Spotland Stadium, known as the Crown Oil Arena for sponsorship reasons, is a multi-purpose sports stadium in the Spotland area of Rochdale, Greater Manchester which is home to Rochdale A.F.C. and Rochdale Hornets R.F.L.C.[3] The venue has a capacity of 10,249.

Spotland Stadium
Spotland Stadium in 2005
Former namesSt Clement's Playing Fields
LocationSandy Lane
OL11 5DR
Coordinates53°37′15″N 2°10′48″W / 53.62083°N 2.18000°W / 53.62083; -2.18000
OwnerRochdale A.F.C.
Field size115 yd × 74 yd (105 m × 68 m)[2]
ScoreboardClough Scoreboard
St Clement's Rugby Club (1878–1897)
Rochdale A.F.C. (1896) (1900–1901)
Rochdale Town F.C. (1902–1903)
Rochdale A.F.C. (1920–present)
Rochdale Hornets (1988–present)

History edit

Spotland was originally known as St Clement's Playing Fields, after the nearby St Clement's Church. Having previously been used for cricket, it became the home of St Clement's Rugby Club in 1878, until they disbanded in 1897. As well as staging local rugby competitions, the ground briefly hosted two short-lived football clubs – the original Rochdale A.F.C. from 1900 to 1901 and Rochdale Town from 1902 to 1903, but both folded. The present Rochdale A.F.C. was then formed to use the ground in 1907, later buying the freehold for £1,700 in 1914. By the time the club joined the Football League in 1921, a low wooden grandstand had been built on the south side of the ground, once the location of the cricket pavilion. Also by this time, the name of the surrounding area of the town, Spotland, had been adopted as the ground's name.[4]

In August 2016, Rochdale A.F.C. renamed Spotland Stadium the Crown Oil Arena as part of a sponsorship deal by the Bury-based fuel company Crown Oil.[1][5] In 2018, due to the winter weather the pitch got into such a bad state that a number of games had to be postponed. Subsequently, Rochdale were drawn against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup and the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was quoted "not a pitch in a condition to play football" after seeing some pictures leading Rochdale to relay the surface in time for their game.[6][7]

Structure and facilities edit

The ground has four stands: the David Kilpatrick Stand (or Main Stand), the Sandy Lane End, the Smith Metals Family Stand (Pearl Street End) and the Reside Estate Agency Stand (the Willbutts Lane Stand). All are fully seated, apart from the Sandy Lane End, which is a small terrace behind one of the goals.

The Main Stand features a statue of a long-standing Rochdale fan, David Clough, situated where he watched matches as a season-ticket holder. He had helped the club raise funds and left £250,000 to the club in his will when he died in 2020. The statue was unveiled in September 2021.[8]

The Rochdale fans most favourable stand is the Sandy Road end, Unfortunately on the 21st October 2023, after a 9 second battle 500 Rochdale fans surrendered this stand to one single Oldham Athletic fan, Dubbed the Battle of the Flat Cap, This was subsequently handed back to Rochdale the following evening by Latics Chairman Frank Rothewell, Stating “Thanks, but no Thanks”

Other uses edit

Spotland Stadium

Apart from local football and rugby league, Spotland has in the past been used to host minor nations rugby league matches, such as British Amateur Rugby League Association (British Amateur Rugby League Association) matches, and also the National League Cup finals of 2003 and 2004.

Rugby League World Cup edit

Spotland Stadium was selected as a venue for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup hosting a match between Fiji and Ireland. This was the first time that Rochdale has staged an event in a World Cup in any sport and the event was sold out with almost 9,000 people[9] attending.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Crown Oil Sign Record Breaking Five-Year Agreement With Rochdale AFC". Rochdale Athletic Football Club. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Club Records". Leeds United A.F.C. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  3. ^ RFLC is correct, see club website
  4. ^ Inglis, Simon (1996). Football Grounds of Great Britain (3rd ed.). London: CollinsWillow. pp. 312–314. ISBN 9780002184267.
  5. ^ "Rochdale rename Spotland as part of new record-breaking sponsorhip deal". Manchester Evening News. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Rochdale to relay pitch for Spurs clash after latest postponement". BT Sport. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Spurs to be greeted with 'snooker table' pitch for FA Cup tie at Rochdale". ITV Sport. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Rochdale fans raise £10k for statue tribute to superfan". BBC News. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013: Fiji 32-14 Ireland". BBC Sport. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.

External links edit