Kassam Stadium: Oxford United

Grenoble Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, OX4 4XP

Oxford United have called Kassam Stadium home since it opened in 2001. It was built as a replacement for their previous stadium, the Manor Ground, where they had played their football for 75 years. The new ground was hit by numerous problems and issues during the building phase, with the construction taking four years to complete because of financial issues causing the company that was building it to abandon work when they were not getting paid.

A chasm between the supporters and the club’s previous owner led to the Oxford United Supporters’ Trust attempting to get the club’s fans to call the ground ‘The United Stadium’ instead of its official name of Kassam Stadium. They felt this would demonstrate the unity of the fans in their belief that Kassam was not the right man to take the club forward. In spite of this effort however, fans and press still called it the Kassam Stadium.

Stats

Kassam Stadium Stats
Year Opened2001
Capacity12,500
Average Attendance7,383
Record Attendance12,243 (Oxford v Leyton Orient (2006))
Pitch Size102 x 71 (7242)
NicknameThe United Stadium
OwnerFiroka Group
Clubs HostedOxford United, London Welsh
First FixtureOxford United v Crystal Palace (04/08/2001)
Oxford United Stats
Year Founded1893
NicknameThe U's, Yellows, The Boys from Up the Hill
Club MascotOlly the Ox and Olivia the Ox
RivalsSwindon Town, Reading, Wycombe Wanderers, Luton Town
Previous StadiumsQuarry Recreation Ground, Wootten's Field, Sandy Lane, Britannia Field, Manor Ground
KitYellow & Blue (Home) / Black (Away)
Training GroundRovers Sports and Social Club
Shirt SponsorLiontrust
Team OwnerDarryl Eales
Record GoalscorerGraham Atkinson (107)
Record AppearancesRon Atkinson (559)

Kassam Stadium Photos

Kassam Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

The North Stand is used to house the away supporters and is a single-tier structure opposite The Main Stand, a two-tier structure that houses the changing rooms and dugouts as well as the ground’s family section. The East Stand is another single-tier structure and welcomes the most vocal Oxford United supporters. There is no West Stand at the ground, with a car park standing in its place at the time of writing.

Oxford United Ticket Prices

It’s reasonably easy to figure out ticket prices for Oxford United matches. They don’t categorise their games, but they do charge different amounts depending on your age and for different parts of the ground. The range of adult and concession prices are listed below, with the East Stand being the most affordable place to watch the game and the South the most expensive:

  • £22.00 - £28.00
  • £15.00 - £21.00

How To Get Oxford United Tickets

The best way to get tickets is via the club’s official website, but the ticket office is available from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday either over the phone or in person. There will be a £1 surcharge however unless you pay at the window or print your ticket a home.

Where to Buy

Getting To Kassam Stadium

Oxford is in the South of England and not far from London. As a famous University town it’s quite used to having influxes of people coming and going, so here are the normal travel routes to the stadium you’ll want to consider:

Train - Oxford Station is reachable from London Paddington in about an hour and is around four miles from the ground.

Bus - Route 5 from the Oxford Bus Company and Route 1 from Stagecoach Services both run to about five minutes from the stadium. Thames Travel’s T2 service is another good option.

Car - From the North take the M6 to the M42, then the M40 to the A34 at Junction 9. Continue along the A34 until you see the stadium. From Central London take the A4 to the M4 then the M40. Leave at Junction 7 for the A329 then get on the B480 and follow the signs.

By Air - Heathrow and Gatwick airports are both reasonably close to Oxford and linked to the city by a bus service that takes around an hour and twenty minutes.

Taxi - A taxi from the train station to the ground will take just over fifteen minutes and cost about £20.

Parking Near Kassam Stadium

There are about 2000 car parking spaces that are free and filled on a first come first served basis.

Useful Resources

Kassam Stadium Hotels

As a student town Oxford has a number of hotels used to housing parents dropping off their loved ones. Here are some of our preferred destinations:

Cherwell Guest House - £70+

137 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1EJ
Cherwell Guest House has eight rooms and is about half an hour away from the ground if you’re walking. It’s close to Christ Church College, so there are brilliant sights around, and you’ll get a free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

Holiday Inn Express Oxford-Kassam Stadium - £80+

Grenoble Road, Oxford, England, OX4 4XP
You can’t get much closer to the ground than a hotel that is actually part of it. The Holiday Inn Express has a bar, a business centre, a meeting room and a free buffet breakfast on offer. There’s also free parking on site and the now almost ever-present free Wi-Fi. More details.

Hampton Inn Oxford - £90+

Grenoble Road, Oxford, OX4 4XP
Right next to the ground is this Hampton hotel that has a business centre, a snack bar and a restaurant as well as a lounge. There’s also a free continental breakfast included in the price of your stay, free Wi-Fi and, of course, free parking. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Kassam Stadium

As is the case with any student town, Oxford has got a number of great places to go for a drink. Here are some crackers:

The George

5 Sandford Road, Oxford, OX4 4PU (01865 779 341)
The George is a lovely little pub located halfway between the stadium and the centre of Oxford. It’s got a great beer garden, a decent pub grub style menu and a number of TVs for live sports.

Holiday Inn Express Oxford-Kassam Stadium

Grenoble Road, Oxford, England, OX4 4XP (01865 780 888)
The Holiday Inn Express might not seem like the natural place to go for a pre-match pint, but if you’re after somewhere to have a drink near to the ground then this is about the best you’re going to find.

Jude The Obscure

54 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AE (01865 557 309)
Right next to Oxford Railway Station is this fun pub with bags of personality and a brilliant menu. It’s also got an excellent cocktail selection and plenty of sprits too. Definitely an upmarket place to go, but worth it.

Facilities

As one of the newer grounds in the Football League, Kassam Stadium’s facilities are generally quite impressive. We wouldn’t go as far as to say state of the art, but they’re good.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.30
  • Cup of tea: 1.60

Hospitality

There are a couple of hospitality packages available for Oxford United matches. Executive boxes are always a good place to start if there’s a group of you, coming with padded covered seating, waiter service and half time refreshments; or the Restaurant package may also impress with a three course meal, special guest speakers including club players and a match day host.

Private Hire

The Kassam Stadium is the largest venue in Oxford for conferences, exhibitions, events and meetings. If you’re hoping to host an event in Oxford then this place should be top of your list of locations. With space for up to 600 people they can handle pretty much anything you throw at them.

Stadium Tours & Museum

There is no permanent tour running of Kassam Stadium, but Oxford United do run occasional tours of the ground’s most exciting areas, such as the dressing rooms and trophy cabinet, on certain occasions. Keep your eye out on the club’s website for details, or in the local paper if you live in the area.

About Oxford United

Oxford's London Road Stand, Manor Ground 1980 - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oxford United were founded in 1893 as Headington United, not adopting their current name until 1960. That was two years before they joined the Football League after they won the Southern Football League. The club won the League Cup in 1986 but weren’t able to enter the UEFA Cup, the normal reward for the cup winners, because of the ban on English clubs entering European competition in the wake of the Heysel tragedy. They were relegated from the First Division in 1988 and endured an eighteen year decline that eventually resulted in the club’s relegation to the Conference in 2006.

Oxford’s relegation made history, but not the sort of history that the club is all that proud of. They became the first team that had won a major trophy to be relegated out of the Football League. The Atkinson family have a close history with Oxford United. Ron Atkinson, who would later go on to manager Manchester United, is the club’s appearance record holder and his brother Graham is Oxford United’s top scorer.

Kassam Stadium History

It was decided in 1995 that Oxford United would leave the Manor Ground, with the cramped and out-dated stadium no longer suitable for the club take itself to the next level. The idea was that they would move to a new 16,000 seater stadium in Blackbird Leys by the turn of the millennium. Construction began in 1996 but halted in December of 1997 after financial difficulties caused major problems. The work didn’t resume again until February of 2000.

Between 2012 and 2015 the rugby union side London Welsh played their RFU Premiership games at the ground. They will have known, at least, that there were no evil spirits at the stadium. That is because in 2001 the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, did an exorcism on the ground after Oxford lost thirteen out of seventeen games there. The losses were blamed on a gypsy curse placed on the ground by a man who had been evicted during its construction. Any excuse...

Future Developments

The East Stand under construction - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The most likely development to the ground in the future is the addition of a fourth stand. The former owner Firoz Kassam, who the ground is named after, said in 2016, “I would like a stadium with my name on it that is finished and not just half-built”.

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