Livingston

Tony Macaroni Arena

Capacity: Capacity: 10,000 (all seated)
Address: Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7DN
Telephone: 01506 417 000
Fax: 01506 418 888
Pitch Size: 110 x 76 yards
Pitch Type: Artificial 3G
Club Nickname: Livi Lions
Year Ground Opened: 1995
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: Phoenix Drilling Ltd
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: All Amber
Away Kit: White With Amber Trim

West Stand
West Stand
North Stand
North Stand
South Stand
South Stand
West Stand
West Stand

The stadium is compact but tidy looking. All four stands are of roughly the same height, are single tiered, covered and all-seated. The West (Main) Stand on one side of the ground, has the team dugouts located in front of it and small players tunnel at its centre. Filling the North West corner, the ground is overlooked by a fair sized office block, that also houses a business centre. Whilst on the other side of the West Stand is the only open corner at the stadium, as the rest is enclosed. There is a television gantry housed at the back of the East Stand. The stadium has an interesting set of four large floodlights.

George Hobb a visiting Hearts supporter adds, 'The club grew from the ashes of the former Meadowbank Thistle who played in Edinburgh until in a move similar to NFL franchises, it was moved lock stock and barrel to Livingston. Efforts to retain the name were in vain as the major players saw this as an opportunity to get the town on Scotland’s soccer map.' In the Summer of 2018, a new artificial 3G pitch was installed at the stadium replacing the grass surface. 

For many years the stadium was named Almondvale, but in September 2016, it was renamed the Tony Macaroni Arena in a corporate sponsorship deal. In case you are wondering then Tony Macaroni is the name of a chain of Italian restaurants in Scotland.

Away fans are located in the North Stand and the North East corner of the ground. Up to 4,000 fans can be accommodated in this area. Livingston are a family orientated club and hence you are likely to have an enjoyable and relaxing day out. There is also a small band of drummers and trumpeters in the Livingston crowd who try to raise the atmosphere throughout the game, with a number of well known tunes. Aidan Hegarty a visiting Dundee United supporter adds; 'visitors should be aware that the club operates a zero tolerance policy towards foul or abusive language, so try to be on your best behaviour'.

At the ground itself located behind the South Stand is the  Almondvale Suite, which normally admits visiting supporters. George Hobbs informs me, 'The Lime Kiln pub located near to the stadium on Almondvale Boulevard, was quite popular on my last visit'. This pub which is part of the 'Hungry Horse' chain also derives meals. Whilst up at the nearby Livingston Designer Outler retail park, there is a Wetherspoons pub, called the Newyearfield. However no football colours are allowed to be displayed inside the pub. Further on inside the Almondvale Shopping Centre is a pub called the Paraffin Lamp.

Livingston is situated approximately 18 miles west of Edinburgh and easily accessible from the M8 motorway. The stadium is fairly well signposted around the town. The following directions from the M8 are not necessarily the quickest, but they are fairly straightforward to follow.

Leave the M8 at Junction 3 and take the A899 towards Livingston. Leave the this road when you reach the large roundabout that is the junction with the A71 (Bankton Road). Turn right onto the A71 and at the next island turn right into Alderstone Road (sign posted town centre). Go straight across three roundabouts and then turn right at the second set of traffic lights and into the stadium approach road. There is a fair sized car park at the stadium which costs £5.

There are two stations that are in reach of the ground. Livingston North and Livingston South. The North station is served by trains from Glasgow Queens Street and Edinburgh, whilst the South Station is served by trains from Glasgow Central and Edinburgh. Both stations are served by trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Both stations are around a 25-30 minute walk away from the ground.

Exit Livingston North Railway Station and walk up to the main road that goes over the railway bridge. Turn right along this road (Deans North) heading downhill towards the town centre. On reaching the large Eliburn North Roundabout continue heading towards the town centre along Alderstone Road. You can walk by the main road or take the more pleasant network of paths. You want the Alderstone Path, following directions for St John's Hospital, Howden and Town Centre. When you reach the hospital, you’ll see the first signposts for the ground, further downhill along the main road and then on the left. The walk takes 30 minutes. Thanks to Andy Little a visiting Partick Thistle supporter for providing the directions.

Adults: £24
Concessions: £16 
Under 16's £10

Concessions apply to Over 65's and Under 18's and Students with valid ID.

The Club no longer produces a paper matchday programme. Instead, an electronic version can be downloaded from the Livingston FC website.

With being a relatively new club, local rivalries have yet to be firmly established. However, if the club maintains its current growth, then the Edinburgh clubs may be the focus of rivalry.

Livingston FC fixture list (takes you to the official Livingston website)

Record Attendance:

10,112 v Glasgow Rangers
Premier League, October 27th, 2001. 

Average Attendance
2018-2019: 3,664 (Premier League)
2017-2018: 1,350 (Championship League)
2016-2017: 797 (League One)

If you require hotel accommodation in Livingston or Edinburgh then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Livingston & Edinburgh Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Andrew Chapman for providing the photo of East Stand at Almondvale Livingston.

Livingston v Dundee
Scottish Premier League
Saturday 16th February 2019, 3pm
Graeme Whitton (Dundee)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
To be honest, I wasn't much looking forward to it. I've been to the ground several times previously so nothing new there. In addition, Dundee are having a terrible season and Livingston have been very good at home. My main reason for going was that Dundee brought in 12 new players in January and this was my first opportunity to see most of them in person. As I live in Edinburgh it's an easy trip.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Very easy. If you're using public transport the best way to get to Livingston from Edinburgh is by bus. There are several services from central Edinburgh which drop you off at the Livingston shopping centre, a five-minute walk from the stadium. (First Bus website or the Traveline Scotland website will help you sort out buses).
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went for a bite to eat in one of the shopping centre restaurants. There are loads to choose from but be aware as it's a massive retail outlet the restaurants and pubs are almost all part of the usual dull High Street chains that you'd find anywhere. If you're looking for something independent and specialised you're in the wrong town.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
I've been here before and while it's neat and tidy enough (though bits are starting to look like they need a facelift) it basically a boring identikit modern football stadium. The sightlines are fine though and, unlike some grounds, there's an adequate amount of leg room.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game itself was pretty poor. Livingston had a player sent off after 15 minutes but Dundee still struggled to break them down. Livingston, meanwhile, played their usual one dimensional hoof-ball. Not a great spectacle and it wasn't helped by the terrible artificial pitch. Bounce was uneven and it seemed to me the ball kept sticking on it (maybe that's why the home team keep it off the surface whenever possible} In the end Dundee scraped a 2-1 1 win thanks to a stunning free kick 7 minutes from the end.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
No problems getting away. A five-minute walk back to my bus stop and I was back in central Edinburgh just after 6pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Overall it was okay because Dundee got three desperately needed points at a ground where most teams have got nothing this season.

Livingston v Aberdeen
Scottish Premier League
Saturday 29th December 2018, 3pm
Paul Donaldson (Aberdeen)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
This was my first trip to Livingston's ground, so was looking forward to that. Livingston have been on very good form this season especially at home, and Aberdeen had won a very exciting home match 2-1 against Livingston earlier this month (only about 3 weeks ago) so was hoping for the same today.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I drove to the stadium. I could have got the train, but as the stadium is quite a fair distance away from the train station I decided to drive. Livingston is a 1960's 'New Town' and one of these places where it all looks the same with grass verges beside the main roads rather than buildings, and also with some confusing roundabouts and unusual junctions. I think I might have struggled a bit to find the stadium if I didn't have my satnav. Once at the car park, the parking stewards at the stadium were friendly and helpful, and it was very easy to find a parking space.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I arrived at Almondvale around two hours before kick off. I had not pre-booked my ticket, so I had to queue at the ticket office, which took around 20 minutes. After that, I went over to the Lime Kiln pub for a quick drink. The pub was mostly full of Aberdeen fans with a few home fans, who seemed friendly enough. It had taken about 15 minutes to walk to the Lime Kiln from the stadium, because I went the long way around, but managed to find a more direct shortcut on the way back which took less than five minutes, which is useful to know for next time.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
Even though Almondvale is a relatively modern stadium, having opened in the 1990s, from the outside it does now look to be showing a few signs of wear and tear and it could do with having a lick of paint in some places, especially at the entrances. One issue I found was immediately in front of the entrance turnstiles into the stadium was the queue for the catering stand. The fairly poor layout with the positioning of the catering stand meant people coming into the ground having to push their way past people queuing for pies/teas/coffees etc. I decided to buy a pie and coffee before the kick off and had the problem of people trying to get past to get to their seats, while I was queuing. I've not had this issue at other stadiums I've visited, and I don't know if this is just a problem at the one part of the ground I was in, or in other parts too. 
 
I was sat in the corner between the South and East stands, in the very back row, but people standing in front of me meant having to stand myself for the whole 90 minutes. I would definitely like to see more grounds with safe standing areas, so people can choose to stand or sit. In a lot of grounds, the stewards will tell you to sit down, but they didn't here. The access to seats in the back row in that part of the stadium did seem a bit cramped, especially when having to negotiate your way around part of the roof support structure to get to past other fans to get to your seat. 
 
The stadium itself is a modern compact stadium, with three sides being continuous and having the corners filled in, and a separate Main Stand. In one of the unfilled corners beside the Main Stand is a modern 4 storey office block. The home fans were all in the Main (West) Stand and the Aberdeen fans were in the East Stand, the north east/south east corners and a fair section of the South Stand. It definitely seemed more like a home match for Aberdeen, with 3,800 fans out of a total crowd of 5,600. I think Almondvale was built in the days when there was a 10,000 all-seater rule for entry to the Premier League. If they were building a new stadium today, then they'd probably not build something as large, because there are not many matches where it's nearly full, probably only against the Old Firm.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The first half of the match and most of the second half were fairly scrappy and forgettable, Aberdeen had a couple of claims for a penalty in the first half. The first didn't seem like much, but the second definitely did look like a penalty and the referee took some stick from the Aberdeen fans for not giving it. Aberdeen scored with about 20 minutes left and the game opened up a lot then. Aberdeen got a second a few minutes later, and then almost right at the end, after a poor back pass from McKenna was intercepted by a Livingston attacker, they managed to pull one back, but Aberdeen held out for a 2-1 win in the end which is a great result, especially as Livingston have been on very good form at home this season. A few times during the match, I noticed some of the players slipping or losing their footing, and I guess this may have been down to the artificial pitch. 
 
As mentioned above, the Aberdeen supporters vastly outnumbered the Livingston supporters, and most of the noise from the Livingston crowd was coming from a small singing/drumming section at the very right hand side of the Main Stand, but both sets of fans made a decent atmosphere even with the huge gaps of empty seats between both sets of fans. 
 
The catering stand was very reasonably priced, and although the coffee was fine enough, the pie was disappointingly a bit burnt on the outside and dry on the inside. The shelf with the sugar/milk/stirrers etc was at eye level, but there was nowhere to put your drink down while putting milk/sugar in, so there was a bit of juggling around putting everything in one at a time with one hand while holding the coffee in the other. A small table or shelf at waist height to put your drinks on while adding milk/sugar would have been very handy to have here, and this is something they'd surely be able to put in fairly cheaply.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I'd made my way to fairly near the exit just before the final whistle. It took about 15 minutes to get out of the car park at the end of the match, which wasn't too bad. But I suspect I'd have been there a bit longer if I had stayed at my seat right until the end. The police were there manually controlling the traffic flow which helped quite a lot with getting out to the main road.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Enjoyed my day out, and was very happy with the three points at the end. Not as good quality as the other match between the two sides recently, but the last 20 minutes was really entertaining. As a stadium, Almondvale is not the worst, but it's not the best either, and a few minor improvements would make a much better experience for the fans. They have a great team at the moment, and in the closest Scottish League race for many years, I hope that more people in Livingston will turn out and support their town's team because they have been playing well throughout this season.

Livingston v Rangers
Scottish Premiership
Sunday 30th September 2018, 1pm
Timothy Scales (Neutr... Livingston!)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
This was the third of three games in mine and my mates' trip up to Scotland and easily the biggest. Livingston had started the season out well following promotion via the play-offs last season and found themselves in the top six - a win today and they'd move up to third. Steven Gerrard's Rangers had started well in Europe but hadn't really hit the heights in domestic games. It was also a new ground for all of us.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We were staying in Edinburgh for our trip and had a nice breakfast in the morning before catching the train across to the game. After getting the train from Edinburgh Haymarket to Livingston North, it was a half an hour walk to the ground and it's not particularly well sign-posted if you don't have a phone on you to show you the way. It is, however, a pleasant walk through a nice town.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
On our walk to the stadium, we visited the Livingston Inn and had a pint before setting off to the ground. The pub itself was very nice and I would recommend to other visiting supporters. We didn't really meet any home fans at which was much less surprising when we found out that Rangers had three sides of the stadium.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Tony Macaroni Arena?
 
It's a bit unique - a bit like La Bombonera in that it has three sides of a bowl (where the Rangers fans were housed) and a fourth Main Stand where the home fans were sitting (I jest about the comparison, of course). To be fair, it's a nice stadium that's clearly worn in nicely since being built in 1995.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game itself was superb. It was high-octane stuff from the hosts who started brightly and could have found themselves ahead before they did finally score with Scott Robinson and Adam Lithgow both missing big opportunities. When they did take the lead, it was a lovely goal as Robinson and Declan Gallagher combined on the right-hand side, setting up Angolan international striker Dolly Menga who gleefully slotted home eleven minutes before the interval for his first senior club goal for FIVE YEARS! Rangers rarely cut open a packed Livingston defence and when they did get through, Livi 'keeper Liam Kelly was on hand to keep Alfredo Morelos at bay. Livi could have in fact doubled their lead when Adam Lithgow's ambitious scorpion-kick attempt went inches wide. Rangers had a number of penalty appeals ranging from the hopeful to the ridiculous but the referee stood firm and so did the Lions to complete a memorable victory. The atmosphere matched the game too, Livingston fans were quite simply superb throughout the 90 minutes, while Rangers' support, while big in number, were a long way from what I had expected of them. I was sat right near the Livi Ultras and their support of the team was incredible. After the game, I decided to visit the club shop and try and purchase a scarf to remember my visit to Livingston by. This was less than successful, with the shop smaller than your average prison cell!
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It was rather much less stressful than I had anticipated it being with so many Rangers fans at the game, with a nice easy exit out of the ground (I was expecting to be held back for a bit). After the aforementioned visit to the club shop, we made the walk back to the station.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A great day at a good ground with a fantastic atmosphere coupled with a memorable upset.

Livingston v Hibernian
Scottish Championship League
Saturday 13th February 2016. 5.15pm
Edward Russell (Hibernian fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Almondvale Stadium?  

I was looking forward to seeing Hibernian which I can't do every week as I live in Oxfordshire but as it being half term, I got the week off work so I chose to travel up to Scotland to see the Hibees. Almondvale is also a new ground for me and I have only heard good things about the now called Toni Macaroni arena so it sounded like a good trip.

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

I set off at 8am in the morning and embarked on the six hour journey that awaited me up to Scotland. Almondvale is fairy easy to find as it is just off the main road, although it is hidden by the Lidl in front of it. It cost me £5 for a car parking spot but it was very bad weather (so bad I thought the match would be postponed!) I gave in and paid for it and parked behind the Hibs end which was the East Stand.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I embarked on the 15 minute walk from the ground to the Lime Kiln pub, which is a pub that away fans use, where I chose not to be silly and got a club soda. I spent about an hour there watching Gillette soccer special and then I walked back to the stadium. I didn't see that many Livingston fans but the few that I ran into seemed very friendly so I didn't run into any trouble. I entered the stadium at about 4.45pm.

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

The Toni Macaroni arena is very impressive from the inside, although it is fairly cramped when going through the turnstiles. Hibs fans were given the East Stand and both corners of the stadium on that side, which meant that there were around 1,600 Hibees who travelled from Edinburgh (make me an exception). Both of the behind the goal stands were closed because Livingston F.C decided to have all home fans in one stand (the West Stand) so they could make some noise. The West Stand has no corners but it is impressive none the less..

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

One thing that let me down was that it was a freezing cold day and I couldn't take my flask of coffee into the ground for a reason I don't know. But other that this, the stewards were very relaxed as the Hibs fans were very subdued that day. I don't know why we didn't sing a lot considering we had just come back from the dead in the Edinburgh derby to earn a replay at Easter Road. The Livingston fans tried very hard to make some noise and they did put in a better performance that Hibs did, on and off the pitch. Hibs were very poor and Livingston were very happy to take a draw so a 0-0 draw was the best outcome. Neither side really threatened to score except when Josh Mullin hit the bar for Livingston. Chris Dagnall also was in one on one with Livingston keeper Marc McCallum but he squandered his opportunity.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

With all of the Hibs fans leaving at the same time, leaving the ground took its time but getting out of the car park was easy enough as there was a set of traffic lights so traffic was regulated easily.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Livingston ground was very impressive but the result was very bad especially as we could have closed the gap on Rangers as they drew with Alloa earlier in the day. But I would go to the Toni Macaroni arena again as it is a very good ground and so will a lot of other loyal Hibees if we put in performances like that again.

 

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Updated 14th July 2019

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