Wed 16 February 2022 | 14:30

Top Facts About Carrow Road, Home of the Canaries

Stadiums are where we can see our football heroes and cheer them up! Today we are going to talk about one of these stadiums in Sportmob's Top Facts About Carrow Road.

Welcome to Sportmob's 

Top Facts About Carrow Road

! Carrow Road is an association football stadium in Norwich, Norfolk, England that serves as the home of the Norwich City of the Premier League. The stadium is located in the city's east, near the Norwich railway station and the River Wensum.

Norwich City FC began its career at Newmarket Road before relocating to The Nest. When The Nest was considered insufficient for the large numbers it was attracting, Norwich City purpose-built the Carrow Road ground, named after the road on which it is located, in just 82 days and inaugurated on August 31, 1935.

Several times over its history, the stadium has been changed and upgraded, most notably following a fire that destroyed the original City Stand in 1984. The stadium, which originally supported standing fans, has been an all-seater since 1992. The current capacity of the ground is 27,359.

The stadium's record attendance since becoming an all-seater venue is 27,137, established on 2 April 2016 during a Premier League match against

Newcastle United

. Carrow Road saw an attendance of 43,984 when it hosted Leicester City in an FA Cup match in 1963, back when fans could stand on terraces.

Carrow Road has also played host to under-21 international football matches as well as a handful of concerts, including appearances by Elton John and George Michael. The Carrow Road location has catering facilities as well as a Holiday Inn hotel with views of the pitch. Of course, this is not the whole story and we are going to find out so much more in our Top Facts About Carrow Road.

Let's Start! Top Facts About Carrow Road

In our top facts about Carrow Road, we hope to completely describe this stadium for those who have only seen it on television. We will also study history and read about Carrow Road's past, as well as the intentions that the owners have for its future development. Without further ado, let us dive into the

top facts about Carrow Road


  • Full name:

    Carrow Road Stadium

  • Location:

    Norwich, Norfolk, England

  • Capacity:


  • Record attendance:

    43,984 (overall), 27,137 (all-seater)

  • Field size:

    105.2 by 68 meters (115.0 by 74.4 yd)

  • Surface:

    Desso GrassMaster

  • Built:


  • Opened:


  • Expanded:

    1979, 1984, 1992, 2004, 2005, 2010

  • Tenants:

    Norwich City F.C. (1935–present)

Carrow Road history & background

Let's start our Top Facts About Carrow Road with some history and background. From 1902 until 1908, Norwich City F.C. played at Newmarket Road, with a record attendance of 10,366 in 1908. Following a disagreement over the terms of renting Newmarket Road, the club relocated to a converted old chalk pit in Rosary Road, Norwich, in 1908.

The new stadium was named The Nest after

Norwich City

's nickname, "The Canaries." By the 1930s, the ground capacity was proving insufficient to accommodate the expanding crowds: the largest audience at The Nest was 25,037 in the 1934–35 FA Cup.

Because of the physical constraints of The Nest's location, expansion was not possible, and there were safety concerns with the existing structures. The club began looking for other accommodations in 1926, and their hand was ultimately forced when one corner of the pitch sunk up to 30 feet due to the collapse of old chalk workings.

The Football Association (FA) wrote to the club on 15 May 1935, saying The Nest "was no longer fit for large audiences and actions must be taken" after an attempt to repair the problem using railway sleepers and soil failed to impress them.

The club's predicament was acute: the FA no longer permitted large audiences at The Nest, but the new season was only a few weeks away. They discovered a new site about a half-mile south of The Nest, the Boulton Paul Sports Ground in Carrow Road, which belonged to J. & J. Colman.

Carrow Road’s name and initial construction history

Time for an interesting story in Sportmob's Top Facts About Carrow Road! The new stadium was named after the street that encircles the ground on three sides, with the River Wensum serving as the fourth boundary. The name "Carrow" was derived from the former Carrow Abbey, which was situated on the riverbank and had possibly Norse origins.

Near 1800, John Ridges, owner of the Carrow Abbey Estate and the adjacent land on the Wensum River in Thorpe Hamlet, "gave permission for a projected road access over his grounds to Carrow." By 1811, Philip M. Martineau, a surgeon, held the Carrow building, fields, and manor, as well as the adjacent Thorpe estate.

Carrow Hill Road was built on  Carrow Abbey Estate to offer labor for the community's underprivileged. The route connected Martineau's Bracondale Estate to the Carrow Toll Bridge, which was built in 1810.

By the 1840s, the Norwich Railway Co. had bought the area around Carrow Road in Thorpe, and by 1860, the Thorpe site of the future stadium belonged to the firm of J. & J. Colman. Thorpe Corner at the stadium honors this historical connection.

Colman's offered Norwich City a 20-year leasehold in 1935, and construction of the new stadium proceeded quickly on the site: tenders were submitted on the day the property was purchased, and work began ten days later, on June 11, 1935.

The first materials were obtained by dismantling The Nest's former "Chicken Run" area, with the rubble thrown as a bank at the river end of the new ground. Following that, work moved fast, with the majority of the stands and terraces completed by the 17th of August. 

 With work "still in progress," a practice match was staged on August 26th, and after only 82 days, on August 31st, the ground was opened for a Second Division match between West Ham United. The stadium's initial capacity was 35,000, with 5,000 covered seats. Norwich won the game 4–3; the audience of 29,779 set a new club record for a home game. Norwich's Duggie Lochhead scored the first competitive goal at the stadium.

The new stadium was characterized by club executives as "the largest construction undertaking in the city since the erection of Norwich Castle," "miraculously created in just 82 days," and "the eighth wonder of the world." An aerial shot from August 1935 shows three sides of open terracing and a covered stand with a Colman's Mustard advertisement painted on its roof, viewable only from the air.

The club's affiliation with Colman's has lasted into the current era; in 1997, the team negotiated a jersey sponsorship contract with the company. The original factory of the mustard maker was located adjacent to the stadium in Carrow Road, and the ground was opened by the club's President, Russell Colman.

The author Simon Inglis recalls the early Carrow Road as having "the Main Stand, a covered end terrace, and two enormous open banks." Captain Evelyn Barclay, Norwich City's vice-president, paid for the covered terrace, which was built in time for the start of the 1937–38 season.

While the original structure is long gone, the end still bears the name of its donor. The stadium had a capacity of 38,000 at the time, with room for 10,000 of "the more boisterous of the home and away spectators" in the new Barclay end. On 29 October 1938, King George VI witnessed twenty minutes of the home game against Millwall, the first time a governing monarch had attended a Second Division match.

Carrow Road’s Ground developments

Floodlights were installed at the stadium in 1956, and the £9,000 cost nearly bankrupted the team. However, Norwich's success in the 1958–59 FA Cup (when they reached the semi-final as a Third Division team, losing to First Division Luton Town after a replay) safeguarded the club's financial position and supplied sufficient finances for a cover to be built over the South Stand. In 1963, a crowd of 43,984 witnessed a sixth-round FA Cup match against

Leicester City

at Carrow Road, and the South Stand was soon covered.

Following the disaster at Ibrox Stadium in 1971, a government inquiry resulted in more strict safety measures, which, when applied to Carrow Road, led to a drastic reduction in capacity to roughly 20,000. With the emphasis on the dangers of standing, seats gradually replaced terracing: by 1979, the stadium had a capacity of 28,392, with seats for 12,675. 

A fire in 1984 partially destroyed one of the stands, leading to its complete demolition and replacement with a new City Stand by 1987. When it was opened, then-chairman Robert Chase compared the experience to "going to the theatre – the only difference being that our stage is covered in grass."

Following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and the accompanying Taylor Report in 1990, the stadium was transformed into an all-seater configuration. The South Stand was demolished in 2003 to make way for the new 8,000-seat Jarrold Stand.

The ground's capacity was increased from 26,018 to 27,000 in the summer of 2010. This was accomplished by locating more seating capacity within the existing stands. The pitch was improved with a £700,000 investment in 2004.

The original all-grass field was replaced with a sand-based Desso GrassMaster surface, a blend of artificial and real grass that "guaranteed that the pitch will look good enough for every match to be broadcast on TV," according to then-groundsman Gary Kemp. "Within eight hours of being turned on," the under-soil heating system "can clear snow and ice." Let's talk about the stadium's stands in the next part of our Top Facts About Carrow Road.

Carrow Road’s stands

The current stadium has four stands: the Regency Security Stand, the Barclay, the Geoffrey Watling City Stand, and the reconstructed South Stand.

Regency Security Post

This half of the field, closest to the River Wensum, was originally known as the "River End," a moniker that has stuck with fans to this day. In April 1979, an old stand was removed, and in December 1979, a two-tiered replacement was finished. After a sponsorship contract with the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society in the 1990s, the stand was formally christened the Norwich & Peterborough Stand.

In the summer of 2010, an additional 160 chairs were installed. Following a partnership with Regency Security, the club's current security firm, the stand was renamed the Regency Security Stand.

The Barclay's

Captain Evelyn Barclay, a previous vice-president of the club, who donated the cost of roofing the original stand, inspired the name "Barclay." This was built in 1937 but dismantled in 1992 when a new two-tier structure modeled after the River End was built in compliance with the Taylor Report's recommendations.

Woodforde's Brewery, a local brewer, was confirmed as the stand's sponsor in June 2018.

City Stand by Geoffrey Watling

The single-tiered Geoffrey Watling City Stand was built in the aftermath of a major fire in its predecessor on October 25, 1984. The fire was probably started by a club employee who left a three-bar electric fire turned on overnight.

The City Stand (as it was known at the time) cost £1.7 million to build and was first used on August 30, 1986, when City hosted Southampton. On 14 February 1987, the Duchess of Kent formally opened it. The stand was renamed after Norwich City president Geoffrey Watling, who died in 2004 at the age of 91.

The stand with the smallest capacity of the four also houses the directors' box, the press area, and the hospitality suites. The Thorpe corner infill, known to supporters as 'The Snakepit,' is located where The Barclay wraps around to meet the Geoffrey Watling City Stand.

The South End Zone

The South Stand replaces the former South Stand, which was named after Sir Arthur South. The new stand was partially inaugurated for the game against Sheffield United on January 31, 2004, and fully opened for the following home fixture, a game against West Ham United. Ken Brown, a former manager of both clubs, inaugurated it.

Jarrolds, a local department store, sponsored the display from 2004 to May 2016. It is a single-tiered cantilever stand with a capacity of 8,212 people. Since 2016, the infill where the hotel is located has housed a big rotating screen that allows fans in the South Stand and the Barclay Stand to view various video broadcasts about the team.

It is now the world's only rotating large screen in football. The Joma Community Stand is located on the corner between the Jarrold and Norwich & Peterborough stands. It was constructed in 2005 and named after its sponsors, Aviva. It can accommodate up to 1,700 fans and has comprehensive amenities for disabled supporters.

Following the termination of Jarrold as the stand's sponsor on June 15, 2016, it was announced that the stand would revert to its historical moniker of the South Stand. The Galway Roast, an Irish coffee company, was revealed as the new sponsor of the stand, which would be officially known as The South Stand sponsored by The Galway Roast. On November 2, 2016, the club stated that the sponsorship agreement with The Galway Roast had been discontinued, and the stand would be renamed The South Stand.

The club announced a new sponsorship of The South Stand with NVCS and their Green Farm Coffee brand on November 25, 2016. Despite the fact that the stand name stayed the same with the new sponsor.

Other uses for Carrow Road

Carrow Road has never hosted an England national team match, but the England under-21 squad has played there five times. The first came in 1983 when England defeated Denmark 4–1 in a European Under-21 Championship qualification match.

In 1997, the team played another qualifying match at the stadium in the same event, defeating


4–2. In June 2007, the Slovakia team played a friendly match at the stadium, in which


won 5–0 in front of a crowd of 20,193 people.

In 2010, the stadium hosted a play-off against


, in which the home team won 2–1 in front of a then-record all-seated attendance of 25,749. The England U21s most recently defeated their Serbian counterparts 1–0 at Carrow Road in October 2012.

The stadium has also hosted games involving the England under-19 squad and the complete England women's team. The women's squad has played there twice, first in a 1–0 loss to Nigeria in July 2002 in front of almost 8,000 supporters, and once in a 1–0 triumph over Iceland in March 2006 in front of 9,616 fans.

Music concerts have been held in the stadium on occasion. Status Quo performed there in 1997. In 2005, Elton John performed at the venue, accompanied by Lulu. George Michael performed there on June 12, 2007, accompanied by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Rod Stewart performed there in June 2011.

Both the Elton John and George Michael concerts drew crowds of more than 20,000 people. Prior to the George Michael performance, Andrew Cullen, the director of sales and marketing at the Carrow Road stadium, told BBC Radio Norfolk that he hoped such concerts would become an annual summer event for the site if large enough celebrity names could be attracted.

Westlife was scheduled to perform in the stadium on June 19, 2020, as part of their "Stadiums in the Summer Tour," but the show was canceled due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Carrow Road Directions and Car Parking

The site is readily marked from the A11 and A47. Take the A146 into the city from the southern bypass (A47). Turn right onto the A1054 towards the city center at the traffic lights. At the next roundabout, stay in the left lane and follow the A147 towards the city center. Turn right at the next set of traffic lights into King Street. This street becomes Carrow Road when it curves around to the right and crosses the river; the ground is farther down on the right.

'The finest car park for away supporters is Norfolk County Hall, which is prominently signposted on the left of the A146 as you follow indications towards the ground from the Southern Bypass,' says David Clarke. It is now £8 and has a capacity of roughly 2000 cars, and it frequently fills up by 2 p.m. for games where the away team brings a large number of spectators.' After the game, the car park is well-marshaled, with two streams of cars exiting it, so you should not be stuck for long. Thanks for reading our

Top Facts About Carrow Road

. Come back to Sportmob for more stories!

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