Weston Homes Community Stadium: Colchester United

United Way, Colchester, Essex, England, CO4 5UP
http://www.football-stadiums.co.uk/images/weston-homes/g.jpg

Colchester United Football Club was formed in 1937 and immediately moved into Layer Road, the football ground they would call their home for the next 71 years. In the wake of the Bradford Stadium Fire and the Hillsborough Disaster, however, safety concerns were such that large sections of the ground were closed off, reducing the capacity to less than 5000. With expensive redevelopment to the ground necessary to help it reach new safety standards set by the football league it because clear that a new home would be the most sensible solution for the Essex club.

Sites for the new stadium were identified as early as 1998, even though it wouldn’t be built and opened for another decade. Planning permission was granted in 2003 and Colchester Council agreed to put £10,23 million towards it, with a further £4 million coming in the form of Football Foundation and local government grants. The first match at the club’s new ground was played against Spanish side Athletic Bilbao on the 4th of August 2008, with Bilbao running out 2-1 winners.

Stats

Weston Homes Community Stadium Stats
Year Opened2008
Capacity10,105
Average Attendance3,886
Record Attendance10,064 (Colchester Utd v Norwich (2010))
Pitch Size101 x 64 (6464)
Former NameColchester Community Stadium
OwnerColchester Borough Council[
SponsorWeston Homes
Clubs HostedColchester United F.C.
First FixtureColchester United v Athletic Bilbao (04/08/2008)
Colchester United Stats
Year Founded1937
NicknameThe U's
Club MascotEddie the Eagle
RivalsWycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Ipswich Town, Cambridge United
Previous StadiumsLayer Road
KitBlue & White (Home) / Orange & Black (Away) / White & Black (Third)
Training GroundFlorence Park
Shirt SponsorWeston Homes/Jobserve
Team OwnerRobbie Cowling
Record GoalscorerTony Adcock (149)
Record AppearancesMicky Cook (700)

Weston Homes Community Stadium Photos

Weston Homes Community Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Matt Churchill / Flickr.com

The Weston Homes Community Stadium has four separate stands, with all but one of them having a name that has come from sponsorship. Obviously sponsors can change regularly so if they’re called something else when you go don’t blame us. The Roman Cars Stand is a single-tiered structure that houses the away supporters if there are too many of them to be housed safely in The Observe Stand, where they’d normally go. The Weston Homes Stand is directly opposite The Roman Cars Stand behind the Southern goal and normally sits the more vocal Colchester supporters, whilst The West Stand is considered to be the main stand in the ground as it houses the changing rooms, the dugouts and executive boxes.

Colchester United Ticket Prices

Colchester United are actually really good at providing supporters with numerous ways to buy tickets, but that conversely makes it quite tricky to understand their ticket pricing scheme. They offer discounts for Early Bird customers as well as Super Saver tickets, Saver tickets, Advance Purchase tickets and Match Day prices. They then charge different amounts for different areas of the ground as well as different prices for different age groups. On top of all of that they offer further discounts if you buy your tickets in bulks of six or twelve games.

Trying to keep things reasonably simple, then, here are the cheapest and most expensive match day prices for adults and concessions. You can get tickets cheaper if you buy earlier or in bulk, as we’ve said, but these are the ‘rock up on the day and offer your cash’ prices:

  • Adult: £23 - £31
  • Concession: £14 - £17

How To Get Colchester United Tickets

Tickets can be bought online up to an hour before kick-off, over the telephone between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday or directly from the ticket office at the stadium.

Getting To Weston Homes Community Stadium

Swap Start/End

Colchester itself is located in Essex and is considered by some to be a convenient commuter town to London. For that reason it’s reasonably easy to get to from the South, with the following being the usual methods you might want to consider:

Train - Colchester North Station is the closest to the ground, but it’s just under two miles away so it will take you about forty minutes to walk.

Bus - The Number 65 bus is operated by First Group and runs from outside Colchester North Station straight to the stadium.

Car - From London take the M25 until you can get on the A12 towards Chelmsford. Carry on on the A12 until you get to Junction 28 and follow the signs for the stadium. From the Ipswich direction you ‘ll want to get straight onto the A12 and follow the instructions above.

By Air - London Stansted Airport is probably the closest main one to Colchester at a little over 35 miles away, so that’s the airport to fly into if you’re abroad.

Taxi - A taxi from Colchester North Station to the ground will cost you about £10 if the traffic is in your favour and shouldn’t take much over five minutes to complete its journey.

Parking Near Weston Homes Community Stadium

There are less than 700 parking spaces at the ground and you need a permit in advance to leave your car there. They cost £6 if you book ahead and the surrounding areas have strict parking exclusion zones in place on match days so you might want to think twice about on-street parking. Your best bet is to park in town before heading out to the ground on public transport.

Useful Resources

Weston Homes Community Stadium Hotels

There aren’t many hotels near to the ground itself, but Colchester has some lovely hidden treasures for you to consider:

Dragonfly Hotel Colchester - £50+

A12/A120 Ardleigh Junction, Colchester, CO7 7QY
Just under two miles away is this 3-star hotel with a restaurant, a bar, a rooftop terrace and free parking as well as free Wi-Fi. More details.

A Hideaway Retreat - £65+

53 Anthony Close, St Johns, Colchester, CO4 0LD
Two miles from the ground is this B&B with just two rooms. It’s scores on TripAdvisor are unreal, though, and it has a garden so if you can get in here you won’t be disappointed. More details.

The Globe Hotel - £75+

71 North Station Road, Colchester, CO1 1RQ
Located less than two miles from the stadium is this Victorian hotel with a restaurant and bar. They’ve also got free Wi-Fi, of course, as well as free place to park. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Weston Homes Community Stadium

Colchester is full of fun little boozers where you can waste a few hours having a pre-match pint and a chat with the locals. Here are some of our favourites:

Stadium Bar

Weston Homes Stand, United Way, Colchester, CO4 5UP (01206 755 100)
Given there aren’t a lot of options around the ground the club were quite clever in setting up their own supporter’s bar. It’s inside The Weston Homes Stand and welcomes both sets of supporters, so it’s a good place to head before the game for a bit of atmosphere.

The Dog & Pheasant

24 Nayland Rd, Mile End, Colchester, CO4 5EG (01206 852 427)
The Dog & Pheasant is about a mile from the ground and is a Hungry Horse, so you know what you’re getting. It’s got a decent value for money food menu and plenty of standard drinks. They’ve also got screens for live sport, though they’re not overly keen on welcoming away supporters on a match day.

The Bricklayers

27 Bergholt Road, Mile End, Colchester, CO4 5AA (01206 852 008)
Not far from the train station in central Colchester is this family run pub that promises a decent atmosphere, screens to watch the live sport on, hearty meals and cask ales that CAMRA would be proud of.

Facilities

As one of the newest grounds in the Football League the facilities at The Weston Homes Community Stadium are amongst the best in the lower divisions. You can buy drinks, enjoy a snack or a warm pie and even place a bet on the concourses beneath the seats. It’s not the best ground in the country but it’s more than an acceptable place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.80
  • Cup of tea: 1.00

Hospitality

Matt Churchill / Flickr.com

The Weston Homes Community Stadium has a number lounges that you’re able to sit in if you’d like to enjoy match day hospitality at the ground. The Centennial Lounge, for example, offers a three-course meal, half-time refreshments and the chance to witness players being interviewed, whilst an afternoon in The Layer Suite will see you enjoy a one-course meal as well as tea and coffee at half-time and a match day programme.

Private Hire

The facilities at the ground are designed to make the most out of the business opportunities that present themselves in the local area. For that reason the home of Colchester United is available for hire for events such as school proms, private parties, exhibitions and conferences. It also offers a unique setting for your Christmas party!

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing it is not possible to do a tour of the ground, nor is there a museum. If either of these things change then we’ll let you know.

About Colchester United

footysphere / Flickr.com

Founded in 1937, The U's as they're known to their supporters, weren't elected to the Football League until 1950 and spent the first thirteen years of their existence playing games in the Southern Football League. Up until 1990 the club played their games in either the third or fourth tier of the game, but in 1990 they were relegated to the Conference. They bounced back almost immediately, however, winning the Football Conference title in 1992.

The club's most notable success was arguably the 3-2 win that they managed in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1971 against Don Revie's all-conquering Leeds United side. The win was considered so momentous in the club's history that the entire team that played that day were entered into Colchester's Hall of Fame in 2007. Fans of Colchester voted Lomana LuaLua, the former Newcastle and Portsmouth striker, to be their cult hero in a BBC poll in 2004.

Weston Homes Community Stadium History

Old Layer Road Ground - Glyn Baker [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Originally intended to be called The Colchester Community Stadium, the name was changed to The Weston Homes Community Stadium not long after it opened thanks to a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with the property developer. It opened officially in 2008, costing about £14 million and is owned by Colchester Borough Council. The capacity is just over 10,000, with the record attendance being set when Colchester played against Norwich City in January 2010.

The first goal scored at the stadium came in its inaugural fixture, a friendly against Athletic Bilbao. Aritz Aduriz scored the goal for the Spanish club, before Scott Vernon equalised and became the first Colchester player to score in the new ground. The first competitive goal was scored by Mark Yeats on the 30th of August 2008 when the U's played Oldham Athletic , with the club having to wait until the 25th of October before they were able to register their first win at their new home - a five-nil thrashing of Carlisle United.

Future Developments

With the ground only opening in 2008 it's unlikely that any changes will be made to it in the near future. The only major change that could take place is the filling in of the corners of the ground, though that won't happen unless the club establishes itself in the Championship.

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