Cove Rangers

Balmoral Stadium

Capacity: 2,602 (Seats 410)
Address: Wellington Circle, Aberdeen, AB12 3JG
Telephone: 01224 392111
Pitch Size: 105 x 68 yards
Pitch Type: Artificial 4G
Club Nickname: Wee Rangers or Toonsers
Year Ground Opened: 2018
Home Kit: Blue and White

Main Stand
Main Stand
Main Stand
Main Stand
North Side
North Side
Main Stand External View
Main Stand External View

Cove Rangers had been without their own ground for a number of seasons after leaving Allan Park in 2015, which had been their home since 1948. Balmoral Stadium was completed in time for the start of the 2018/19 season. This new stadium is quite small but functional, for a team newly promoted to the Scottish Football League. On the South side of the stadium is the small Main Stand which straddles the halfway line. It runs for about a quarter of the length of the pitch and has 324 seats spread across four blocks. This stand is covered and the roof sits quite high above the seating as at the back of the stand is a glassed frontage for other club facilities, including a hospitality suite. This stand also houses the dressing rooms and club offices. There are flat standing areas to each side, and the team dugouts are this side of the pitch.

On the opposite side, there are three small prefabricated stands, that are spaced apart. The centre one straddles the half way line and has four rows of seats, totalling 86 seats. The two other stands are identical with seven steps of terrace, one overlooking each half of the pitch. The remainder of this side is flat standing. Both ends are open flat standing areas. The skyline behind the North side is dominated by a particularly ugly communication pylon and some less obtrusive pylons and wires. There are four floodlight pylons running down each side of the pitch.

Games are rarely segregated at the Balmoral Stadium. When segregation is in force then the East End and half of the North Side, plus some of the seats in the Main Stand can be allocated. The North Side includes a small covered terrace, whilst apart from the Main Stand the rest of the visitors' areas are uncovered. Normally a warm and friendly welcome is given to visiting fans.

There is a small 'fan zone' clubhouse bar at the stadium which welcomes visiting fans. As the ground is located on an industrial estate, which is about out of town too, then there is not much else nearby in terms of drinking places. One exception is the Wellington Hotel on Wellington Road (the A956) which has a sizeable bar. It is located around half a mile, or a ten minute walk away from the stadium.

The Balmoral Stadium is located to the South of Aberdeen.

From The South
Leave the A92 and take the A956 towards Altens. On reaching a roundabout with a Burger King and a Shell Garage on the left-hand side. Take the first exit towards the retail park and then follow the road as it first bears around to the right into the industrial estate, passing the Royal Mail office on the left. The ground is at the end of this road.

From The North
Follow the A92 around Aberdeen heading towards Dundee. After crossing the Bridge over the River Dee, then at the next roundabout, take the first exit onto the B9077, signposted Altens Industrial Estate. Go straight over the next two roundabouts and at the third, take the third exit onto the A956, towards Perth. You will then pass the Wellington Pub & Grill on your right and a Shell Garage on your left. At the next roundabout where there are a Burger King and a Shell Garage on the right-hand side. Take the fourth exit towards the small retail park and then follow the road as it first bears around to the right, into the industrial estate passing the Royal Mail office on the left. The ground is at the end of this road.

Car Parking
There is a small car park at the ground. Otherwise, there is street parking available on roads around the Balmoral Industrial Estate that the ground is located in.

Aberdeen Railway Station is around three miles away from the Balmoral Stadium and is uphill most of the way, so it is rather far to walk. However, there is a very good bus service that will take you along the A956 near to the stadium. From Aberdeen Railway Station cross the road to the other side of Guild Street. The First Aberdeen Number 3 bus goes from here towards Cove. After passing a Shell Garage on the left, then at the next roundabout (where there is another Shell Garage on the right and a Burger King) get off and follow the road in-between Shell and Burger King into the small Retail Park and then the Industrial Estate. The stadium is at the end of this road. The bus takes about 15 minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day, reducing to half hourly in the evenings. There is one back after an evening game. You can view timetables on the First Group website.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Click on the banner below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Seating*
Adults £14, Concessions £8

Terrace
Adults £12, Concessions £6

* The terrace price is paid on the gate with a further £2 payable inside to transfer to the Main Stand.

Official Matchday Programme £2.

From Highland League days, Inverurie and Huntly. The closest team in Scottish League Two is Elgin City.

Cove Rangers FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

There are spaces for wheelchair users and helpers. These must be booked with the Club by calling: 01224 392111.

1,995 v Berwick Rangers
Pyramid Play Off Final First Leg
11th May 2019

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Special thanks to Brian Scott for providing the photos of the Balmoral Stadium and a lot of the information for this page.

Cove Rangers v Raith Rovers
Scottish League Cup, Group Stage
Saturday 27th July 2019, 3pm
Tony Smith (Doing the 134)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Balmoral Stadium?
 
Pre my main club’s season, the Betfred Cup surprisingly offered three unvisited venues from my five remaining Scottish grounds. It was, however, an easy choice to visit Aberdeen and thus also continue the Oor Wullie charity statue trail.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Ongoing rail problems after the hottest day of the year delayed my arrival by an hour on the Friday. Never-the-less I ‘ticked-off’ the majority of the Wullies that evening and match day morning including one depicting local legend Willie Miller. (Previously having seen Ross County & Caledonian Thistle versions in Inverness). As per the pertinent advice of this site I caught the frequent No 3 bus outside the Ladbrooks shop on Guild St. A £4.50 ‘grasshopper’ zone 1 ticket gave me full flexibility including other journeys or errors. A combination of Google maps and the presence of other ground-hoppers ensured I alighted at the Souterhead Road stop. After crossing the road and the petrol station forecourt small cardboard signs directed me (starting as a parallel road towards town) to walk all the way around (ie. change of direction) a giant post office yard and onwards to the Balmoral Stadium, its car park and Main Stand etc.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Having eaten in town I looked in at the adjacent ‘social club’, resisted the Irn Bru, Tennents etc but did purchase a programme (£2, 28 pages which sold out). I sat reading this at one of the four picnic-style benches that comprises the external Fans Zone waiting for the turnstiles to open at about 2.15pm. The £10 signs are yet to be updated to £12 paid at the gate and subsequent £2 transfer to “anywhere in the first four rows” of the home section. The catering outlet seemed well stocked but the Balmoral Pie at £3 had been crossed off the list that included:- steak/mince/macaroni pies (£2.50); Mars/Whispa etc bars (£1); Bovril (£2), Tea/fizzy drinks (£1.50).
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Balmoral Stadium?
 
Brian Scott’s photos on this site give a good picture of this compact ground including the nearby radio antennae. Along with major sponsors the advertising boards included ‘Oor Wullie’s Braw Fish & Chips,’ an unvisited charity trail venue because of location/time constraints. A light breeze and the shade in the stand made it a pleasant day for shirt sleeve watching but at pitch level the drinks breaks I’m sure were essential. The referee participated in this but not his less mobile assistants! The most bizarre sight was however continuous eruptions of rubber/sand whenever the ball touched the 4G surface. It looked like film special effects from a prolonged gunfight in a desert plus the strong sun also produced small shadows of the ball.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Cove deservedly beat their higher league opponents thus displacing them to the bottom of the mini-league. As both seemed unlikely to qualify anyway, I am unaware of their relative squad choices and priorities. A Raith Rovers substitution after about an hour threatened to change the way the game was heading (2-0) but wayward shooting by others and an excellent third goal from distance sealed the result. There wasn’t a great deal of crowd noise and the lack of roof cover is detrimental to such ‘atmosphere' but the tannoy was loud and clear particularly the very late announcement of a half time substitution. I think the delayed 50:50 draw distracted things at a ground that seemed well organised and friendly.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I was away quickly after using the gents (room for 5 plus 2 wcs’s) and there was a steady stream of cars from the 791 attending including quite a few visiting fans. On time at 16:55 a No 18 bus took me a different route to town but (good ticketing choice) I stayed on board for a prolonged journey to Dyce to add another Wullie. Rail replacement bus services later took me to Inverurie for four more plus an unvisited Wetherspoons.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I enjoyed my weekend and wish Cove Rangers well in their inaugural ‘Scottish 42’ adventures. I don’t expect them to ever rise to match their big-city neighbours from (decaying) Pittodrie who I believe loaned them Antoniazzi one of the scorers. 
 
Unfortunately on Sunday the 09: 47 HST train became gradually more packed and delayed principally from people going to the Liverpool v Napoli (friendly) at Murrayfield for a 17:00? kick-off. Missed connections ultimately cost me an hour so the result was some small consolation, but who am I to criticise matches that people choose to attend and it would have been a new venue for me!

Cove Rangers v Dundee
Scottish League Cup Group Stage
Wednesday 17th July 2019, 7.45pm
James Prentice (Doing the 42)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Balmoral Stadium?
 
Having completed the ‘92’ in England in 2015 I’m now a good way through doing the ‘42’ north of the border. The Scottish League Cup now having a group stage at the start of the competition has given it a real boost and has added a little more excitement. I decided it’d be a good time to get a couple of grounds ticked off the list so after Peterhead v Inverness CT the night before it was back down to Aberdeen for Cove Rangers v Dundee. I was looking forward to seeing a new ground and the team that were playing their first competitive game since winning promotion to the SPFL at the expense of Berwick Rangers back in May.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
After spending the day in Aberdeen I caught a bus headed for Cove (directions and details excellently provided on this website). The ground isn’t in Cove itself (Cove being a smaller district about three miles outside Aberdeen) but is situated at the back of an industrial estate. The ground very much has an ‘out of town’ feel but was relatively simple to find. There was a decent amount of car parking at the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I stayed in Aberdeen until about 6.00pm before catching the bus to Cove as I was aware there was little to do around the ground, which is an understatement! I went and bought my ticket as soon as I got to the ground and then had a pint in the small clubhouse, which is like a large portakabin and feels a bit ‘temporary’! The fans seemed okay but kept themselves to themselves.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Balmoral Stadium?
 
The ground is very new, really smart and will suit them well in League 2. The dominant feature of the ground is the Main Stand, which straddles the halfway line. The roof is pretty high up so I’d imagine inhabitants could get pretty wet when the bad weather rolls in! Both ends are uncovered hard standing areas, while the far side is unsheltered save for three very small covered stands. The ground really could do with some more cover, particularly along the far side as it is currently pretty exposed - I wouldn’t want to visit when the bitter Scottish winter arrives! Transfer to the Main Stand costs £2.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was pretty even and neither side did enough to win it, resulting in a 0-0 scoreline (I seem to clock up a lot of blanks on my travels!). Dundee controlled a fair bit of the game but Cove more than held their own and both sides had a reasonable number of chances to win it. The game was segregated, with Dundee taking their full allocation of 800 tickets, although I believe most games will be unsegregated. I didn’t eat at the ground but had a hot drink at half time. The food, however, did look good and the toilet facilities were clean and new, although there are only toilets on the side of the Main Stand rather than elsewhere too. Fortunately, due to the format of the competition, the game went to penalties, and it was Dundee who won on spot-kicks.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It’s very much a ‘one road in, one road out’ ground so with a large crowd it was pretty busy getting away until we hit the main road and things started to fan out. Most cars seemed to wait behind rather than fight with pedestrians for road space.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
The ground is decent and has been thoughtfully built but its location is a bit of a letdown. The club are very ambitious and I’m sure they will cope just fine in League 2. It will be interesting to see whether they do make some changes to the ground if they do well in the SPFL. Likewise, I do wonder how many fans Cove will attract in the long term if they have success, or go on to have a long but mediocre history in the SPFL. They have the feeling of a ‘club on the up’ at the minute and seem to have a lot of new fans, but that won’t last forever so it will be interesting to see the crowds they attract in the long term. Another interesting dimension is how Aberdeen will cope with having two SPFL clubs! If you want to eat and have a couple of beers beforehand it might be a good idea to hang around in Aberdeen or elsewhere given that there isn’t a lot at the ground itself.

Why not write your own review of the Balmoral Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 31st July 2019

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