Bristol Rovers

Memorial Stadium

Capacity: 12,011
Address: Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0BF
Telephone: 0117 909 6648
Fax: 0117 907 4312
Ticket Office: 0117 909 8848
Pitch Size: 110 x 73 yards
Club Nickname: Pirates
Year Ground Opened: 1921
Home Kit: Blue & White Quarters

East Stand
East Stand
West Stand
West Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Blackthorn Terrace
Blackthorn Terrace
A Closer Look At The West Stand
A Closer Look At The West Stand

The club moved to the stadium in 1996 and two years later bought the ground from the then owners Bristol Rugby Club. Although the Memorial Stadium has seen some changes since the Football Club took up residence, it still has the feel of a rugby ground about it. 

On one side is the West Stand, which with its pavilion looks more like a cricket stand. It has a row of hospitality boxes across the top, with a few rows of seats in front. Below is an area of terrace. Just under this stand's roof is a television gantry and a small electric scoreboard. The stand runs for about half the length of the pitch and straddles the half way line. On one side of it, towards the Blackthorn end is a small covered terrace, used as a family area, whilst the other side has a small covered area of temporary seating, called the South West Stand. Opposite is the Uplands Stand, taller than the West Stand, but similar in length. This stand has covered seating to its rear and terracing at the front. It has open terracing to either side, one of which is given to away supporters. The team dug outs are located in front of this stand, although the dressing rooms are located behind the West Stand. This leads to quite a procession of players and officials at half time and full time. 

At one end is the unusual looking South Stand. This was originally erected as a temporary stand, to fill the previously empty end. It has now been opened for a number of seasons now, although it still looks, with its green seats and bright white roof, more suitable for an outdoor show jumping competition than a football ground. The stand only runs for just over half the width of the pitch, has several supporting pillars running across the front and has been nicknamed 'the tent' by Rovers fans. Opposite is the Blackthorn End, which is a covered terrace for home supporters.

The Club are progressing with their plans to move to a new stadium, which will be located close to the Avon Ring Road, by the University of the West England (UWE), on the outskirts of Bristol. The scheme, which will involve the building of a new 21,700 capacity stadium, is to be partly funded by the sale of the Memorial Ground to the Sainsbury's supermarket chain. Planning permission for both the new stadium and Sainsbury's have been granted by the local council. However, there is still local opposition to the proposed building of the Sainsbury's supermarket and this planning decision may be referred to the High Court of Appeal.

It is hoped that the building of the new stadium could commence during the Summer of 2015 with it being open for the start of the 2016/17 season. The stadium will be built in such a way that it can be easily expanded in the future to a larger capacity of 35,000. More information including an artists impression of how the new stadium might look can be found on the UWE Stadium Consultation website.

Away supporters are mostly housed in an open terrace on one side of the East (Dribuild) Stand. This area is open to the elements so you might get wet if it rains. The open terrace makes it difficult for away fans to really generate some noise. Up to 1,100 away supporters can be accommodated in this area. If the weather is poor then it may be a better bet to head for one of the seats that are made available to away fans in the South Stand at one end of the ground. I must recommend the huge Cornish pasties (£3) that are sold at the ground, huge and tasty, plus they even do vegetarian ones which makes a change. Also on offer are a range of pies including the the Chicken Balti Pie. I did not experience any problems on my visits, however I noted that the Rovers fans seemed to tolerate away fans rather than being over friendly. They can still do a good rendition of their club anthem 'Goodnight Irene', when the occasion stirs.

I found it quite amusing that the Rovers fans are nicknamed gasheads. Nick Wootten of Bristol informed me that this term comes from where the old Eastville stadium in Bristol was sited. Next to a (sometimes smelly) gas works! In fact it was rumoured that if Rovers were losing at half time, the gas would be turned up, to put off the opposition!

There is a bar behind the clubhouse terrace at the ground that allows in away supporters.
Pete Stump recommends; 'The Queen Vic pub on the Gloucester Road, which is around a five minute walk from the ground, usually has a comfortable mix of home and away fans, although it does get busy'. Rhys Gwynllyw a visiting Wrexham supporter recommends the Annexe Inn on Seymour Road. Located half mile a way from the stadium, the pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It is close to the County Cricket Ground, going further along the A38 towards Bristol. After passing an Indian Restaurant call Guru, turn left into Nevil Road and then right at the Sportsman Pub into Seymour Road. Please note that alcohol is not made available to away fans inside the stadium.

Exit M5 at junction 16 (Signposted Filton) and join the A38 (South) towards Bristol City Centre. The ground is about five miles down the A38. You will pass the large British Aerospace works and further on, you will pass on your left the Inn on the Green and the Gloucester pubs. You then pass the Wellington pub on your right and continuing along the A38 Gloucester Road, turn left into Filton Avenue. The entrance to the Club car park is the second right down this road. There is a fair amount of street parking around the sides and back of the Wellington pub. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: BS7 0BF

The nearest railway station is Filton Abbey Wood, which as Peter Moody informs me; 'is approximately 1.5 miles or 20-25 minutes walk away from the ground'. More likely though you will end up at Bristol Parkway which is about two miles away from the ground and is really too far to walk from, so you are probably best to jump in a taxi (cost about £10) or buses 73/73A/73B run from the railway station past the Memorial Stadium.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Like a number of Clubs, Bristol Rovers have a category system (A & B) for ticket prices, with the most popular games costing more to watch. Category A prices are shown below with Category B prices shown in brackets:

Home Fans*
West Stand (Seating): 
Adults £26 (B £24), Over 65's/Students £20.50 (B £18.50), Under 16's £18.50 (B £17.50)
West Stand (Terrace): Adults £20 (B £18), Over 65's/Students £12 (B £10), Under 16's £11 (B £9)
East Stand (Seating): 
Adults £24 (B £22), Over 65's/Students £15.50 (B £13.50), Under 16's £15.50 (B £12.50)
East Stand (Terrace): Adults £18 (B £16), Over 65's/Students £11 (B £9), Under 16's £10 (B £8)
Family Terrace: Adults £18 (B £16), Over 65's/Students £11 (B £9), Under 16's £7 (B £5)
South West Stand (Seating): Adults £21 (B £19), Over 65's/Students £13 (B £11), Under 16's £12 (B £10)
South Stand (Seated): Adults £20.50 (B £18.50), Over 65's/Students £12.50 (B £10.50), Under 16's £11.50 (B £9.50)
Blackthorn Terrace End: Adults £18 (B £16), Over 65's/Students £11 (B £9), Under 16's £10 (B £8)

Away Fans*
East Stand (Terrace): Adults £18 (B £16), Over 65's/Students £11 (B £9), Under 16's £10 (B £8)
South Stand (Seated): 
Adults £20.50 (B£18.50), Over 65's/Students £12.50 (B £10.50), Under 16's £11.50 (B £9.50)

* The above prices quoted are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets purchased on matchday cost £2 more per ticket.

Official Programme: £3

At The Memorial Stadium:
12,011 v West Bromwich Albion,
FA Cup 6th Round, February 9th, 2008.

At Eastville;
38,472 v Preston North End,
FA Cup 4th Round, January 30th, 1960.

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 6,421 (League Two)
2012-2013: 6,309 (League Two)
2011-2012: 6,035 (League Two)

 

Bristol City and Swindon Town.

Bristol Rovers FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

If you're into historical ships then the first steam ship the SS Great Britain is moored at the historic dockyards. The area around the docks is quite pleasant with some good pubs. If arriving by train you can get a ferry boat to the dock yards from Temple Meads station.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the Memorial Stadium. 

Access their Bristol Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

Bristol Rovers v Kidderminster Harriers
Conference Premier
Saturday November 15th, 2014, 3pm
Owen Malcolmson-Priest (Kidderminster Harriers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

As soon as Bristol were relegated from the Football League, I knew straight away that the Memorial Stadium was a ground that I was going to attend this season. Plus Bristol is not too far from Kidderminster either, so it was only going to be a short journey.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I went on Kidderminster's official coach, and it took around an hour and a half from Aggborough Stadium. The stadium is located on the end of a High Street so it was fairly simple to find the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we found a Dominos pizza outlet, where we settles for something to eat. Across the road from this is the 'Queen Vic' pub, but it looked full of Gasheads, so we gave it a miss. Instead we headed for the bar at the Memorial Stadium itself, which he had heard about beforehand. In fact there were two bars at the ground, although one was reserved for Bristol Rovers Club Members and the other was for both home and away fans. This was quite a big room with quite a few (fuzzy looking) televisions. There were a lot of Bristol fans in the bar, but they seemed friendly enough. As it was an international break weekend, there wasn't a football game on the television, so the rugby was on instead. We didn't last long in the bar and soon went off into the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

A lot of people I have spoken to say that the Memorial Ground is not very good at all. I disagree, the stand opposite to the away end looked very smart. The home terrace looked very big for this level and the Bristol fans could generate quite a lot of noise when singing 'Good night Irene'. The away end wasn't the best, with no roof, making it hard for the away fans to be heard. The stand to the left of the away section looked much like a temporary stand. I noticed that not many fans sat in there.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was very entertaining. With Kidderminster being on a poor run of form recently, the 280 fans who attended from Worcestershire were mildly shocked when Blissett for Kidderminster scored from a corner. However, Kidderminster failed to hold on but a 1-1 draw away was very good for us. Atmosphere from Kidderminster was very good, but the lack of roof didn't allow it to get too loud. Bristol fans did not sing much, and booed their players off at half time. Stewards were friendly. Few friends bought food, and I wasn't too impressed by the quality.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The coach set off about 10-15 minutes after the final whistle, and returned to Aggborough at around 7pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Brilliant day out, the result was massive for Kidderminster. Glad to have bought food away from the ground. Despite what people say, Bristol is quite a nice place. Friendly fans, nice ground, and will definitely revisit if the two teams are in the same division next year.

Bristol Rovers v Grimsby Town
Conference Premier
Saturday August 9th, 2014, 3pm
Glynn Sharkey (Grimsby Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had been to the old Eastville ground many years ago, but hadn't been back to Bristol since, so the Memorial ground was a new one for me to tick off. Plus this was the first league game of the new season, so one not to miss.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Due to the cost of train tickets, plus the fact we wouldn't get into Bristol much before kick off
we decided on the car. My old mate Chuckler who lives in Leeds city centre volunteering to pick up a hire car and meet up at Meadowhall Travelodge after work on Friday night, ready for an early morning start.

I blame the tram into Sheffield, copious amounts of real ale, Wetherspoons burgers followed by the obligatory kebab for the fact the morning start was delayed somewhat. Starting off an hour later than planned we hit every road works, accident, tailback imaginable and by the time we made the A42 were ready for brekky. We headed off the A42 towards Coalville, found a roadside greasy spoon and were soon back on our way again.

On hitting Bristol we hit the traffic again, gridlock and with only 70 minutes before kick off the chance of a pint slipping away. Crawling down the A38 with the ground about half a mile away we saw The Inn On The Green pub, swung down the side street next to it and parked up.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

With 25 minutes to kick off I dived inside and ordered a swift couple while Chuckler decided to go straight to the ground. 15 minutes later, the best part of eight notes lighter and with a churning belly I set off for the ground. Walking past the Wellington pub I headed down towards the ground and found myself amongst a large group of lads "swapping handbags". Luckily this was soon broken up as it had the potential to turn nasty. Well done the Police on that one.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

To be fair I thought it looked better from the car park outside, it's an odd little ground. We were on the open terrace to the left of the East Stand facing one of the weirdest side stands opposite that I've ever seen. A quite large (compared to the rest) and grand looking stand with two tiny covered stands each side, behind the goal to our left was a stand that wouldn't look out of place in your back garden when you have the BBQ going.

Come On You Mariners!

View From The Away Section

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

A large crowd of over 7,000 and a decent Grimsby following made for a good atmosphere, the stewards and police seemed very relaxed and happy to let people carry on and enjoy their selves. I was pleased to meet up with a few of the London Mariners and despite not making a beer together before kick off, we agreed on a few after.

With half the first team missing we weren't really expecting much so a point in the 0-0 draw probably saw us happier than the Bristol fans. Saying that whoever scored was going to win and our striker LJL missed a sitter from only 10 feet out, which cost us two points.

I didn't try any food but the burger stall at the back came in very handy for shelter from the torrential downpour just before half time!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A ten minute walk to The Inn On The Green and a few pints with some of the London Mariners made a perfect end, it's always good to catch up. After an hour the traffic had all but died and we were on our way with no problems.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good start to the season, not too bad a ground and the area didn't seem bad either. It was great to meet up with mates but what spoiled it for me was our late arrival despite a 7.30am start. I do like to have a bit of a look around beforehand.

Bristol Rovers v Fleetwood Town
League Two
Saturday October 5th, 2013, 3pm 
James Spring (Neutral fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to visiting the ground?

My local team Weymouth were away to Biggleswade and I couldn’t get to Nottingham to watch my beloved Notts County, but I was desperate to see a game this weekend. A quick look through the fixture list showed that Bristol Rovers were at home to Fleetwood. I did some research on this website to see how best to get there, and when I found that a train return would be £17 it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

Plus it would be another ground ticked off, and with the constant speculation about Rovers leaving the Memorial it might be my only chance, plus the match looked quite appealing so off I went. 

2. How easy was your journey, finding the ground, car parking?

I caught a train from Weymouth that got me to Bristol Temple Meads just before 2pm. I had looked on Google maps at the route, but decided instead to just jump in one of the Taxis outside the station. The Taxi driver was actually a Bristol City fan, so we talked about the Bristol Derby which had taken place a few weeks earlier, and he reminisced about the City sides he’d watched in his youth. Friendly chap and I couldn’t complain at £10 for the ride. He dropped me off just outside the Memorial Gates. 

3. What did you do before the game pub/chippy/home fans friendly?

Having got to the ground at roughly quarter past two I just went straight to the ticket office, which is directly in front of you as you go through the Memorial Gates which are behind the Blackthorn End. I met up with a mate of mine who recently moved to Bristol for work, and we decided to watch the game from the Blackthorn Terrace so we could sample the best of the atmosphere. £18 for an adult ticket (I managed to forget my student card!) wasn’t cheap, but it certainly wasn’t over expensive either. The match day programme cost the standard £3 and was a pretty good read. 

One thing I really liked was that while the players were warming up, Rovers manager John Ward came over to the Blackthorn End and spent time saying hello to fans young and old, having photos with fans and signing autographs. I thought this was a really nice gesture, and it’d be nice to see more managers do that sort of thing. 

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impression of the away end and other sides of the ground?

The first thing I noticed was how odd the ground is, in that six stands make it up and none of them seem to match. The away fans are housed partly on an open terrace and partly in a temporary seated stand behind the goal, so I’d imagine it’s pretty difficult to get much atmosphere going in the away end. 

As I said, the different stands make it quite odd but I liked the ground, I always prefer the old fashioned type grounds. The East Stand looked quite impressive, and looked very similar to the main stand at my local club Weymouth. 

5. Comment on the game itself, stewards, atmosphere, pies etc

The first half was a bit of a non-event. Rovers tried to get the ball down and play but offered absolutely nothing in the final third, while Fleetwood’s tactic seemed to be to hoof it up to the big lad up front. The second half however was a lot better. Rovers came out stronger and had a golden chance to go 1-0 up when Andy Bond raced onto a through ball but could only shoot high and wide one v one with the Fleetwood keeper Scott Davies. Fleetwood then went close when Antoni Sarcevic had a long range effort tipped over the bar by Steve Mildenhall when it looked destined for the top corner. 

On 64 minutes a goal finally arrived for the visitors when a run into the area was not stopped by the Rovers defence and Jamille Matt turned the ball home from no more than a yard out. The goal seemed to spark Rovers into life and just two minutes after falling behind, Andy Bond’s cross was headed home by John-Joe O’Toole, sparking jubilant scenes in the Blackthorn end, with many fans running to the front to give Scott Davies an ear full after the Fleetwood keeper had shushed the home fans after the first goal. 

Rovers were now on top and the home fans were right behind their team. In the very next attack Rovers had another header cleared off the line, and from the resulting corner they saw another header come back off the post.  Fleetwood weathered the storm and with just three minutes to go, Jamille Matt scored his second of the game to put Fleetwood on the verge of another away win. The home side tried to rally but couldn’t force another chance, and deep into added time, Jon Parkin sealed the game for the visitors with a wonderful volley from a tight angle. A frustrating day for Bristol Rovers who will wonder what might have been had they made their pressure tell after the equaliser.

I was a bit disappointed at the atmosphere which only really came to life after the Rovers equaliser, although to be fair the game had been quite flat up to that point. Mind you when the entire Blackthorn end sang “Goodnight Irene” it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, that sounded brilliant!

The food inside the ground is pretty good and quite cheap. I brought a coke and sausage roll for just £1.95 before the game, although half the pastry from the sausage roll ended up on the floor!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

My mate knew where he was going so we got a bus back into town. Bus was fairly busy as you would expect, as were the roads, so it took a good twenty minutes to get back into town. From there I had to run back to Temple Meads as my train left at ten to six. The station is very well sign posted throughout the town centre so you’d do quite well to get lost. From the bus stop to the station is was about a twenty minute walk, and I got back with time to spare. There were a couple of Rovers fans on my train so we had a chat about the game and the season ahead. They were pretty friendly, if a little depressed. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of day out:

On the whole an excellent day out. Another ground ticked off, one decent half of football and not too expensive either. I hope Rovers pick up as the season goes on. They’re a decent sized club who shouldn’t be fighting to stay in the Football League. 

Bristol Rovers v Southend United
League Two
Saturday, March 24th, 2012, 3pm
John Spooner (Southend United fan)

My son and I had never visited this ground and having dropped to 4th in the table after some poor home performances, we were anxious to get a good result to keep Southend in the promotion race. Bristol were mid table. 

We journeyed  by car from North Wales as exiled fans, expecting to drive south via M5 and A38 but due to a serious crash blocking the M5 en-route we had to divert through Wolverhampton, Kidderminster down toward Worcester before rejoining the M5. The ground was easy enough to find and we parked near to the Wellington Pub.

We enjoyed a quick home made snack in the car before walking down the hill to the stadium and noticed that both sets of supporters were happily enjoying a pint or two at the Wellington.

The ground on arrival is poor looking and the away covered end looks gloomy. The ground looks old fashioned with different size stands. We had decided to stand on the open terracing in a corner of the ground, and on a warm March day (22 degrees) sunshine was in our eyes for the entire game. The pitch looked okay.

The game was a scrappy affair with Freddy Eastwood, making a return to Southend, finding it hard to get goal scoring chances. Both teams struggled to find the target but with five minutes left we gave away a penalty and Matt Harrold (ex Southend) duly netted to consign us to another loss. A crowd of 6,258 only really came alive with the penalty and the 521 Southend fans were subdued by the lack of goal scoring chances and the hot sun possibly. Southend dropped down to 5th place with just seven games left but hopefully promotion via the playoffs.

I can recommend the huge Cornish pasties and the chicken curry pies looked tasty too. The stewards were friendly enough but it felt slightly intimidating to find by half time that there were about 20 Police and stewards behind us on the terracing and at the end we were stopped from leaving the ground for 20 minutes, despite there being no obvious problems.

Despite the delay in leaving the ground it was easy enough to get moving on the A38 towards the M5 motorway.

So overall, a disappointing day after a tiring journey to the game, although the sunshine was welcome. Hopefully Bristol will move to a proposed new stadium and both clubs will progress to higher levels.

Bristol Rovers v Wycombe Wanderers
League One
Saturday, January 30th, 2010, 3pm 
Peter Radford (Wycombe Wanderers fan)

It was good to be back on the road again with Wycombe and heading West to what appears from photo’s to be a quirky unusual ground. 

Getting to the M32 was easy however where there was a traffic jam for the IKEA store and the combination of this and a football match nearby made for heavy traffic so worth avoiding this route.  

The ground was tough to find, hidden within a large area of housing at the top of a hill.  With a modest crowd there was not even the usual flow of people to hint at where the ground was.  Parking in nearby streets however was relatively easy within a 5-10 minute walk.

A strange but genuine ground which has, on either side, tall stands which run only half the length of the pitch.  There is a classic covered terrace at the North end and only a temporary stand at the South end with a port-a-loo area in one corner.  The away fans have a choice of sitting next to the loo’s or standing on a small terraced area in one corner.  

Stewarding was friendly and the sun was out which made for a relaxed pre-match atmosphere – for a sunny afternoon game don’t forget to take a cap or sun glasses as the away corner looks into the glare throughout the first half!

Recalling a televised game in recent seasons, and given that Rugby is also played, I had expected the pitch to be poor but was surprised to see an excellent surface. A reasonably skilful League One game resulted from the good conditions and any neutral would have enjoyed an end to end game. For the committed fan the ebb and flow was as stressful as ever and at 1-0 up and then 3-2 up no Wycombe fan was confident of the outcome. 

Being open to the elements it was difficult for the 400 away fans to make themselves heard from the terrace which detracted from the atmosphere.

On the day the dice fell our way and Wycombe registered their first win for over a month which was the basis for a happy if slow drive past IKEA out of the city and east to Berkshire.  

A fun day out to an unusual ground and one that I’d happily return to, but armed with sunglasses next time!

Score: Bristol Rovers 2 Wycombe Wanderers 3 Attendance: 6,688 Ground No: 37 (of the 92).

Updated 5th February 2015

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