Colchester Community Stadium

By Football Tripper

Last Updated: August 6, 2016

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Inside Colchester Community Stadium

Stadium Overview

Team: Colchester United

Address: Weston Homes Community Stadium, United Way, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5UP

Capacity: 10,105

Opened: 2008

Colchester Community Stadium is a purpose built football stadium located in the oldest town in Britain, Colchester, Essex. Currently known as Weston Homes Community Stadium for sponsorship reasons, the 10,105 capacity ground first opened at the start of the 2008/2009 seasons and is home to Colchester United F.C

Stadium Guide

History

Previously Colchester had played at Layer Road Stadium which was built way back in 1910. Originally home to Colchester Town, an amateur side, Colchester United, replaced them as the sole tenants after disbanding when the owners opted against turning the amateur club professional. The U’s essentially replaced them as the town’s main football team.

Plans to replace Layer Road with a set of more modern facilities were formulated as early as the 1970s when the club worked in conjunction with Colchester Borough Council to find a new home. One early proposed site for the new ground was along the Avenue of Remembrance, although plans were scuppered when Colchester became relegated to the fourth division and only attendances began to suffer.

With the onset of high-profile stadium disasters in the 1980s such as the Bradford City Stadium fire, and Hillsborough, the wooden stands of Layer Road appeared to have had their day. Facing a bill of over £500,000 to ensure spectator safety, the ground’s capacity was reduced to 4,900 but somehow the antiquated ground hung on. It wasn’t until the 13th November 2006 that the club would receive full planning permission for a brand new stadium.

Situated on a piece of council owned land known as Cuckoo Farm, plans were submitted and approved by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and construction began on the site in June 2007. As an additional source of revenue Colchester sold the naming rights to Weston Homes Community Stadium for £2 million over 1 years.

The inaugural fixture at Colchester Community Stadium was held against Athletic Bilbao on the 4th August 2008, with the first competitive fixture held two weeks later against Huddersfield Town in League One. Both fixtures failed to attract a sell out crowd, and it wasn’t until an Anglian Derby against Norwich on January 2010 that the new ground’s 10,105 capacity was reached.

Seating Plan

Below is a seating plan of Colchester United’s Community Stadium:
colchester-community-stadium-seating-plan

Stands

The stands at the Community stadium are as follows: Roman Cars Stand (North) where away fans are housed, Jobserve Stand (East), Weston Home Stand (South) and the main stand (West) where the club’s facilities are housed.

colchester-community-roman-cars

colchester-community-jobs-serve

colchester-community-weston-homes-stand

colchester-community-stand

Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.

The Matchday Experience

Away Fans

The location of the away fans inside Colchester Community Stadium depends on how large the traveling contingent is, with supporters routinely housed within the northern section of the JobServe stand by default. If the standard allocation of around 1,000 seats is deemed to be too small, fans will be moved to the North Stand which is capable of seating twice as many visitors, usually around 2,000 seats.

As a modern stadium which opened in 2008 all four sections of the ground provide fans with unrestricted views and comfortable seats. Taller fans appear to be impressed with the levels of leg-room compared to some of the “steeper” stands, and the concourse is also noted for being spacious inside.

Best Pubs

Located on the outskirts of Colchester there really aren’t many choices when it comes to pre-match pints, with the club thankfully providing fans with a decent bar inside the Weston Homes Stand. Open to both sets of supporters it usually opens at 12.15 for a 3.00pm kick-off, with relaxed stewarding allowing fans to take drinks outside in order to watch whatever pre-match entertainment is on offer – usually live music.

With the club encouraging the use of the shuttle-bus on matchdays, those coming into Colchester railway station have the option of grabbing a drink at the either the Bricklayers or the Norfolk which are both pubs located less than five minutes from the railway track.

If you choose to walk or are driving, the Dog & Pheasant is technically the nearest pub although it is still a mile or so away from the ground and reportedly only admits home fans.

Food

There really aren’t many food options when going to watch Colchester United play at home. For those coming from the station there is an Asda and Pizza Hut within 10 minutes walking distance, otherwise you’ll be eating the typical fare available at the ground – not that it’s necessarily a bad thing!

Club Shop

Colchester FC operate a club shop at Community Stadium in addition to their own official online site,  CUFC Retail. The opening times for store at the ground are as follows:

  • Monday – Friday: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
  • Saturday Matchday: 11.00 am – 6.00 pm (Reopens after the match)

Several fans enjoying the Colchester club store

Further information can be gained from either phoning the store on 01206 755135 or sending an email to clubshop@colchesterunited.net.

Stadium Tour

It doesn’t appear as if Colchester currently offer fans the chance to undertake a stadium tour of the Community Stadium . If this changes, we’ll be sure to update this section.

Ticket Prices

Colchester United have one of the more convoluted systems for pricing their home tickets with the club devising no less than five prices based on when you purchase the tickets: Early Bird (start of the season), Super Saver (five weeks), Saver (three weeks), Advanced (one week) and matchday (0 days).

Below is a snapshot of advanced ticket prices for the 2014/2015 season:

South

  • Adult: £20.00
  • Concessions: £14.00
  • 18 – 21: £15.00
  • Under 18s: £11.00

W1 – 9

Tickets are more expensive the more central you get.

  • Adult: £22.00 – £28.00
  • Concessions: £16.00 – £22.00
  • Under 18s: £11.00 – £14.00

E 5-8

  • Adult: £22.00 – £28.00
  • Concessions: £16.00 – £22.00
  • Under 18s: £11.00 – £14.00
  • Under 14s: £5.00 – £8.00
  • Under 11s: Free

To book tickets to see Colchester either visit the Ticket Office at the ground, phone 0845 437 9089 for the ticket hotline or browse the online ticket office, Colu Tickets

Matchday Travel

The Weston Homes Community Stadium is located next to the Rugby Club adjacent to the A12 dual carriageway, approximately 2.4 miles north of Colchester’s city centre.

Welcome to Colchester Community Stadium.

Welcome to Colchester Community Stadium.

Train

Colchester railway station is located approximately 1.8 miles south of the Community Stadium which is a walk of around 40 minutes back towards the city centre, making it not of the most accessible stadiums for non driving football fans.

Bus

Colchester United operate a match day shuttle service which picks up fans from around Colchester and takes them to the stadium hassle free. Subsidized by the Chariman, this service costs just £2.50 for a return ticket, and multiple buses serve different routes with some even stopping right outside popular pubs. For a complete list of times, schedules and stops please visit this page.

There are also return services which depart around 15-20 minutes after the full time whistle. Fans are also advised that they can buy a ticket for the number 65 throughout multiple locations/stops in the city which will take them to the train station. From here, they can then join the matchday bus shuttle service.

Driving

Colchester Community Stadium’s address for satnav is as follows:

  • United Way, Colchester, CO4 5UP.
The home fans of Colchester enjoying their new stadium

The home fans of Colchester enjoying their new stadium

Car Parks

Colchester United have a car park with 700 spaces at the ground at a cost of £6.00 per car with tickets available to those who book in advance by calling the ticket office on 0845 437 9089. Away fans are also permitted to use the car park but are given a smaller allocation so booking as soon as possible is usually advised.

Please note that the immediate area around the ground falls under a Parking Exclusion Zone on matchdays, with vehicles liable to a £70 fine if they happen to contravene the rules. Make sure you read all the parking related signage!

Hotels

Located out of town the closest hotels to the Weston Homes Community Stadium aren’t really that close with nothing really accessible by foot within 20 minutes.  East of the stadium along the A12/A120 junction there is  Ramada and Premier Inn, to the West on the same stretch of road there is a Holiday Inn and back towards the historic city centre there is the Railway Sleeper Lodge next to the train station amongst other choices.


By Football Tripper

Last Updated: August 6, 2016

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