Banks’s Stadium: Walsall

Bescot Crescent, Walsall, West Midlands, England, WS1 4SA

Banks’s Stadium is so called because of Walsall’s sponsorship agreement with Marston Brewery, owner of Banks’s Bitter. It’s original name was Bescot Stadium, with the name change coming in 2013. The ground has hosted numerous England Under-21, Under-19 and Under-17 matches as well as England Women’s international games. It is also where Aston Villa’s reserve team play their matches, so it’s a busy ground.

The link with Aston Villa doesn’t stop at the reserve team playing there. The first ever fixture at the stadium was Walsall against their West Midlands rivals, a friendly game played after the ground was opened by Sir Stanley Matthews. The first competitive match at the ground came a week later when the club went up against Torquay United and drew 2-2.

Stats

Banks’s Stadium Stats
Year Opened1990
Capacity11,300
Average Attendance4,613
Record Attendance11,049 (Walsall v Rotherham 2004)
Pitch Size100 x 66 (6600)
Former NameBescot Stadium
OwnerJeff Bonser
SponsorBanks's Brewery
Clubs HostedWalsall F.C.
First FixtureWalsall v Aston Villa (18/08/1990)
Walsall Stats
Year Founded1888
NicknameThe Saddlers
Club MascotSwifty
RivalsWest Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Shrewsbury Town, Port Vale
Previous StadiumsThe Chuckery, West Bromwich Road, Fellows Park
KitRed, White and Black (Home) / Blue & White (Away)
Training GroundWalsall FC Training Ground
Shirt SponsorHomeServe
Team OwnerJeff Bonser
Record GoalscorerAlan Buckley (202)
Record AppearancesJimmy Walker (533)

Banks’s Stadium Photos

Banks’s Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Built in the early 90s, Banks’s Stadium has four distinct stands. The Tile Choice Stand has two tiers that are separated by corporate boxes. The Community Stand (St Francis Group) is a single-tier structure that has supporting structures for its roof that sometimes impede your view. The University of Wolverhampton Stand is behind one of the goals and is used for the away fans, whilst The Homeserve Stand houses the dugouts, executive facilities and the television gantry.

Walsall Ticket Prices

Pricing for Walsall games is complicated to say the least. The club categorises its games and then breaks prices down further depending on how old you are and where abouts in the ground you’d like to sit. There’s also the possibility to buy family tickets and the like. Finally, you’ll find that you’ll pay more if you buy your ticket on the day of the game itself rather than in advance, and this will be by an extra pound or two depending on the category of the game.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive adult and concession ticket prices for the two different categories when bought in advance:

  • Category A Adults: £19.50 - £24.00
  • Category B Adults: £18.50 - £22.50
  • Category A Concessions: £15.50 - £18.50
  • Category B Concessions: £14.50 - £17.00

How To Get Walsall Tickets

You can get tickets online, over the phone or by calling in to the club’s ticket office. There are also a select number of tickets available by paying cash at the turnstile on the day, but these are first come first served so better to plan ahead.

Where to Buy

Getting To Banks’s Stadium

Walsall is in the aptly named Midlands, what with the Midlands being in the middle of the country and everything. In other words, it’s reasonably easy to get to from wherever you are. Unless that’s Mars or something weird, obviously.

Train - Bescot Stadium Station is served by trains from Walsall itself and Birmingham, with the walk from the station to the ground likely to take about five minutes.

Bus - Bus numbers 401E, 45 and 4 all run to the ground from the centre of Walsall on match days.

Car - Banks’s Stadium is just a short drive from Junction 10 of the M6, so it’s convenient whether you’re coming from the North or South.

By Air - Birmingham International Airport is the closest to Walsall, with travel to the ground easily enough thanks to the airports excellent transport system.

Taxi - Birmingham New Street is the best train station for the Midlands area, with a taxi from there to the stadium taking about half an hour and likely to cost in the region of £40. A taxi from Walsall Railway Station to the ground, meanwhile, will cost £20 and take around fifteen minutes.

Parking Near Banks’s Stadium

You can park at the ground itself, with the club charging £4 per car for the privilege. Spaces are limited, though, so get there early or else you might end up crawling the nearby area looking for a road without parking restrictions.

Useful Resources

Banks’s Stadium Hotels

Obviously Birmingham is a good choice for you if you’re looking for the bright lights of the big city. If you’re happy to stay in Walsall, though, then these are some of our recommendations:

Park Inn by Radisson Birmingham Walsall - £40+

Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4SE
Located virtually next door to the stadium is this branch of the Park Inn chain of hotels. It has a restaurant, a bar, a business centre and a 24-hour fitness centre. More details.

Village Hotel Birmingham Walsall - £60+

Tempus Drive, Tempus Ten, Walsall, WS2 8TJ
Another chain hotel, but this time an offering from the Village, this place promises a bar, a restaurant, a health club and an indoor pool. It’s about two and a half miles from the ground. More details.

Fairlawns Hotel and Spa - £100+

Little Aston Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0NU
The furthest hotel from Banks’s Stadium at a little under five miles, Fairlawns Hotel & Spa is also the most expensive of our suggestions. For your money, though, you’ll get a full-service spa, a health club with an indoor pool, a business centre, free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Banks’s Stadium

As with the hotels, Birmingham is always an option if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a pre-match pint. Walsall has plenty of great places of its own to offer, though, with these being some of our favourites:

The Saddlers Club

Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4TS (01922 649840)
This is the closest venue to the ground and welcomes supporters of both home and away teams. Expect cheap drinks, bar snacks and plenty of televisions with live sport on offer.

The Imperial

Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 (01922 640934)
Close to Walsall Railway Station is this chain pub that offers a wide range of beers and real ales, decent pub food and live sport on large screens.

Yates

23-29 Leicester Street, Walsall, WS1 1PT (0192 263 7691)
The Walsall branch of this one-time wine bar offers a good atmosphere, a central location and cheap food and drink in front of numerous TVs showing live sport.

Facilities

Your view may be restricted by supporting pillars in some areas of the ground and the stadium is starting to show its age a touch, but you’ll still find all of the usual facilities such as clean toilets and places to buy food and drink.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.20
  • Cup of tea: 2.20

Hospitality

West Midlands Police / Flickr.com

The main hospitality option at Banks’s Stadium is The 1888 Lounge. Named after the year the club was founded, here you’ll enjoy first-class hospitality and access to a pay bar as well as a padded seat in The Main Stand.

Alternatively you could opt for an Executive Box for up to 10 guests which offers panoramic views of the game, and comes with waitress service, half time refreshments and up to five car parking passes

Private Hire

Banks’s Stadium offers nineteen different function rooms, so if you’re looking for somewhere to host an event in the West Midlands region then it’s probable that they’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to host a conference, hold a presentation or even launch a product from, the home of Walsall FC should be somewhere you strongly consider as a venue.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing there are no tours available for Banks’s Stadium and neither do the club operate a museum.

About Walsall

Walsall F.C. pictured in 1893. - See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nicknamed The Saddlers because of Walsall’s links to the saddling industry, the club was founded in 1888 under the name of Walsall Town Swifts. This is because it was actually a combination of Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts when the two clubs decided to merge into one.

The club was one of the founding members of the Second Division when it was formed in 1892. The highest league finish they’ve ever managed was fourteenth in Division Two in the 1961-1962 season, with the club never having played in the country’s top-flight. They did compete at Wembley for the first time in 2015 when they lost the final of the Football League Trophy to Bristol City.

Banks’s Stadium History

Walsall F.C. at Fellows Park (1982) where they played until May 1990. - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

From 1888, when the club was formed, until 1893 Walsall played at the wonderfully named The Chuckery. This was a purpose-built sports ground with twelve football pitches. They moved to West Bromwich Road in 1893 for three years before settling at Fellows Park in 1896, only leaving in 1990 when the new ground, then called Bescot Stadium, was built.

Both ends of the ground were originally all-standing areas, with the club converting them to seated stands in the wake of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster. The ground has two large conferencing suites, The Bonser Suite and The Stadium Suite, that can both host conferences and events such as cabaret evenings and concerts.

Future Developments

The club hopes to develop The South Stand in the near future, with permission actually being granted as far back as 2005. It was hoped this would be funded by the sale of advertising on the back of the stand that would face the M6, with this board being the largest illuminated sign next to a motorway in Europe. When Walsall failed to maintain their position in the Championship, however, these plans were put on hold and they are unlikely to be resurrected unless the club can re-establish themselves back in the second-tier of English football.

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