St Mary’s Stadium has been the home of Southampton since 2001 when the club moved away from The Dell, where they had played for the previous 103 years. The stadium has a capacity of 32,505 and is currently the largest football stadium in South East England.
Until 2006, the stadium was called The Friends Provided St Mary’s Stadium as part of a sponsorship deal.
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St Mary's has a single level deck the whole way around and is designed to look like an enclosed bowl, all spectators are under cover with unrestricted sight lines. The roof is supported by a cantilever system, which will enable the ground to be extended upwards on three sides if required in the future.
There is a large screen attached to the roof behind each goal. The stadium has four stands, named after the areas of Southampton they back onto. The main (east) stand is the Itchen Stand (after the River Itchen). Opposite is the Kingsland Stand with the Chapel Stand behind the south goal and the Northam Stand at the other end. The Northam is the home to the more vocal supporters, as well as visiting fans.
Visiting supporters are situated in the Northam stand behind one of the goals. Although segregated, you will find yourself surrounded by the more vocal and boisterous home fans sharing the same Stand or sitting in the northern end of the Itchen Stand. There are three allocations available for visiting clubs for league games – 1,800, 2,400 and 3,200. The view from any area is excellent and unobstructed and the leg room and facilities are also everything you'd expect to find at a new stadium.
There is hardly any parking available at the stadium for away fans and there are parking restrictions in force for the local area.
Most fans seem to be just heading for the city centre car parks and then embarking on the 15-20-minute walk to the stadium. Southampton Railway and Ocean Village Marina also offer alternative parking.
You will also find a selection of bars, restaurants and food outlets (Burger King and KFC), which should cater for most people’s tastes in the city centre.
There are plenty of pubs and bars to choose from near the Stadium. Most of which get very rowdy and crowded on match days, so a lot of people choose to drink in the city centre where there are the usual Yates, Hogshead and Wetherspoons outlets, as well as a Walkabout, which normally attract a mixture of home and away fans.
I have been a Season Ticket holder at St Mary's since the 2012/13 season and have only missed a handful of games.
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