United Park or for reasons of sponsorship Hunky Dorys Park, is a 2,000 capacity football stadium located in the north east Ireland. Home to local side Drogheda United F.C. since 1979, there have been plans to build a new 10,000 seater stadium on the outskirts of town but plans have fallen through despite local Meath County Council granting approval.
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United Park first opened on 12th August 1979 with the inaugural match held against English side Queens Park Rangers during Drogheda’s pre-season period. Modest in appearance the ground has undergone several small scale renovations over the years including the installation of floodlights in October 1993 – an occasion which was crowned with a 2-1 victory against Shamrock Rovers.
The stadium was most recently upgraded in 2010 in order to bring the stadium up to the standards of both the Irish Football Association and GAA. This saw the addition of new seating which resulted in a total combined capacity of 5,400 although it was later reduced by a Louth County Fire Officer to 2,000 in 2007 due to safety concerns.
Prior to this there were serious negotiations to relocate Drogheda United to a brand new €35m stadium out of town, however the grand vision for the club sadly failed to materialise. Although the club were granted planning permission by Meath County Council for a 12,000 capacity venue on 9th July 2008, the Boynesiders were unable to raise the necessary finances.
The club went into examinership after failing to pay back a €500,000 bank loan as well as €10,000 to Bohemians after loaning their Dalymount Park for a crucial Champions League qualification match against Dynamo Kiev. Facing a 10 point deduction and the dismantling of their League Winning Side, Drogheda managed to avoid relegation and stave off impending financial doom after fans initiated various fund raising activities.
Drogheda have sold the naming rights to United Park on two occasions: firstly to 02 between 2002-2003 when it became the 02 Park, and more recently to Hunky Dory’s Crips, becoming Hunky Dorys Park in 2010. This lead one fan to brand the stadium more prawn cocktail than prawn sandwich!
Below is a seating plan of Drogheda United's Hunky Dorys Park:
Drogheda’s United Park is comprised of four stands: North, East, South and West.
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 are usually accommodated within the covered section of terracing on the Windmill Road Side to the east of the ground. Fully-covered, this section of the stand is accessible through the entrance which backs onto the Clubhouse Car Park, and is located within the corner of the ground.
Whilst there is a Supporters Club Bar at the ground it is usually reserved for home supporters and members only. This means that the closest place to grab a pint before the match appears to be at Windmill House on Windmill Road although based on limited searches on the internet it doesn’t appear to have much of a pulse so could well be closed.
The small town centre has a handful of pubs worth checking out including The Market Bar and Gleesons both of which seem to cater for the slightly older, ale-drinking football fan. If you want something a bit more contemporary there is the Bru Bar & Bistro which overlooked the River Boyne. It has a large riverside terrace and looks a picture of modernity when lit up during the evening.
The town centre has the usual range of fast-food options including the recognisable names of a McDonalds and Domino’s Pizza as well as numerous independent fast-food outlets.
The club previously operated a store in Scotch Hall Shopping Centre opposite the Dunnes Store on the first floor, however it appears as if it has since closed down. If you want to purchase official merchandise your best bet is to attend a match.
It doesn’t appear as if Drogheda United currently offers fans the chance to go behind the scenes at Hunky Dorys Park by undertaking a tour, however if this changes we’ll be sure to update this section.
The home of Drogheda United is located north-west of the historical centre of the industrial town which was built up around the banks of the River Boyne. It is located next to Saint Peter’s Cemetery between the areas of Moneymore and Liscorrie.
The address for satnav is as follows:
United Park, Windmill Rd, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland
At the ground there is a small club run car park, and failing this there is another one available at the adjacent Gaelic Football Ground which is accessible from Cross Lane which is the next left on Windmill Road. A comparatively expensive yet potentially more reliable back-up option is the nearby Hospital Car Park at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda.
Drogheda railway station is located approximately 2.5 km south-east of United Park with the resulting journey by foot likely to take no more than 30 minutes for anyone of slightly below average fitness. Located on the Northern Commuter line there are a number of Great Northern Railway services to both Belfast and Dublin Connolly stations.
The closest hotel to United Park appears to be Windsor Lodge B&B which although nice enough, doesn’t appear to be the largest hotel in the area. Back towards the River Boyne and the town centre there are a number of more “generic” hotels such as The Westcourt, Scholars Townhouse and The D Hotel Drogheda which is our wild card option as its slightly more expensive than the others.