Alexandra Stadium: Crewe Alexandra

4-6 Gresty Road, Crewe, Cheshire, England, W2 6DY
By Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Crewe Alexandra Football Club have a long and illustrious history. For most people the team will always be associated with Gresty Road, their home since 1906. They are still at Gresty Road but the ground is officially known as The Alexandra Stadium. A pernickety difference, perhaps, but there was actually a ground on Gresty Road that was called Alexandra Recreation Ground, with Crewe playing there on and off from their formation in 1887 until the current ground opened in 1906.

In the end they were forced to leave Alexandra Recreation Ground when the club received a compulsory purchase order. They had to abandon the stadium because a new railway line was being built there. This is part of the reason the club’s nickname is The Railwaymen. Instead a new ground was built a short distance to the West of the Rec ground.

Stats

Alexandra Stadium Stats
Year Opened1906
Capacity10,153
Average Attendance3,680
Record Attendance20,000 (Crewe v Tottenham (1960))
Pitch Size102 x 67 (6834)
NicknameGresty Road
Former NameGresty Road
OwnerCrewe Alexandra FC
Clubs HostedCrewe Alexandra
Crewe Alexandra Stats
Year Founded1877
NicknameThe Railwaymen, The Alex
Club MascotGresty the Lion
RivalsPort Vale, Wrexham, Shrewsbury Town, Stoke City, Chester City, Stockport County
Previous StadiumsAlexandra Recreation Ground, Sandbach
KitRed & White (Home) / Blue (Away)
Training GroundCrewe Alex Academy Training Ground
Shirt SponsorMornflake
Team OwnerThe Rowlinson Group
Record GoalscorerHerbert Swindells (137)
Record AppearancesTommy Lowry (482)

Alexandra Stadium Photos

Alexandra Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Alexandra Stadium is built very much in the ‘English Style’, with a stand on each side of the pitch. These stands often change their names due to sponsorship. Here is a little bit of information about each of the stands:

  • Air Products Stand - Opened in time for the 1999-2000 season, this stand cost just over £5 million to build and houses things like the dugouts and the club’s offices.
  • Mark Price Stand - Regardless of who sponsors it, this stand will only ever be known as The Gresty Road End to supporters. It is a small, single-tier structure that often houses the most vocal Crewe fans.
  • Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Van Stand - This single-tier stand is where the away supporters are housed and used to be called The Popular Side.
  • The Wulvern Housing Stand - Standing behind the goal at the opposite side of The Gresty Road End, this single-tier stand houses the club’s family section.

Crewe Alexandra Ticket Prices

Crewe Alexandra boast some of the cheapest tickets in the league although, to some degree, their ticketing structure is a little tricky to understand. The club doesn’t categorise their matches but the price for tickets is different depending on which stand you are in. Other things that affect the cost of tickets: your age and disability status and whether or not you are a member.

Memberships cost different amounts for different age bands, but they offer a significant saving on ticket prices if you attend the match on a regular basis. Here are the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions, with prices for Members being a few pounds cheaper:

  • Adults: £20.00 - £22
  • Concessions: £15.50 - £17
  • Juniors: £6.00 - £10.50

How To Get Crewe Alexandra Tickets

Interestingly Crewe Alexandra don’t sell tickets online at present. Instead you’ll need to either call the club over the phone or else pop into the ticket office in person if you’re hoping to get tickets to watch them live.

Where to Buy

Getting To Alexandra Stadium

Swap Start/End

Crewe has long been considered to be something of a gateway to the North, so it’s reasonably easy to access from most places in the country. Here are some of the more common transport methods you’ll want to consider:

Train - Crewe Alexandra Railway Station is just five minutes away from the ground for even a slow walker. A direct train from London will take between an hour and a half to just under three hours, depending on the carrier.

Bus - As it’s so close to the centre of Crewe there aren’t really any specific bus's that you’re recommended to get. Pretty much any bus that goes through the centre will do the job for you, to be honest.

Car - Alexandra Stadium is just off the M6, with Junction 16 offering the easiest access. Follow the A500 to the A5020 then follow the signs from Crewe Town Centre. You’ll soon see signs for the ground as well as the ground itself.

By Air - Both Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport are close to Crewe, with Manchester probably offering the better public transport options as there is a direct train from the airport to Crewe.

Taxi - Given the ground’s proximity to the railway station it’s almost entirely pointless to get a taxi. If you really want to, however, then expect to pay about £3 or so for a journey that shouldn’t take much more than a minute.

Parking Near Alexandra Stadium

There is a pay and display car park at the stadium that has 564 spaces and a cost of £3.50 per stay. There is also some on-street parking in the vicinity, though make sure you keep an eye out for parking restrictions.

Useful Resources

Alexandra Stadium Hotels

Both Manchester and Liverpool are reasonably close, as is Chester. All three of them offer bright lights and better choices, but Crewe isn’t exactly a wasteland. Here are some of our favourite hotels that are reasonably close to the ground:

ibis Styles Crewe - £40+

Emperor Way, Crewe, CW16BD
The ibis Styles hotel is about a mile from the ground and has seven meeting rooms, a restaurant, a bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

Holiday Inn Express Crewe - £60+

Macon Way, Cheshire, Crewe, CW1 6DR
This branch of the Holiday Inn chain of hotels is half a mile from Alexandra Stadium and promises a business centre, a restaurant, a bar, a free buffet breakfast, a conference space and free parking. More details.

Best Western Crewe Arms Hotel - £75+

Nantwich Road, Crewe, CW2 6DN
Less than half a mile from the ground is this Best Western that offers a restaurant, a bar, a business centre and meeting rooms. There’s also free parking and, surprise surprise, free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Alexandra Stadium

As an old-style railway town it’s fair to say that there are a number of good drinking establishments in Crewe. Here are some of our favourites:

The Brocklebank

Weston Road, Crewe, CW1 6FX (01270 212 432)
The Brocklebank is a member of the Brewers Fayre chain of pubs and is a family friendly place that serves delicious food and standard drinks. It’s not exactly a sports bar but it will welcome supporters from both teams.

The Last Orders Inn

37 Nantwich Road, Crewe, CW2 6AF (01270 583 193)
Technically called The Cheshire Inn after a recent refurbishment, this pub offers a friendly welcome, a good drinks selection and loads of screens to watch live sport on. It will also always be known as The Last Orders Inn to locals.

The Royal Hotel

7 Nantwich Road, Crewe, CW2 6AG (01270 257 398)
Less than five minutes walk from the ground is this hotel with a really good bar, or five of them, as it happens. It’s a Victorian red-brick hotel and welcomes home and away supporters.

Facilities

Gresty Road was virtually entirely rebuilt in the 1990s and up to the turn of the Millennium, so it’s sort of new but also sort of showing its age. There are places on the concourses to buy food and drink and so on, as well as a number of toilets, but it’s not the sort of place you would want to spend a long time at. It’s pleasant and friendly enough though for the short amount of time you’ll be there before or after the game.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.90
  • Cup of tea: 1.70

Hospitality

By Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of interesting hospitality options available at Alexandra Stadium, with the club proud of the fact that they are affordable for plenty of different budgets. Here’s a look at some of them:

  • Gold Membership - The club’s Gold Membership hospitality package promises access to the ground’s exclusive Gold Area before and after the match, a seat in the Director’s Box and a half-time buffet.
  • Silver Membership - With this membership you’ll get access to the Carlsberg Hospitality Suite as well as seating next to the Director’s Box, priority booking for FA cup matches, light refreshments at half-time and access to a cash bar facility.
  • The Director’s Lounge - The club have labelled this their most prestigious hospitality package and it’s easy to see why. You’ll get a two-course meal in the Director’s Lounge before the game, tea, coffee and light refreshments at half-time and a free match day programme that you can peruse in your seat in the Director’s Box.
  • Gold Member for the Day - If you can't afford to sign up for the whole season, you could experience Gold Membership on a daily basis. You get the full works; a seat in the directors box, access to the Gold Members area in The Carlsberg Suite, and a buffet with tea and coffee. There's a dress code though, so get your best togs ready

Private Hire

There are a number of suites and lounges available for private hire at Alexandra Stadium. The Executive Suite, for example, overlooks the pitch and can house up to the 50 people. The refurbished Alexandra Suite, meanwhile, can welcome up to 100 people and is wheelchair accessible. The Carlsberg Lounge is the largest suite in the stadium. It can host a party of up to 300 people. Other options include the Board Room (16 people) and The Directors Lounge (10-12 people) for more intimate or private meetings

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing there are no tours of Alexandra Stadium on offer. That’s a shame because the ground is steeped in history and it would be fascinating to see things like the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel and dugouts. If anything changes then we’ll obviously update this section, but until then you’ll just have to stare at photos of the ground online and imagine what it would be like to wander around it on your own.

About Crewe Alexandra

footysphere / Flickr.com

Formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra, Crewe were one of the founding members of the Second Division of the Football League when it formed in 1892. Ironically the club only lasted four years in the newly formed league before being relegated. The only major trophy that the club can boast about is the Football League Trophy that they won in 2013. They did reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1888 but were eventually beaten by Preston North End. More recently they won the Second Division play-offs in 1997 and the League Two play-offs in 2012.

Crewe are perhaps best known in football as the club that had the longest-serving manager in the game: Dario Gradi. The Italian-English manager spent a 24-year spell at the club from 1983 until 2007 before co-managing the team alongside Steve Holland until December 2008. He then took charge of the club again from October 2009 until November 2011. Gradi had a focus on youth development and some notable players passed through the club during his time, such as Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy and Robbie Savage.

Alexandra Stadium History

Gresty Road Crewe Alexanda v. Norwich City 1998 - Martin Thirkettle [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Gresty Road began life in a very modest fashion. When the club first moved into the stadium there weren’t any stands, with embankments surrounding the perimeter of the pitch rather than stands. A main stand was built on the Southern side of the ground but it was destroyed in a fire in 1932. Before the ground was restructured in the 1990's it managed a record capacity of 20,000 when Tottenham Hotspur arrived for an FA Cup match in 1960.

The modern Gresty Road came together in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster, when the Taylor Report into the disaster decreed that stadiums should become all-seater affairs. The club chose to renovate every stand with the most recent one being The Main Stand (Air Products Stand as it's currently known). It was entirely rebuilt during the off-season in 1999, gaining a capacity of just under 7000 at a cost of about £5.2 million.

Future Developments

Paul Wilkinson / Flickr.com

The most likely development at Gresty Road in the foreseeable future will be the redevelopment of The Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Van Stand. The single-tier structure, formerly known as The Popular Side, has been earmarked for re-structuring as a two-tiered stand featuring executive boxes. At the moment it can house just over 1500 supporters so that will likely double if the development goes ahead.

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