The bet365 Stadium was built in 1997 and now houses the Championship side Stoke City. The ground is located in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and is one of the country’s first newly built modern stadiums.
Its capacity stands at 30,089 and it has a pitch that measures 105m by 68m. The surface is covered with natural grass and it has undersoil heating installed with no running track surrounding it.
Bet365 Stadium’s record attendance of 30,022 was achieved during Stoke City’s clash against Everton on 17 March 2018.
Bet365 Stadium was built in 1997 and it served as Stoke City’s replacement for their old home, Victoria Ground, where they played their football for 119 years. The first talk of potentially moving to a different venue started in the early 1990s and following the Taylor report. The idea was to either convert their previous ground into an all-seater or move to a different stadium altogether.
By early 1996, the decision had been made and the construction started during the 1996/97 campaign. In August next year, the bet365 Stadium was born but, back then, it was called the Britannia Stadium due to sponsorship reasons. However, despite the erection of their new home being done rather quickly, the opening didn’t exactly go as planned.
With only one clear access road towards the stadium, supporters from the city had to take different routes, effectively going the other way for over a mile only to use a roundabout and then turn back towards the ground. This, unsurprisingly, caused great congestions on the road. Still, after the initial complications, everything was finally set.
Club legend Sir Stanley Matthews officially opened the stadium and the first game to be played there was between Stoke and Rochdale in the League Cup and it was watched by 15,439 fans on the day. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and unfortunately for Stoke, the whole season ahead was a disaster, ending in their relegation from the league.
A decade after it was first opened, the club finally obtained full ownership of bet365 Stadium in a £6m deal after the previous joint-partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration Ltd. Of course, it wouldn’t be until the sponsorship deal in 2016 that the ground would get its current name.
Interestingly, in 2006, the access to the stadium was finally fixed when work took place on the A50 that allowed entrance to the ground from the eastbound direction along with an addition of a bridge across the road.
After long talks and promises of possible expansions, bet365 Stadium finally got a boost in capacity in the summer of 2017, which took the final tally to just over 30,000 that still stands to this day. The ground has been used for other events such as musical concerts, funfairs, firework displays and so on.
Interestingly, in European competitions, the bet365 Stadium is known as the Stoke ground due to UEFA regulations on sponsorships.
All tickets to watch Stoke City play at bet365 Stadium can be found on the club’s official website. The price varies depending on the age and the stand you choose to be seated in but the cheapest adult ticket costs £25.
The club also offers a season ticket scheme as well as memberships that can get you discounts over the course of the season.
https://www.stokecityfc.com/ – Official website of Stoke City
https://www.stokecityfc.com/club/bet365-stadium/stadium – History of bet365 Stadium
https://tickets.stokecityfc.com/ – Stoke City Ticket Office