St James Park (Exeter) facts for kids
|The Park, SJP|
|Full name||St James Park|
|Field size||104 x 64 metres|
|Opened||10 September 1904|
|Exeter City Football Club (1904–present)|
St James Park is a football stadium in Exeter and is the home of Exeter City FC. The stadium is served by the St James Park railway station, which is right next to the ground (the line runs behind the grandstand). It has been adopted by the club who contribute to its upkeep, under the community rail scheme, and its railings have been painted in the red and white of Exeter's strip.
The new capacity of St James Park following completion of a £3.4 million redevelopment project is 8,696. The record attendance is 20,984, who watched Exeter lose 4–2 to Sunderland in an FA Cup Sixth Round Replay in 1931.
The Stagecoach Stand and the away terrace were closed for the 2017/18 season to allow redevelopment work at the stadium, with away fans only allocated around 200–1,000 tickets in the main seated stand during that time. This temporarily reduced the stadium capacity to around 6,000.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the televised second leg of the 2019/20 League 2 play-off semi-final between Exeter City and Colchester United was played at St James Park without spectators. Paying £25 each, Exeter City supporters provided 1,256 personal photographic portraits to a company called FaceInTheCrowd, and the company manufactured life size polypropylene "cutouts" which were placed in the Stagecoach stand for the match. The supporters' payment for the cutouts, less production costs, was donated to the club. The supporters who wished to were able to reclaim their cutouts after the play-offs.
|Cliff Bastin Stand / Thatchers Big Bank||Big Bank||Home Fans||3,971 (standing)|
|IP Office Stand||Cowshed / Doble||Home Fans & Away Fans||2,116 (seated) 200-1000 (away seating allocation)|
|Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand||New Old Grandstand||Home Fans||1,599 (seated)|
|Marsh Kia St James Road Stand||Away End||Away Fans||1,010 (standing)|
In 1654 the land was owned by Lady Anne Clifford who rented it out for fattening pigs. The proceeds went to a charity set up to pay for the apprenticeship of a poor child from the parish of St Stephen, an arrangement that was supposed to be renewed "yearly to the world's end." Pigs were resident for nearly 250 years and in later times, were joined by other tenants of low repute. Prior to 1904, Exeter United FC played its games here and after merging with St. Sidwell's United, the ground was leased to the newly formed Exeter City FC with the new contract stipulating that "no menageries, shows, circuses or steam roundabouts" were to be allowed on the premises.
In the ground's early days, some visiting clubs complained about the ground claiming it wasn't regulation length, and both Stoke (in 1909) and Reading (1910) refused to play FA Cup games at the ground, although the matter was resolved in 1920 when the club purchased the land east of the ground and were able to extend the pitch and construct the Big Bank stand.
In 1921 the club was able to buy the site, thanks to money raised through the record breaking sale of Dick Pym to Bolton, and proceeded to develop the ground, adding a roof to the Cowshed stand and in 1926 rebuilding the Grandstand destroyed by fire the previous year.
St James Park hosted an international fixture on 22 November 2006, when England Women's Under 21s took on France in a friendly match. The game finished 1–1.
The Park also hosted the England C international match against Wales on 20 February 2008, which England won 2–1.
St James Park (Exeter) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.