Recreation Ground (Aldershot)

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Recreation Ground
The Rec
Recreation Ground - 1 - geograph-992787.jpg
Recreation Ground (Aldershot)
LocationHigh Street
Aldershot
Hampshire
GU11 1TW
Owner Rushmoor Borough Council
Operator Aldershot Town Football Club
Capacity 7,100 (2000 Seated)
East Bank: 4,180
North Stand: 1,540
South Stand: 880
South West Terrace: 500
Field size117 x 76 yards
SurfaceGrass
Opened1927
Tenants
Aldershot (1927–1992)
Aldershot Town (1992–present)
Chelsea U21

The Recreation Ground is a football ground in Aldershot. Games have been played there since 1927 when Aldershot (later reformed as Aldershot Town) was founded. The ground hosted League football between 1932 and 1992 when Aldershot were members of the football league. Its current tenants Aldershot Town have used the ground since forming in 1992 and the ground has once again hosted league football between 2008 and 2013.

Contents

The ground currently has a capacity of 7,100, though the record attendance at the ground is 19,138, recorded when Aldershot played Carlisle United on 28 January 1970 in an FA Cup replay. The ground is affectionately known as 'The Rec' though for sponsorship reasons its official name has been The EBB Stadium at The Recreation Ground. [1]

Current capacity

Main entrance to the EBB Stadium EBB Stadium Aldershot Town FC.jpg
Main entrance to the EBB Stadium

The capacity of the ground was reduced at the end of the 2007–2008 season to 7,100. [2] This includes a total away allocation of 1,100 of which around 250 is seated. [3] The capacity was previously set at 7,500, however promotion to the Football League meant changes were introduced which resulted in the capacity being reduced. [4]

Approximate capacity breakdown:

Total: 7,600

History

Recreation Ground in 1982 Recreation Ground - 1982.jpg
Recreation Ground in 1982

Aldershot F.C. era

Aldershot F.C. adopted the "Rec" as their home ground upon formation in December 1926. The Recreation Ground was owned by the local council and situated on Aldershot High Street. The first stand, the south stand, was opened at the beginning of the 1929–30 season and still remains today. A crowd of 3,522 witnessed the shots record a 2–1 victory over Norwich City on the day of its opening. [5] The club's last game there was in the Football League Fourth Division against Lincoln City on 14 March 1992 – 11 days before their demise. However, one more competitive game did follow for the club - against Cardiff City, also in the league, at Ninian Park. [6]

Aldershot Town F.C. era

After the demise of Aldershot F.C., the Recreation Ground remained without any tenants. Aldershot Town were formed soon after and consequently chose to adopt the Recreation Ground as their home.

In March 2018, Aldershot Town presented proposals for the redevelopment of the EBB Stadium to Rushmoor Borough Council which would see the potential development of a new stadium, containing both seating and standing areas, that will give the club a 'long-term home from which to build our ambitions on the pitch'. [7]

Attendances

Club attendances from 1992 to 2009

Average attendances since 1992. [8] [9]

SeasonLeagueHighest attendanceLowest attendanceAverage attendanceRankSeason on season increase
1992–93 Isthmian League Third Division 2,8731,4932,0761stN/A
1993–94 Isthmian League Second Division 3,3011,2591,8911st-8.9%
1994–95 Isthmian League First Division 2,9201,4591,8531st-2.0%
1995–96 Isthmian League First Division 2,1411,1801,6431st-15.3%
1996–97 Isthmian League First Division 2,2321,2851,6521st+5.2%
1997–98 Isthmian League First Division 4,2891,1222,2491st+20.7%
1998–99 Isthmian League Premier Division 2,7981,2071,9951st+0.1%
1999–00 Isthmian League Premier Division 5,5181,3362,0701st+3.7%
2000–01 Isthmian League Premier Division 3,1971,2181,9731st-4.7%
2001–02 Isthmian League Premier Division 2,6301,5051,9021st-3.6%
2002–03 Isthmian League Premier Division 3,4191,6942,0671st+4.4%
2003–04 Football Conference 4,6372,4123,3034th+66.4%
2004–05 Football Conference 4,4581,9233,0434th-7.9%
2005–06 Football Conference 3,1361,6452,2945th-24.6%
2006–07 Football Conference 3,6211,7342,3605th+2.9%
2007–08 Football Conference 5,9801,7793,0745th+30.3%
2008–09 League Two 5,0232,0903,27616th+6.6%

Record attendances

The following table summarises the top 10 attendances at the recreation ground for Aldershot Town, since reformation in 1992). [10]

AttendanceVersusCompetition
7,500 Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup
7,044 Manchester United Football League Cup
6,870 Woking FA Cup
6,617 Carlisle United Conference National Play-off semi-final
6,379 Hereford United Conference National Play-off semi-final
5,980 Weymouth Conference National
5,961 Farnborough Town Hampshire Senior Cup
5,791 Burton Albion Conference National
5,524 Woking FA Trophy
5,518 Farnborough Town Isthmian League Premier Division

Facilities

North Stand

This is the main stand of the Recreation Ground running along one side of the pitch. [11] It houses players changing rooms and the club's directors box and media center. Adjoined to the North stand is the club offices which were used by both Aldershot F.C. and Aldershot Town F.C. directors. There is also a conference room and bar adjacent to the offices and behind the North stand which was built in the early 2000s. Originally it was used as a bar for supporters on matchdays until the club acquired the Black Bull Inn during the 2007–2008 season. As a result, it is mainly used for corporate hospitality. [12]

The stand itself features a combination of terracing and seating:

East Bank

East Bank is the largest stand of the Recreation Ground capable of holding several thousand fans. The design of the stand is unusual as it is not like most stands that have a flat roof, instead the stand roof is a barrel-shaped roof towards the rear, with a flat roof covering the lower parts of the East Bank. This is so because the East Bank originally had just the barrel shaped roof and it was not until later that a front flat roof was put on to cover the lower half of the East Bank. [15]

South Stand

South Stand viewed from the East Bank Recreation Ground - 2 - geograph-992797.jpg
South Stand viewed from the East Bank

The South Stand is the only all-seated stand at the ground, accommodating both home and away fans. The stand is the oldest at the ground, having been opened in the late 1920s shortly after Aldershot F.C. was formed. It has remained fairly untouched over the past 70 years, although an increase in ground safety regulations (especially after the Taylor report) has meant that some minor work has been carried out in order for the stand to remain in use.

Either side of the stand are open terraces. Of which one is used by home fans - the south west terrace (known amongst fans as "The Slab") - and the other used by away fans.

High Street End

Due to Football League regulations the High Street end is no longer accessible for supporters on match days. However, provision can be made for expanded capacity, as it was for the League Cup tie with Manchester United on 25 October 2011, where an extra 200 fans were allowed access, hence bringing capacity up to 7,300.

Other uses

Records

Aldershot Town and the Recreation Ground hold the following attendance records in certain leagues or cup competitions. [19]

League or Cup competitionAttendanceOpponent
Isthmian League Division 1 4289 Berkhamsted Town
Isthmian League Division 2 3301 Newbury Town
Isthmian League Division 3 2873 Collier Row
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round 2003 Rothwell Town
FA Vase Preliminary Round 1701 Gosport Borough
FA Vase 5th Round 3420 Wimborne Town
FA Vase 6th Round 4439 Atherton Laburnum Rovers

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References

  1. "Statement From Aldershot Town Football Club". Aldershot Town FC. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. "Information For Supporters at the EBB Stadium" . Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  3. "The EBB Stadium at The Recreation Ground" . Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  4. "Aldershot Town" . Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  5. "Aldershot F.C. History 1920s" . Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "EBB Stadium Redevelopment". theshots.co.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  8. "Past seasons" . Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  9. "Archive Index" . Retrieved 28 July 2008.
  10. "ShotsWeb: Shots Stats". 4 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  11. "North (Main) Stand" . Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  12. "Chief Execuetive Speaks" . Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  13. "Shotstalk" . Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  14. "The EBB Stadium at The Recreation Ground_Admission Prices (non-all ticket games)" . Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  15. "Football Ground Guide: Aldershot Town" . Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  16. "Reading F.C. Home Fixtures to played at the Recreation Ground" . Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  17. "International football at the Rec" . Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  18. "Army at the Rec" . Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  19. "ShotsWeb: Shots Stats". Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008.

Coordinates: 51°14′54.19″N0°45′17.24″W / 51.2483861°N 0.7547889°W / 51.2483861; -0.7547889