Bangor Fuels Arena
Capacity: 2,850 (Seats 500)
Address: Clandeboye Road, Bangor, County Down, BT20 3JT
Telephone: 028 9145 7712
Pitch Size: 105 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Artificial 4G
Club Nickname: The Red and Blues
Year Ground Opened: 1935
Home Kit: Red and Blue
Loyal football supporters from the town of Newtownards could not possibly have imagined that when Ards FC were forced to sell their Castlereagh Park ground to balance the books in 2001, that some 18 years later they would still be ground-sharing. Although the Club are still hoping to build a new stadium in Newtonards, they find themselves playing at Bangor’s Clandeboye Park, which is located some five miles north of Newtownards.
Clandeboye Park is located in Bangor’s Western suburbs with housing estates on its Northern border, and a training pitch to the South. The Western side of the ground has been enclosed in recent years by the building of a new housing estate. The Club Offices and two storey Social Club back onto Hawthorne Close on the Northern side, with the top floor of the Social Club overlooking the roof of the Main Stand. The Main Stand consists of a smaller older part that sits roughly on the pitch centre and a larger extension (in length) running down towards the covered terrace at one end. The older part of the Main Stand has a pair of low and narrow dug outs in front of the four row deck of around 150 yellow plastic seats. The extension is also covered and mirrors the height and columns of the old Main Stand adding around 185 yellow and black plastic seats to the Social Club side of the ground. On the other side of the Main Stand (towards the open West End) is the tall two floor Clubhouse and Media Centre which has a narrow enclosed viewing area slightly raised above pitch level sitting in front, which was added in 2008.
Following the Main Stand extension back to the turnstiles, we come to the Clandeboye Road End Terrace which, being of the same height with the same blue cladding blends rather well with the Main Stand extension. The terrace owes is curved shape to the ground previously hosting stock car and go-kart racing. The pitch was enlarged after the race track was removed however that doesn’t seem to have brought the playing area any closer to the stand. The sturdy low cover has a number of columns along its front edge and lacks any crush barriers but nevertheless, it’s a fair elevated view of the pitch from the top of the curved concrete steps. On the opposite side of the Main Stand is an open expanse of concrete, with two lines of shallow steps which would have originally contained two narrow stands parallel with the penalty areas. The stand towards the West End has long since disappeared however the stand at the East End backing onto the Clandeboye Road turnstiles does still exist, its rustic barrel roof covering four rows of around 160 blue plastic seat bases, possibly purchased from a local school, with the legs removed and the seat bolted to a plank of timber then placed on top of a number of breeze blocks.
Turning finally to the West End of Clandeboye Park, then as far as we are aware this side has never had an area for supporters to stand and watch a game. Once the race track was removed a curved metal fence was installed to separate the ground from a new row of houses being built. Bangor football club sold this section of the ground to a property developer in order to clear club debts and in 2011 a high brick wall was built behind the goal to fully block off the ground and allow additional housing to be built.
In 2015 Clendeboye Park was renamed the Bangor Fuels Arena in a five year corporate sponsorship deal.
The Club have announced proposals to build a new 2,000 capacity stadium at Movilla High School in Newtownards. The new stadium would be built adjacent to the school on the site of two pitches that the school no longer uses. Featuring a seated Main Stand and club offices, it would also have a 3G pitch. The scheme has currently been put out for public consultation.
As far as we are aware visiting supporters are allocated both the barrel roofed covered seating area and a section of the Clandeboye Road covered terrace. With the barrel roofed cover on the South side of the ground you will notice the stand itself is set back a good few metres from the pitch, this is due to the stand being at the edge of the former stock car track. The rear two rows of the seating deck offers an elevated view of the pitch and although there are a number of supporting columns along the front of the stand they are too slim to really impede your view of the action.
There is a Social Club at the ground on the corner of Hawthorne Close, otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of drinking outlets in the vicinity. If you are looking for somewhere other than the Social Club, or have a bit of time on your hands then your best bet is to walk into Bangor Town Centre. It is around a 15 minute walk away where you will find plenty of pubs and eating establishments.
Take the A2 from Belfast towards Bangor, passing Belfast City Airport and Holywood. On nearing the centre of Bangor take the slip road signposted ‘Ring Road, A2, A21 Newtonards’. At the top of the slip road there is a T-junction with traffic lights. Turn right at the lights towards Newtonards/Donaghadee. At the next traffic lights (there is Jollye’s Pet Store on the left) turn left into Clandeboye Road. The football ground is down the bottom of this road on the left.
There is a small car park beyond the ground, next to the 5-a-side pitch opposite Clandeboye Primary School. Otherwise there is plenty of street parking available in the area.
Bangor railway station is situated just under one mile from the football ground and is around a 15 minute walk away. It is serviced by trains from Belfast Central and Sydenham (For Belfast City Airport). Trains run every 30 minutes on a Saturday afternoon and every 20 minutes during the week. Journey time from Belfast Central to Bangor is around 32 minutes.
Head out of the main station entrance and turn right, walking past the bus station along Abbey Street. Cross over onto the other side of the road. Ahead you will see Bangor Abbey (Church) at the top of a grass bank. At the traffic lights turn left into Newtownards Road passing the Abbey on your left. Cross over onto the other side of the road and take the next right into Church Street. This road then kinks slightly to the left and becomes Clandeboye Road. You will then see Clandeboye Park on the right hand side.
Ards rivalry has tended to be with their landlords Bangor. Glentoran are the closest Premier League side.
All sections of the ground:
OAP’s/Under 16’s £7
Official Matchday Programme £2.
Wheelchair spaces are available in the Main Stand extension, close to Clandeboye Road End terrace.
2017-2018: 482 (Northern Ireland Premiership)
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If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the photos and stadium layout plan of Clandeboye Park in Bangor.