St James Park: Exeter City

Stadium Way, Exeter, Devon, England, EX4 6PX
Martin Thirkettle [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not to be confused with the home of Newcastle United which has the same name, St. James Park has been Exeter City’s stadium since it was built in 1904. The site on which the ground was built has an interesting history dating back as far as 1654 when it was owned by Lady Anne Clifford. She rented it as a place to fatten pigs, with the money made from this enterprise put towards the apprenticeship of a child from the nearby parish of St. Stephen ‘yearly to the world’s end’.

Even prior to the stadium being built in 1904 pigs were still resident on the ground and it was only when Exeter City, then called St. Sidwell’s United, leased the area of land that the pigs’ time was up. The lease for the land specified that ‘no menageries, shows, circuses or steam roundabouts’ be allowed onto it. Some Exeter fans have argued that a circus or two has performed there over the years, however… and as for the pigs, they were unceremoniously evicted and made to fend for themselves.

Stats

St James Park Stats
Year Opened1904
Capacity8,541
Average Attendance4,033
Record Attendance20,984 (Exeter v Sunderland (1931))
Pitch Size104 x 64 (6656)
NicknameThe Park, SJP
OwnerExeter City Council
Clubs HostedExeter City
First FixtureExeter v 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery (10/09/1904)
Exeter City Stats
Year Founded1901
NicknameThe Grecians
Club MascotGrecian the Lion
RivalsPlymouth Argyle, Torquay United
KitRed, White & Black (Home) / Yellow & Black (Away)
Training GroundCliff Hill Training Ground
Shirt SponsorFlybe
Team OwnerExeter City Supporters' Trust
Record GoalscorerTony Kellow (129)
Record AppearancesArnold Mitchell (495)

St James Park Photos

St James Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Panoramic view from the Big Bank - By Ze gooner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The The Cliff Bastin Big Bank Stand is a large single-tier terrace that houses the noisiest fans, The Stagecoach Family Stand runs along the side of the pitch and is an all-seater area and The IP Office Stand is where the club’s main facilities are housed as well as some away fans. St. James Road Terrace also houses the away supporters.

Exeter City Ticket Prices

It will cost you a little more unless you book in advance, and you will also pay more depending on where in the ground you would like to watch the game from. As usual, your age will be another deciding factor. Below are the cheapest and most expensive ticket prices for adults and concessions:

  • Adults: £16.00 - £23.00
  • Concessions: £13.00 - £20.00

How To Get Exeter City Tickets

By online, over the phone or in person. You can get your tickets posted to you if you want but it will cost slightly more.

Where to Buy

Getting To St James Park

Swap Start/End

Train - St. James Park Station is just a couple of minutes walk from the ground.

Bus - The E, F1, F2, 1, 1B, G, K, P, P2 Red and T bus routes all call near to the stadium from the city centre.

Car - Leave the M5 at Junction 29 onto the A3015 then the B3183 before following the signs. From the East take the A303 or A30 and follow the directions from the M5. From the West follow signs for Exeter City Centre then join the A3015 and follow the above directions.

By Air - The closest airport is Exeter International Airport.

Taxi - From Exeter Train Station to the ground it will take a little over ten minutes and cost about £15.

Parking Near St James Park

There is no parking at the ground itself on a match day but there may be limited residential parking available.

Useful Resources

St James Park Hotels

Being as Devon is one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and being as Exeter is in Devon, Exeter has plenty of hotels to accommodate tourists and football fans alike:

The City Gate Hotel - £70+

Iron Bridge, Lower North Street, Exeter, EX4 3RB
Less than a mile from St. James Park is this 3-star hotel that has a restaurant, a bar, fifteen guest rooms and free Wi-Fi. It’s just a short walk to local shopping centres, too. More details.

St Olaves Hotel & Treasury Restaurant - £80+

Mary Arches Street, Exeter, EX4 3AZ
Also less than a mile from stadium is this pleasant 3-star hotel that offers a restaurant, a bar, self-parking, meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi. There’s also a garden, should you wish to chill out a bit. More details.

Jurys Inn Exeter - £90+

Western Way, Exeter, Exeter, EX1 2DB
This member of the Jurys Inn chain of hotels is a stone’s throw from the ground and has a restaurant, a bar, a business centre, some meeting rooms and the now ever-present free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near St James Park

Who likes pubs? We do. Especially these three that happen to be in Exeter:

St Anne's Well

31 Well Street, Exeter, EX4 6QL (01392 435 442)
Opened in 2015 as a refurbished version of a pub that stood in the place before, the St. Anne’s Well shows live sports, serves good food and has a decent drinks selection. What more do you want?

The Duke Of York

58 Sidwell Street, Exeter, EX4 6PH (01392 256 515)
Contrary to reports in the press, mentions of this pub’s demise were somewhat pre-emptive. Aimed at the younger crowd and often featuring live DJs and more, The Duke Of York is a Whitbread pub.

Bowling Green

29-30 Blackboy Road, Exeter, EX4 6ST (01392 678 962)
This lovely local pub that welcomes dogs, serves delicious home-cooked food, has a decent ale selection and offers a few TVs for those sports lovers amongst you.

Hospitality

Panoramic view from the St James Road Terrace - By Ze gooner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are three hospitality options available; Gold, Silver and Bronze, and all can be bought seasonally or on a match by match basis. Benefits range depending on the package you choose, but can include a 2 or 3 course meal, a drinks package, half-time refreshments, a view of the man of the match presentation, pre-match interviews with former players, and more.

Private Hire

Conferences, business meetings, celebrations and parties can all be hosted at St. James Park, catering to anything from 2 to 150 people.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Not only is there a tour available every matchday at St James Park, but it's free! How generous of them. Tours last around 90 minutes and start at 11am, and you can expect to see the board room, the players changing rooms, security hub and more. Just make sure you book a spot.

About Exeter City

Eamon Curry / Flickr.com

Exeter City was actually an amalgamation of two other clubs from the area when it was formed in 1904. Exeter United incorporated St. Sidwell’s United and changed its name to Exeter City. The original Exeter United was formed from a cricket club that had the same name, whilst St. Sidwell’s United was made up of regulars from a nearby pub that was officially called The Foresters Inn, but was better known as The Drum & Monkey.

From 1920 until 2003 the club played in the Football League but it was relegated to the Conference for five seasons, not returning to League Two until 2009. The club is nicknamed ‘The Grecians’, in spite of the fact that there is no definitive reason as to why. Everyone needs a nickname we suppose. It has a number of celebrity fans, including Chris Martin from Coldplay, Adrian Edmondson and Noel Edmonds.

St James Park History

Panoramic view from the Doble Stand - By Ze gooner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

At the start of St. James Park’s life as a football stadium there were numerous complaints from visiting teams who believed that it was not of a regulation length. Indeed, both Stoke and Reading refused to play FA Cup matches there for this very reason. It wasn’t until additional land was purchased in 1920 that the club could extend the field of play.

In the 1990's the club encountered a number of difficulties financially that resulted in the club being sold to Beazer Homes, who in turn sold it to Exeter City Council. Developments allowed the building of several new stands but in the early 2000's financial issues resurfaced and further development was put on hold. Money raised from the 2005 FA Cup Third Round replay against Manchester United at Old Trafford brought the club out of administration and allowed for more redevelopment and maintenance work to be done.

Future Developments

Panoramic view from from the Old Grandstand - By Ze gooner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2015 the club announced the launch of The St. James Park Development, an initiative aimed at improving spectator facilities. This will involve numerous changes to the stadium in the coming months and years. As of 2018, both the St James Road Terrace and the Stagecoach Family Stand are closed for redevelopment.

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