Ashton Gate: Bristol City

Ashton Road, Bristol, England, BS3 2EJ
By User:BadboyIain (Photo by User:BadboyIain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bristol City have called Ashton Gate home since 1904, exactly 110 years before Bristol Rugby joined them at the historic old stadium. When it was opened in 1887 it was actually home to a club called Bedminster FC, but when they joined forces with Bristol South End to form Bristol City in 1900 the new club actually played its games at South End’s old ground, St. John’s Lane.

As is the case with Bristol as a city, football has not had it all its own way at Ashton Gate. In fact the rugby played at the stadium has arguably been of more importance over the years, with the stadium setting an all-time Premiership record attendance outside of Twickenham when Bristol played Bath in 2006. The ground has also been used for England internationals, with a match against Wales recorded as early as 1899.

Stats

Ashton Gate Stats
Year Opened1887
Capacity16,600
Average Attendance12,247
Record Attendance43,335 (Bristol City v Preston (1935))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerBristol City Football Club
Clubs HostedBedminster F.C., Bristol City F.C., Bristol Rugby
Bristol City Stats
Year Founded1897
NicknameThe Robins
Club MascotScrumpy the Robin
Rivals Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle
Previous StadiumsSt John's Lane
KitRed (Home) / Black (Away)
Training GroundBCFC Training Ground
Shirt SponsorRSG
Team OwnerStephen Lansdown
Record GoalscorerJohn Atyeo (351)
Record AppearancesJohn Atyeo (645)

Ashton Gate Photos

Ashton Gate Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Ashton Gate has four stands in a typically ‘English Style’, though The Williams Stand was demolished in 2015 as the club prepared to begin renovations on it. The Dolman Stand is the largest section of the ground and sits opposite where The Williams Stand used to be, whilst The Atyeo Stand was built in 1994 and contains the club’s dressing rooms. The South Stand was opened in 2015 and is the only one of the currently opened stands not named after a person.

Bristol City Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for Bristol City matches are rather convoluted, with matches categorised depending on the opposition, different areas of the ground costing different amounts, your age playing a further part in how much you’ll be charged and a £5 discount available for Forever Bristol Members.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive ticket options in each category for adults and concessions for matches at Ashton Gate:

  • Silver Category: £25 - £33 / £22 - £30
  • Gold Category: £30 - £38 / £27 - £35

How To Get Bristol City Tickets

If you’d like to see Bristol City play then your best bet for tickets is the club’s official website. If you’d prefer then you can also buy tickets over the phone by calling the club’s ticket office. In the case of some matches you might be able to buy tickets by visiting the ticket office, though this isn’t always the case.

Getting To Ashton Gate

Swap Start/End

Bristol is pretty close to South Wales, so depending on where you’re coming from it’s easy enough to get to. Here are some of the more conventional routes you might wish to look at:

Train - Bristol itself has two main train stations in Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway, though Ashton Gate is closest to Parson Street Station. You can get there on a direct line from either of the main stations as well as from Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton. It’s then an 18 minute walk to the ground.

Bus - There are two match day services that you’ll want to look out for; The BC1 drops off just by the ground and Abus run another service from Brislington Eagle Road that runs through the centre.

Car - If you’re on the M4 leave it at Junction 19 onto the M32 then get on the A4032. Go onto the A4044 then the A4 then the A370 before following signs for the ground. From the M5 leave at Junction 18 and get onto the A4 then the A38 before following signs.

By Air - Bristol has its own airport that serves plenty of Europe’s main cities and offers a bus service to Bristol Parkway for your connections.

Taxi - A taxi from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station to Ashton Gate will take about ten minutes and cost £8.

Parking Near Ashton Gate

There is limited parking near to Ashton Gate, with on-street parking restrictions in place. You might be able to find a couple of private car parks, of course, and there will be public ones in Bristol city centre.

Useful Resources

Ashton Gate Hotels

Bristol is a lovely city with plenty of hotels around. Here are some of our favourites:

The Malago Bed & Breakfast - £70+

113 West Street, Bristol, BS3 3PD
Just under a mile from the stadium is this charming B&B that promises free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

ibis Bristol Centre - £80+

Explore Lane, Bristol, BS1 5TY
Often a favourite of football fans looking for a budget chain hotel to stay in, this outlet of ibis offers a terrace, a restaurant and a bar about a mile and a half from the ground. More details.

Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel - £100+

College Green, Bristol, England, BS1 5TA
Just over a mile away from Ashton Gate is this Marriott hotel with a health club, indoor pool, self-parking and two restaurants. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Ashton Gate

Right on the border of Somerset and Gloucestershire, you can be sure to get a decent pint of cider in Bristol. Here are some of our favourite pubs for cider-lovers and non-cider-lovers alike:

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Place, Bristol, BS1 6XJ (0117 929 7994)
A characterful place that welcomes away fans, Nova Scotia offers good ales, ciders and decent food.

The Knights Templar

1 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6DG (0117 930 8710)
If all else fails, search out a Wetherspoons. The Knights Templar is just that so you’ll get cheap food and cheap drink and a reasonably good atmosphere.

The Cottage Inn

Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6XG (0117 921 5256)
A real ‘traditional’ style pub that sits right on the harbour, The Cottage Inn serves delicious food and has an outdoor area if the weather’s good.

Facilities

Some of the areas of Ashton Gate are newer than others, but the quality of the facilities are pretty excellent everywhere in the ground. You’ll find many kiosks and stalls offering food, drinks and programmes in wide, clean concourses.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.60
  • Cup of tea: 2.20

Hospitality

Martin Thirkettle [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ashton Gate has a number of excellent hospitality lounges, so you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy if you want to watch Bristol City play in style. You can opt for a package in The Heineken Lounge, for example, that would see you receive a three-course meal before the game, a cheese and biscuit selection afterwards, seating on a terrace outside of the lounge for the match itself, half-time refreshments and more. These hospitality options are only going to get better when the new stand opens, too.

Private Hire

Ashton Gate Stadium has its own website, so it’s fair to say that they offer some of the best private hire options in Bristol. You can use some of the numerous lounges for business conferences, perhaps, or host a dinner dance at the home of Bristol City. Maybe you’d like to get married at Ashton Gate? Well they’ve got that covered, with Asian Weddings a speciality too.

Stadium Tours & Museum

As Ashton Gate is currently being refurbished and a quarter of the ground has been demolished, the club are not offering tours. They have done in the past, though, and we imagine they will again in the future so check back in once the new West Stand has opened.

About Bristol City

1909 FA Cup Final, Man United v Bristol City - By yahoo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bristol City have had some ups and downs since they were formed properly in 1897. For starters, The Robins actually reformed as Bristol City FC (1982) Limited in, you guessed it, 1982 after the club endured financial ruin at the start of that decade. In fact it coincided with them setting a somewhat unwanted record - they remain the only club to suffer three consecutive relegations in the Football League.

They have endured some success over the years, too. In 1907 they finished as runners-up in the country’s top-tier, that coming immediately on the back of their promotion from the Second Division after they won it in 1906. They won the Third Division in 2015 and have been League Cup semi-finalists twice; once in 1971 and once in 1989.

Ashton Gate History

Ashton Gate 1982 - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There is, in essence, a before an after with Ashton Gate Stadium. Of course there have been numerous developments of the ground since it was built in 1897, though none of them were as comprehensive as the one that has been going on since the start of 2015. The old East End Stand, for example, was the location for the home supporters until it was demolished in 2014 in order to be rebuilt to more modern standards. The Williams Stand, too, was a fixture at the ground until it was destroyed in 2015.

As well as being the home of Bristol City and Bristol Rugby, the ground has also been used to host England Under-21 internationals, such as the one against Uzbekistan that took place in 2010. It has also been used as the location for a number of music concerts from artists like The Who, The Rolling Stone, Brian Adams, Bon Jovi and Elton John.

Future Developments

At the time of writing the club are in the process of re-building The Williams Stand in preparation for the start of the 2016-2017 season, which will increase the ground’s capacity to 27,000. That will complete the renovations of the ground so further developments are unlikely for the foreseeable future.

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