Racecourse Ground: Wrexham A.F.C

Racecourse Ground, Mold Road, Wrexham
The Mold Road Stand and Kop - Markbarnes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham is the oldest stadium in the world that hosts international football matches, having hosted its first Wales game in 1877. That might well have remained the main reason for anyone to ever know about Wrexham AFC, were it not for the decision of Hollywood stars Robert McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds to buy the club in 2020.

Formed in 1864, the Robins are the oldest football club in Wales and the third oldest in the world. Despite being so old, the club didn’t actually enter into league football until it joined The Combination in 1890. The club has won the Welsh Cup a record number of times, the Football League Trophy and the FA Trophy.

Stats

Racecourse Ground Stats
Year Opened1807
Capacity10,771
Average Attendance5,077
Record Attendance34,445 (Wrexham v Manchester United (1957))
Pitch Size102 x 68 (6936)
OwnerWST Assets Ltd
Clubs HostedWrexham AFC, North Wales Crusaders, Liverpool Reserves, Scarlets rugby union club
First FixtureWrexham v Prince of Wales Fire Brigade (22nd October 1864)
Wrexham A.F.C Stats
Year Founded1864
NicknameRed Dragons, The Robins
Club MascotWrex the Dragon
RivalsChester, Shrewsbury Town, Tranmere Rovers, Crewe Alexandra, Cardiff City, Newport County and Swansea City
Previous StadiumsRhosddu Recreation Ground
KitRed & White (Home) / Green (Away)
Training GroundNine Acre
Shirt SponsorIfor Williams Trailers
Team OwnerRob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds
Record GoalscorerTom Bamford (League) (175)
Record AppearancesArfon Griffiths (592)

Racecourse Ground Photos

Racecourse Ground Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Eric Roberts Stand - Markbarnes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As you might expect for such an old stadium, the Racecourse is built in the classical style of having stands on each side of the pitch. The Hays Travel Stand is an all-seater one that boasts disabled facilities and runs along the side of the pitch, whilst the WREXRENT Stand is behind the goal and is where you’ll find the most vociferous home fans. The bkoncepts Stand is also the stadium’s main stand, whilst the Kop is behind the other goal.

Wrexham A.F.C Ticket Prices

The price you’ll pay for tickets to a Wrexham match will depend on a number of factors, including where you sit and whether or not you get a concession. Presuming you’re an adult, you’ll pay between £16 and £20.

How To Get Wrexham A.F.C Tickets

Buying a ticket ahead of time is always recommended, with online being your best bet. You can also buy tickets from the club shop and you’ll pay less if you buy your ticket ahead of time rather than leaving it until the day of the game.

Where to Buy

Getting To Racecourse Ground

Train - Wrexham General Station can be found right next to the ground, so if you’re heading there by train then that’s where to aim for.

Bus - The main bus station in the centre of Wrexham is about half a mile from the ground. Any bus that comes into the town from outside will stop there, so once you’ve disembarked you need to head towards the multi-storey car park and then turn right onto Mold Road. Alternatively, the 12A, 21 and PC2 all stop by the stadium.

Car - The A483 that runs between Chester or Oswestry and Wrexham is the road to take, coming off it at the Mold junction. Follow the signs for the town centre and you’ll see the Racecourse Ground along the way.

By Air - Liverpool John Lennon Airport is the closest to Wrexham, being a little over twenty miles away. Manchester Airport is next on the list but is closes to forty miles away from the Welsh town.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Wrexham out to the Racecourse Ground will cost you about £7. Depending on traffic, the journey should only take about five minutes.

Parking Near Racecourse Ground

Glyndwr University is located right next to the Racecourse Ground and offers parking for people going to the match. It’s only a short walk from there to the turnstiles.

Useful Resources

Racecourse Ground Hotels

Wynnstay Arms - £80+

Yorke Street, Wrexham, LL13 8LP
There are plenty of well-known chain hotels to choose from in Wrexham and the surrounding area, so why not opt for a hotel that is part of a pub? You’ll have your choice of drinking options and plenty of food to choose from, in addition to free Wi-Fi and parking on site. With sixty-seven guest rooms it’s not that small of a hotel, plus there’s a pleasant garden and a terrace area if the weather plays ball. If you’re working whilst on your trip then there are meeting rooms and a conference space for you to take advantage of. More details.

Ramada Plaza - £115+

Ellice Way, Wrexham, LL13 7YH
If you’re after something a little bit more luxurious then the Ramada Plaza might be more up your alley. It’s a lovely hotel with a spa area, complete with sauna and jacuzzi. There’s also a large garden area where you can sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat, should you fancy it. Add in a business centre and conference space for those who have to work, a terrace and a restaurant and bar on site and you can see that it is an excellent hotel option. More details.

Rossett Hall Hotel - £160+

Chester Road, Rossett, Wrexham, LL12 0DE
This hotel is the perfect option for anyone hoping to combine their trip to Wrexham with a visit to nearby Chester. It’s located about seven miles from both, meaning that you’re close enough to the action but far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. With over fifty rooms, a restaurant on-site and a luscious garden, it’s very much a haven away from the craziness of city life. It’s a common place for weddings, thanks to the banquet hall, whilst there’s ample parking and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Racecourse Ground

The Long Pull

5 Chester Street, Wrexham, LL13 8BD (01978501731)
Very much aimed at attracting a sporting crowd, The Long Pull has plenty to recommend it for everyone. Pub grub is decent here, plus there are loads of different drinking options for you to choose from. It’s the sport that will interest most people, which is why they’ve opted for big screens aplenty to ensure that you can watch it regardless of where you find yourself sat.

Welch Fusilier

40 Chester Street, Wrexham, LL13 8AH (01244 537424 )
The Welch Fusilier shows live football, but it’s a pub that offers so much more than that. Pets are welcome for a start, so you know that the atmosphere will be a friendly one. Food is served daily, whilst real ale drinkers will be delighted with the drinks menu. The big screens around the venue will keep people entertained when the sports on, but when it’s not there are dart boards and pool tables for a more amateur sporting experience.

Squire Yorke

Sontley Road, Wrexham, LL13 7EN (01978 261007)
Part of the Greene King chain of pubs, the Squire Yorke puts food at the centre of everything that it does. The carvery is one of the best around, whilst kids can busy themselves in the indoor and outdoor play areas. There’s a beer garden for the summer months, plus pretty much every football match that is shown live on TV can be watched on the big screen that are dotted throughout.

Facilities

Facilities at the Racecourse Ground are what one might expect for a lower tier club, though it has undergone some refurbishments in recent years.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.50

Hospitality

Sainsbury Stand - Markbarnes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of hospitality options at the Racecourse Ground, including the Bamford Suite, the 1864 Suite and executive boxes sponsored by both Hays Travel and bkconcepts.

Private Hire

If you’re interested in hiring some of the facilities at the Racecourse Ground then your best bet is to contact the club directly.

Stadium Tours & Museum

In many ways, the Racecourse Ground is its own museum. In 2019 there were plans to open a new footballing museum in the town, but the stadium was not chosen as its location.

About Wrexham A.F.C

Ryan Valentine scores for Wrexham to stay in the league - Markbarnes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wrexham Association Football Club, or Clwb Pêl-droed Cymdeithas Wrecsam to give it its proper Welsh name, was founded in 1864 in order to give members of Wrexham Cricket Club an activity to keep them fit and active during the winter. The club played its first game on the 22nd of October that year against the Prince Of Wales Fire Brigade. When the Welsh Cup was created for the 1877-1878 campaign, Wrexham made the final and defeated Druids FC 1-0, becoming the competition’s inaugural champions. At the time, the Welsh club mainly played friendlies and cup tournaments, not becoming a league club until they joined The Combination in 1890.

Life in the league didn’t get off to a particularly auspicious start for Wrexham, losing 5-1 to Gorton Villa. It was a sign of things to come, with the Welsh club only really enjoying league success when playing in the Welsh League to smaller crowds. Arguably the most exciting thing to happen to Wrexham from a footballing point of view came in 1972 when the team travelled to Switzerland to play FC Zurich in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. They won 3-2 on aggregate, eventually losing to Yugoslavian side Hajduk Split on the away goals rule in the next round. Having endured many ups and downs across the years, few could have imagined being taken over by Hollywood stars as happened in November of 2020.

Racecourse Ground History

Wales v Ireland Racecourse Ground 1954 - LlGC ~ NLW, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

The Racecourse Ground is steeped in history, thanks to the fact that it is the oldest international football stadium that still hosts matches. Wrexham AFC moved into the stadium as soon as the club was formed in October of 1864, playing there ever since apart from in the 1881-1882 and 1882-1883 seasons. At that time, the owners of the Racecourse Ground put the rental price up and to the club moved out. It gets its name from the fact that it was occasionally used for horse racing, with cricket also played there on a regular basis prior to the football club moving in. The stadium enjoyed its largest ever attendance in 1957 when 34,445 supporters turned up to watch Wrexham play Manchester United in the FA Cup.

As well as international football, the Racecourse Ground has also witnessed Champions League football, such as when TNS hosted Liverpool in a qualifier in 2005. It’s international football that allows it to hold its place in the record books, however. The ground was used to host Wales’ first international match in 1877, going on to host more Wales matches than any other stadium. Given that it’s the largest stadium in the north of Wales and the fifth largest in the country, it’s hardly a surprise that it’s used for big matches from time to time. It’s also used by teams other than the Welsh national side and Wrexham, with Liverpool occasionally hosting reserve matches there. In addition, both North Wales Crusaders rugby league club, Scarlets rugby union club have used it.

Future Developments

Spicke01 at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There were already works taking place at the Racecourse Ground before Wrexham was bought by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, with the Kop undergoing major reconstruction work. The likelihood is that the club’s new Hollywood star owners will also want to spend some money in order to bring it up to scratch. Quite what developments are likely in the future are yet to be confirmed, but when we know we’ll update this section with more details.

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