Fratton Park: Portsmouth

Frogmore Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, PO4 8RA
By Ben Sutherland (Flickr: Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth FC) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Portsmouth’s fall from grace has been a long and slow one, with the club dropping through the leagues from 2009 to present day. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is Pompey’s use of Fratton Park as their home stadium. They moved into it upon their formation and its completion in 1898 and have played all of their home games there since.

The all-seater stadium has undergone numerous chops and changes since it opened all those years ago, yet it retains the feel and look of a ground much older than its years. It has been used for more than just Portsmouth games over the years, too, with football played there when England hosted the 1948 Summer Olympic Games. Pompey also boast the claim to fame of being the first club to play a Football League match under floodlights, something they did back in 1956.

Stats

Fratton Park Stats
Year Opened1898
Capacity19,669
Average Attendance17,834
Record Attendance51,385 (Portsmouth v Derby (1949))
Pitch Size105 x 66 (6930)
NicknameThe Old Girl
OwnerPompey Supporters Trust
Clubs HostedPortsmouth F.C.
First FixturePortsmouth v Southampton (05/09/1899)
Portsmouth Stats
Year Founded1898
NicknamePompey
Club MascotFrogmore the Frog
RivalsSouthampton, Plymouth Argyle
KitBlue, White & Red (Home) / White, Blue and Grey Cheque (Away)
Training GroundThe ROKO Health Club
Shirt SponsorJobsite
Team OwnerMichael Eisner (Tornante Group)
Record GoalscorerPeter Harris (193)
Record AppearancesJimmy Dickinson (845)

Fratton Park Photos

Fratton Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Fratton Park is built very much in the ‘English Style’ of having a distinct stand on each side of the ground. The North Stand has a basic structure of two-tiers with a roof supported by pillars that block the view of people at the back of the upper tier. The Milton End is the smallest part of the ground and was the only stand in the Premier League without a roof until one was added before the 2007-2008 season; this is where the away fans sit. The South Stand is the main stand at Fratton Park as it houses the dugouts and television gantry, whilst the Fratton End is behind the Western goal and tends to house the most vocal Pompey fans.

Portsmouth Ticket Prices

At the time of writing Portsmouth don’t categorise their matches and nor do they charge more to sit in various parts of the ground, as is common at other stadiums. The only thing that will affect the price you pay for a ticket is when you book it, with advance sales being a little easier on the pocket. The cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions are listed below:

  • Adults: £23 - £25
  • Concessions: £17 - £19

How To Get Portsmouth Tickets

You can get tickets for matches at Fratton Park by visiting the club’s excellent online sales portal via their official website, by calling the ticket office on the phone or by dropping into the ticket office at the ground in person. However there is a £1 surcharge for tickets booked online, over the phone or posted to you, so they’ve got you from pretty much every angle really.

Where to Buy

Getting To Fratton Park

Portsmouth is on the South coast of England so it’s a little bit of a trek to get there the further North you are. Putting that blindingly obvious piece of information aside, here are some of the more typical routes you’ll be looking to take:

Train - Fratton Station is just ten minutes away from the ground, whilst Portsmouth’s own railway station is only about twenty five minutes away. It takes between an hour and a half and two hours to get to Portsmouth from London Waterloo on a direct train.

Bus - First is the company that operates the buses in the city so their website is the best place to go to. Numbers 1 and 13 will both drop you at Fratton Park.

Car - From the West or Midlands take the M27 and get onto the A27 then the A2030 until you see the stadium. From the M25 get off onto the A3 then the A27 and follow the directions from the West. From the East you’ll be straight on the A27, so it will be easy enough.

By Air - Portsmouth and Southampton may share a rivalry as football teams and cities, but Southampton Airport is where you’ll fly into if you’re coming from abroad. It’s twenty miles away from Portsmouth and has good rail links.

Taxi - A taxi from the train station in the middle of Portsmouth will take about five minutes to get you to the ground and should cost around £7.50.

Parking Near Fratton Park

There is a dedicated car park at Fratton Park with 250 spaces but the local area will have on-street restrictions, so keep your eye out. The city operates an excellent Park & Ride scheme that’s worth considering.

Useful Resources

Fratton Park Hotels

As a city on the South coast, Portsmouth is well equipped for more than a few people showing up and looking for somewhere to stay. Here are some of our favourites:

ibis Portsmouth Centre - £65+

Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 2LX
Not far from the stadium is this member of the ibis hotel chain. It’s got a restaurant, a bar, two meeting rooms and a conference space. There’s also self-parking on offer, free Wi-Fi and a snack bar. More details.

Portsmouth Marriott Hotel - £80+

Southampton Road, Portsmouth, PO6 4SH
Portsmouth’s Marriott has got a restaurant, a bar, a health club with an indoor pool and spa services. There’s also eleven meeting rooms, a terrace and Wi-Fi in the reception area. More details.

Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - £100+

The Plaza Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3FD
The Holiday Inn Express is located near Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and some rooms even have views of the famous Spinnaker Tower. There’s a bar, a conference space, Wi-Fi in reception and self-parking. There’s also a free buffet breakfast for you in the morning. Lovely. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Fratton Park

A proper seaside town, Portsmouth has a host of bars that football supporters and dockers alike will enjoy. Here are some of the ones you might want to consider for your pre-match pint:

The Good Companion

2 Eastern Road, Portsmouth, PO3 6ES (023 9282 5206)
The Good Companion is a family friendly pub that has a number of TV screens, a good beer garden and an excellent menu. It’s not far from the ground, either, so it’s not a bad place to go before the game starts.

The John Jacques

78-82 Fratton Road, Portsmouth, PO1 5BZ (023 9277 9742)
This a JD Wetherspoon pub, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Presuming you don’t feel dizzy from looking at the carpet you’ll enjoy cheap food, cheap drinks and some small TVs in case there’s any decent sport on.

The Red White & Blue

50 Fawcett Road, Southsea, PO4 0DW (023 923 50971)
This is a Fuller’s pub that has a distinctly Royalist feel to it. It also offers more than a passing nod to the city’s maritime past, with shipping memorabilia all around the place.

Facilities

Fratton Park’s facilities are amongst the best in the lower leagues, with the stadium still set-up as if it were hosting Premier League football on a weekly basis. That said, some of it showing its age now so don’t be looking too closely at the dusty old corners. Expect plenty of places to buy a bite to eat or drink before and during the game on the concourses beneath the stands.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.20
  • Cup of tea: 1.00

Hospitality

Entrance to the Partners Lounge at Fratton Park - Basher Eyre [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fratton Park has five different lounges available for hospitality packages. The Alliance Lounge, The Chimes Lounge, The Montgomery Lounge, The Partners Lounge and the Warriors Lounge, which sounds manly. The experience you’ll enjoy is different in each, The Alliance is the most family friendly offering, with a two-course dinner before the game and a kid’s menu available. In The Chimes you’ll get a three-course meal as well as the opportunity to watch a player get interviewed, whilst The Montgomery Lounge promises the same thing but with seats in the Executive section of The South Stand. The Partners Lounge offers a three-course dinner, complimentary drinks with said meal and half-time refreshments. The Warrior Lounge promises an alternative hospitality experience in a modern setting that is perfect for entertaining clients or a special occasion. It comes with all of the trimmings listed above as well as a visit from one of the current players.

Private Hire

Located in the heart of Portsmouth, Fratton Park is the ideal location for any number of events or occasions. There are eight suites at the ground offering capacities that range from 30 to 600, with free Wi-Fi available in all of them. Whatever event you’re hoping to host make sure the home of Portsmouth FC is high on your list of possible venues.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Portsmouth offer pre-match tours of Fratton Park before all home games, and they are reasonably priced at £10 and £5 for adults and juniors respectively. There isn’t a museum as such, but the tour does include admission to the trophy rooms as well as promising a fascinating insight into the clubs rich history. They are very popular though so you are advised to book online.

About Portsmouth

2010 FA Cup Final - By Glenn Merrett (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_7050) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite wallowing in the lower parts of the Football League in recent years, Portsmouth boasts an illustrious past as a football club. They have been champions of England twice, with their league wins coming back-to-back in 1949 and 1950. They have also won the FA Cup twice, firstly in 1939 and most recently in 2008 when they beat Cardiff City on penalties.

Unfortunately the club has undergone a change in fortunes in recent times. During the mid-2000s the team was filled with international players with great reputations, including Peter Crouch, David James and Sol Campbell, with Harry Redknapp as their manager. Financial issues causes all of that to disappear, though, with the club going into administration and sadly being forced to sell their best players.

Fratton Park History

The club has spent its entire existence playing its games at Fratton Park stadium, despite numerous considerations to move elsewhere during the latter years of the 1990s. The Main Stand of the ground was designed by Archibald Leitch, the renowned designer of numerous football stadiums including Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

The first match the ground ever saw was a friendly between Portsmouth and their local rivals Southampton, played on the 5th of September 1898. The home side won 2-0, with two former Merseyside players scoring the goals. Dan Cunliffe has previously played for Liverpool and Harold Clarke used to ply his trade at Everton.

Future Developments

The club did discuss the idea of moving to a new stadium in the 1990s, and there have been various updates and improvements suggested since 2000, but ever since Portsmouth’s financial problems and subsequent relegations through the Football League any plans to move or develop the ground have been put on hold.

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