Oxford United

Ground Name: Kassam Stadium  
Capacity: 12,500 (all seated)
Address: 
Grenoble Rd, Oxford, OX4 4XP
Main Telephone No: 01865 337 500
Fax No: 01865 337501
Ticket Office: 
01865 337 533
Team Nickname:
 The U’s
Year Ground Opened: 2001
Pitch Size:
 112 x 78 yards 
Home Kit Colours: Yellow & Blue
Official Web Site: 
www.oufc.co.uk
Unofficial Web Sites: 
OUExiles
Rage Online
This Is United
Oxtales
Yellows Online (Rivals Network)

What are the grounds like?

The club moved from the Manor Ground in the Summer of 2001, to the purpose built Kassam Stadium (named after the former Chairman Firoz Kassam). The stadium was built at a cost of around 15m and is located on the outskirts of Oxford. It has only three sides, with one end remaining unused. Each of the stands are of a good size, are all seated, covered and are roughly of the same height. The South Stand on one side of the pitch, is a two tiered stand with a row of executive boxes. This is a particularly impressive looking stand with police control and press boxes situated at the back. Opposite is the single tiered North Stand, primarily given to away supporters. This has a number of strange looking floodlights protruding from its roof. At the one end is the Oxford Mail Stand, which is also single tiered. There is a special type of pitch, one of the first to have artificial grass woven into the live turf. One disappointment is the large gaps in the corners, which sets the stands back from the playing surface and means cold winds whistling through in winter.

Future Developments

Foundations have been put in place for the future construction of a fourth stand, at the West End of the stadium. However it is unlikely that this will be built for at least a couple of years.

What is it like for visiting supporters?

Away fans are housed on one side of the North Stand, towards the open end of the ground. This stand may be shared with home supporters, or as was the case on my visit, the whole stand was given to the away support. There is little around the ground in terms of pubs and eating establishments, so you mayhave to find such comforts within the ground itself. The refreshments on offer are okay, with a range of rollover hot dogs and pies on offer, including the Chicken Balti Pie. Bottles of Carlsberg Lager are also available at 2.20. However, I have had a number of reports that it still takes an eternity to get served in the refreshment area and/or that they have run out of hot food/drinks. One visiting supporter even suggested taking a flask and a packed lunch.

The Kassam is light years away from the old Manor Ground. The facilities within and pitch view are excellent, and there is also good leg room. The atmosphere within the ground is not bad, with the Oxford fans in the Oxford Mail Stand doing their best to raise it. Although I did notice that they hadn’t quite got used to their new home, still chanting the London Road End chant from the Manor Ground. With one end of the ground being open, there is always the remark ‘of watch my car’ as another wayward shot flies into the car park behind. On the whole I found the Kassam Stadium to be an enjoyable and a largely friendly day out.

Where to drink?

The nearest Public House is ‘The Priory’ which is just behind the car park at the open end of the ground and is quite an historic looking building. On my visit the pub seemed fine for away fans, but can get quite crowded. It boasts a large screen for SKY TV and also offered food, in the form of a wide range of pies and filled rolls. In the weather is good then the pub also do a barbecue prior to the match. Andy Wraight adds, ‘There is now a Holiday Inn Express Hotel on the corner behind the Oxford Mail and South Stand, which has a fair sized bar. The bar welcomes football supporters and has Sky Television. Kim Rockall informs me; ‘A new cinema and bowling alley complex was recently opened adjacent to the stadium, called Ozone. Inside the bowling alley there is a bar, which also has SKY TV and a fast food outlet’. There is also on the complex a Chinese buffet restaurant called Oxy Oriental. Alcohol is served within the ground (2.80 for a bottle of Calsberg).

How to get there and where to park?

The stadium is quite well signposted from the main routes into Oxford, with brown football signs pointing the way. The stadium can be found in between the Oxford Science Park & Blackbird Leys Estate. From the A423 Ring Road, take the A4074 towards Reading. After the roundabout with Sainsbury’s on one corner, take the left turning sign posted Cowley/Wallington/Oxford Science Park and you eventually come to the ground on your left. 

For a map showing the location of the ground click here (to take you to the Street Map website).

There are 1,600 car parking spaces at the stadium itself, which are free. However, the car parks tend to fill up fast, so try and arrive early if you can (at least 75 minutes before kick off). An additional 400 car parking spaces are now available at the Ozone cinema and bowling alley complex adjacent to the stadium, which are also free to use. John Attwood a visiting Gillingham supporter adds; ‘when arriving at the stadium, ignore the first stadium car park entrance that you come to and go up to the second entrance as the first will have you parking at the “open” end. There is a roundabout by the second entrance, which will take you back to the first entrance if the other half is full. I was also heavily delayed in trying to leave the car park after the game as there was only two exits available’. If you do end up arriving late at the stadium and find that the stadium car parks are full, then don’t get tempted to park on a grass verge as you may well end up with a parking ticket for your trouble. 

By train

Oxford railway station is over four miles from the ground and it is really not advisable to try to walk it. 
You can get the Oxford Bus Company Service, Number 5, from Oxford Railway Station (use bus stop R2) via the city centre to Knights Road in Blackbird Leys, which is a short walk away from the ground. On Saturday afternoons the bus runs every five minutes and on midweek evenings every 8-10 minutes. Journey time to the stadium is around 25 minutes. For more information visit the Oxford Bus Company website. Alternatively a taxi will cost you in the region of 10, from the station to the stadium.

Local Rivals

Swindon Town & Reading.

Fixtures

For the Oxford fixture list click here (to take you to the BBC Sports Website)

Record and Average attendance

At The Kassam Stadium:
12,243 v Leyton Orient,
League Two, May 6th 2006.

At The Manor Ground:
22,750 v Preston North End,
FA Cup 6th Round, February 29th, 1964.

Average Attendance:
2008-2009: 4,879 (Blue Square Premier)
2007-2008: 4,728 (Conference National)
2006-2007: 6,332 (Conference National)