Oakwell Stadium: Barnsley

Grove Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, S71 1ET

Oakwell Stadium was built in the same year that Barnsley Football Club was founded, though it didn’t officially open until the year after, 1888. Unusually for a Football League club the ground not only hosts the first XI matches but also the club’s reserves fixtures. The name ‘Oakwell’ normally refers to the stadium itself, though officially it is also the name of the surrounding facilities that together comprise The Barnsley FC Academy.

For most of its existence the stadium was owned by Barnsley Football Club themselves. However the club entered into a period of financial difficulty at the start of the millennium, eventually falling into administration. At this point Barnsley council purchased the main Oakwell Stadium, though not the surrounding properties. This gave the club the finances it needed to be able to pay off their creditors whilst also remaining in the Football League.

Stats

Oakwell Stadium Stats
Year Opened1888
Capacity23,009
Average Attendance11,763
Record Attendance40,255 (Barnsley v Stoke City (1936))
Pitch Size100 x 68 (6800)
OwnerBarnsley Council
Clubs HostedBarnsley FC
Barnsley Stats
Year Founded1887
NicknameThe Tykes, The Reds
Club MascotToby Tyke
RivalsSheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Leeds United
KitRed (Home) / Black (Away)
Training GroundBarnsley F.C. Academy
Shirt SponsorCK Becket
Team OwnerPatrick Cryne
Record GoalscorerErnie Hine (131)
Record AppearancesBarry Murphy (569)

Oakwell Stadium Photos

Oakwell Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Badics (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Built as it was in the 1880s, even the recent renovations to the ground can’t stop it maintaining its typical ‘English Style’ of having a stand on each edge of the pitch. Two of the stands are double-tiered and two of them are single-tiered. Here’s some information on each:

  • The North Stand - This single-tier stand is behind the goal and is capable of holding over 6000 fans. It is normally where the away fans sit, though, so it rarely sells out.
  • The East Stand - There are two-tiers separated by a row of executive boxes in this stand and it had a capacity of over 7000.
  • The CK Beckett Stand - Built in 1995, this single-tier stand houses Barnsley’s more vocal supporters and is known to the locals at the Pontefract Road End.
  • The West Stand - If you can avoid sitting in the lower section of this two-tier structure when the weather’s bad then do - it’s the only part of the ground not covered by a roof. This is considered to be the main stand in the stadium and is also the only bit of Oakwell that is original, even though it’s undergone numerous renovations over the years.

Barnsley Ticket Prices

When you write content for websites like this there’s nothing better than a club that makes their ticket pricing nice and easy to understand. Barnsley very much fit in to the Gold standard of football clubs in that respect and if you’re hoping to buy tickets to see them live then you’ll appreciate it. They don’t categorise their matches, so the price you’ll pay will be the same regardless of who they’re playing.

The only things that affect the price of tickets at Oakwell are how old you are, where in the ground you want to sit and how early you buy your tickets. If you leave it until the day of the game then you’ll end up paying a little more, but it’s only a couple of quid so don’t panic. Here are the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions, presuming you buy your ticket on the day of the game:

  • Adult: £20 - £27
  • Concession: £15 - £19

How To Get Barnsley Tickets

As is the case with most Football League clubs that are, pardon the pun, on the ball, Barnsley have a great website that will be the first port of call for most fans looking to pick up tickets. For those of you that prefer a more old school way of working, however, there is a ticket office that you can either call into in person or call on the phone.

Getting To Oakwell Stadium

Move Map
Swap Start/End

Barnsley is in South Yorkshire, not far from Sheffield. For that reason it’s not the hardest place to get to depending on where you’re coming from, but then it’s not the easiest place to visit either. Here are some methods of transport you might like to consider:

Train - Barnsley Railway Station is less then a ten minute walk from the stadium, so that’s where you’ll be heading if you’re getting the train. It will take you about two and a half hours to get there from London St. Pancras, for example, with a change in Sheffield. It will be slightly quicker from a Northern city like Liverpool, again changing in the steel city.

Bus - Because the stadium is so close to the centre of Barnsley and the train station in particular, there isn’t really a need to get the bus to the ground. If you really want to do it, though, you’re best off asking the locals of the best route for you.

Car - Oakwell Stadium is just off the M1, so get onto that motorway before leaving at Junction 37 and taking the A628. Stick on that road until you see the signs for the ground.

By Air - Robin Hood Doncaster-Sheffield Airport is less than thirty miles away from Barnsley, whilst Leeds-Bradford Airport isn’t much further than that. If you want a much more mainstream airport then Manchester is less than fifty miles away and has excellent transport options for your onward journey.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Barnsley to the ground will take about five minutes and shouldn’t cost you any more than £4 unless you get caught in traffic.

Parking Near Oakwell Stadium

There are car parks at the ground, with access being decided on a first-come-first-served basis. There is another one at the nearby Metrodome Leisure Centre and visiting supporters can park at Queens Ground.

Useful Resources

Oakwell Stadium Hotels

Nearby Sheffield offers the bright lights of a bigger city, but Barnsley is not without some decent hotel options of its own. Here are some of our favourites for you to consider:

ibis Styles Barnsley Hotel - £35+

Whinby Road, Barnsley, S75 3TX
The ibis chain of hotels are nothing spectacular but they’re cheap, cheerful and clean. The Barnsley branch is around two miles from the stadium and promises a restaurant, a bar, eight meeting rooms and free parking. More details.

Holiday Inn Barnsley - £50+

Barnsley Road, Dodworth, Barnsley, S75 3JT
Just over two miles from the ground is another chain hotel, this time from the Holiday Inn. It has a garden, a restaurant, a 24-hour fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool. There’s also a conference centre and free parking as well as free Wi-Fi. More details.

Tankersley Manor - QHotels - £70+

Church Lane, Tankersley, Barnsley, S75 3DQ
Located in the nearby suburb of Tankersley, around four miles away from Oakwell, this delightful suburban hotel offers a full-service spa with an indoor pool, a health club, a garden and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Oakwell Stadium

Barnsley is an excellent place to go for a drink or two; full of colourful locals and plenty of history, there are watering holes aplenty. Here are some of our favourites for when you come to consider where to have your pre-match pint:

The Joseph Bramah

15 Market Hill, Barnsley, S70 2PX (01226 320890)
This is a Wetherspoon’s pub located near to Barnsley train station and you can never go too far wrong with a Wetherspoon’s. You’ll get cheap drinks, cheap food, an ugly carpet and TVs to watch live sport on. This place is welcoming to both home and away supporters.

Reds Bar

The CK Beckett Stand, Oakwell Stadium, Grove Street, Barnsley, S71 1ET (01226 211211)
You can’t get much closer to the ground than actually in it and the Reds Bar is a great place to go for a pre-match pint, though admittedly it’s mostly for home fans. They have a cracking selection of real ales and serve bar snacks, plus they have TVs for any exciting live sport that may be on.

The Court House

24 Regent Street, Barnsley, S70 2HG (01226 779 056)
Food is served from 9am to 6pm, there are nice outdoor areas for a drink or a smoke, CAMRA like them because they serve two cask ales from award winning local breweries and they show live sport. What more could you ask for? No, don’t actually answer that. No one can hear you.

Facilities

Renovated in the 1990s, Oakwell is now starting to show its age a little in some areas of the ground. It’s generally a friendly place to go with a good atmosphere, though, and it has all of the usual facilities you’d expect at a football ground including kiosks where you can buy a drink and a bite to eat. There’s even a purpose built structure for disabled fans.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.10
  • Cup of tea: 1.80

Hospitality

As with most clubs in the top few divisions of the Football League Barnsley offer numerous hospitality packages for your benefit and amusement. Here are some details about some of the options open to you:

  • The Chamber Of Commerce Legends Suite - Spending your match day here will see you enjoy a pre-match three-course meal, half-time refreshments including freshly brewed tea or coffee, half-time and full-time drinks from a cash bar and executive seating.
  • Hospitality Suites - These can be hired out on a match by match basis for groups of at least twenty people, so they’re the perfect location for family celebrations or business meetings. You’ll enjoy dedicated waiting staff, half-time refreshments and a varied food menu.
  • The Premier Lounge - This is one of the more relaxed of the hospitality options at Oakwell. You’ll receive reserved seating, a complimentary match programme and access to a cash bar as well as the ability to place drinks order for both half-time and full-time.

Private Hire

As is the case with the majority of clubs that have excellent hospitality options, Barnsley allow their function rooms and suites to be used for private hire purposes, should you require it. In the past the stadium has been used to host business conferences (with the executive boxes used as breakout rooms), seminars, exhibitions, sportsmen’s dinners and more. They can even host your wedding if you’re a massive Barnsley fan! They can host your wedding if you’re not a massive Barnsley fan, of course, but then why would you want to get married at Oakwell if you didn’t support Barnsley?

Stadium Tours & Museum

The club don’t run regular tours of the stadium, but they do do occasional special edition tours at times like half-term. If you are lucky enough to get your timing right then you’ll get a true behind-the-scenes look at the home of Barnsley Football Club.

Previous tours have taken in the usual sites you’d expect to see on a tour, such as the dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel and the dugouts. On top of that, though, you’ll also get to see the head coach’s office, where he does all of his preparation for games; areas normally reserved for match day officials; the press room and even the hospitality suites.

The last time the club ran a tour it was free of charge, as they were doing it for children on half term, and lasted about an hour. If you’d like to see if they’ll do a tour for you then it’s always worth giving the club a call and asking, because you just never known otherwise. There is no Barnsley museum, but the club often has memorabilia on display for your perusal.

About Barnsley

Barnsley FC team during its tour of France in 1910 - Agence Rol [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Tykes were founded in 1887 as Barnsley St. Peter’s by the excellently named Reverend Tiverton Preedy. They played in the Sheffield and District League from 1890 until 1895 before joining the Midland League until 1898 when they joined the Football League proper. The club has spent more seasons in English football’s second-tier than any other team.

In 1910 Barnsley reached the FA Cup final for the first time, taking Newcastle to a replay before eventually losing out. They learnt from their experience, however, and when they took West Bromwich Albion to a replay in the 1912 final of the competition their experience paid off, with Barnsley winning 1-0 and taking the FA Cup home for the only time in the club’s history.

Oakwell Stadium History

Oakwell Stadium in 1990 - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oaskwell Stadium was renovated throughout the 1990s, with the club’s solitary season in the Premier League almost single-handedly paying for the re-building of the The North Stand, much to the consternation of some of the fans as it cost £4.5 million. It was hoped that the club would also be able to develop the ageing West Stand, but the club’s relegation from the top-flight and subsequent financial problems put paid to that notion.

There have been a number of attempts to use the ground for purposes other than Barnsley matches. Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Rugby League Club played their first Super League game in the stadium in 1998, for example. Wakefield & Emley non-league Football Club used the ground for an FA Cup tie against Rotherham in the same year, and Manchester City played there in a UEFA Cup qualifying game when the City Of Manchester Stadium’s pitch was being relaid in the summer of 2008.

Future Developments

North Stand Floodlights - Jeff Pearson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The West Stand will almost certainly be redeveloped at some point in the future, due to the fact that it’s the only original part of the stadium that is left. That is unlikely to happen until Barnsley have re-established themselves as a second-tier team, however, and are on a more stable footing financially.

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