Roots Hall: Southend United

Victoria Avenue, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, SS2 6NQ

Southend United have played at five different grounds during their history, with two of them taking the name Roots Hall. When the club was formed they played their games on a piece of ground called Roots Hall, but they had to leave this when the First World War broke out and the army wanted to use the space for storage. They moved to a new ground in the middle of The Kursaal Amusement Park, but this was only ever likely to be a temporary home. The original space had since become a quarry for sand and a tipping site, so when the club acquired the rights to create a purpose-built stadium on it, it was clearly going to take some effort to get it up to scratch.

In the end it actually took ten years to build the new Roots Hall on the site of the old one. In fact, when the club’s inaugural season began there the construction of the stadium was incomplete. The authorities couldn’t complain, however, as the ground was officially opened by Sir Stanley Rous - the Secretary of the Football Association. The rush-job on getting the stadium finished meant that it wasn’t up to scratch, with the drainage on the pitch being such an issue during the 1955-1956 season that it had to be completely re-laid in the off-season.

Stats

Roots Hall Stats
Year Opened1955
Capacity12,392
Average Attendance6,936
Record Attendance31,033 (Southend v Liverpool (1979))
Pitch Size100 x 67 (6700)
OwnerSouthend United Football Club
Clubs HostedSouthend United F.C.
First FixtureSouthend United v Norwich (20/08/1955)
Southend United Stats
Year Founded1906
NicknameThe Shrimpers, The Seasiders, The Blues
Club MascotElvis J Eel
Rivals Colchester United, Leyton Orient
Previous StadiumsKursaal, The Greyhound Park, Writtle Street, Southend Stadium
KitBlue and White (Home) / Orange and Black (Away)
Training GroundBoots and Laces Training Ground
Shirt SponsorThe Army May Trust
Team OwnerRon Martin
Record GoalscorerRoy Hollis (135)
Record AppearancesAlan Moody (506)

Roots Hall Photos

Roots Hall Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Roots Hall is built in the ‘English Style’ of having four distinct stands. The EBM-PAPST Stand houses the Director’s Box and the hospitality lounges and is considered the main stand in the ground, whilst The Paul Robinson West Stand is the largest of the four in the stadium. The North Stand is where the away fans sit and The Hi-Tec Stand is a two-tier structure that tends to house the club’s more vocal fans as well as the Family Section.

Roots Hall is built in the ‘English Style’ of having four distinct stands. The Fairfield BMW East Stand houses the Director’s Box and the hospitality lounges and is considered the main stand in the ground, whilst The Paul Robinson West Stand is the largest of the four in the stadium. The ADSI North Stand is where the away fans sit and The Hi-Tec South Stand is a two-tier structure that tends to house the club’s more vocal fans as well as the Family Section.

Southend United Ticket Prices

Southend United have made their ticketing scheme remarkably simple to understand. There is no categorisation of tickets and you don’t pay a different amount to sit in a different part of the ground. The only thing that affects the cost of your ticket is your age, and whether you’d like to buy a family ticket. You will pay slightly more if you buy your tickets on the day than if you buy them in advance, though, an extra £3.00 in most cases.

Here we’ve listed the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions with the cheapest price being advance purchases:

  • Adults: £22 - £25
  • Concessions: £15 - £18

How To Get Southend United Tickets

You can buy tickets through the club’s official website, over the phone or by calling into the box office directly. Just be aware that if you don’t buy online there will be a £1.00 surcharge.

Where to Buy

Getting To Roots Hall

Swap Start/End

Southend-On-Sea is in Essex which is a reasonable commute from London, so as long as you know how to get there you’ll be a short hop from the town and, therefore, the ground. Here are some of the usual methods you’ll want to consider:

Train - The closest train station to Roots Hall is the wonderfully titled Prittlewell Railway Station. It is located about 5 minutes walk from the stadium and can be reached within the hour from London Liverpool Street Station.

Bus - As the ground is only five minutes walk from the centre of Southend-On-Sea there really isn’t much point getting a bus. If you really want to jump on one, though, you might want to speak to the travel companies in the city.

Car - Leave the M25 at Junction 29 and get on the A127 towards Southend. From there follow the signs until you get to the ground.

By Air - Southend Airport is only about three miles away from the ground, whilst London City Airport is around forty miles away.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Southend to the ground will take less than five minutes and only cost about £5.

Parking Near Roots Hall

There is some limited on-street parking around Roots Hall, though be aware that parking restrictions will be in place. There’s also parking available at the Southend-On-Sea Civic Centre as well as at Southend High School on Prittlewell Close.

Useful Resources

Roots Hall Hotels

Southend is a seaside town, so there are loads of fun places to stay with nice views of the water. Here are some of our favourites:

Hamiltons Boutique Accommodation - £70+

6 Royal Terrace, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1DY
This charming B&B is close to Southend Pier and just over a mile from the ground. There are seven guest bedrooms, a garden and a free English breakfast included in the price of your stay. More details.

The Welbeck Hotel - £90+

27 Palmerston Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 7TA
The Welbeck Hotel is not named after former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Danny, sadly, but it’s worth considering anyway. It’s just a mile from Roots Hall and has a bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking for those of you that choose to drive. More details.

Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-Sea - £110+

Church Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2AL
Just over a mile from the stadium is this 3-star restaurant near to the beach. It has a restaurant and bar, a fitness centre and a conference space as well as free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Roots Hall

Seaside towns generally know how to do three things: B&Bs, kiss-me-quick hats and fun little watering hotels. Here are some of our favourites:

The Plough

426-428 London Road, Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 (01702338038)
At The Plough you’ll get all of the usual drinks that you’d expect to find in a quality pub, something nice and tasty to eat and large screen TVs that will show the latest live sport.

The Trading Room

522 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9HS (01702 350444)
The Trading Room is a cracking little place that serves amazing food and standard drinks. There are also big screens that show the sport.

The Spread Eagle

267 Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6NE (01702 808953)
Live sports shown on big screens, great value food and top entertainment are high on the list of things promised at The Spread Eagle in Southend.

Facilities

There are some supporting pillars throughout the stadium that can impede your view depending on where you’re sitting, but there are plenty of places to buy food and drink in the concourse and the usual kiosks to buy programmes and place bets can all be found, too.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.80
  • Cup of tea: 1.70
  • Beer: 3.00

Hospitality

Julieanne Savage [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of great hospitality options available at Roots Hall that can suit any budget. Whether you’d like to enjoy a two-course meal in The Blues Legends Lounge, a three-course dinner in the Captains Suite complete with half-time refreshments and half a bottle of wine, or you fancy getting an Executive Box for you and nine friends complete with snacks and beers, you’ll find the service at the home of Southend United to be top-notch.

Private Hire

With so many different suites available at Roots Hall, and an events team that it always happy to help and find the right package for you, birthday parties, graduation events and business conferences are all handled with ease by the Southend team.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing there are no tours of Roots Hall available, nor is there a museum. If either of those things change then we’ll update this section. But then you won’t read this sentence as it won’t be here anymore. Oooh, weird.

About Southend United

By Simon Harriyott from Uckfield, England (Southend United Football ClubUploaded by Oxyman) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Southend United Football Club were formed in the back room of The Blue Boar Pub in 1906. The club entered the Football League in 1920 and has spent the majority of its existence in the lower leagues of English football. They have spent seven seasons in the second-tier, however.

Southend have fierce rivalries with two clubs: Colchester and Leyton Orient. The hatred of Colchester is based on the fact that both clubs are located in Essex and their rivalry goes back decades. The rivalry with Leyton Orient stems back to the period from 1998 until 2005 when The O’s were The Shrimpers’ closest league rivals geographically.

Roots Hall History

footysphere / Flickr.com

When Roots Hall opened at the start of the 1955-1956 season it was far from finished. The East Stand hadn’t been finished and only ran along fifty yards of the touchline, and the North, West and South Stands largely unconcreted. The unfinished nature of the stands were the least of the club’s problems, however, with the pitch having been built on compacted trash. That meant that the drainage was essentially non-existent and the pitch became a quagmire as the season went on, resulting in it needing to be relayed when the season came to a close.

Roots Hall was the newest ground in the entire football league until 1988 when it saw some significant changes take place due to the club’s poor financial situation. Improvements were made in the mid-1990s, with seats being added to the original terracing and a second-tier added to The South Stand.

Future Developments

The Main Grandstand - Paul Collins [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2007 Southend Borough Council agreed to give planning permission for a brand new stadium at a site in Fossetts Farm. Sainsbury’s supermarket was set to bankroll the move for a number of years, but in April 2017 new plans were submitted with no mention of Sainsbury’s being involved. There are currently plans for the move to happen in December 2018, but whether or not this will come to pass remains to be seen.

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