Spotland Stadium: Rochdale

Willbutts Lane, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, OL11 5DS
Mikey / Flickr.com

Built and opened in 1920, Spotland Stadium has been the home of Rochdale Association Football Club ever since. In 1988 The Dale were joined in their use of the ground by Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club, meaning that the ground in Greater Manchester became a true multi-purpose venue.

The arrival of Rochdale Hornets and the use of the stadium as a location for rugby games opened it up to other uses and it was selected as a venue for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. It was the first time that the ground had been used in a World Cup for any sport, with nearly 9000 people turning out to watch Fiji play Ireland.

Stats

Spotland Stadium Stats
Year Opened1920
Capacity10,000
Average Attendance3,322
Record Attendance24,231 (Rochdale v Notts County (1949))
Pitch Size104 x 69 (7176)
NicknameSpotland
OwnerRochdale AFC
Clubs HostedRochdale A.F.C., Rochdale Hornets RLFC
First FixtureRochdale A.F.C v Oldham Athletic (03.09.1907)
Rochdale Stats
Year Founded1907
NicknameThe Dale
Club MascotDesmond the Dragon
Rivals Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Halifax Town, Stockport County, Bradford City, Accrington Stanley, Bury
KitBlue and White (Home) / White and Black Stripes (Away)
Training GroundManor Farm
Shirt SponsorCrown Oil
Team OwnerA.S.A Kilpatrick
Record GoalscorerReg Jenkins (129)
Record AppearancesGary Jones (459)

Spotland Stadium Photos

Spotland Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Spotland Stadium has four individual stands on each side of the pitch in the typically ‘English Style’. The Westrose Leisure/Willbutts Lane Stand runs along one side and has a covered single-tier, with away fans taking up a portion of the seats. The T.D.S Pearl Stand is behind one of the goals and contains a family section, whilst The Thwaites Beers Stand (or Sandy Lane as it’s affectionately known) is behind the other goal and is a terraced section. This is where the more vocal Rochdale fans tend to congregate. Finally, The Co-Operative Main Stand houses the dressing rooms, the dugouts and the hospitality suites.

Rochdale Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for Rochdale matches are generally quite easy to understand, with the club eschewing the chance to categorise their matches. Instead the only thing that will affect how much you pay is how old you are and where in the ground you want to sit.

Here we’ve listed the cheapest and most expensive tickets for adults and concessions:

  • Adults: £17 - £22
  • Concessions: £12 - £16

How To Get Rochdale Tickets

Tickets are available through the club’s website, over the phone or in person by calling into the ticket office. There is an extra £1.00 to pay if you buy your ticket over the phone or online, and you can also buy tickets at the turnstiles for some games. Any all ticket games will be clearly noted in advance.

Where to Buy

Getting To Spotland Stadium

Rochdale is, as we’ve already mentioned, in Greater Manchester. If you can get yourself to the home of Manchester United and Manchester City, then you won’t be too far away from Spotland. Here are some of the usual routes that people consider:

Train - Rochdale Railway Station is around 35 minutes walk from the stadium, or two miles in old money. It is served by trains from Manchester and Leeds.

Bus - There are a number of buses that run from Rochdale centre to Spotland Stadium, with First Group being the company that runs the buses in the Greater Manchester area. Their website has an excellent journey planner on it.

Car - Spotland is about two miles from Junction 20 of the M62, so leave there and get on the A627(M). Head towards Rochdale town centre and then follow signs to the stadium.

By Air - Manchester Airport is where you’ll want to head if you’re flying in to see The Dale play. The connections to the train network from there are excellent, too.

Taxi - A taxi from Rochdale Railway Station to the ground will cost about £10 and take just over five minutes.

Parking Near Spotland Stadium

On-street parking is available near to the ground, with restrictions in place in some areas. There’s also parking at Oulder Hill Community School on Greave Avenue.

Useful Resources

Spotland Stadium Hotels

Nearby Manchester offers the bright lights and excitement of a big city, but Rochdale is not without some decent places to stay of its’ own. Here are some of our favourites:

Village Hotel Manchester Bury - £60+

Waterfold Business Park, Rochdale Road, Bury, BL9 7BQ
About 4 miles from Spotland is this member of The Village chain of hotels. It has an indoor pool, a full-service spa and a terrace. There’s also free parking, free Wi-Fi and a business centre. More details.

Best Western Broadfield Park Hotel - £80+

Sparrow Hill, Rochdale, OL16 1AF
This member of the Best Western family is just over a mile to the ground and promises a conference centre, free Wi-Fi and free parking. More details.

The Royal Toby Hotel - £80+

Manchester Road, Castleton, Rochdale, OL11 3HF
A mere mile from Spotland is this pleasant hotel that offers two restaurants, a garden a meeting room and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Spotland Stadium

Rochdale is very much a typical Northern town, filled with great personalities and nice little boozers secreted into different locales. Here are some of our favourite places to head for a pint:

The Cask & Feather

1 Oldham Road, Rochdale, OL16 1UA (01706 667826)
This is a real ale lovers dream, but in the setting of a sports bar. Not a combination you see very often but perfect for a pre-match pint.

The Regal Moon

The Butts, Rochdale, OL16 1HB (01706 657434)
The Regal Moon is a Wetherspoon’s so whether you enjoy yourself here will depend entirely on whether or not you like that particular chain. They serve cheap food and cheap drinks and they have TVs. Excellent.

Studds Bar

Willbutts Lane, Rochdale, OL11 5DS (01706 710401)
You can’t get closer to the stadium than this, because Studds Bar is a part of the stadium itself. Owned and operated by Rochdale FC, this place is the ultimate sports bar.

Facilities

Spotland is, to be fair, starting to show its age; that’s not to say that it’s not worth visiting, though. As with most clubs in the Football League you’ll find places to get a drink and a bite to eat before, during and after the game.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.00
  • Cup of tea: 1.50
  • Beer: 3.20

Hospitality

Mikey / Flickr.com

The main hospitality option at Spotland is The Club Lounge where you can enjoy a three-course meal before the game, cash bar facilities and a chance to meet the players and directors of Rochdale. Alternatively you could book yourself a box which comes with VIP treatment and a buffet amongst other things.

Private Hire

Spotland Stadium can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 150 people for a range of events and functions. They offer a licensed bar, a stage, full catering if required and a whole host of conference and meeting rooms ideal for any event you fancy hosting in a storied ground in Greater Manchester.

Stadium Tours & Museum

As things stand Rochdale don’t operate tours and they also don’t have a museum. If that changes we will, of course, update this section.

About Rochdale

Matthew Wilkinson / Flickr.com

The Dale formed in 1907 but didn’t enter the Football League until 1921. They have spent their entire history between the bottom two leagues in England. They have been promoted to the second-tier on three separate occasions, once in 1969, again in 2010 and most recently in 2014. They’ve never won a competition but they did reach the League Cup final in 1962 and are one of only two teams from the lower leagues to do so.

Rochdale Association Football Club spent 36 consecutive seasons in the Football League’s lowest division, leading to some fans of opposition clubs to jokingly refer to it as ‘the Rochdale Division’. Since the Football League’s expansion to 92 clubs in 1950 The Dale has the lowest average position of all teams - 79th.

Spotland Stadium History

Shrewsbury v Rochdale 1950 - Geoff Charles [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Spotland Stadium was constructed specifically for the purpose of housing Rochdale FC. The record attendance at the ground was set just after the Second World War when 24,231 people turned up to see The Dale play against Notts County. Sadly the club didn’t go on to expand much in the second half of the 20th Century, with the current capacity less than half of that which attended the post-war game.

One major reason why Spotland’s capacity was reduced was the response of the footballing world to the Taylor Report in the wake of the Hillsborough Disaster. All grounds in the Football League had to convert to all-seater, with Rochdale’s capacity dropping accordingly. That legislation was relaxed slightly for teams in the lower divisions and the stadium now includes some terraced sections.

Future Developments

Improvements were made to the ground ahead of it being used to host a game in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, so it is unlikely that further developments will come about in the near future.

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