33,597 (all seated)
Address: Pride Park Stadium, Derby, DE24 8XL
Telephone: 0871 472 1884
Fax: 01332 667519
Pitch Size: 105 x 68 metres
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Rams
Year Ground Opened: 1997
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: 32RED
Home Kit: White and Black
Away Kit: Blue with Black Trim
The Club moved to Pride Park in 1997 after spending 102 years at their former Baseball Ground home. The stadium which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen is totally enclosed with all corners being filled. One corner is filled with executive boxes, giving the stadium a continental touch. The large Toyota West Stand which runs down one side of the pitch is two-tiered, complete with a row of executive boxes. The rest of the ground is smaller in size than the West Stand, as the roof drops a tier to the other sides, making it look unbalanced. It is a pity that the West Stand could not be replicated throughout the rest of the stadium as this would have made it truly magnificent. An unusual feature inside the stadium is next to the home dugout there is a statue of former player Steve Bloomer who overlooks the pitch. Outside the stadium on one corner is a statue of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.
The Club have applied for planning permission to build a large two storey extension onto the back of the East Stand. This extension would house a number of bars and restaurants and effectively become a fan zone. Interestingly the Club are hoping that the facility will be used by fans after the game has ended, something that is common at some European grounds but has yet to be successfully introduced at an English Club.
The stadium has also been built in such a way that an additional tier could be added to three sides of the stadium, namely the North, East and South Stands. This would increase the capacity of Pride Park to around 44,000.
However, with the club in financial turmoil it is perhaps expected that no major changes to Pride Park are planned. The one thing that has been discussed is the return of safe standing fans at the Derby stadium. Currently, standing fans is illegal in the top two tiers but Derby have appealed this ruling. If the laws changes – or Derby suffer relegation to the third tier – then safe standing will be coming to Pride Park very soon.
Away fans are located in one corner of the stadium, between the East and South Stands, where up to 2,700 fans can be housed. The facilities within the stadium and view of the playing action are both very good. This coupled with normally a great atmosphere and a deafening PA system, make for a memorable experience. I have visited Pride Park a number of times now and have found the Derby supporters to be friendly and have not experienced any problems. Entrance to the stadium is via electronic turnstiles, meaning that you have to insert your ticket into an electronic reader to gain entry.
Available on the concourse are a selection of Pukka Pies (Chicken Balti, Meat and Potato, Cheese and Onion) all at £4, plus a ‘Stand Up Pastie’ (I wonder if it tells jokes?) at £4. At half time fans are allowed outside the stadium into a cordoned off area, where there is a catering unit selling Burgers, Hot Dogs etc.. It also provides an opportunity for those who smoke to have a cigarette outside. There are televisions on the concourses showing the game going on inside, with commentary, so that you don’t have to miss anything while waiting for your half time cuppa.
Please note that you have to buy a match ticket before entering the stadium from the lottery office adjacent to the away turnstiles. Entry to the stadium after an obligatory ‘pat down’ by stewards is then via electronic turnstiles where you have to insert your ticket into a bar code reader. I have received reports of away fans not being allowed entry into the stadium for being ‘too drunk’ in the opinion of the stewards, so be on your best behaviour. George Donovan a visiting Ipswich Town supporter adds; ‘In my opinion Pride Park is the best ground in the Championship – yes, even better than Portman Road! – thanks to its location, proximity to the train station, good pubs best pub I’ve been to on the way to the ground (The Brunswick – over a dozen real ales always on tap including my fave Timmy Taylors Landlord), superb catering with no queues, fantastic view, friendly home fans and great PA’. The teams emerge to ‘White Riot’ by the Clash.
Justin Blore informs me; ‘There is a Frankie & Benny’s on Pride Park across the road from the club shop and a Subway outlet. Within 500 yards there’s Burger King, KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut too!’ There is also a Greggs and a Starbucks outlet built into one side of the stadium. Alas, the Greggs is closed on matchdays (I guess not many fans would pay for a pie inside the stadium if they were).
The Rams initially held their games at the County Cricket ground but they shared the stadium with a cricket club. Eventually, Derby had one too many fixture clashes with the Derbyshire cricket club and for this reason they chose to relocate. The Francis Ley baseball ground became Derby County’s stadium for over a century from 1895 to 1997. The Baseball Ground could hold up to 42,000 fans at its peak; Derby subsequently moved to Pride Park in 1997. All of Derby’s three home grounds have hosted England’s international matches making Derby the only team to host England’s international games on three different grounds.
With Pride Park being located in a retail park/industrial estate then there is little choice in the way of drinking outlets. Pete Stump informs me; ‘On a recent visit, the police directed us to a “Harvester” about five minutes walk away from the stadium. It was full of away fans, however, we were told that they don’t always admit visiting supporters.’ Nigel Summers a visiting Brighton fan adds; ‘The Navigation Inn on London Road, is okay for away supporters. It has free street parking outside, is on the A6 (so an easy getaway after the game) and it is just a ten minute walk away from the stadium. There is a basic burger and chips food menu, decent beers, including Doom Bar on my last visit and shows televised football. Home fans also frequent the pub, but it was friendly enough.’ Across the road from the Navigation Inn is the Derby Conference Centre which has a bar facility inside and welcomes visiting supporters. You can also park at the centre at a cost of £5. A discount off a particular beer inside the centre is sometimes offered for those who park there.
There are a few pubs opposite Derby Railway Station, but they are for home supporters only. A couple of exceptions are the Station Inn on Midland Road and a little further along the Tiffany Lounge, both of which are only a few minutes walk away. If not wearing colours and arriving early then further along the Railway Terrace you may be able to enjoy a decent ale at the Brunswick Inn or the nearby Alexandra Hotel, both of which are included in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. If you have time on your hands and don’t arrive mob-handed, then it may be best to wander into the city centre where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Jon Thompson a visiting Sheffield United fan informs me; ‘We ended up in the Exeter Arms on Meadow Road, which I’d highly recommend, is about a 15 minute walk from there to Pride Park.’ There are bars at the back of the stands, offering pints of Lager or Cider (both £4.30), however they do get, quite crowded.
If you enjoy your real ale, then Derby is somewhat of a ‘Mecca’ destination for the discerning drinker. With a staggering 18 pub entries in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, most of which are located fairly central, plus a host of other good pubs too, it may be an idea to arrive earlier and explore some of these fine watering holes.
If arriving by train from Birmingham New Street, then another alternative is to stop off at Burton-on-Trent. There are a few good pubs within a couple of minutes walk from the station, including the Last Heretic on Station Street (just turn right out of the station and it is down on the right. This pub serves real ale, cider, craft lagers and has a large beer garden.
From the M1, exit at Junction 25 and take the A52 towards Derby. Pride Park Stadium is signposted off the A52 after about seven miles.
There is a designated away fans car park located at the Derby Conference Centre on the A6 London Road (DE24 8UX), which costs £5 per car. After parking up there you need to go into the Conference Centre Reception to pay for your parking. They will then give you a ticket which then display on your dashboard. The Centre is handily located near to the Navigation Inn, which is a popular pub for visiting supporters. It is then around a 10-15 minute walk to the away turnstiles. There is also a fair sized car park at the Derby Arena (DE24 8JB) which has a capacity of around 1,100 vehicles and is situated next to Pride Park. The cost of parking is £8 per car, or £6 if the car has four or more people in it.
There are a number of businesses located off the main A52 near to the stadium that offers parking. Pete Stump adds; ‘I noticed that the KFC and Burger King both just off the roundabout of the A52 going into Pride Park, both offered matchday parking for £6’. Further along, the A52 off the main Pentagon Roundabout on Chequers Road in the Meadows Industrial Estate are some other businesses such as Bamfords Auction House which also offers parking for £5.
Whilst Steve Cocker informs me; ‘There is free street parking available on Downing Road on the West Meadow Industrial Estate (DE21 6HA), which is off the A52. It is then about a 10-15 minute walk to the stadium. Make sure though that you get there in plenty of time before the kick off, as the road fills up quickly.’ There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the Pride Park Stadium via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
Please note that until the end of 2018 works are being undertaken to widen the A52 to three lanes. There are narrow lanes in place and a 40mph sped limit in force, so this will further increase traffic congestion in the area on matchdays.
Steve Hallam informs me; ‘A stretch of the A52 between Nottingham and Derby is named Brian Clough Way in honour of the great man’s achievements with both Derby and Forest’.
Post Code for SAT NAV: DE24 8XL
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Pride Park is about a 10 minute walk away from Derby Railway Station and is signposted. A new exit has been opened at the station which leads directly onto the retail park, as Dave Plunkett adds; ‘When you go up the stairs from the platform, turn right and walk to the end of the bridge. Go down the stairs, exit and turn right down Roundhouse Road. Bear left at the roundabout, go straight down Riverside Road or turn right go down Pride Parkway where there are couple of places to eat and drink). You will reach the ground in front of you’.
If you want the pubs by the station, then turn left at the top of the stairs from the platform and on exiting the station entrance turn right. Further down on the right just past the Brunswick cross over the road and then descend some steps use the underpass, and follow the fans. The stadium is about a 20 minute walk in total from the station using this route.
Please note that due to the construction of a new platform at Derby Railway Station, Bus Replacement Services will operate on many routes into Derby until early October.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Ticket prices are not listed here as the Club have introduced something called ‘Demand based pricing.’ In essence the Club set a starting price for a ticket for a particular game and area within the stadium. But once the tickets are on sale the Club can then put up the prices of the tickets if the fixture or area of seating is particularly popular. I can understand that the Club are trying to encourage fans to purchase tickets early (i.e as soon as the tickets go on sale at the starting price), but I feel somewhat uncomfortable that these can be subsequently hiked up as the Club sees fit.
Currently this scheme does not apply to tickets for the away section, however a Category system is in plave whereby the most popular games cost more to watch:
Adults £28 (B £25.50) (C £22)
Over 65’s £20 (B £18) (C £15.50)
Under 18’s £15.50 (B £14.50) (C £12.50)
The prices above are for tickets purchased in advance of matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £3 more per Adult ticket and £2 more per Concession ticket.
Official Programme £3.
Derby vs Nottingham Forest rivalry: Both of these sides are located in the East Midlands with the game dubbed “El Cloughico” owing to their legendary manager Brian Clough, who managed both sides. It is one of the fiercest rivalries in English football and, recently, the victor of this tie wins the Brian Clough Trophy meaning there is more than just points at stake.
Derby vs Leicester City rivalry: Again, this rivalry is down to location. Although recent meetings between these sides have become one-sided with the Foxes enjoying huge success in recent times the rivalry still exists. That said it is fair to point out that both teams consider Nottingham Forest as their main rival.
Derby vs Leeds rivalry: This rivalry started in back 1972 when Derby beat Leeds to the Division One title. Since then, the game has been full of spice with things often taking a violent turn.
For details of disabled facilities at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
Periodically the Club offer tours of the Pride Park Stadium (On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings) which are priced at £8 per person. Tours need to be booked in advance on: 0871 472 1884. Season ticket holders at Derby can qualify for a discount on these prices. One off tours can also be booked, subject to a minimum charge of £25.
At Pride Park:
33,597 England v Mexico
Friendly, 25th May 2001.
For a Derby game at Pride Park:
33,475 v Glasgow Rangers
Friendly, 1st May 2006.
At the Baseball Ground:
41,826 v Tottenham Hotspur
Division One, 20th September 1969.
2019-2020: 26,727 (Championship League)
2018-2019: 26,850 (Championship League)
2017-2018: 27,175 (Championship League)