Date: Tuesday 11 January
Post code for sat-nav: SO14 5FP
Built to replace Southampton's iconic previous home, The Dell, St Mary's turned 20 this year.
Discussions about leaving The Dell had been going on since the 1980s but it was the Taylor Report, in the wake of Hillsborough, which accelerated The Saints move away from their home of 103 years.
After a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to build a new 25,000-seater stadium and leisure complex at Stoneham, on the outskirts of Southampton, the city council offered the club the chance to build a new ground on the disused gas work site in the heart of the city, about one and half miles from The Dell.
The move was cited as the club returning home, because the club was formed by members of the nearby St. Mary's Church, as the football team of St. Mary's Church Young Men's Association before becoming Southampton St. Mary's FC, and eventually Southampton FC. Construction started in December 1999 and was completed at the end of July 2001.
The stadium is a complete bowl, with all stands of equal height. The stands are named after the areas of Southampton they face. The main (east) stand is the Itchen Stand, and faces the River Itchen. The opposite stand is called the Kingsland Stand. Behind the south goal is the Chapel Stand, and to the north is the Northam Stand.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to local legend, during construction of the stadium, a group of Portsmouth supporters buried their team's shirt under the Northam Stand end of the pitch and cast a curse that caused the team's initial losing streak at the new stadium. Pagan witch Ceridwen Dragonoak Connelly performed a Celtic ceremony to lift the curse just prior to the team's first home win which came against Charlton on 24 November 2001.
HOW TO GET THERE
Given its central location, Southampton advise visiting fans not to travel by private car into the surrounding areas of Southampton.
Supporters choosing to drive to St Mary’s Stadium can make use of a local City Council car park:
- Westquay Shopping Centre – SO15 1ST
- Ocean Village – SO14 3TL
- Bedford Place – SO15 2DB
- Grosvenor Square – SO15 2UA
- West Park Road – SO15 1FZ
- Marlands – SO15 1BA
- Eastgate – SO14 3HB
The stadium is served by the following main roads:
- From North: M3; via M25, passing Winchester and Basingstoke
- From East: M27; from Portsmouth, passing Fareham
- From West: M27, M271, A33; passing Copythorne and Nursling
The stadium is approached from Britannia Road and Belvidere Road from the north, Marine Parade from the south, and St Andrews road from the west. The River Itchen lines the eastern side of the stadium; meaning access from the east requires crossing the A3205 Itchen Bridge and heading north back towards the stadium.
Southampton Station is located at Blechynden Terrace, Southampton SO15 1AL; 30 minutes walk from the ground
It offers the following services:
- South West Trains services to London Waterloo, Weymouth, Poole, Portsmouth and Salisbury
- Southern services to Brighton and London Victoria
- First Great Western services to Portsmouth, Cardiff, and Brighton
- CrossCountry services to Bournemouth, Manchester Piccadilly and Newcastle
From the station, head left and follow the road up the hill, continuing straight, past the KFC on your left. Look out for the short cut on Northam Road just as you pass across the railway bridge. The pedestrian walkway crosses the railway and brings you out at the corner of the Northam Stand.
The area behind the Northam Stand is closed an hour before kick-off meaning supporters cannot use this cut-through to get to the away end after this time. Supporters will need to continue past the cut through, and Melbourne Street, before turning right on Brittania Road.
Routes 8A, 18 and 11 all pass the stadium
The away turnstiles are located on the north side of the stadium. Visiting supporters can use K, L or M to access the away stand. The turnstiles will be opened 90 minutes prior to kick-off.
St. Mary’s Stadium is now completely cashless; Southampton accept all major debit and credit cards and mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
The City Centre pubs are Yates, Slug and Lettuce, The Sholars Arms (Formally the Frog and Parrott) and the Giddy Bridge.
Nearer to the stadium there is Chapel Arms, Prince of Wales and Brown's (Formally Joshua Tree), the latter of which is a ten minute walk from the away end at St Mary's.
All adult supporters must fill in a Covid-19 Self Declaration form and be able to show proof of an NHS COVID Pass or negative test result within the last 48 hours