now replaced it. The rebuilding of the West Stand was completed in August 2002. In March 2010, the South Stand, whose original structure was pulled down in 2003, was opened by Jimmy Armfield
Jimmy Armfield
James Christopher "Jimmy" Armfield, CBE, DL is an English former professional football player and manager who currently works as a football pundit for BBC Radio Five Live. He played the whole of his Football League career at Blackpool, usually at right back...

, the former Blackpool player for whom the stand is named. A temporary East Stand is currently in place, opened on 28 August 2010, with a capacity of 5,120 seats, initially increasing capacity to 16,220 with further hospitality seating in the South Stand to be installed later in the year. Bloomfield Road is currently the 54th-largest stadium by capacity in England and the 22nd-largest in the Championship
Football League Championship
The Football League Championship is the highest division of The Football League and second-highest division overall in the English football league system after the Premier League...


Before moving to Bloomfield Road, Blackpool had called two other grounds home during their short existence. Firstly, between 1896 and 1897, they played their fifteen home Football League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

 matches at Raikes Hall Gardens (also known as the Pleasure Gardens). In 1897, they moved to the Athletic Grounds at the present-day Stanley Park
Stanley Park, Blackpool
Stanley Park is a municipal park in the town of Blackpool on the Fylde coast in the county of Lancashire, England. It is the largest park in the town, bounded by a roughly circular perimeter of 2.2 miles and covering an area of...

, which hosted thirty-two League matches over two seasons. After a short spell back at Raikes Hall Gardens in 1899, during their season out of the League, and again for all but the first home game of the 1900–01 campaign, Blackpool made the permanent move to Bloomfield Road.

The record attendance at the original Bloomfield Road was 38,098, which occurred when Blackpool played Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club that represents the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region. They are members of the Premier League, the highest level of English football. The club was founded in 1877 and since 1889 has played at...

 on 17 September 1955. The record at the reconstructed stadium is 16,116, which occurred for the visit of Manchester City
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Manchester. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark's , they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894...

 on 17 October 2010. The record gate receipts
Gate receipts
Gate receipts is the sum of money taken at a sporting venue for the sale of tickets.Traditionally, gate receipts were largely or entirely taken in cash. Today, many sporting venues will operate a season ticket scheme, which will mean they allocate a proportion of season ticket moneys when...

 for a home game is £72,949, for the FA Cup third-round tie against Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

 on 5 January 1991.

The stadium hosted three matches during the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship
2005 UEFA Women's Championship
The 2005 UEFA Women's Championship, also referred to as WOMEN'S EURO 2005 , was a football tournament for women held from 5 June to 19 June 2005 in Lancashire, England. The UEFA Women's Championship is a regular tournament involving European national teams from countries affiliated to UEFA, the...

. It has also been the venue for the annual final of the Northern Rail Cup
National League Cup
The Championship Cup, known as the Northern Rail Cup due to sponsorship by Northern Rail, is a rugby league football competition for clubs in the United Kingdom's Championship and Championship 1 leagues, formerly known as the Rugby League National Leagues...

, a rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 tournament, since 2005.

The club's mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

, who can be seen at every home game, is Bloomfield Bear. He replaced the long-serving Cable Cat, who was retired in June 2000.

Between September 1900 and the present day, Blackpool have played 2,115 Football League games at Bloomfield Road. Between August 2010 and May 2011, they played nineteen Premier League games at the ground. Of these they won five (26%), drew five (26%) and lost nine (48%).


The ground was originally known as Gamble's Field, so-named for the farmer who owned the land, when South Shore F.C. played there in the Lancashire League
Lancashire League (football)
The Lancashire League has been the name of two separate football competitions for clubs based in northern England.-Lancashire League :...

 in 1899.

The first competitive game played at the ground took place on 21 October 1899, when South Shore played the 1st South Lancashire Regiment. A comment at the time was: "The new ground was not quite finished on Saturday and the linesman
Assistant referee (association football)
In association football, an assistant referee is one of several officials who assist the referee in controlling a match. Two officials, traditionally known as linesmen , stand on the touchlines, while a fourth official assists administrative or other match related tasks as directed by the referee...

 had plenty to do besides watching the game to keep the spectators from getting over the line. The grandstand
A grandstand is a large and normally permanent structure for seating spectators, most often at a racetrack. This includes both auto racing and horse racing. The grandstand is in essence like a single section of a stadium, but differs from a stadium in that it does not wrap all or most of the way...

 was not up, but it is expected to be ready for next Saturday. A bar is going to be erected and two dressing tents." The official opening of the ground did indeed occur on 28 October 1899, when South Shore entertained Newton Heath
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 in an FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...


When Blackpool F.C. merged with South Shore F.C. in mid-December 1899, the former club moved into the latter's ground and changed the name to Bloomfield Road. Additionally, the two clubs amalgamated with the Lancashire League fixtures of Blackpool, because they were deemed easier than those of South Shore.

The first game after the merger took place on 23 December. Horwich R.M.I., with only ten men in their line-up, were the visitors. Blackpool won 8–0. The ground, at this time, had a small wooden grandstand along the western side of the pitch, which seated about three hundred spectators. A perimeter fence ran around the rest of the pitch to keep supporters off the playing surface. Walking to the game would have been very different from today. Coming from the south, supporters would have had to navigate their way through row after row of allotments
Allotment (gardening)
An allotment garden, often called simply an allotment, is a plot of land made available for individual, non-professional gardening. Such plots are formed by subdividing a piece of land into a few or up to several hundreds of land parcels that are assigned to individuals or families...

 along Central Drive from Waterloo Road. All behind the west side of the ground were railway sidings and tracks. Henry Street was only partially built up, and behind the north end of the ground lay open space and the town's waste
Waste is unwanted or useless materials. In biology, waste is any of the many unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from living organisms, metabolic waste; such as urea, sweat or feces. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly...

-disposer and the corporation stables.

After this match, Blackpool returned to play at their Raikes Hall ground, where the Christmas Day game against Oswaldtwistle Rovers resulted in a "better attendance than ever". Raikes Hall was used for the season's remaining home games, and it was not until a practice match on 25 August 1900 that the club — then back in Division Two
Football League Second Division
From 1892 until 1992, the Football League Second Division was the second highest division overall in English football.This ended with the creation of the FA Premier League, prior to the start of the 1992–93 season, which caused an administrative split between The Football League and the teams...

 — returned to Bloomfield Road.

At this time there was only one stand at the ground, a small structure on the western side, which held about 300 seated. Gainsborough Trinity
Gainsborough Trinity F.C.
Gainsborough Trinity Football Club are an English football club based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.Between 1896 and 1912 they were members of the Football League. They are currently in the Conference North, and play their home matches at The Northolme, which has a capacity of 4,304...

 were the first visitors to Bloomfield Road for a Football League game. On 8 September 1900, they drew 1–1 with the Seasiders, in front of what was a "good" attendance of "just under 2,000". It was noted that the ground "conveyed the impression that at some remote period of its history it had been a ploughed field".

Once again, Blackpool returned to playing their home games at Raikes Hall for the remainder of the season. "We shall not easily forget Saturday's match, or rather, to be more accurate, the conditions under which it was played," one critic said. "Unfortunately for the club, the game had to be played at Bloomfield Road, and if there is one ground in this town unsuitable for the purpose for which it is used, this is surely the one. It is out of the way, all the players and most of the committee and the spectators declared that it was impossible to play on such a pitch; and the provision for the Press was absolutely nil." In addition, commenting on the attendance, it was thought that "the figure would have been nearly double had Raikes been available".

The only reason that the opening fixture was played at Bloomfield Road is that, with it being the tail end of the summer season, Raikes Hall Pleasure Gardens were still being used to entertain the public and as such the football field was unavailable. In fact, it had been agreed pre-season that Raikes Hall would be permanently used as the home ground, but that "as soon as certain improvements are completed, a move will be made to the South Shore ground". These improvements were not made to the satisfaction of the club, and they remained at Raikes Hall.

It was not until the start of the 1901–02 season that Bloomfield Road became the permanent home of Blackpool Football Club. The club won its first League game at Bloomfield Road on 12 October 1901, defeating Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers F.C.
Doncaster Rovers Football Club is an English football club, based at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The team currently competes in the Football League Championship, after being promoted via the League One play-offs in 2008, and have remained there since.The club was founded in...


In 1906, the local Press
Sports journalism
Sports journalism is a form of journalism that reports on sports topics and events.While the sports department within some newspapers has been mockingly called the toy department, because sports journalists do not concern themselves with the 'serious' topics covered by the news desk, sports...

 were pleading with the club to provide a decent Press box, as they found themselves watching the games from the touchline. The following year, a paddock was built in front of the stand to up the capacity. A decade later, however, a serious fire all but destroyed it, necessitating a complete rebuild. Two years later, the Spion Kop, the former South Stand, was built, holding about a thousand standing spectators. Along the east side of the ground, the concreted East Paddock was built, costing roughly £3,000, which nearly broke the club but raised the ground to have a capacity of 18,000.

Also in 1906, a 2,000-capacity stand was constructed on the north side of the ground. Named the Motor Stand and made Bloomfield Road one of the only grounds in England to have stands on all four sides of the ground. Partly erected, it was opened for the first time on 10 November for the visit of West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
West Bromwich Albion Football Club, also known as West Brom, The Baggies, The Throstles, Albion or WBA, are an English Premier League association football club based in West Bromwich in the West Midlands...

. The club organist a whist drive at the Conservative Club
Conservative Club
The Conservative Club was a London gentlemen's club, now dissolved, which was established in 1840. In 1950 it merged with the Bath Club, and was disbanded in 1981...

 to help defray the expense. The stand was initially borrowed from the Blackpool Corporation and practically filled the north side of the ground, and was subsequently purchased outright from the council in June 1908 at a cost of £100.

On 13 January 1917, a fire in the West Stand, likely caused by the dressing-room heating system, badly damaged the structure. When the fire brigade arrived, the stand was a blazing inferno with a northerly wind causing the flames to completely destroy the entire southern end, including both the original secretary's office, the boardroom – including club records – many silver cups and a collection of historical photographs that adorned the office. It resulted in a rebuilding programme that eventually saw the ground constructed along the lines that remained for the rest of the century.

In 1925, a new South Stand was built to provide a new boardroom, offices, dressing rooms, baths and refreshment bars. It cost just over £13,000 and held 4,000 people, bringing the total ground capacity to well over 20,000. Also this year, a new directors' box was built in the North-West Corner of the ground. It was used for the first time for the visit of Southampton
Southampton F.C.
Southampton Football Club is an English football team, nicknamed The Saints, based in the city of Southampton, Hampshire. The club gained promotion to the Championship from League One in the 2010–2011 season after being relegated in 2009. Their home ground is the St Mary's Stadium, where the club...

 on 29 August 1925. Ernest Lawson commented in the Gazette & Herald: "It's a nice box they have placed themselves in; it must be for safety, for it is far enough out of the way! But of what are they frightened?" He offered an answer at a later date: "The Let Me Smoke railway stokers are a choking nuisance. Now we know from what the directors are protecting themselves." He was referring to the smoke that regularly drifted in at the north-west corner of the ground, caused by steam trains passing by. Lawson added: "The crowd do, however, have the last laugh when the wind comes in from the east!"

An England v. Ireland amateur international was staged at the ground on 12 November 1927.

For the opening game of the 1929–30 campaign, a visit of Millwall Athletic
Millwall F.C.
Millwall Football Club is an English professional football club based in South Bermondsey, south east London, that plays in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the...

 on 31 August, the new West Stand was opened for the first time. Eventually, the playing surface was extended by twenty yards to the north to make room for a paddock
A Paddock is an enclosure for horses. It may also refer to: People*Algernon Paddock , American politician*Charlie Paddock , American athlete and actor*Del Paddock , American baseball player...

 in front of the South Stand.

Also in 1929, Eli Percival, a general dealer whose business was based on Elizabeth Street, gifted the club the oak panelling that lined the walls of the Bloomfield Road boardroom until 2003. The wood had been salvaged from the wreckage of Horatio Nelson's one-time flagship HMS Foudroyant
HMS Foudroyant (1798)
HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate of the Royal Navy. She was built at Plymouth Dockyard and launched on 31 March 1798.Goodwin gives the launch date for Foudroyant as 31 March, 25 May, and 31 August. The text highlights this discrepancy and attributes the August date to Lyon's Sailing Navy...

, which was wrecked near the Metropole Hotel on 16 June 1897.

With promotion to Division One in 1930 the locals raised some money to build a massive terrace at the north (Tower
Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower Eye is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire in England which was opened to the public on 14 May 1894. . Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it rises to 518 feet & 9 inches . The tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers...

) end of the ground which could hold around 12,000 standing spectators, increasing the ground's total capacity to over 30,000. The original hill was constructed largely out of cinders and sand and packed together with railway sleepers in order to hold the extra spectators. The stand was opened for the visit of eventual champions Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 on 30 August 1930, and a record 28,723 paid £1,896 to watch the proceedings. The Gunners also helped set the record twice in the two seasons that followed: 29,576 in 1930–31 and 30,218 in 1931–32. The stand had the club's name painted on its rear. The Motor Stand, which had previously occupied the spot, was moved into the North-West Corner, where it stayed until 1985. The East Stand (or "Scratching Sheds") was covered once the team's fortunes increased.

On 17 October 1932, the only full international game took place at Bloomfield Road: England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 v. Ireland. The attendance was 23,000.

FK Austria Wien
FK Austria Wien
Fußballklub Austria Wien is an Austrian association football club from the capital city of Vienna. They are considered the most successful club in Austria, having won the highest Austrian Bundesliga 23 times, the Austrian Cup 27 times and the Austrian Supercup 6 times. They also reached the UEFA...

 were the first continental side to visit Bloomfield Road. The friendly, which took place on 9 December 1935, attracted a crowd of over 5,000. The hosts won 4–3.

On 11 January 1936, Blackpool hosted Margate
Margate F.C.
Margate Football Club is an English football team based in the seaside resort of Margate, Kent, currently playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club was known for a number of years during the 1980s as Thanet United....

 in the FA Cup in what is believed to be the first game captured on film at Bloomfield Road. The tie, which Blackpool won 3–1, was filmed by the Tower Company and was later shown at the Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre.

On 12 May 1937, Bloomfield Road hosted a series of events as part of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the ceremony in which the newly ascended monarch, Elizabeth II, was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon, and Pakistan, as well as taking on the role of Head of the Commonwealth...

. The day started at 9.45am with a parade of all the children taking part, followed by a civic ceremony by the mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

. A display of national dances in costume took place before the ensemble Grand Finale Parade. A thousand children from the junior schools of Blackpool formed a living Union Jack on the pitch during the national anthem
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...


Lancashire rivals Burnley
Burnley F.C.
Burnley Football Club are a professional English Football League club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were founder members of the Football League in 1888...

 travelled to Bloomfield Road on 2 December 1944 to contest a Football League North fixture during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The programme noted that the ground had been loaned by kind permission of Air Commodore
Air Commodore
Air commodore is an air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 A. Macgregor. The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 had requisition
A requisition is a request for something, especially a formal written request on a pre-printed form.An online requisition is an electronic document, which can be originated by the requester and then using the company workflow or hierarchy rules, can be submitted to the subsequent levels, until it...

ed the ground for the war years, as they had done previously during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Pools considerable debts were virtually cleared by the time the hostilities ended. The visitors won 2–0.

On 18 October 1950, Bloomfield Road hosted at Football League versus Irish League
IFA Premiership
The IFA Premiership – formerly the Irish Premier League, and before that the Irish Football League–and still known in popular parlance simply as the Irish League, is the national football league in Northern Ireland, and was historically the league for the whole of Ireland. Clubs in the league are...

 exhibition match. Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

's centre-forward Albert Stubbins
Albert Stubbins
Albert Stubbins was an English footballer. He played in the position of centre forward, although his career was limited by the onset of World War II.-Life and playing career:...

 netted five times in the Football League's 6–3 victory.

With an extension of the East Paddock, the capacity of the ground was raised to 38,000 in 1954. Additional seating in the West Stand was also added around this time.

The record attendance at Bloomfield Road occurred when Wolverhampton Wanderers visited on 17 September 1955. In front of 38,098, the hosts won 2–1.

On 24 May 1957, Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 approached Blackpool to play a match at Bloomfield Road. The kick-off was scheduled for 10 o'clock in the evening, but the game actually got underway at 10.40pm. As the hosts entered the stadium, the visiting Spanish support greeted them with firecracker
A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

s. Blackpool rested nine players, but managed a 3–3 draw with the visitors, who had beaten Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 6–1 in their previous match. Blackpool's goals came from Ken Smith
Ken Smith (footballer born 1932)
Kenneth "Ken" Smith was an English footballer who played as a centre forward.Smith played league football between 1952 and 1962 for Sunderland, Blackpool, Shrewsbury Town, Gateshead, Darlington, Carlisle United and Halifax Town...

, Ernie Taylor and Sandy Harris.

To inaugurate the new floodlighting system at the ground, a friendly was held against Hearts
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie, in the west of Edinburgh. They currently play in the Scottish Premier League and are one of the two principal clubs in the city, the other being Hibernian...

, then the Scottish League champions. The system was one of the most modern in the country, and, because of the town's geographical location, special safeguards had been made so that the 145-feet-high pylons could withstand the coastal weather. The manufacturers guaranteed that the galvanised tubular-steel towers would not only resist corrosion but would also be able to withstand winds of between 90 and 100 miles per hour. In addition, the pile
Deep foundation
A deep foundation is a type of foundation distinguished from shallow foundations by the depth they are embedded into the ground. There are many reasons a geotechnical engineer would recommend a deep foundation over a shallow foundation, but some of the common reasons are very large design loads, a...

s for each pylon had been sunk to a depth of 37 feet to ensure they had a firm base. Each of the pylons at that time carried thirty-six 1,500-watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 lamps giving a combined power of 216 kilowatts.

Bloomfield Road hosted its 1,000th Football League game on 10 September 1960, with a visit by Lancashire neighbours Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the area of Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. They began their current spell in the Premier League in 2001....

. The game was the first to be televised in England. It was broadcast on ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

, billed as The Big Game, and three cameras were sited at the back of the Spion Kop. Coverage was scheduled for the last five minutes of the first half and the whole of the second. The Trotters won by a single goal.

The capacity of the ground was reduced to 30,000 in the late 1960s when new seating was installed. During the following decade, the board introduced seats in the East Paddock, a move that proved so unpopular that it was reversed within twelve months. A view from the East Paddock in the 1990s can be seen here.

A roof was put up over the Spion Kop at the north end of the ground, with BLACKPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB painted on its rear; however, it was taken down in 1981 after only twenty years. The council thought it was dangerous, but the club could not afford to repair the roof, so it was torn off. This also caused the removal of seats that had been put into the East Stand. These seats were supposedly a very poor idea as the first three rows were below pitch level, thus providing a poor vantage point from which to watch games.

The final Christmas Day fixture at Bloomfield Road occurred in 1965, with the visit of Blackburn Rovers. The Football League announced: "Christmas Day matches were dropped from our calendar when it became obvious to all concerned — spectators, players and officials alike — that people preferred to spend the day at home."

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula . It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent odour. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or...

 was thrown on the Spion Kop towards the end of a 7 October 1968 Division Two derby with Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

. Numerous fans were injured by the indiscriminate throwing of the substance. Several were taken to hospital, and four spectators — including a police officer — were detained overnight. The incident made front-page headlines nationally as "alarming and frightening developments" in football hooliganism. "A night of soccer madness and the madness did not end in the ground, for further incidents occurred outside."

The Kop Shop opened for the first time for the visit of Everton
Everton F.C.
Everton Football Club are an English professional association football club from the city of Liverpool. The club competes in the Premier League, the highest level of English football...

 on 19 September 1970. Located in a disused ticket office in the north-east corner of the ground, the shop was run by the supporters' club and made available a full range of football souvenir
A souvenir , memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitsch that is the main commodity of souvenir and gift shops in many tourist traps around the world...

s, including badges, pens, scarves and pennants.

On 24 August 1974, 17-year-old Blackpool fan Kevin Olsson was fatally stabbed behind the Spion Kop after a game against Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the area of Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. They began their current spell in the Premier League in 2001....


On 17 March 1986, the club's directors announced that they were ready to sell the Bloomfield Road ground as a site for a supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...

. A lucrative deal was being discussed with a Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 development company. Forthcoming safety measures meant that both the West and South stands would likely be condemned the following year, otherwise the club would have to spend ₤2 million on improvements. With the sale, the directors wanted to clear the football club's debts and move to nearby Blackpool Borough
Blackpool Borough
Blackpool Borough was a rugby league club based in Blackpool, Lancashire.The team wore tangerine, black and white jerseys.-Blackpool Borough:...

's rugby ground on Princess Street. The scheme was rejected by the town council the following month, at which point the board of directors decided to put the club up for sale.

In the summer of 1989, the club had to spend "thousands" on repairs to the ground, with the South Stand roof being the main concern. Further safety work was necessary in order for the stadium to continue staging League football. Also that year, the North-West Stand was condemned in the wake of stricter safety standards. Demolition began almost immediately, and temporary seating was installed to accommodate visiting support to the ground.

Bloomfield Road became the first ground in England to witness police in full riot gear. Before, during and after the Third Division
Football League Third Division
The Football League Third Division was the 3 tier of English Football from 1920 until 1992 when after the formation of the Football Association Premier League saw the league renamed The Football League Division Two...

 encounter with Birmingham City
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943.They were relegated at the end of the...

 there were numerous disturbances and skirmishes around the town and police reinforcements were drafted in from all over the Fylde
The Fylde
The Fylde ; Scandinavian: "field") is a coastal plain in western Lancashire, England. It is roughly a 13-mile square-shaped peninsula, bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north, the Ribble estuary to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the Bowland hills to the east...

. At the game, visiting fans began rioting on the open Spion Kop terracing, which was allocated exclusively for away supporters. After some delay, the police finally entered the terraces and restored order.

In the 1990s, with Bloomfield Road defining the word decrepit, new safety measures reduced the capacity from 18,000 to 12,000, and then down to 9,000. The western half of the Kop was closed, with the eastern half open only to visiting support and the East Paddock became segregated. The atmosphere came almost exclusively from the south end, unless there was a large away following.

On 10 August 1991, seven days before the season kicked off with the visit of Walsall
Walsall F.C.
Walsall Football Club are an English association football club based in Walsall, West Midlands. They currently play in League One. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F.C. and Walsall Swifts F.C. The club was one of the founder members of the Second...

, county council inspectors were at the ground to give the club's new police control box the final go-ahead. Chief executive David Hatton commented: "We are working on the match being on at home next week as planned. We had a visit from the county council on Friday and it was very encouraging."

2 November 1991, a draw with Scarborough
Scarborough F.C.
Scarborough Football Club was an English football club based in the seaside resort of Scarborough, North Yorkshire. They were one of the oldest football clubs in England, formed in 1879, before they were wound up on 20 June 2007, with debts of £2.5 million.In the 2006–07 season...

 marked a year's passing since Blackpool were last beaten in the League at Bloomfield Road.

Former chairman Owen Oyston
Owen Oyston
Owen John Oyston is a controversial self-made multimillionaire English businessman who is the majority owner of Blackpool F.C.. He was convicted of rape in 1996 and served three years of a six-year sentence in prison....

 submitted plans, on several occasions, to build a new 40,000 all-seater stadium adjoining a large entertainment complex. Outline planning permission for the new ground, which was to built at nearby Whyndyke Farm, was granted in June 1992.

The "Golden Gamble" match-day draw scheme was introduced for the first time for the visit of 4 September 1993 visit of Barnet
Barnet F.C.
Barnet Football Club is an English football team from High Barnet, London, England, currently playing in Football League Two. The ground is in the town of Barnet within the London Borough of Barnet....

 to Bloomfield Road. Fans could purchase lottery tickets for ₤1 before each home game, and a draw at half-time by the guest of the day gives punters a chance to win 50% of the gross take, up to ₤2,000. The scheme is still in operation today. This fund-raising scheme followed "Goldbond", a weekly draw that was launched three years earlier.

On 16 October 1993, full plans for the club's proposed new multi-purpose stadium were submitted to the town's mayor by Owen Oyston and Stanley Matthews
Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers'...

. The plans included a 20,000 capacity stadium with retractable roof, 92 executive boxes in the North and South stands, and a twelve-storey luxury hotel with 115 rooms with balconies overlooking the pitch. Leisure facilities included and Olympic-sized swimming pool, indoor five-a-side football area, gymnasium and keep-fit area. Every seat would have access to restaurants, bars and fast-food outlets. However, in 1996 Oyston was convicted of rape and jailed for six years, and nothing further was heard about the move to Whyndyke Farm.

A supplement in Blackpool's matchday programme for the visit of Cardiff City on 11 March 2000 revealed the long-awaited plans for the redevelopment of the ground. It confirmed that plans had been submitted to the borough council and both the chief executive and principal planning officer said that the proposals were both "realistic and attractive". The architects TTH and developer Ballast Wiltshire were both involved in the Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light
The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light has the fifth-largest capacity of any English football stadium. The stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A.F.C. matches...

 development in Sunderland. The overall capacity was announced as 15,254.

On 23 May 2000, the club was given the go-ahead for the redevelopment of Bloomfield Road. A unanimous vote by the resort's councillors sealed the fate of plans to replace the existing stadium with an ₤11 million state-of-the-art structure.

In 2000 and 2001 respectively, the Spion Kop and West Stand were demolished to make way for the new stands. The Kop was closed after the 8 May visit of Colchester United
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is an English football club based in Colchester. The club was formed in 1937, and briefly shared their old Layer Road home with now defunct side Colchester Town who had previously used the ground from 1910....

. The pitch was moved slightly north and west to make room for expansion on the south and east sides of the ground in future years.

On 7 August 2001, a pre-season friendly against Spanish side Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Club, also known as Athletic Bilbao, is an association football club from Bilbao in Biscay, Spain. The club has played in the Primera División of La Liga since its start in 1928. They have won La Liga on eight occasions...

 was held at Bloomfield Road. The game ended 2–2.

The West Stand was completed in the summer of 2002 and was officially opened on 6 August, with former Seasiders player Keith Walwyn the guest of honour
Guest of Honour
Guest of Honour is a 1934 British comedy film directed by George King and starring Henry Kendall, Micki Hood, Edward Chapman and Joan Playfair. An aristocrat unmasks a blackmailer. Based on F. Anstey's 1903 play The Man from Blankley's which had been made as a 1920 Paramount silent The Fourteenth...

 for a friendly against Blackburn Rovers. Lord Pendry unveiled a plaque above the main entrance celebrating the Football Foundation's contribution to the new stadium. The South Stand, meanwhile, was granted a reprieve which meant it would re-open for visiting supporters for the forthcoming 2002–03 campaign. All matches would be all-ticket for visiting support. If a club requested more than the 1,500 allocation, Blackpool would open the East Paddock north section, thus allowing a further 1,000 away support.

On 25 June 2003, fans were allowed into the ground to take a final look around the South and East stands before their demolition. Former Pool player Dave Durie
Dave Durie
David George Durie is an English former professional football player. He played as a forward.Blackpool-born Durie began his professional career with his hometown club in 1952. He was signed as a deputy to Allan Brown, but eventually succeeded him. He made his Football League debut on March 3,...

 was also in attendance.

In July 2003, Bloomfield Road was granted a licence to hold marriage ceremonies.

The stadium was used for two matches during the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship
2005 UEFA Women's Championship
The 2005 UEFA Women's Championship, also referred to as WOMEN'S EURO 2005 , was a football tournament for women held from 5 June to 19 June 2005 in Lancashire, England. The UEFA Women's Championship is a regular tournament involving European national teams from countries affiliated to UEFA, the...

. Blackpool Rugby League Club
Blackpool Panthers
Blackpool & The Fylde Panthers RLFC was an English professional rugby league club based in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. They played at Woodlands Memorial Ground owned by Fylde rugby union club...

 used the stadium for their home matches in National League Two
Rugby League National Leagues
The Championship, known as Co-operative Championship due to sponsorship by The Co-operative Group, is a professional rugby league competition based in the United Kingdom. It is currently contested by ten teams from England. It acts as Europe's second-tier competition below the Super League, and has...

 in the 2005 and 2006 seasons and since 2005
2005 Northern Rail Cup
The 2005 National League Cup in British rugby league was sponsored by train operating company Northern Rail, and was therefore known as the Northern Rail Cup...

 it has staged the annual National League Cup final.

The stadium hosted a 2004–05 Victory Shield
Victory Shield
The Victory Shield is an annual football tournament competed for by the under-16 teams of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The competition is broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports who also sponsor the competition...

 match between England under-16 team
England national under-16 football team
-Latest squad:The following players were named in the squad for the Victory Shield match against Scotland.-Recent call-ups:The following players have also been called up to the England U-16 squad and remain eligible.-External links:*...

 and Scotland under-16 team
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 on 26 November 2004.

On 22 September 2005, Bloomfield Road hosted its 2,000th Football League match. Brentford
Brentford F.C.
Brentford Football Club are a professional English football club based in Brentford in the London Borough of Hounslow. They are currently playing in Football League One....

 were the visitors for a game that ended goalless.

On 11 October 2007, England under-16s drew 2–2 with Northern Ireland under-16s
Northern Ireland national football team
The Northern Ireland national football team represents Northern Ireland in international association football. Before 1921 all of Ireland was represented by a single side, the Ireland national football team, organised by the Irish Football Association...

 in a Victory Shield 2007-08
Victory Shield 2007-08
The Victory Shield 2007 was the 62nd edition of the Victory Shield, an annual football tournament competed for by the Under 16 level teams of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It was held from 5 October to 29 November 2007 and was won by England....

 match at Bloomfield Road. The match was televised live on Sky Sports
Sky Sports
Sky Sports is the brand name for a group of sports-oriented television channels operated by the UK and Ireland's main satellite pay-TV company, British Sky Broadcasting. Sky Sports is the dominant subscription television sports brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland...


In January 2007, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston is an English businessman and the chairman of Blackpool F.C.-Background:Up until 1999, Oyston spent much of his time involved in running the Oyston family businesses including property management, farming interests and publishing....

 reacted angrily to news that the town had lost out to rank outsiders Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 in the race for the UK's first supercasino. He was concerned that the news could drive potential investors away from purchasing space in the South Stand. Oyston had previously insisted that work would only begin on the long-awaited structure when office space had been sold.

In March 2008, following news that Whyndyke Farm is to be the home for a new psychiatric
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

 hospital to replace the Parkwood unit at Victoria Hospital
Victoria Hospital (Blackpool)
Victoria Hospital is the main hospital for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, England. The hospital is part of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust....

, and that the site is also earmarked for new housing, Karl Oyston confirmed that plans for a move to a new stadium at Whyndyke Farm were unlikely to ever be revived.

On 25 April 2009, after his Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is an English Association Football club based in West Bridgford, Nottingham, that plays in the Football League Championship...

 team drew 1–1 with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, Billy Davies
Billy Davies
William McIntosh "Billy" Davies is a Glasgow-born Scottish football manager, noted for his achievement in the Football League Championship with East Midlands Rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest and Preston North End which has led him to be described, in 2011, as "probably the best manager at...

 complained about the state of the stadium and its pitch: "It is a disgrace and so are some of the surroundings. It was not rolled and not prepared properly. It was not a pitch on which to play football." After the season ended, the pitch was relaid.

The FA
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national football association...

 chose the stadium to host England women's
England women's national football team
The England women's national football team represents England in international women's football. The side has been quite successful of late, qualifying for three World Cups, 1995, 2007 and 2011...

 opening Group 5 qualifying game
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 5
The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification UEFA Group 5 was a UEFA qualifying group for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The group comprised England, Spain, Austria, Turkey and Malta.England won the group and advanced to the play-off rounds.-Standings:...

 for the 2011 World Cup against Malta
Malta women's national football team
The Malta women's national football team represents the Malta Football Association in international football matches approved by UEFA. In 2003, the team's played its first competitive international match, in a game against Romania, which the latter won 3–0....

 on 25 October 2009, which England won 8–0 in front of a crowd of 3,681.

On 2 May 2010, Bloomfield Road experienced its highest attendance for thirty years. 12,296 (11,192 home; 1,104 away) people watched Blackpool's 1–1 draw with Bristol City
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is one of two football league clubs in Bristol, England . They play at Ashton Gate, located in the south-west of the City...

 as the hosts secured a final-day play-off spot. This beat the previous high of 10,427, when Rotherham United
Rotherham United F.C.
Rotherham United Football Club are an English professional football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, who compete in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. The club's colours have traditionally been red and white, although these have evolved through history...

 visited on 20 August 1980.

On 24 May, at the civic reception held in the club's honour after they gained promotion to the Premier League, manager Ian Holloway thanked the fans "for making our ground somewhere to feel safe and express yourself."

On 26 May, Karl Oyston revealed that work would begin on the East Stand, which would complete the Bloomfield Road redevelopment, "as soon as is realistically possible". Work commenced on 14 June. In addition, the seating in the North and West stands will be replaced gradually through the season due to the fading of their tangerine colour, as well as electronic turnstile
A turnstile, also called a baffle gate, is a form of gate which allows one person to pass at a time. It can also be made so as to enforce one-way traffic of people, and in addition, it can restrict passage only to people who insert a coin, a ticket, a pass, or similar...

s, a new pitch sprinkler system, large video screen, new media and medical facilities, new floodlighting, further hospitality areas in the South Stand and enlarged dugouts. The pitch was also relaid.

A webcam
A webcam is a video camera that feeds its images in real time to a computer or computer network, often via USB, ethernet, or Wi-Fi.Their most popular use is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations. This common use as a video camera...

 was fitted so fans could keep track of the progress of construction in the East Stand. It can be viewed here.

Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is an English Premier League Association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, having been promoted from the Championship in 2005. Wigan's current spell in the Premier League is the only top flight run in the club's history.They have played at the DW...

 were in line to be the first visitors to Bloomfield Road as a Premier League ground on 14 August, but on 12 July it was announced that the East Stand would not be ready in time; as a result, the fixture was reversed.

The club requested 1,500–2,000 fans to test the temporary East Stand with free entry to the Lancashire Senior Cup
Lancashire Senior Cup
The Lancashire County Football Association Cup , is a football knockout tournament involving teams from Lancashire, England and surrounding areas. It is a County Cup competition of the Lancashire County Football Association and involves Premier League clubs and Football League clubs...

 game against Morecambe
Morecambe F.C.
Morecambe Football Club is an English football club based in Morecambe, Lancashire. It plays its football in League Two, the fourth division of English football, having been promoted in 2007 for the first time in their history to the Football League. They played their home matches at Christie Park...

 on 25 August in order for the safety certificates to be issued.

The then-current England coach, Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

, was present at Bloomfield Road for its debut hosting of a Premier League game. Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

 were the visitors on 28 August 2010, and the Italian was reportedly in attendance to watch the Cottagers Bobby Zamora
Bobby Zamora
Robert Lester "Bobby" Zamora is an English footballer who plays for Fulham and the England national football team. Zamora began his career at Football League club Bristol Rovers, but was soon signed by Brighton & Hove Albion, where he found first team success...


On 20 November 2010, Prince William attended the fixture between Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers while in town for the stag party of one of his friends. Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 manager Craig Levein
Craig Levein
Craig William Levein is a Scottish former professional footballer and manager of the Scotland national team. During his playing career he played for Cowdenbeath and Heart of Midlothian...

 was also in attendance.


The main entrance to the ground used to be on Bloomfield Road, via the South Stand; however, the development of the ground that began in the first few years of the 21st century meant it is now from Seasiders Way, via the Matthews Stand on the west side of the ground.

Sir Stanley Matthews West Stand

This stand, currently called the Westinghouse Sir Stanley Matthews Stand, is the main stand. It was redeveloped between 2001 and 2002. It is named after Sir Stanley Matthews
Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Often regarded as one of the greatest players of the English game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers'...

. The players' tunnel, which was formerly located in the South Stand, is now in this stand, and behind the main seating is a hospitality balcony with executive boxes
Luxury box
A Luxury box is a special seating section located within stadiums, arenas and other sporting and entertainment venues. They are typically located in the midsection of a stadium grandstand, usually providing the best views of the event...

 at the rear from the south end to the Directors' Box at the halfway line, from which point to the north-west corner is the Stanley Matthews Hospitality Suite. The stand also contains office space as well as all the club offices and main reception. The club's nickname, Seasiders, is spelled out in capital letters on white seats amongst the tangerine majority. After its rebuilding, the stand was originally known as The Pricebusters Matthews Stand.

In October 2009, a replica of the club's crest, measuring 4 metres (13 feet) in diameter, was mounted at each end of the West Stand's facade, overlooking Seasiders Way.

The television-camera gantry is now situated on this stand. Behind the stand is a statue of Sir Stanley Matthews unveiled in 2010.

Stan Mortensen North Stand (The Kop)

This stand is at the north end of the ground. Within the stand, blocks A to C and the front rows of blocks D and E are the Spion Kop (currently called Clifton Quality Meats Stand) and the rear of blocks D and E contain the club's Family Stand (currently named The Check In Family Stand). It replaced the old Spion Kop and is connected to the West Stand by the North-West Corner stand. It is named after Stan Mortensen
Stan Mortensen
Stanley Harding "Stan" Mortensen was an English professional footballer, most famous for his part in the 1953 FA Cup Final , in which he became the only player ever to score a hat-trick in a Wembley FA Cup Final...

, who is the only player in history to score a hat-trick at Wembley in an FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 Final. The club use both The Kop and North Stand on tickets for this stand. The abbreviation "B.F.C." is spelled out by white seats. There is no hospitality balcony at the rear of the stand, with additional rows of general seating and office space behind, which during matches are "blacked out". The stand also houses the Safehands Green Start Nursery and offices for Blackpool Primary Care Trust. Behind the stand is a statue of Mortensen, which was unveiled on 23 August 2005 by his widow and Jimmy Armfield. The statue, which is life-size, shows "Morty" in the pose of scoring a goal. It cost £25,000, which was paid for by the club, Blackpool Council and Blackpool fans.

North-West Stand

This stand, which is currently named Brands Scaffolding North-West Stand, joins the West Stand and the North Stand (The Kop) together, it has the same number of rows as the West and has the rest of the hospitality balcony directly above. The club shop is located to the rear of the North-West Corner.

In 2009, Blackpool supporters raised money for a memorial plaque for Kevin Olsson, who was stabbed to death on the Kop in 1974. And in August 2009, on the 35th anniversary of his death, the plaque was unveiled on the wall beside the club shop.

East Stand

Known in its former guise as the East Paddock or the "Scratching Sheds", this stand has a current capacity of 5,120 all-seated.

There was an incident in 2005 when Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club are a football club based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, who are currently competing in the Football League One in the 2011-12 season, in England. Sheffield Wednesday are one of the oldest professional clubs in the world and the fourth oldest in the...

 supporters jumped up and down on the previous temporary stand full and some of its middle section gave way; however, nobody was injured.

In December 2007, following a home match against Stoke City
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire that plays in the Premier League. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts...

, the stand was slightly damaged due to the appearance of a small hole in the floor. The stand had to be re-floored and following an inspection by the Safety Advisory Group, the capacity was reduced to 1,563 for the next home match against Coventry City
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club, otherwise known as the Sky Blues owing to the traditional colour of their strip, are a professional English Football league club based in Coventry...

 on 22 December 2007. The stand passed an inspection after the Coventry game, and the capacity was restored to 1,965.
In January 2008, the club applied for planning permission
Planning permission
Planning permission or planning consent is the permission required in the United Kingdom in order to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of land or buildings. Within the UK the occupier of any land or building will need title to that land or building , but will also need "planning...

 to build a six-row extension to the East Stand which would increase the stand capacity by an additional 972 seats to 2,937. They were granted permission in April 2008. On 8 July 2008, the club confirmed that they still proposed to go ahead with the extension. However, no work has yet been done and the capacity remains at about 1,750.

On 14 November 2009 it was revealed that the football club hope to work with Urban Regeneration Company
Urban Regeneration Company
Urban Regeneration Companies are private companies in the United Kingdom that seek to achieve a radical physical transformation of their areas through masterplanning and co-ordinating financial assistance to developers from both the public and private sector....

 ReBlackpool to build a new East Stand that would contain both seating and office or retail space rather than, as originally planned, for just seating. This will mean a larger stand is to be built, which will require additional land to be acquired.

Six months later, in May 2010, Karl Oyston stated that work on the new East Stand would begin almost immediately. On 14 June the temporary seating comprising the East Stand was removed, to be replaced with a 5,120-seat covered temporary stand which, at the start of the new season, raised the capacity to 16,220.

Jimmy Armfield South Stand

The previous 1925 main stand was demolished in 2003. This is the two-tiered stand that abutted Bloomfield Road (a picture of its facade shortly before its demise can be seen here).

On 14 January 2003, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston promised the redevelopment of the South Stand would go ahead but insisted he would not be pressured into making any rash decisions. He revealed that he spent the previous day in talks about the project but vowed he would make an announcement only when the time was right and all plans had been finalised.
In the summer of 2006 the club announced that building of the South-West Corner of the ground, which would seat 582, would begin on 23 September 2006. Whilst the central corridor redevelopment has been completed, including the demolition of the Bloomfield Road bridge (which was located to the west of the ground, towards Bloomfield Road's junction with Lytham Road) and the construction of Seasiders Way, building work did not commence. Work did eventually begin on the hotel on land formerly occupied by the Tangerine Night Club, which had been announced by the club to be built at the same time as the South-West Corner. It is leased by Travelodge
Travelodge refers to several hotel chains around the world. Current operations include: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and Australia...

 and opened in May 2008. The original supporters' social club, which later became known as "Morty's Bar", was built adjacent to the ground and opened in 1966. The location was a temporary measure until more suitable accommodation could be found. Land subsequently became available across Bloomfield Road and, after much delay, was purchased from British Rail
British Rail
British Railways , which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages...

 in early 1973. After months of negotiations with various national breweries by both the directors and representatives of the supporters' club, Watney Manns agreed to finance the project. Plans were submitted to Blackpool Corporation and final approval was given in April 1974 and work commenced in September. A fire ripped through the building in November 2002, and its demolition was discussed.

The continued delays for building work to commence became a source of controversy with the club's fans. In a radio phone-in on BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire is the BBC Local Radio service for the county of Lancashire, in North West England. It began as BBC Radio Blackburn on 26 January 1971 on 96.4FM, then adding 854 kHz AM in 1972 and changing to its current name on 4 July 1981...

 on 6 February 2008, Karl Oyston stated that, "The South will be built as and when it is right for the football business. I know we need to progress as a club and it is top of our agenda, believe me, but it wasn't right to do it now." He also confirmed that the club had no immediate plans to start building the stand. On 14 May 2008, Blackpool-based radio station Radio Wave 96.5
Radio Wave 96.5
Radio Wave 96.5 is a British Independent Local Radio station that serves the Blackpool and Fylde coast areas of Lancashire. The station's output is broadcast from a specially-constructed transmitter aerial which is situated atop Blackpool Tower...

 announced on their website and news bulletin
News program
A news program, news programme, news show, or newscast is a regularly scheduled radio or television program that reports current events. News is typically reported in a series of individual stories that are presented by one or more anchors...

 that work was to commence on the South Stand in the summer. However, this prompted an immediate response by the football club, who issued a statement on their official website expressing their disappointment that a local Press agency
News agency
A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to news organizations: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. Such an agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire or news service.-History:The oldest news agency is Agence...

 had issued a media report about the development. And they denied the report was true, stating that "the story about the South Stand developments is a complete fabrication", adding that "any future communications and announcements to be made with regards to the South Stand will come from the club itself." A week later it was claimed that the club looked certain to begin building work in summer 2008 and it was confirmed that the club had a number of options, including building a temporary stand, a permanent stand or a mix with a permanent South-West Corner and a temporary South Stand, with Karl Oyston stating, "I've made it very clear to the board that if we don't increase our capacity by one of the scenarios that I've outlined to them – and I've outlined every scenario that I believe is available – then we will struggle." Adding that "The preferred option is obviously to build a permanent South-West and South. The worst-case scenario fallback is to build a temporary south." It was also stated that building a new South Stand and South-West Corner will now cost about £6–8 million and would raise the capacity of the stadium by 3,000. An Oystons Estate Agency sign was also erected advertising retail space for lease, a pub/restaurant and "hotel with hospitality suites for match days" in the new South Stand.

On 8 July 2008, the club released a statement from club president Valeri Belokon
Valeri Belokon
Valeri Belokon is a Latvian businessman, chairman of the Council, and shareholder in the Baltic International Bank and President of English football club Blackpool....

 stating that work on both the new South Stand and the South-West Corner would begin immediately, with Belokon and the Oyston family in a full partnership to fund the building of the stands. It was confirmed that the total capacity of the two new stands will be 3,500. Four weeks later, on 5 August, after no work appeared to have begun, the club issued a further statement in which they confirmed that work was continuing at the design stage and that work would begin on the site by the end of the month with the structure of the stand beginning about three months later. Fletcher, King Howard Associates, the construction project managers, further confirmed that this was part of a 40-week programme with the stand due to be completed by May 2009.
In April 2009, 'Pool's first-choice goalkeeper, Paul Rachubka
Paul Rachubka
Paul Stephen Rachubka is an American-English professional Association football goalkeeper who plays for Leeds United after joining the club from Blackpool ....

, revealed that work commencing on the South Stand was a contributing factor to his signing a two-year extension to his contract.

On 22 June the club confirmed that steelwork had started arriving, with Project Manager Brendan Flanagan saying, "There is a lot happening on site at the moment. The steelwork is on site, and the pre-cast terracing is due in on Wednesday and it won't be long before we see something rising from the ground. We are aiming to start work on the roof for the South-West Corner towards the third week of July." On 15 July it was revealed that the club were negotiating with Blackpool Council about opening at least part of the stand before work on it is complete, in the hope that at least 1,000 seats would be available to use by mid-September.

It was revealed on 21 July that the club had submitted revised plans to Blackpool Council, with an increase in the number of hotel rooms to 56, half of which will have balconies overlooking the pitch. The revised plans also included enhancements to the external look of the stand in order that it will fit in better with the rest of Blackpool's Central Corridor. It was also revealed that the cost of £8.5m for the stand will include £2.5m to fit out the hotel and about £500,000 on the new supporters bar. Karl Oyston said, "About half the hotel rooms will overlook the pitch. These will double up as hospitality boxes on match days and the hotel will be linked through to the function rooms in the West Stand. The only undefined use is the first floor of the South Stand, which may be allocated to leisure or community use. The ground floor will be a supporters' bar and a reception area for whatever goes in on the first floor. We have also made this application in order to improve the external appearance of the stand so that it will sit better with the improvements that have been made to Bancroft Park and Central Corridor. We will continue to work closely with the council in order to try and make Central Corridor look as appealing as we can because it's currently the main gateway into Blackpool."

On 12 November 2009 it was confirmed that Blackpool F.C. had submitted a document to Blackpool Council, to be heard on 19 November, applying for permission to bring the South Stand into operation in December.

After work began on the stand, the club published photographs of the ongoing development on its website on a regular basis.

On 10 March 2010, the club announced the opening of the stand would be for the next home game, ten days later, against Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace F.C.
Crystal Palace Football Club are an English Football league club based in South Norwood, London. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where they have been based since 1924. The club currently competes in the second tier of English Football, The Championship.Crystal Palace was formed in...

. Valeri Belokon and Jimmy Armfield formally cut the ribbon to confirm the opening of the £8.5 million structure.

On 1 May 2011, a nine-foot-tall bronze statue of Armfield was unveiled in front of his stand, exactly forty years after he retired from playing.

South-West Corner

This corner contains 816 seats, houses a large video screen, and the players' families' hospitality balcony.

South-East Corner

Work began on the South-East Corner of the ground in early June 2011, restoring a section of the ground that had been lost eight years earlier when the South Stand was demolished, and adding 500 seats to the capacity. It will also house the hotel entrance and a restaurant.

Stand capacities

The stadium capacity is currently 16,220, although this will increase later in 2010 with additional hospitality seating.
Capacity for each section of the ground is currently as follows:

Average attendances

Past averages (note that the capacity fluctuates):

2010–11: 15,782 (97%)

2009–10: 8,611 (91%)

2008–09: 7,842 (81%)

2007-08 in English football
The 2007–08 season was the 128th season of competitive football in England.-European competitions:In October 2007 Arsenal equalled the UEFA Champions League record victory with a 7–0 win over Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium. The record was broken the following month when Liverpool...

: 8,861 (92%)

2006-07 in English football
The 2006–07 season was the 127th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:* The number of divisions at Level 8 of the English football league system increased from four to five...

: 6,877 (73%)

2005-06 in English football
The 2005–06 season was the 126th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:*The rebuilt Wembley Stadium was due to open in time for the FA Cup final in May. However, in August 2005, The Football Association reserved the Millennium Stadium as a backup, as there was some doubt whether...

: 5,820 (61%)

2004-05 in English football
The 2004–05 season was the 125th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:*2004–05 was the first season to feature the rebranded Football League. The First Division, Second Division and Third Division were renamed the Football League Championship, Football League One and Football League...

: 6,031 (59%)

2003-04 in English football
The 2003-04 season was the 124th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:Arsenal completed the entire campaign without losing a single league game....

: 6,326 (62%)

2002-03 in English football
The 2002-03 season was the 123rd season of competitive football in England.-Most Memorable rise:*Wigan Athletic marked their 25th season of Football League membership by winning the Division Two championship and reaching the league's second tier for the very first time.-Most Memorable...

: 6,991 (69%)

2001-02 in English football
The 2001-02 season was the 122nd season of competitive football in England.-Arsenal cruise to title glory:In what had earlier been one of the most closely fought Premiership title races for years, Arsenal won the championship by seven points. Their crown was won in the penultimate game of the...

: 5,701 (56%)

2000-01 in English football
The 2000–01 season was the 121st season of competitive football in England.-Overview:Manchester United secured their 3rd Premiership title in succession and their 7th title in just nine seasons...

: 4,459 (44%)

1999–00: 4,841 (43%)

1998-99 in English football
-Premier League:Manchester United overcame close competition from Arsenal, Aston Villa and Chelsea to win their fifth Premiership title in seven seasons thanks to the comeback of Roy Keane after his long-term injury and a transfer raid totalling nearly £30 million which netted Aston Villa striker...

: 5,116 (45%)

1997-98 in English football
The 1997-1998 season was the 118th season of competitive football in England.-Premier League:Arsenal overhauled Manchester United's lead during the final weeks of the season to win the Premiership title...

: 5,212 (46%)

1996-97 in English football
The 1996–1997 season was the 117th season of competitive football in England.Arrival into the league and exit out of the league returns in the fourth tier for the first time after its 3 season absence with only 1 relegation spot.- Premier League :...

: 4,987 (46%)

1995-96 in English football
- Premiership :Newcastle United were 12 points clear at the top of Manchester United, but Alex Ferguson's relatively young and inexperienced side overhauled them during the second half of the season to win the title....

: 5,818 (60%)

1994-95 in English football
-Premiership:Blackburn Rovers ended their 81-year wait for the league title thanks to the strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton which scored a total of more than 50 league goals. Manchester United would have made it three league titles in a row if they had been able to turn a 1-1 draw...

: 4,744 (46%)

1993-94 in English football
The 1993-1994 season was the 114th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:From the start of this season, the FA Premier League would be sponsored by Carling Breweries - an association which would last for eight years...

: 4,761 (49%)

1992-93 in English football
The 1992–1993 season was the 113th season of competitive football in England.-Overview:This season saw the birth of the FA Premier League. This meant a break-up of the 104-year-old Football League that had operated until then with four divisions....

: 5,501 (53%)

Note: The capacity at Bloomfield Road has fluctuated throughout this period. Current capacity is 16,220. In the 2006–07 season it was about 9,450. In the 2007–08 season it changed a number of times due to extra seating in the West Stand and Kop and a decrease in the East Stand. In the 2008–09 season, it was 9,650. Once the full stadium is complete, capacity will reach 16,000.

Source: Soccer-stats.com English football site


Paul Burgess, who formulated his career as a groundsman at Bloomfield Road when he was a fourteen-year-old on work experience
Work experience
Work experience is the experience that a person has been working, or worked in a specific field or occupation.- Volunteer work and internships :...

, is currently head groundsman at Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

. Burgess was approached by the Spanish club in 2009 after concerns were raised about the state of Los Blancos pitch. At age 17, while studying at Myerscough College
Myerscough College
Myerscough College is a Higher and Further Education college near Bilsborrow on the Fylde in Lancashire, England.-Origins:The college dates back to the 19th century, when it was known as Lancashire College of Agriculture...

, he was offered a permanent job at Bloomfield Road, where he remained for eighteen months. After his spell at Blackpool, Burgess joined Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 as assistant groundsman in 1996. He was promoted to Highbury
Arsenal Stadium
Arsenal Stadium was a football stadium in Highbury, North London, which was the home ground of Arsenal Football Club between 6 September 1913 and 7 May 2006...

's head groundsman four years later. He remained in the position when the Gunners moved to the Emirates Stadium
Emirates Stadium
Ashburton Grove, currently known as the Emirates Stadium, is a UEFA elite football stadium which is home to Arsenal FC, where they moved from Highbury in 2006. It has an current capacity of 60,361, and there have been rumours of an expansion...

 in 2006. A Blackpool fan, who used to sell programmes outside the ground on matchdays, on 22 May 2010 Burgess was working on the Bernabeu pitch for the Champions League Final
2010 UEFA Champions League Final
The 2010 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match played at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of Real Madrid, on Saturday, 22 May 2010, to determine the winners of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. It was the first Champions League final to be played on a Saturday, rather than the...

 while the Seasiders were playing in their Championship play-off Final
2010 Football League Championship play-off Final
The 2010 Football League Championship play-off Final was a football match played at Wembley Stadium in London on 22 May 2010 to decide the third team to be promoted from The Championship to the Premier League for the 2010–11 season....

 at Wembley
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...


Other past Bloomfield Road groundsmen include John Turner and Keith Wadeson. The man currently in the lead role is Stan Raby.


Even in the early days of Bloomfield Road's existence, advertising was in evidence around the ground, with "Winter Gardens", the town's entertainment complex, emblazoned above the southern half of the West Stand.

For around fifty years after Bloomfield Road's 1899 opening, adverts were restricted to hoarding
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

s around the ground. Eventually, however, the sloping corrugated-iron
Corrugated galvanised iron
Corrugated galvanised iron is a building material composed of sheets of hot-dip galvanised mild steel, cold-rolled to produce a linear corrugated pattern in them...

 roofs of the East and West stands were painted in order to expand the advertising and, in turn, revenue options. Around 1950, the "Oh Be Joyful" slogan
A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The word slogan is derived from slogorn which was an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm . Slogans vary from the written and the...

 of Dutton's Brewery, based in Blackburn, was painted on the roof of the West Stand. This was replaced in the 1970s by Whitbread
Whitbread PLC is a global hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company headquartered in Dunstable, United Kingdom. Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with around 580 hotels and over 40,000 rooms. Its Costa Coffee chain has around 1,600 stores across 25...

's "Whitbread Tankard. Cool, refreshing flavour".

Across the ground, on the East Stand, several advertisements graced the roof of the original structure between the 1950s and the point at which it was demolished. In the mid-1950s, the roof featured three black-on-white adverts; the northern quarter was given over to the Evening Gazette
Blackpool Gazette
The Blackpool Gazette is an English evening newspaper based in Blackpool, Lancashire. Published every day except Sunday, it covers the towns and communities of the Fylde coast...

and The Green, while the middle two quarters featured an advert for Harold "The Riley Man of the North" Smith's Premier MG Garage on Bolton Street. The southern portion consisted of an advert asking patrons "Have You Tried Ismail's Tea?", in reference to the town's tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 and coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 merchants Ismail & Co. Ltd., located on Birley Street. Above that, on a stanchion attached to the rear slope of the roof, was a billboard for Morrell's Steelworks.

The Evening Gazette and The Green adverts remained until the 1980s; however, that of Harold Smith's garage – which, along with the former two, was repainted in the reverse colours of white-on-black – was halved in length and re-branded "Premier Garage South Shore" in the mid-1960s. The Ismail & Co. Ltd advert, meanwhile, was amended. During the 1969–70 season this was joined, to its northern side, by an advert for Vauxhall
Vauxhall Motors
Vauxhall Motors is a British automotive company owned by General Motors and headquartered in Luton. It was founded in 1857 as a pump and marine engine manufacturer, began manufacturing cars in 1903 and was acquired by GM in 1925. It has been the second-largest selling car brand in the UK for...

 & Bedford
Bedford Vehicles
Bedford Vehicles, usually shortened to just Bedford, was a subsidiary of Vauxhall Motors, itself the British subsidiary of General Motors , established in 1930; and constructing commercial vehicles. Bedford Vehicles was a leading international truck manufacturer, with substantial export sales of...

, which led to the Premier Garage advert being halved in size. Around 1976, the Evening Gazette and The Green paint was changed to black-on-green firstly, then black-on-white, while the Premier Garage and Vauxhall & Bedford sections were repainted to feature an advert for Lancaster
Lancaster, Lancashire
Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire, England. It is situated on the River Lune and has a population of 45,952. Lancaster is a constituent settlement of the wider City of Lancaster, local government district which has a population of 133,914 and encompasses several outlying towns, including...

-based Oliver Rix's British Leyland Garages in tangerine lettering on a blue background. Ismail & Co. Ltd.'s advert remained.

In the mid-1990s, the entire East Stand roof was painted tangerine and featured, in black lettering, an advert for Coucher & Shaw, a local solicitor
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers , and a lawyer will usually only hold one title...

s company.

The last of these was the club's shirt sponsors between 1997 and 2001 – Telewest
Telewest, formerly Telewest Broadband and Telewest Communications was a cable Internet, broadband internet, telephone supplier and cable television provider in the United Kingdom...

. Not long before this, however, the television-camera gantry, which was originally erected on the West Stand, was moved to the East Stand, somewhat negating the effectiveness of Telewest's advert.

After the western half of the Spion Kop was closed to supporters in the 1980s, billboards were introduced on the empty steps.


Blackpool South railway station
Blackpool South railway station
Blackpool South railway station is a single platform stop at the end of the Fylde coast branch line from Kirkham, in Lancashire, England. It is unmanned and has an hourly service daily, except winter Sundays....

 is roughly half a mile from Bloomfield Road, although this station is only served by local services. Blackpool North
Blackpool North railway station
Blackpool North railway station is the main railway station serving the seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire, England. It is the terminus of the main Blackpool branch line from Preston....

, which is served by services from York and Leeds (via Burnley), Liverpool and Manchester, is over two miles away. The number 11 bus runs from the bus station opposite Blackpool North towards Lytham St Annes. Fans can alight at the Bridge House pub and walk to the ground.

External links