Wham Stadium- Accrington Stanley
Home to local side Accrington Stanley F.C since opening in 1968, the ground has a current capacity of 5,057 which includes 2,000 seats; it is also one of the oldest grounds in England. It was previously known as the Crown ground before being renamed for financial benefits.
Accrington moved into the Crown Ground in August 1970 and the small stadium has been home to the club ever since. The stadium was part of history in 2006 when Accrington played their first football league game here in 44 years.
Stanley were crowned champions of the 2005-2006 National Conference, and in a strange coincidence they switched places with Oxford United, the team chosen to replace the club as a member of the league in 1966. The clubs record attendance was set in the 2017/18 season in a fixture against Lincoln City with 4,753 fans in attendance, while the average attendance is 1,979.
As one of the smaller clubs in League Two, and the football league for that matter, the club have consistently looked to maximise match day revenue and revenue was increased in part by the selling of the naming rights to the stadium. Currently Crown Ground has been known as the Store First Stadium, Fraser Eagle Stadium and Interlink Express Stadium.
The Wham Stadium
The four stands at the Wham Stadium are as follows: The Jack Barret Memorial and Thwaites Stand (North) , Clayton End known as the Sophie Khan Stand (East), Whinney Hill Terrace (South) and the Coppice End (West) which is otherwise known as the away end.
As previously mentioned the travelling fans are housed in the Coppice Terrace behind one of the goals, which has a maximum capacity of approximately 1,800 although in reality this is usually much less with traveling support ranging from a couple of hundred to just under one thousand- the average for League One. The Wham Stadium is a favourite among fans of lower league teams with the Coppice End having both standing and sitting areas.
It is also “classic lower league stadium” in the sense that there is no roof or cover which means the travelling fans are exposed to the elements of weather, which can make for one of the more painful or rewarding match-day experiences depending on the time of year you visit the ground and dependant on the result in the game.
Tickets for the clubs home games are the same no matter which stand you select to sit or stand in. £20 is the price for adults tickets, concessions are £15 while 12-17 year olds cost £10 and under 12’s cost £5. There is also hospitality services on offer which include a three course meal, complimentary match-day programme and tea and coffee. The easiest way to get to the ground is by train with Accrington Railway Station only a mile away from the ground. You can easily get to the stadium from both Manchester and Leeds, with direct trains from both stations.
There has been ongoing talks between the club and the council to locate a new home within Church but as of yet there has been no suitable options put forward. The club instead have continued to renovate the current stadium with a roof added to the Clayton End and a new hospitality suite the most recent addition to this famous old stadium.