Capacity: 23,009 (all seated)
Address: Grove Street, Barnsley, S71 1ET
Telephone: 01226 211 211
Fax: 01226 211 444
Ticket Office: 0871 226 6777
Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Tykes or Reds
Year Ground Opened: 1888
Shirt Sponsors: C.K Bennett
Kit Manufacturer: Avec
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Yellow and Black
Approximately three sides of the ground were redeveloped in the 1990's. On one side is the particularly attractive two-tiered covered East Stand running along one side of the pitch. Opened in March 1993, this stand has a capacity of 7,500. Opposite is the classic looking West Stand, part of which dates back to 1904. It was made all seated in the mid 1990's, but is only covered at the rear. On its roof is perched an ugly precarious looking television gantry which obscures a probably more attractive gable. At the Pontefract Road End (now named the CK Beckett Stand) is an all seated, covered stand for home supporters, which has a capacity of 4,500. This stand was opened in 1995. The other end, the North Stand, was previously an open terrace, but is now a relatively new single tier, covered stand, housing 6,000 fans. This is the most recent addition to the ground being opened in 1999 and has greatly enhanced the overall look of Oakwell. The North Stand is shared between home and away supporters. The amount of seats given to away supporters varies according to demand. An unusual feature of the stadium is a purpose built stand for disabled supporters. This is a three floor structure that sits at the corner between the East & South Stands. There is also an electric scoreboard at one corner of the North Stand, on top of a security control room. The teams come out from one corner of the ground between the North and West Stands.
Away fans are housed in the new North Stand, where the facilities are good. The normal allocation for away supporters is 2,000 tickets although, if demand requires it, then the whole of this stand can be allocated (6,000). I found this club to be particularly friendly from the car park attendant to the programme seller. Even the P.A. announcer had a sense of humour (although a little optimistic), when he announced that perhaps the visiting fans would like to come up again to see the next Barnsley home game, so that we could see a decent game of football! However, I have reports of fans getting hassle at Barnsley (especially in the town centre) and stewards acting a little heavy handed, although I've never personally had any problems. It is advisable to keep colours covered especially around the town centre.
Neil Tubby a visiting Norwich City fan, recommends the Dove Inn on Doncaster Road. This pub which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, is an outlet for the Old Mill Brewery. It is only a five minute walk away from the ground down Oakwell Lane and is happily frequented by both home and away fans. Further along Doncaster Road (on the right after the Primary School on the left) is the Barnsley East Dene Working Mens Club, which is happy to admit visiting supporters (including accompanied children) without entry charge. You can also leave your car there at a cost of £1.50. Kevin Downsworth a visiting Hull City fan adds; 'The Barnsley East Dene Club was very welcoming to us as away fans for a pre-game pint. Handy parking too and only about a ten minute walk away from Oakwell'.
Gary Holding a visiting Blackburn supporter adds; 'A few minutes walk from the away end is the Metro Dome - an all in one leisure centre, which has a bar inside which serves good food and ale'. Drinking in the town centre is generally not recommended, especially near the Bus & Train Stations, although on my last visit I had a hassle free pint (or two) in the Joseph Bramah (Lloyds No.1) Wetherspoons in the centre of town, but I should point out that I wasn't wearing colours. Alcohol is available in the away end in the form of Carlsberg bottles (£3.40), when the whole stand is allocated to away fans. Unfortunately if the stand is split between home and away supporters, then the only bar on the concourse is situated on the home side.
Leave the M1 at Junction 37 and take the A628 towards Barnsley. Stay on this road (the ground is well signposted) and you will eventually see the ground on your right. There are a couple of car parks located at the ground, but they are mainly for permit holders only. Inbetween the ground and the MetroDome is a car park for visiting supporters, called Queens Ground, which costs £4 Cars, £8 Mini Buses and £15 Coaches. Otherwise you can try parking at the MetroDome itself (although it can be slow to get out of after the game has finished) or street parking.
Post Code for SAT NAV: S71 1ET
Barnsley railway station is about a ten minute walk away. This station is served by trains running between Sheffield and Leeds.
From the train station turn left away from the town centre and head towards the bridge that the dual-carriageway runs over. Go under the bridge and turn left up the slip road and then take the first road on the right and head towards the Metro Dome leisure complex at the top of the hill. Oakwell is now clearly visible. Thanks to Ian Ambler & Bryn Williams for providing the directions.
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:
East and West Stands Upper Tiers:
Adults £25, OAP's Over 65's/Under 22's £18, Under 17's £10*
East and West Lower Tiers:
Adults £24, OAP's Over 65's/Under 22's £17, Under 17's £10*, Under 12's £5*
CK Beckett Stand
Adults £23, OAP's Over 65's/Under 22's £16, Under 17's £10*, Under 12's £5*
Adults £20, OAP's Over 65's/Under 22's £15, Under 17's £10*, Under 12's £5
Adults £23, OAP's Over 65's/Under 22's £16, Under 17's £10
* Only available from the ticket office or online when purchased in advance.
Official Programme £3.
Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United.
40,255 v Stoke City,
FA Cup 5th Round, February 15th, 1936.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
22,650 v Manchester City
Division One, March 11th, 2000.
2013-2014: 11,557 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 10,207 (Championship League)
2011-2012: 10,332 (Championship League)
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.
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.
Access their Barnsley Hotels and Guest Houses page.
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Barnsley v Preston North End
Saturday 21st March 2015, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)
"Barnsley", "Oakwell". Just say the names out loud; in this modern era of trips to the “Bibbleswick Building Society Stadium” and the “Crumperbund Community Care Scheme Ground” such names as Oakwell ring with even deeper nostalgia. Long may it remain “Oakwell”
I have always enjoyed and looked forward to away days at Barnsley, and this was no exception. If anything, the anticipation was even higher than usual as both teams were going into the match on great runs of form and were well and truly involved in the promotion hunt. I had spent the whole week in the build up to this fixture in a quiver of excitement; Barnsley had won 6 out of their last 7 games, and for us it was 8 wins out of the previous 9 so a truly mouth watering contest was in the offing.
With the season moving distinctly towards its business end, such form could prove crucial for both clubs as Preston were starting the day in 2nd place in the League and whilst we would obviously have been hoping to consolidate our grip on that all important prized automatic promotion spot, there would be no doubt that fans of the Tykes would be equally fervently keen that the Yorkshire club cemented their place in the play-offs, as they started the day in 6th position in the table.
To add to the spice, it had been designated our annual “gentry day” where Preston fans are encouraged to don bowler hats in memory of our one time manager, the late Alan Ball Snr, and “gentry day” usually generates a good turn out and a good atmosphere.
So it really was no hardship to zip out of bed at 7am to grab some breakfast with my partner before jumping in the car to trundle happily up north. The journey was smooth with hardly any delays, which is one of the rewards for getting going early.
Walking Down To Oakwell From The Metrodome
A note for folks travelling from the M1 by car, there are now signposts encouraging you to head north off the A628 for Oakwell but quite why I cannot fathom. The quickest way is to remain on the A628 and as you head round the town centre you will spy the floodlight pylons to the south and that’s when you will want to head off the main dual carriageway. Yes boys, its like the good old days where you drove into a town and just looked for the floodlight pylons, so put the sat-navs away!
We collected a friend from the railway station at approximately midday and then headed up Queens Road where some of the plum car parking is available for the early birds at a cost of £5. Again, one note for those travelling by car, if you really do want a quick get away after the match, then these car parks are not for you!
We took a stroll into the Metrodome leisure complex where security, although quite visible, seemed quite relaxed about letting us in the building to have a drink and a bite to eat in their restaurant and bar area.
As half-past one approached we made a move down to the ground, and as soon as the turnstiles were open, we piled in to make sure that the most excellent meat and potato pies were still as good as last time, and they didn’t disappoint.
Another grand feature of this lovely ground is that it still features unreserved seating for away fans which again is for me a fair reward for the early bird and also I feel contributes to a more spontaneous atmosphere building up, and not only that, the speakers that play music do not try to make sure that their heard in Peterborough so not only does the atmosphere build naturally, but you can actually have a conversation with your nearest and dearest as you enjoy the build up to kick-off.
For my partner, this was her first ever “gentry day” and she was suitably impressed with just how many folk had travelled over from Preston for the match in not just a bowler hat but a complete suit as well! I believe the official figure given for the away fans was in the region of 3,000 that afternoon.
The facilities on the North Stand are much improved from the old open terrace where I recall catching my death of cold one evening as a howling gale with near horizontal rain came racing down off the Pennines. Yet despite that the ground still contains considerable character; situated near the town centre amongst the residential terraces and being high up on the North Stand, one had an excellent view of the old West Stand which oozes character ; you’ve only got to look at it and you can smell Bovril and cigarette smoke! Last but not least, the already extolled floodlight pylons, now lit as it was a grey afternoon just added to the nostalgic feel.
Before the match kicked off, the atmosphere was positively electric in the away end, you could positively taste the anticipation in the air…….and yes, you’ve guessed it, the match itself was a bit of a let down really. Both teams seemed more concerned about preserving their unbeaten records rather than going for the jugular, and given the long periods of head tennis that seemed to develop in the centre of the pitch, one couldn’t help but wish both teams would just go for broke instead and entertain us.
Such is the perils of the promotion run-in though ; given the free-scoring form of both teams they could have wowed us with a 6-5 thriller – but they didn’t. Chances in the first half were few, most of them fell Preston’s way and top scorer Joey Garner did tuck one away to cue an eruption in the away end and a flurry of hats being flung up gaily in the air (they only cost £3.99 ish from fancy dress shops).
View From The Away Stand
The second half continued in a similar disappointing vein except the chances seemed to fall more Barnsley’s way, and they took a deserved equaliser some 15 minutes or so before the death. There was a late flurry from the visitors, but it would have a travesty to have nicked it quite frankly. The draw was a fair result.
And so we let the crowds dissipate somewhat before heading off to the car as we were in no rush and continued to savour the lovely ground that is Oakwell. A great atmosphere, great to catch-up with some friends, great ground, shame about the match really!
As a postscript, I must add that I couldn’t help but smile the following day when I read how the Barnsley manager had described the match as a “good advert for League One football”; I can only assume he must have been watching a different game to the one we saw. As we all agreed it was a rather poor quality match, but of course, we still at least had another point in the bag, which I think was the consolation that both sets of fans took. Both managers did agree however, that a draw was a fair result.
If, and its still a big “If”, Preston NE do secure promotion this season, I hope Barnsley come up via the play-offs and we’ll be back next season for more pies!
Plus Points for Oakwell
1 the name
2 the floodlight pylons
3 the pies
4 the unreserved seating
5 the large allocation for visiting fans
6 the overall “northern” aurora round the ground
Minus Points for Oakwell
Barnsley v Doncaster Rovers
Saturday, November 9th, 2013, 3pm
James Sneddon (Doncaster Rovers fan)
This was a highly contested South Yorkshire derby between two sides in a relegation battle. Doncaster had beaten their other South Yorkshire rivals in the division, Sheffield Wednesday, already and wanted to do the same at Barnsley. I was excited because it was my first time away at Oakwell and my grandad supports Barnsley (hence the family tension!).
The best thing about this away day was how cheap it was. Tickets were only £10 for Under 17's and I could get on a bus to Barnsley using my Travel South Yorkshire pass, paying only 70p for the journey. The bus I caught was the X19, which runs every hour. I caught the 10:45 to the bus station in Barnsley (which incidentally) is joined to the train station as well. I avoided going into the town centre as I was in my Doncaster shirt and I thought it was best to avoid the home fans due to the occasion. To get to the ground, I left the bus station and walked across the level crossing and turned left going up hill towards the Metrodome, where I walked past seeing the floodlights of Oakwell beyond. Also, going by this route brings you out at the away end and it was a straightforward enough.
As I had arrived early, I met some mates and on entering the ground, I watched the players warm up and even got a picture with Doncaster manager Paul Dickov, who happily signed programmes before the game. The stadium is very modern and suited for Championship football, but the interior of the away stand was a bit dull and the old West Stand on one side outdated. The away end was larger than I'd expected, which helped by allowing me to get a better view of the match.
Before the game, as it was the remembrance weekend, the whole stadium observed a minute's silence. The entire stadium fell silent, which is rare as there's often one idiot who tries to spoil it by making some noise. The game was played in poor conditions, with the teams having to withstand heavy rain in the first half. Rovers conceded a penalty on 25 minutes, but Doncaster keeper, Ross Turnbull dived superbly to deny Chris O'Grady. In the second half, there was more attacking play by both teams, with the away side having the better chances, but neither side could find the back of the net, with the game ending goalless. The Doncaster team applauded the visiting fans as they left the pitch. A 0-0 draw, was probably a fair result for the occasion.
As a preventative measure the Doncaster fans were escorted by the Police back to the train station. I followed the fans and then headed for the nearby at the bus station. I got back on the X19 to Doncaster easily enough and spoke to some Barnsley fans, who also though the draw was the right result.
In my opinion, Barnsley away is a must-do for anyone who supports one of their rival clubs. The atmosphere is buzzing in the away end. Plus the ticket prices were reasonable and it was easy to get to. I thoroughly enjoyed the day out and would recommend it!
Barnsley v Ipswich Town
Saturday, February 12th, 2011, 3pm
Stephen Marvin (Ipswich Town fan)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I (and my son) always look forward to new grounds. As Ipswich Town fans, who live in the North, it's been a great experience to travel a one hundred mile radius to follow the team. Oakwell was no exception and we set off on a beautiful day over the Pennines and down into "Kes" territory.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
The journey, by car, was very easy and the signposts must be the best in the UK! Very well signposted from the M1 all the way to the stadium. It was a little bit confusing once we got there, regarding where the Visitors' Car Park was located, so we ended up in Home Supporters' Car Park. Cost three pounds, which I thought was very reasonable.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We walked around the ground, through the home supporters to the away fans end with no problems. Warm, friendly atmosphere. We ate at the stadium, which was nice food and well priced. I agree with previous comments about the grilles giving it a prison-type feel, but it was nothing really, we hardly noticed.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
I really liked the ground. The away end is one of those that can be split, but there was no need as the capacity was miles from being reached. We had excellent seats and the ground was both impressive (the new stands) and quaint (the old Main Stand).
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
We were approached by a man who asked if my son would take part in a shooting competition at half time. Naturally, he was thrilled and we set off to the half way line at the interval. We were looked after superbly and my son was given a signed ball (signed by both teams) for taking part. The stewards were friendly, the toilets clean, but I don't eat pies! (Despite coming from the North!) so can't comment there. The game was exciting, if scrappy in parts. Ipswich scored in the eighty second minute only to have it cancelled out in the ninety third, but the result was fair.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
It took a while. We weren't fussed. Probably about half an hour.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A superb day, obviously made special by the shooting competition, but I love clubs like Barnsley,whose supporters shun the big Clubs and support their locals.
Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday
Saturday, January 16th, 2010, 3pm
Dan Brennan (Sheffield Wednesday fan)
The home game with Sheffield Wednesday is one of the first fixtures that Barnsley fans look for at the start of the season, and, with Wednesday having a new manager Alan Irvine at the helm for his first game in charge, we made the short hop across to Barnsley.
Finding Barnsley’s ground is pretty easy – we had a sat-nav, but with Barnsley only being a 20 minute drive from my house it was just in my knowledge! Oakwell is directly next to Barnsley Metrodome Leisure Complex and the ground is quite well sign-posted. Parking was simple, we got in the Metrodome car-park (it was free for home and away fans – bonus!).
We decided as this was a fiery local derby, and as I was daft enough to wear my colours, I went straight into the ground. Barnsley fans can be intimidating to some, though the ones I passed simply walked by, no trouble. I had a pie in the ground (£2.60) and it was nice and warm. Unfortunately, you’re served behind metal mesh, which gives the area as prison-like feel.
The ground only comes into site when you are very close to it, though it was larger than I’d anticipated. The older stand can't be seen from a distance as it is completely covered by the line of houses and shops, though the large two-tiered stand is clearly visible from a far. Once inside the ground, it’s a tidy stadium of the right size for a club of Barnsley’s fan-base. The old stand to our right, the East Stand I think, is a grotty affair and it slightly resembled the Main Stand at Edgeley Park, Stockport. The other two stands were good sized, tidy fixtures with the two-tiered stand especially impressive.
The game was a typical blood and thunder affair, with Wednesday getting a very well deserved 2-1 victory. Tommy Spurr and Jermaine Johnson scored, with an amazing fluke from Halfreddsson for Barnsley slotted in-between, and a good atmosphere. The one downside to the game was that I didn’t see much encouragement from the majority of the Barnsley fans, and the 4,800 Wednesday fans (in an attendance of nearly 18,000) completely out-sang the home side for most of the game! All Wednesday fans stood up all game, the stewards either weren’t fussed or simply thought that they’d be wasting their breath trying to get us to sit down!
Getting away was a bit of a charade – it took us 30 minutes to get out of the car park. They allow club coaches to leave first, so it was unavoidable. Once away, we had no hassle and got home in decent time.
I was pleasantly surprised by Oakwell and would have no worries recommending it to another fan or going myself again. With it being a derby for Wednesday, winning was especially sweet, but the overall day was good and I found Oakwell to be a nice, relaxed place to visit. Barnsley fans play there part in fairness, and possibly warrant a bit more credit for turning out in decent numbers most weeks. I found Oakwell to be a nice enough ground, average compared to places like the Ricoh and St. James Park, but it was good for Barnsley and the day was amazing for Wednesday. Definitely go again.