Proact Stadium: Chesterfield

1866 Chesterfield Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, S41 8NZ

Chesterfield Football Club moved in to The Proact Stadium in 2010 after spending over 130 years at The Recreation Ground at Saltergate. That said, the origins of the club itself are complicated to say the least. A Derbyshire Times newspaper report was unearthed recently that mentions a game between Chesterfield and Norton football clubs as far back as the second of January 1864, meaning the club was likely active in some form in 1863. The club’s official history says it wasn’t formed until 1867 as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club.

The plot surrounding Chesterfield’s origins thickens further when you look at the 1880s. The relationship between the cricket club and the football club broke down, resulting in the football club being wound up. A new club called Chesterfield FC Was formed in 1884, changing its name to Chesterfield Town and turning professional in 1891. In 1915 the club went into voluntary liquidation before a team with the same name was formed immediately by a local businessman. They were shut down by the Football Association for illegal payments two years later. A club was re-formed in 1919 by Chesterfield Council but became a separate entity from the council in 1920. We told you it was complicated.

Stats

Proact Stadium Stats
Year Opened2010
Capacity10,504
Average Attendance5,166
Record Attendance10,089 (Chesterfield v Rotherham (2011))
Pitch Size101 x 64 (6464)
Former Nameb2net Stadium
OwnerChesterfield Football Club
SponsorProact
Clubs HostedChesterfield FC
First FixtureChesterfield v Derby County (24/07/2010)
Chesterfield Stats
Year Founded1867
NicknameThe Spireites
Club MascotChester the Field Mouse
RivalsMansfield, Nottingham Forest
Previous StadiumsRecreation Ground (Saltergate)
KitBlue & White (Home) / Red & White (Away)
Training GroundSpireites Warminster Road Training Ground
Shirt SponsorGF Tomlinson
Team OwnerDave Allen
Record GoalscorerErnie Moss (192)
Record AppearancesDave Blakey (658)

Proact Stadium Photos

Proact Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By SharonWood12 (Took Photo) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Most new-build stadiums are built in a ‘Bowl Style’, so The Proact Stadium goes somewhat against the grain with its more ‘English Style’ of having four separate stands making a square shape. They all have names thanks to individual sponsorship as follows:

  • The Rubicon Print Stand (North) - This single-tier stand is normally used to house the away supporter and is in proportion to the rest of the ground.
  • The Spencers Solicitors Community Stand (East) - As the name suggests, this single-tiered structure houses the family section. It runs along the side of the pitch and has room for over 3000 supporters.
  • The Karen Child Stand (South) - This is something akin to a Kop stand and welcomes the most vocal Chesterfield supporters. It’s located behind the goal and has two disabled gantries.
  • The Van Yard Stand (West) - This is the main stand in the ground and is single-tiered like the rest of the stadium. There is a row of executive boxes at the back of it, however, and it also houses the dugouts, the players’ tunnel and the dressing rooms.

Chesterfield Ticket Prices

There are only two categories of matches at Chesterfield, with category A matches costing £2 more than other games. They also charge different amounts for different areas of the stadium and there are obviously different prices for tickets for different ages.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive ticket prices for non-category A Chesterfield matches for adults and concessions, with the most expensive tickets in The West Stand and the cheapest in The South Stand:

  • Adults: £20 - £24
  • Concessions: £13 - £19

How To Get Chesterfield Tickets

The ticket office at The Proact Stadium is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am until 3.30pm on match day Saturdays. The ticket office is closed on non-match day Saturdays. You can also buy tickets from the ticket office over the phone, or from the club’s official website. Be aware there is a £1 charge for ordering over the phone.

Where to Buy

Getting To Proact Stadium

Chesterfield is in Derbyshire and is therefore not the easiest place in the world to get to, but it’s not exactly the Outer Hebrides either. Here are some of the more common transport methods you might want to consider using to get to the ground:

Train - Chesterfield Railway Station is reachable via a direct line from London St. Pancras and trains take between one hour forty-five minutes to two and a half hours to get there, depending on how many stops they make. The station is about a mile from the ground so it will take you in the region of half an hour to walk it, should you choose to.

Bus - Buses 14, 25, 43, 44, 44A 50A and 78 all run from Cavendish Street, close to the train station, to just next to the ground. They journey shouldn’t take much longer than five minutes.

Car - Wherever you’re coming from you want to get yourself on to the M1. Leave it at Junction 29 and at the roundabout take the second exit for the A617. At the end of that take the 4th exit and you’ll find yourself on the A61 North. From there you can follow the signs to the ground.

By Air - You’ve got several airport options if you’re flying in to watch Chesterfield play. Robin Hood Doncaster-Sheffield Airport is the closest at around 30 miles away, with East Midlands more like 40 miles and Manchester Airport in the region of 50 miles away.

Taxi - A taxi from Chesterfield Railway Station to The Proact Stadium will likely cost you less than £5 and should take between 5-10 minutes, depending on traffic.

Parking Near Proact Stadium

There are car parks at the ground but they are for permit holders only and you need to get your permit in advance. You might find some on-street parking but the club recommends against this as there is strict enforcement in operation. Your best bet is to have a look for some of the privately run car parks in the area or, of course, the public ones.

Useful Resources

Proact Stadium Hotels

Chesterfield is a fun place to spend a bit of time, with an interesting history and a parish church with a twisted spire that is famous throughout the country. Nearby Sheffield might appeal more to those of you that like a big and bustling city with shopping opportunities, but if not here are some decent hotels for you to consider:

ibis Chesterfield - £45+

Lordsmill Street, Chesterfield, S41 7RW
Located a stone’s throw from The Proact Stadium is this member of the ibis chain of hotels that offers a restaurant, a bar, meeting rooms and free parking as well as free Wi-Fi. More details.

The Manor House - £65+

10-14 High Street, Dronfield, S18 1PY
About four miles from the ground is this delightful 4-star hotel that has just eleven rooms. There’s also a restaurant where you can enjoy a free English breakfast, a bar and free parking plus, it will be no surprise to learn, free Wi-Fi. More details.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sheffield Park - £75+

Chesterfield Road South, Sheffield, S8 8BW
About five miles from the stadium in Sheffield Park is this excellent DoubleTree hotel from Hilton. It’s got a fitness centre with an indoor pool, a garden, a business centre and a restaurant. ‘Is there free Wi-Fi?’ I hear you ask. Of course there’s free Wi-Fi! Free parking, too. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Proact Stadium

Chesterfield operates one of the largest open air markets in the UK, so it’s fair to say that it’s a town full of character and personality. Here are some of the best pre-match watering holes available to you:

The Rose and Crown

388 Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, S41 8LF (01246 271 967)
Located right next door to the stadium is this pub that is, as its location suggests, predominantly used by home fans. They serve cask ales and show live sports on a number of screens around the building.

The Rose and Crown

104 Old Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, S40 2QT (01246 563750)
About ten minutes drive from the ground is this pub owned and operated by Brampton Brewery and also called The Rose and Crown. It promises a host of real ales that would delight CAMRA members and the walls are adorned with Chesterfield memorabilia so it’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to catch up with any live sport of interest here.

St Helens Inn

78 Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, S41 7LS (01246 229 975)
A short walk from The Proact Stadium is this friendly pub that serves delicious home-made grub and a range of drinks. They often have live music on, they welcome away supporters and, of course, show any relevant or interesting live sport.

Facilities

As a pretty new stadium it’s fair to say that The Proact has everything you’d expect from a brand new football ground. There are places to buy food and drink, kiosks where you can place a bet and clean, welcoming concourses beneath the seating.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 3.00
  • Cup of tea: 2.00

Hospitality

Chirs Barnes / Flickr.com

The club have got their hospitality game well and truly sorted, with a number of great lounges and suites available to you for your match day experience. Here we have a look at some of the options available along with a few of the choicest benefits:

  • The SBK Computers Spires Restaurant - Situated in The Van Yard Stand, this is the premier suite at The Proact Stadium. It has a lot of club memorabilia dotted around it and you’ll also enjoy a Bucks Fizz reception, access to Man of the Match presentations and a three-course meal. This is available seasonally or match by match.
  • The National Windscreens Vice Presidents Suite - Located next to The SBK Restaurant, this suite is right on the halfway line and offers excellent views of the pitch. As well as reserved parking and a reserved table for your guests you’ll also get a three-course meal, complimentary drink and padded seats in the Sponsors Seating Area.
  • The Brampton Brewery 1866 Lounge - The sponsors lounge is in The West Stand and you’ll enjoy a dedicated host here as well as a chance to meet a club legend, half-time refreshments and reserved parking.

Private Hire

New stadiums are set-up to get the most out of hospitality packages and private hire options and The Proact is no exception. There are a number of lounges available for everything from serious business conferences through to private parties or dinner dances. There’s also the ability to hold your wedding at the home of Chesterfield FC, should that take your fancy.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Tours of The Proact Stadium are operated by Chesterfield FC Community Trust and take in all four stands at the ground, the dugouts, the players’ tunnel, the media room and the TV interview room. There isn’t a museum at the ground but you will get to see the club’s trophy cabinet, too.

Tours aren’t run very regularly, so you need to keep your eyes peeled for when they’re on. If you’re lucky enough to catch one then it will cost you £5 if you’re an adult and £3 if you’re a child. There needs to be a minimum of fifteen people on the tour and it ends in the club’s HUB cafe with a quiz!

About Chesterfield

footysphere / Flickr.com

We’ve already told you about the club’s confusing and dubious beginnings, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. Instead we’ll tell you about how they were one of the founding members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, remaining part of the Football League ever since then. They’ve never made it as high as the top-flight of English football, though they did play in the second-tier twice in the 1930s. Their most recent noteworthy success came in 1997 when the club reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. It was the first time a team from outside the top two-tiers of the English game had made it that far since Plymouth Argyle managed it back in 1984. Some fans might point to their 2012 victory in the Football League Trophy final as being even more noteworthy, however.

The club bears the nickname of The Spireites, owing to the famous twisted spire of the town’s parish church. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Chesterfield have suffered numerous twists and turns during their existence. In 2001 they were deducted nine points after it emerged that their chairman, Darren Brown, had attempted to avoid paying Chester City the fee that the FA had agreed for the sale of Luke Beckett. Evidence of fraud emerged and he ended up letting control of the club go, with the Chesterfield Football Supporters Trust taking over. Brown had run up huge debts, though, so the club were forced into administration. Brown was later jailed for four years following a Serious Fraud Office investigation into his dealings at the club.

Proact Stadium History

Dema Glass chimneys on the site before the stadium was built - Stephen G Taylor [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Originally called the B2net Stadium because of sponsorship, the home of Chesterfield Football Club is now called The Proact Stadium because of…well…sponsorship. It was built on the site of the former Dema Glassworks factory, which you’d think would lead to it having a name like ‘The Chandelier’, but there you go. Originally the club was looking at building a new stadium at Wheeldon Mill, the town’s disused greyhound stadium, but Chesterfield Borough Council felt that the glassworks site would allow them regenerate the A61 corridor.

The stadium hasn’t only been used for Chesterfield games. England’s under-19 and under-21 teams have both played games there and it has also hosted pop concerts and the likes. On the outside of The East Stand is a £1.7 million community area called The Hub. It has a cafe, a play centre, a gym, a therapy pool and a multi-use sports hall as well as classrooms and a martial arts dojo inside. Adjacent to it is The Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden that was built by the club’s supporters trust and is maintained by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust. It is a memorial to Chesterfield’s departed fans and also contains a War Memorial dedicated to the memory of the seventeen players and officials from the club who gave their lives in The Great War and The Second World War.

Future Developments

Chesterfield v Aldershot - By yellow book (Chesterfield v Aldershot) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The ground could be expanded to house up to 13,000 supporters if the corner sections are filled in, though this is unlikely to happen until and unless Chesterfield establish themselves as a regular Championship side.

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