Pride Park: Derby County

iPro Stadium, Derby, Derbyshire, DE24 8XL, England

For most people, the association between Derby County and Pride Park was too strong to be able to easily accept calling it The iPro Stadium. Call it that we had to for a time, however, given the 10-year sponsorship deal with the sporting drinks company iPro that was signed in 2013. That was dissolved in 2016 and the ground returned to being called Pride Park Stadium.

The decision to move away from the club’s former stadium, The Baseball Ground, was brought about because of two of football’s biggest tragedies: The Bradford City Stadium fire and The Hillsborough disaster. The former meant that vast portions of The Baseball Ground’s wooden components resulted in it being considered to be too big of a fire risk; whilst the latter meaning that all English football stadiums had to become all-seater. That limited Derby’s attendance to just 17,500, though that has now been increased to 33,597.

Stats

Pride Park Stats
Year Opened1997
Capacity33,597
Average Attendance29,042
Record Attendance33,598 (England v Mexico (2001))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknamePride Park
Former NamePride Park Stadium
OwnerDerby County F.C.
SponsoriPro
Clubs HostedDerby County F.C.
First FixtureDerby v Sampdoria (04/08/1997)
Derby County Stats
Year Founded1884
NicknameThe Rams
Club MascotRammie
RivalsNottingham Forest, Leicester City and Leeds United
Previous StadiumsRacecourse Ground, Baseball Ground
KitWhite with Black (Home) / Lime Green & Blue (Away) / Black & Grey (Third)
Training GroundMoor Farm Training Ground
Shirt SponsorAvon Tyres
Team OwnerMel Morris
Record GoalscorerSteve Bloomer (332)
Record AppearancesKevin Hector (589)

Pride Park Photos

Pride Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Phillip Ingham / Flikr.com

Pride Park Stadium is, as is the vogue for most modern grounds, built in something of a bowl style. It is perhaps a touch more rectangular than other stadiums that have taken on a bowl style, and it maintains the traditional English habit of having four differently named stands. This mix of conformity and non-conformity is compounded by the fact that the ground is all single-tiered with the exception of the largest stand which has two tiers.

  • The North Stand - This is a single-tier stand split into upper and lower sections and stands behind the goal at the Northern end of the stadium.
  • The East Stand - Running along the side of the pitch, this stand has white seating in sections that spells out the club’s nickname, The Rams.
  • The South Stand - A mirror image of The North Stand, this stand sits behind the Southern goal and normally houses the away supporters.
  • The Toyota Stand - Gaining its name thanks to sponsorship by the Japanese car manufacturer, this stand has two tiers that are separated by executive boxes. It also houses the dressing rooms and the dug-outs.

Derby County Ticket Prices

The ticket prices for Derby County matches are announced about seven weeks ahead of time. If you leave it until the day of the match itself then you'll find that the prices go up by £3 for adults and £2 for concessions. Other that that it's difficult to tell you about the prices you'll be charged to see Derby County play, though you'll pay more for tickets against the club's biggest rivals.

How To Get Derby County Tickets

There is barely a club in the land that doesn’t have an excellent website via which you can buy tickets for their matches, and Derby County is no exception. If you’re not keen on using websites or buying your tickets online, though, you can call the club’s box office directly or pop in to the ticket office at the ground itself. Options are available for both young and old, tech savvy fans and old school paper ticket lovers.

Getting To Pride Park

Swap Start/End

Pride Park is close to the centre of Derby, so it’s reasonably easy to get to by all of the usual routes. Here’s some guidance to help you, though, because we’re nice like that:

Train - You can reach Derby Railway Station directly from Manchester, Leeds, London and more. The good news is that it’s also less than one mile from the ground, so you’ll probably be able to walk it in about twenty minutes or so.

Bus - The number 111 bus goes from the centre of Derby out to the ground, stopping at nearby Derwent Parade. There are other options available for you too, but that’s the best one, to be honest.

Car - Pride Park is located just off the A52, so you’re not going to miss it if you want to drive and you’re heading the right way. From London you’ll get on to the A52 by taking Junction 25 of the M1, whilst from the North you’ll take the M6 and the A534.

By Air - East Midlands Airport is very close to Derby, being around nine miles away. You can get the Skyline bus service from East Midlands Airport to Derby and that takes about twenty minutes.

Taxi - Should you not fancy the walk from the train station to the ground then a taxi will set you back something in the region of £5 and will take around the same amount of time to complete its journey. It goes without saying that if the journey takes longer it will also cost you more.

Parking Near Pride Park

The club runs a number of officially sanctioned car parks that are all a short walk from the ground. There’s not a lot of on-street parking, however, with the likelihood that you’ll get towed or ticketed if you attempt to park in an unauthorised zone extremely high.

Useful Resources

Pride Park Hotels

Derby is a nice East Midlands city, so there are a few hotel options for your consideration. Here are some of our picks:

Holiday Inn Express Derby Pride Park - £60+

Wheelwright Way Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8HX
Pride Park business centre is less than half a mile away from Pride Park and the Holiday Inn Express sits on that site. It offers a free buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking, so it’s an ideal place to stay if you’re hoping to drive to Derby. More details.

Pentahotel Derby - £80+

Locomotive Way, Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8PU
Derby’s pentahotel is also about half a mile from the ground. The hotel has a fitness centre, a restaurant and bar and even its own nightclub. A good place to stay for the more youthful amongst you! More details.

Hallmark Hotel Derby Midland - £120+

Midland Road, Derby, DE1 2SQ
The Hallmark is a lovely hotel with free Wi-Fi, free parking, a conference centre and nine meeting rooms. There’s also a restaurant and bar and a garden, should you wish to chill out before you head to the game. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Pride Park

Derby is a nice city to head to for a bite to eat and a drink. Here are some of the places that we think you should consider, if you don’t know the city that well:

Harvester Pride Park

Roundhouse Road, Off Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8JE (01332 371471)
The Harvester is very much a chain pub with a good food menu and the sort of drinks options you’d expect. They don’t really show any sport, though, so it’s more the sort of place that you’d head to with your family for a bite to eat before you go to the ground.

The Brunswick Inn

1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU (01332 290677)
The Brunswick Inn is a railway pub that was awarded the CAMRA Pub of the Year award for Derby for 2016. They offer homemade food and have two function rooms. You’ll probably also be able to watch some football there, too.

The Alexandra Hotel

203 Siddals Rd, Derby, DE1 2QE (01332 293993)
Another CAMRA favourite, The Alexandra Hotel also offers home cooked food and is actually a hotel, so you’ll have somewhere to stay if you have too much to drink!

Facilities

Built in 1997 but refurbished quite a bit in the intervening years, Pride Park has the sort of facilities that you’d expect from a club that is trying to position itself at the top end of the market. The concourses are reasonable enough and have numerous stalls and shops from which you can buy drinks and snacks. The views of the pitch are reasonably good from anywhere inside the arena.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.60
  • Cup of tea: 2.30
  • Beer: 3.00

Hospitality

Ian Richardson / Flikr.com

Derby County’s hospitality packages promise a good mix of luxury and entertainment. There are options available to pretty much every budget, within reason, and how much you get out of the day will depend on how much you’re willing to put in. From sponsoring the match ball through to sponsoring the entire match day experience, there are numerous ways that you can get your business’ name out and about through Derby County. There are two main areas that you’ll want to consider spending your 90 minutes:

  • The Pedigree Suite - Here you will enjoy locally sourced food prepared by the club’s executive chefs. You’ll be able to access your seat to watch the game directly from the room itself and will get a three-course meal, complimentary drinks and a match day host.
  • McFarland’s Bar - This is the most informal lounge in the stadium. It offers pre and post-match pay bar facilities as well as food and you can can access for just £3 per person, per match.

Private Hire

As a state-of-the-art facility it’s no surprise that Pride Park Stadium caters for pretty much any private event that you could think of. From prom nights for school students through to banquets and dinner dances, if you’re looking for a private hire location in Derby then you’d do well to consider the home of the city’s football club.

If you’re looking for somewhere to host a business event then Derby’s lounges can cater for small meetings of four or so people up to much larger conferences for up to 450 delegates. The executive boxes offer ideal break-out rooms, should you wish to explore the possibility of taking your larger meeting down to a smaller scale.

Pride Park Stadium also offers wedding services, including a specialisation in Asian celebrations. If you’re a huge Rams fan then why not consider spending your special day in the most special of locations? If you’re not looking to host a wedding but have an exhibition that you’d like to put on then fear not! The club has got you covered there, too.

Stadium Tours & Museum

If you choose to do a tour of Pride Park Stadium then you’ll get a chance to follow in the footsteps of your heroes: having a look around the home dressing room, walking down the tunnel and emerging on to the side of the pitch before sitting in the dug-out. You’ll also get to spend some time in the Director’s Box, have a look at some of the hospitality lounges and even go inside the ground’s own police cell!

Tours are available on particular dates that change throughout the year, so get in touch with the club directly to find out when you can go. You can organise a one-off private tour, but these will cost a minimum of £25 when tours normally cost £8 per person. The tour lasts an hour and not all of the things mentioned above are guaranteed to be available.

Derby County don’t have a museum of their own, though you may sometimes be able to see some club memorabilia on display at the city’s Museum and Art Gallery. There is also an online museum that you can visit if you’re keen to learn about the club’s history.

About Derby County

A mock funeral card issued before 1909 when Harry Linacre stopped playing for Nottingham Forest. Presumably by Derby County fan - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Derby County were one of the founding members of the Football League when it was formed in 1888. Because of that it has the odd claim to fame that it os one of only ten football clubs that has competed every season of the English Football League since its foundation. The club itself was formed in 1884 as a separate section of Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

In spite of the fact that the club’s heyday was in the 1970s, they’ve spent only four season outside of English football’s top two divisions. The club won the First Division championship twice in the ‘70s, and also competed in European competition during the same period. They reached the semi-final of the European Cup once, too.

Pride Park History

Pride Park was at one point the sixteenth largest ground in England by capacity. It was also the twentieth largest in the United Kingdom and the 121st largest in Europe. Not bad for what is normally a Championship ground! It’s also not bad when you consider that, for a time, it wasn’t even going to be built.

When the aftermath of the Taylor Report made it clear that the capacity of The Baseball Ground was going to be reduced considerably, it seemed obvious that a new stadium would be the way forward. It looked like it was going to be very expensive, however, so redevelopment of the old stadium seemed the best thing to do. In the end they reigned in their designs and Pride Park was built.

Pride Park was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on the 18th of July 1997. The first competitive fixture at the ground came on the 30th of August when the home side beat Barnsley by one goal to nil. Though the record attendance at club level was set during a game between Derby and Liverpool in March of 2000, the overall attendance record came when the stadium was used to host a full England international between the home nation and Mexico in a friendly in May of 2001.

Future Developments

Pride Park Stadium South Stand - Joebloggsy at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Owing to the fact that only one of the stand at the ground has a second tier, it would be reasonably easy for the club to expand the stadium’s capacity to around 44,000. Unless Derby County become an established Premier League presence, though, that’s not likely to happen any time soon.

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