Capacity: 3,065 (Seats 1,311)
Address: Salerno Way, Chelmsford, CM1 2EH
Telephone: 01245 290959
Club Nickname: The Clarets
Year Ground Opened: 1962*
Home Kit: Claret and White
Melbourne Community Stadium is primarily an athletics stadium, which is owned by the local council. The largely open stadium is dominated by the Main Stand on one side. This covered all seated stand is raised above pitch level, meaning that spectators have to climb a small set of steps to access it. It has a capacity of around 1,000 seats. In front of the seated area lower down there are a few rows of terrace. The stand is cantilevered meaning that there are no supporting pillars to impede your view. There are also windshields to either side of the Stand. The main drawback to spectators in this stand as you would expect at an athletics stadium, is that the stand is set well back from the playing action, as there is a long jump area, eight running lanes and the team dugouts situated between it and the pitch.
Opposite on the other side of the pitch just beyond the perimeter is the back wall of the nearby Sports Centre. A small overhanging roof has been fitted to this back wall to provide some cover for a few rows of seats and terrace below. Both ends are unused for spectators as such, but the club have installed small blocks of temporary terrace on the area directly behind each goal. One of these terraces at the North End of the stadium, also has a cover. At least the supporters in these areas are located close to the game being played on the pitch.
There is a Clubhouse bar inside the ground, which welcomes away fans. It shows BT and Sky Sports on a large screen and often has real ale. The Clubhouse also offer cooked breakfasts up until 1.30pm. The nearest pub is probably the Red Beret on Melbourne Avenue, but looks like your typical estate boozer. A better bet would be 'The Flyer' pub and restaurant, which is part of the Hungry Horse chain. It is situated over the back of the park which is located next to the stadium. Just ask directions to Morrisons and you can't go wrong as the pub is next door to the superstore.
Graham White adds; 'If arriving by train then there are seven pubs in the immediate vicinity of the railway station, which is opposite the bus station, where you can get buses to the ground (see By Train below). They are the Ship, Royal Streamer, White Horse, Barista, Plough, Ale House, Railway Tavern. All serve real ale and are pretty decent pubs. The Barista and Ale House are both listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. If you head on towards the city centre, there are loads more pubs including a a couple of Wetherspoons outlets; the Ivory Peg on New London Road and the Thomas Mildmay on French's Walk.
From the M11 Junction 7 or M25 Junction 28/A12 follow the A414 towards Chelmsford. On the outskirts of Chelmsford you will reach two roundabouts in quick succession. At the second roundabout where there is a Tenpin Bowling Alley and a Volkswagen Dealership located, take the first exit towards the Widford Industrial Area. Keep on this road for around a couple of miles where you reach a T-junction with the A1060 where you bear left and then turn left again at the traffic lights (still on the A1060) towards Sawbridgeworth. Go through the next set of traffic lights (with a public park on the left) and at the next set turn right into Chignall Road. After passing a zebra crossing, turn right at he modern looking church into Melbourne Avenue. You then will pass another park on your left and just before the tall block of flats, turn left into Salerno Way. Then at the mini-roundabout turn left onto the stadium approach road.
There is a car park at the stadium which is free, however it normally fills up quite quickly. However there is plenty of street parking available in the surrounding streets.
Chelmsford Railway Station is situated just under two miles away from the stadium. It is served by trains from London Liverpool Street, which is a 32 minute train journey away. There is a taxi rank at the side of the station otherwise from the street outside, you can catch any of these First Buses No 54, 56 (towards North Melbourne) or the No 40 (towards Broomfield Hospital). See the First Group website for current timetables.
To walk to Melbourne Stadium from the railway station, should take around 30 minutes. When leaving Chelmsford Station from the front entrance turn right onto Duke Street. Continue past the Bus Station on your left and proceed straight on through the traffic lights into Rainsford Road. You will then pass the County Hotel on your left and on reaching a large crossroads continue straight ahead (Still Rainsford Road). You will then see Admiral Park on your left at which point you take the next right into Park Avenue. At the end of Park Avenue bear left into Swiss Avenue and then at the T-junction, turn left, cross over to the other side of the road and take the next right into Christy Avenue and then turn left into Fox Crescent. At the end of the Crescent turn left onto Langton Avenue. Follow Langton Avenue and at the end of this road you will have reached Melbourne Avenue. Cross over to the other side of the road and enter Melbourne Park, where the stadium is located up ahead.
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
All areas of the stadium:
Under 18's £5
Under 12's Free
Family Ticket: 2 Adults + 2 Under 16’s £25
Concessions apply to Over 65's and Students with an NUS Card.
Official Matchday Programme £2.50.
Braintree Town and Colchester United.
At New Writtle Street 16,807 v Colchester United Southern League, 10th September 1949
At the Melbourne Stadium 3,201 v AFC Wimbledon Conference South, 15th March 2008
2015-2016: 783 (National League South)
2014-2015: 690 (National League South)
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If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: email@example.com and I'll update the guide.
Special thanks to Mark Stillman for providing the photo of the Main Stand.
Chelmsford City v Bishop's Stortford
Conference League South
Monday 29th February 2016, 7.45pm
Brian Scott (An Ipswich supporter doing the 202)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Melbourne Community Stadium?
My records show that Chelmsford's old ground was the fifth new ground that I had ever been to, way back in 1969, but of course I didn't even know about the 92 Club in those days. Having been in the 92 Club for years I've turned my attention to the lower leagues. Although obviously smaller grounds - they all have special interest.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I normally travel by train, but the car was an easier option for this shorter journey than usual, together with the out-of-town site. I easily parked in a local road, and noted that the car park was full by 7pm even though it is quite large. Maybe it's used by people at the nearby sports pitches?
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I like to walk round the ground to take in the local features, but a complete circuit is not possible here due to the running track. I had no need for food or drink. No problems with anything else.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Melbourne Community Stadium?
The single picture on this web page hadn't prepared me for the vast openness of the site, although it is described as primarily an athletics stadium. I like to watch football looking down from a reasonable height so I chose the back row of the Main Stand. This is about as far away from the action on the pitch that anyone can get in the ground due to the 8 running lanes, and the long jump lanes. I found the team dugouts very intrusive to my view. The two little temporary stands behind the goal looked very odd. I wondered why they were quite so close to the goal line as there is plenty of room to positioned them further back. Also why has one got a roof and the other open? As is customary, the home and away fans swapped ends at half time. There is a scoreboard but I found it very hard to read the red lights on a black background, and it was so far away and quite small. Some writing was scrolling along the bottom the whole time which was totally unreadable! The floodlights at the ground are bright, but I did find them too glaring and other lights around the sports arena were intrusive also. The ticket price of adults £13, senior £9 is high end for this division, not matched by facilities. The six ball boys were kept busy retrieving the ball during the match.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
There was plenty of action in the game with Bishop's Stortford scoring in the 4th minute, which was actually an own goal, however, the home team were not behind for long with an equaliser coming in the 9th minute. On the stroke of half time it was 2-1 with a goal from J Bridge. Bishop's Stortford were not totally outplayed as the score might have suggested, but they went further behind in the 54th minute with a goal from J Williams. There must have been some controversially as the away players protested furiously to the referee. A. Miller was booked, but he didn't know when to shut up, and he came back with more words and was promptly booked again! So off he went. The score was made 4-1 in the 90th minute.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
It was simple to walk through the car park and out to the road where my car was parked. Everything was quiet in the residential area with very little traffic at that time of night. I was really glad of my sat-nav however as the route in and out from the east is quite complicated.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Another ground visited and ticked off, still 66 to go! Thank goodness Chelmsford is not my local town as I wouldn't want to go there every other week. I might even travel to Ipswich!
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* Chelmsford City FC moved in as tenants of the stadium in 2006.