The Hawthorns: West Bromwich Albion FC

West Bromwich Albion Football Club, Birmingham Road West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4LF
By Tony Hisgett (originally posted to Flickr as Albion 2) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Hawthorns has been the home of West Bromwich Albion since its doors first opened on the third of September 1900. It was the first Football League ground to be built in the 20th Century and its construction took just four months. That isn’t the only first that the Black Country ground lays claim to either, it was also the first stadium to introduce electronic turnstile aggregators!

The Midlands club have long prided themselves on not only being a club of tradition but also of moving with the times and they revolutionised the way grounds are accessed once more when they introduced the Stilecard system in 2002. That year also saw them become the first club to have big screens in a widescreen format at their stadium.

As for the Baggies themselves, they’ve had a mixed history. They won the First Division championship in 1920, the only time in the club’s history they’ve won the top league, but have spent roughly half of their existence in the second tier of English football. They gained promotion to the Premier League for the 2010-2011 season and have remained in the top flight since.

Stats

The Hawthorns Stats
Year Opened1900
Capacity26,850
Average Attendance25,000
Record Attendance64,815 (West Brom v Arsenal (1937))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerWest Bromwich Albion F.C.
Clubs HostedWest Bromwich Albion FC
First FixtureWest Brom v Derby County (03/09/1900)
West Bromwich Albion Stats
Year Founded1878
NicknameThe Baggies, The Throstles, Albion
Club MascotBaggie Bird
RivalsBirmingham City, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Previous StadiumsStoney Lane Ground
KitNavy Blue and White (Home) / Red (Away) / Black with Red trim (Third)
Training GroundWest Bromwich Albion Training Ground
Shirt SponsorUK-K8.com
Team OwnerJeremy Peace,West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited
Record GoalscorerTony Brown (279)
Record AppearancesTony Brown (720)

The Hawthorns Photos

The Hawthorns Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By dom fellowes from UK (The Hawthornes) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Hawthorns is a fully enclosed stadium with stands on each side and the corners of the ground. It can look a bit strange as you approach it as two of the stands are higher than the other two, giving it a slightly lopsided look. There is no running track, meaning that the crowd is right next to the pitch, allowing for an intimidating atmosphere during matches when the supporters are in the mood.

  • The West Stand - This stand houses the TV camera galley as well as the press and commentary areas. It was recently refurbished, resulting in a reduction of capacity to 4725.
  • The East Stand - Broken into Upper and Lower sections, the East Stand is where the VIP seating section can be found. It is also where the ticket office, club shop and administration offices are located. It replaced the Rainbow Stand and the two corners are called the Woodman corner and the Millennium corner. The capacity of this stand is 8791.
  • The Birmingham Road Stand - Known as the Brummie Road to Albion’s supporters, this is where the more die-heard Baggies fans sit. It is also joined by the Woodman corner, so named because of the Woodman pubs that stood there until 2004, where a large effigy of a throstle stands on top of the stand. Capacity here, including Woodman corner, is 8286.
  • The Smethwick End - This is the stand that plays host to the away supporters, though they only get part of it with the rest being taken up by West Brom’s most vocal fans. The capacity of this stand is 5200.

West Bromwich Albion Ticket Prices

Tickets for matches at The Hawthorns are generally quite reasonably priced, with even games against the top teams being as low as £39. The club operates a banded system where matches against the Premier League’s top clubs or West Brom’s rivals are classed in band A, whilst games against the rest of the division or lesser cup games count as band B matches.

Here we’ll look at the range of prices for league games at the Hawthorns for both adults and senior concessions. The latter are available for people aged over 60.

League Games

  • £25 - £39 / £20 - £29

How To Get West Bromwich Albion Tickets

The best way to get tickets is by going online to the West Brom ticket sales website, www.wbatickets.co.uk. You can also phone the club’s ticket line or drop in to the ticket office directly at the ground. The club has also now installed two self-service ticket machines at the East Stand box office. This is for those who have pre-paid for their tickets and don’t want to have to queue up with fans who have yet to buy their tickets. There will likely be people around the ground offering to sell you tickets on the day, but these aren’t always genuine and go against the club’s own rules for buying tickets, so we recommend against buying your tickets in this manner.

Getting To The Hawthorns

Swap Start/End

West Brom’s ground is one of the most accessible in the Premier League. It is simple to get to by road, on the bus or via the Metro, with all of them taking you really close to the ground. It’s even reasonably simple to get to by plane!

Train - The Hawthorns station is served by both trains and the Metro and is just a 5 minute walk from the ground. The train from Birmingham Snow Hill, which is near the centre of Birmingham and can be reached by a train from Birmingham New Street, takes just seven minutes, for example.

Bus - Most buses in the Black Country stop directly outside The Hawthorns, with your options here being numerous and plentiful. If you’re in the West Midlands the chances are the bus stop you’re at will service West Brom’s ground.

Car - If you’re on the M5 and take junction 1 then the A41, follow signs to Birmingham City Centre and you’ll see The Hawthorns almost as soon as you leave the motorway. If you’re already in Birmingham then do the reverse and take the A41 towards the M5.

By Air - Birmingham International Airport serves most countries in the world, so if you’re not in the UK you’ll still be able to get to The Hawthorns easily enough. A train from Birmingham International will take you to New Street, that will take you to Snow Hill and that will take you to The Hawthorns station. All in it will take you less than an hour.

Taxi - A taxi from Birmingham New Street will cost about £15 and take you around 10 minutes. From Birmingham International it will be more like 20 minutes but will set you back nearly £50, so it’s worth going for the train unless you’re in a rush.

Parking Near The Hawthorns

There are car park on Halfords Lane that you can use for a fee, normally £5. You’ll almost certainly struggle to get away after the match, however. The closer you can park to the M5 the quicker you’ll get back home, with Kenrick Way offering free on street parking in exchange for a 10 minute walk to the ground.

Useful Resources

The Hawthorns Hotels

Given the location of The Hawthorns is about 3 miles from Birmingham, there are a whole host of excellent hotels not far from the stadium. We’ve picked out a few here that offer different facilities and prices, with the cost of your stay likely to be cheaper the further in advance you make your booking.

Park Inn by Radisson Birmingham West - £39+

Birmingham Road M5 Jct 1, West Bromwich, B70 6TU
Located around 0.6 miles from the ground, the Park Inn by Radisson is an excellent choice for your night’s stay. With a restaurant and bar as well as an indoor swimming pool and health club, you can get yourself warmed up for the match in style! More details.

Hampton By Hilton, Birmingham City North - £75+

104 Constitution Hill, Birmingham, B19 3JT
Hilton Hotels are synonymous with quality, so you can expect a good night’s sleep here. The hotel has a snack bar, a bar and lounge and a fitness centre. You can find the hotel around 2.6 miles from The Hawthorns More details.

Hallmark Hotel Birmingham, Strathallan - £110+

225 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 9RY
Another hotel located in central Birmingham, about 3 miles from the ground, is the Hallmark Hotel. It has a restaurant, bar and fitness centre on offer for your stay. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near The Hawthorns

The Royal Oak

14 Newton Street, Charlemont, B71 3RQ (0121 588 5857)
Rumoured to do excellent food and be a good spot for away supporters to go, with a ten minute or so walk to the ground for the match itself, the Royal Oak is well worth a visit on a match day.

The Vine

152 Roebuck Street, West Bromwich, B70 6RD (0121 553 2866)
The Vine is also about 10 minutes walk from the ground but is more commonly favoured by home fans. It’s a family run pub that does great indian food and fab ales, if you like that sort of thing.

The Horse & Jockey

49 Stoney Lane, West Bromwich (0121 439 6742)
Good for both home and away fans and known for its food and its ale, The Horse & Jockey is bound to have a great atmosphere.

Facilities

Given that the East Stand was completed in 2001 and the West Stand was fully refurbished in 2008, it’s fair to say that The Hawthorns is a thoroughly modern ground with all of the facilities you’d expect from such a place.

There are places within the ground to buy food, drinks and alcoholic beverages. There are also huts to go to place bets, buy programmes and other things. There is a club megastore that is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Saturday, or 9am until kick off on match days. After the match it will then re-open 30 minutes after the final whistle, so there will be loads of time to buy your club memorabilia.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.50
  • Pie: 3.20
  • Cup of tea: 2.20
  • Beer: 3.60

Hospitality

Home Dressing Room - By Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous hospitality options available at The Hawthorns, with the club coming second for their match day hospitality according to Visit Football for the 2014-2015 season. You can do something as big and expansive as sponsor the entire match, enjoy the game from the director’s box or take advantage of a four course meal.

If you want to go all out and sponsor a match then you’ll be rewarded with use of the Richardson Suite for you and 20 guests, VIP parking, executive seating, a behind the scenes tour of the Hawthorns before the game, entertainment from a club legend, a four course meal, half-time and post-match refreshments, commemorative gifts, a signed framed shirt presented to you by a first team player, a souvenir photograph, complimentary bar and all of the PR you’d expect for yourself or your company.

Should you wish to sit in an executive box with a private viewing platform of the pitch then you and up to 8 guests can do so. You’ll receive a four course meal, half-time refreshments, an inclusive bar, VIP parking, a free programme and a team sheet.

There are hospitality packages to meet virtually every need you may have, with good availability on most packages. As you’d expect the price you’ll have to pay differs depending on the fixture, how many people you’re hoping to cater for and what type of hospitality you’d like to take advantage of.

Private Hire

From business meetings through to product launches via civil marriages and dinner dances, there aren’t many events you’ll be able to think of that The Hawthorns won’t be able to cater for. All of the club’s suites are multi-functional and available to hire, with the ground itself being easy to get to even if you don’t want to take advantage of the 300 parking spaces at the stadium.

The club has a dedicated conferences and events team that are able to help you figure out what you need, whether it be a small room or a large suite. There is also a banqueting team who can assist you with whatever you need to make your event a roaring success.

Stadium Tours & Museum

The Baggies don’t offer regular tours like other clubs, instead adding tours to their roster on an ad-hoc basis. They typically tend to be on a Wednesday or a Sunday morning and are subject to change depending on the club’s fixtures.

If you chose to go on the tour then you’ll get to see the club’s memorabilia collection, go inside the media areas and, of course, see the home and away dressing rooms. Tickets are £10 for adults and £6 for concessions and juniors.

About West Bromwich Albion

By Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the founding members of the Football League, West Bromwich Albion have never quite enjoyed the success that their vociferous support feels it deserves. They last won a major trophy in 1970, but they did win the Championship in 2008, gaining themselves promotion to the Premier League. The Baggies biggest league win came in 1892 when they beat Darwen 12-0 - a scoreline that remains the biggest margin of victory in a top flight game.

Albion were one of the teams that helped to form the Football League in 1888 and have rarely ventured outside the top tier since their inception. It is a fact known to few outside of the club’s supporters themselves that they won the First Division title in the 1919-1920 season.

The Hawthorns History

By Tony Hisgett (originally posted to Flickr as Albion 7) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

West Brom moved to The Hawthorns in 1900 after playing at five different grounds over 22 years. They won the FA Cup twice in five years when resident at Stoney Lane, the ground they called home for 5 years until their current stadium was built. Arguably the biggest claim to fame for the Hawthorns is the fact that, with an altitude of 551 feet, it is the highest ground out of all 92 stadiums belonging to Football League clubs.

The Hawthorns has also hosted numerous other sporting events on top of Baggies matches. In the 1920s it hosted two full England international matches, whilst it also hosted an England ‘B’ match for the first time in 1998. In 2000 and 2001 The Hawthorns welcomed competitors of a cult contact sport called Kabbadi for a tournament.

Future Developments

By Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There have been numerous plans to expand The Hawthorns over the years, yet they have all been shelved owing to the fact that the owner can’t get appropriate investment in the club to move forward. There are currently no specific plans to expand the ground.

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