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Top Facts about Bloomfield Road, the Gamble's Field

Stadiums are what makes football so enjoying. Today we are going to read about one of these stadiums in Sportmob's Top Facts about Bloomfield Roads.

Welcome to Sportmob's

Top Facts about Bloomfield Road

. Bloomfield Road is a single-tier football stadium in Blackpool, Lancashire, England that has been the home of


Football Club since 1901. It is the club's third stadium, with the previous two being Raikes Hall Gardens and the Athletic Grounds.

The stadium, which had remained mostly untouched since the 1960s, began a reconstruction phase in the early 2000s. Before the start of the 2010–11 season, the club's debut in the

Premier League

, a temporary East Stand was erected. It is still in operation today. The three permanent stands are known as the Stan Mortensen North Stand, the Jimmy Armfield South Stand, and the Stan Mortensen South Stand.

On September 17, 1955, Blackpool played Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 38,098 people at Bloomfield Road. The stadium hosted three UEFA Women's Championship matches in 2005. It has also hosted the final of the Northern Rail Cup, a rugby league competition. But of course, that's not all the story of our Top Facts about Bloomfield Road.

Let's start! Top facts about Bloomfield Road

Before we start to discover all untold facts in Sportmob's Top facts about Bloomfield Roads, we will take a look at some quick facts about this stadium that can help us through the article.

  • Full name:

    Bloomfield Road Stadium

  • Former name:

    Gamble's Field

  • Location

    : Seasiders Way

  • Owner: Rose

    123 Investments Ltd.

  • Record attendance:

    38,098  _16,116

  • Field size: 112 x 74 yards

    (102.4 x 67.7 metres)

  • Surface:


  • Scoreboard:


  • Opened:

    28 October 1899

Bloomfield Road origins

Let's start our Top Facts about Bloomfield Road with some history. Blackpool had previously occupied two other grounds before relocating to Bloomfield Road. For starters, they played their fifteen home Football League matches at Raikes Hall Gardens between 1896 and 1897. (also known as the Pleasure Gardens).

In 1897, they relocated to the Athletic Grounds at present-day Stanley Park, where they played thirty-two League matches over the course of two seasons. After a brief return to Raikes Hall Gardens in 1899, during their non-league season, and again for all but the first home game of the 1900–01 season, Blackpool made the permanent transfer to Bloomfield Road.

When South Shore F.C. participated in the Lancashire League in 1899, the ground was known as Gamble's Field, named for the farmer who owned the area. On 21 October 1899, South Shore met the 1st South Lancashire Regiment in the ground's inaugural competitive game.

At the time, someone said: "On Saturday, the new stadium wasn't yet built, so the linesman had to do more than just watch the game to keep the spectators from crossing the line. The grandstand was not yet up and running, but it is expected to be finished by next Saturday. A bar and two dressing tents will be built." The ground was officially opened on October 28, 1899, when South Shore hosted Newton Heath in an FA Cup match.

When Blackpool F.C. joined with South Shore F.C. in mid-December 1899, the former team relocated to the latter's stadium and changed its name to Bloomfield Road. Furthermore, the two clubs merged with Blackpool's Lancashire League fixtures since they were judged easier than South Shore's. Now we should move forward and see what happens in the next part of the

Top Facts about Bloomfield Road


Rebirth after the merge

On December 23, the first game following the merger took place. The visitors were Horwich R.M.I., who had only eleven men in their lineup. Blackpool triumphed 8–0. At the time, the stadium had a modest wooden grandstand along the western side of the pitch, seating roughly 300 spectators.

To keep spectators off the playing area, a perimeter fence went around the rest of the pitch. The walk to the game would have been significantly different than it is today. Supporters coming from the south would have had to weave their way through row after row of allotments along Central Drive from Waterloo Road.

There were railway sidings and lines all along the west side of the ground. Henry Street was only partially built up, with open space, the town's waste-disposer, and the corporation stables behind the north end of the ground.

Following this game, Blackpool went to their Raikes Hall home field, where the Christmas Day game against Oswaldtwistle Rovers drew a "greater turnout than before." Raikes Hall was utilized for the rest of the season's home games, and it wasn't until a practice match on August 25, 1900, that the team – now back in Division Two – returned to Bloomfield Road.

There was only one stand on the field at the time, a modest building on the western side that sat around 300 people sitting. Gainsborough Trinity was the first Football League team to visit Bloomfield Road. On September 8, 1900, they drew 1–1 with the Seasiders in front of a "strong" crowd of "little about 2,000."  The terrain "conveyed the idea that it had been a plowed field at some remote time of its history," it was said.

Bloomfield Road needed improvements

Changing and improving is what makes everything a hundred times interesting! So, let's talk about them in this part of our Top Facts about Bloomfield Road. For the balance of the season, Blackpool will play their home games at Raikes Hall. "We will not quickly forget Saturday's match, or, to be more precise, the circumstances in which it was played," one of the reviewers stated.

"Unfortunately for the club, the game had to be played at Bloomfield Road, and if there is one ground in this town that is completely inappropriate for the purpose for which it is utilized, this is it. It is out of the way, all of the players, the majority of the committee, and the spectators said that it was impossible to play on such a pitch, and there was no provision for the press." Furthermore, it was speculated that "the figure would have been roughly twice if Raikes had been available."

The sole reason the first game was played at Bloomfield Road was that, with the end of the summer season approaching, Raikes Hall Pleasure Gardens were still being used to entertain the public, and hence the football field was unavailable.

In actuality, it had been agreed prior to the season that Raikes Hall would be the permanent home ground, with the statement "as soon as certain upgrades are finished, a move to the South Shore ground will be made." These enhancements were not completed to the club's satisfaction, and they remained in Raikes Hall.

Bloomfield Road did not become the permanent home of Blackpool Football Club until the start of the 1901–02 season. On October 12, 1901, the club won its first League game at Bloomfield Road, defeating

Doncaster Rovers


Raising the capacity of Bloomfield Road

The local press was petitioning with the club in 1906 to create a good Pressbox, as they were forced to watch the games from the sidelines. To increase capacity, a paddock was added in front of the stadium the next year.

However, a catastrophic fire a decade later nearly destroyed it, needing a complete restoration. The Spion Kop, the former South Stand, was built two years later, seating approximately a thousand standing spectators. The concreted East Paddock was built along the east side of the pitch at a cost of almost £3,000, nearly bankrupting the club but increasing the capacity to 18,000.

In addition, a 2,000-person capacity stand was built on the ground's north side in 1906. The Motor Stand was built, making Bloomfield Road one of the few fields in


with stands on all four sides. It was partially completed when West Bromwich Albion paid a visit on November 10th.

To assist alleviate the costs, the club organizes a whist drive at the Conservative Club. The stand was borrowed from the Blackpool Corporation and took up nearly the entire north side of the ground. It was purchased from the council for £100 in June 1908. However, the fire didn't let the stadium stay happy and that's what we are going to read in the next part of our Top Facts about Bloomfield Road.

Surviving the fire

A fire in the West Stand on January 13, 1917, most likely caused by the dressing-room heating system, severely destroyed the structure. The stand was a blazing inferno when the fire department arrived, with a northerly wind causing the flames to completely destroy the entire southern end, including both the original secretary's office, the boardroom – including club records – many silver cups, and a collection of historical photographs that adorned the office. It resulted in a rebuilding program that saw the ground built following the lines that would remain for the remainder of the century.

A new South Stand was constructed in 1925 to house a new boardroom, offices, dressing rooms, showers, and snack bars. It cost slightly more than £13,000 and could accommodate 4,000 people, bringing the total ground capacity to well over 20,000.

This year, a new directors' box was built in the ground's northwest corner. On August 29, 1925, it was utilized for the first time during a tour to Southampton. In the Gazette & Herald, Ernest Lawson stated: "It's a wonderful box they've made for themselves; it must be for safety because it's far enough out of the way! But what are they afraid of?" At a later date, he responded: "The Let Me Smoke train stokers are a choking hazard. We now know how the directors are shielding themselves." He was alluding to the smoke that drifted in at the northwest corner of the ground on a regular basis, caused by steam trains passing by. "However, when the wind comes in from the east," Lawson said, "the audience has the final laugh!"

The new West Stand was opened for the first time on August 31, 1929, for the first game of the 1929–30 season, a visit from Millwall Athletic. The playing surface was eventually extended twenty yards to the north to create a place for a pasture in front of the South Stand.

In 1929, Eli Percival, a general trader headquartered on Elizabeth Street, gave the club the oak paneling that adorned the walls of the Bloomfield Road boardroom until 2003. The wood came from the wreckage of Horatio Nelson's former flagship, the HMS Foudroyant, which sank near the Metropole Hotel on June 16, 1897.

With promotion to Division One in 1930, the townspeople raised funds to construct a vast terrace at the north (Tower) end of the pitch that could contain roughly 12,000 standing spectators, bringing the total capacity of the ground to almost 30,000.

To accommodate the additional spectators, the original hill was built primarily of cinders and sand and compacted together with railway sleepers. On August 30, 1930, the stand opened for the visit of eventual champions Arsenal, and a record 28,723 people paid £1,896 to watch the game.

In the two seasons that followed, the Gunners helped establish the record twice: 29,576 in 1930–31 and 30,218 in 1931–32. The club's name was painted on the back of the stand. The former occupant, the Motor Stand, was relocated to the North-West Corner, where it remained until 1985. When the team's fortunes improved, the East Stand was covered.

Bloomfield road international

England v. Ireland was the only full international game played at Bloomfield Road on October 17, 1932. There were 23,000 people in attendance. The first European team to visit Bloomfield Road was FK Austria Wien. The friendly, which took place on December 9, 1935, had a crowd of around 5,000 people. The hosts prevailed 4–3.

On 11 January 1936, Blackpool hosted Margate in the FA Cup in what is thought to be the first game ever filmed at Bloomfield Road. The Tower Company videotaped the tie, which Blackpool won 3–1, and it was afterward played at the Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre.

Bloomfield Road featured a number of ceremonies as part of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation on May 12, 1937. The day began at 9.45 a.m. with a procession of all the youngsters in attendance, followed by a civic ceremony led by the mayor.

Before the ensemble Grand Finale Parade, there was a presentation of national dances in costume. During the national anthem, a thousand students from Blackpool's junior schools made a living Union Jack on the pitch.

During World War II, Lancashire rivals Burnley visited Bloomfield Road for a Football League North match on December 2, 1944. The ground had been loaned by Air Commodore A. Macgregor, according to the program.

The Royal Air Force had requisitioned the airspace for the duration of the war, as it had done earlier during World War I. 'Pool's substantial debts were nearly erased by the end of the war. The visitors prevailed 2–0.

Bloomfield road rebirth

Owen Oyston and Stanley Matthews submitted comprehensive blueprints for the club's proposed new multi-purpose stadium to the town's mayor on October 16, 1993. A 20,000-capacity stadium with a retractable roof, 92 executive boxes in the North and South stands, and a twelve-story luxury hotel with 115 rooms with balconies overlooking the pitch were all part of the proposals.

There was an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an indoor five-a-side football arena, a gymnasium, and a keep-fit facility among the recreational facilities. Restaurants, pubs, and fast-food shops would be available at every seat. However, Oyston was convicted of rape in 1996 and sentenced to six years in prison, and nothing more was heard regarding the relocation to Whyndyke Farm.

The long-awaited plans for the stadium's reconstruction were disclosed in a supplement in Blackpool's matchday program for the visit of Cardiff City on 11 March 2000. It said that plans had been presented to the borough council, and both the chief executive and the principal planning officer described the proposals as "practical and appealing."

TTH architects and Ballast Wiltshire developers were both involved in the Stadium of Light development in Sunderland. The total capacity was announced to be 15,254. The club received approval for the reconstruction of Bloomfield Road on May 23, 2000. The resort's councilors voted unanimously to scrap plans to replace the present stadium with an £11 million state-of-the-art edifice.

The Spion Kop and West Stand were removed in 2000 and 2001, respectively, to make space for the new stands. Following the visit of Colchester United on May 8, the Kop was closed. The pitch was shifted slightly north and west to allow for future expansion on the south and east sides of the stadium.

The West Stand was finished in the summer of 2002 and officially opened on August 6, 2002, with former Seasiders player Keith Walwyn serving as the guest of honor for a friendly versus Blackburn Rovers

 Lord Pendry placed a plaque honoring the Football Foundation's contribution to the new stadium above the main entrance. Meanwhile, the South Stand was granted a reprieve, which meant that it would reopen to visiting fans for the upcoming 2002–03 season.

For visiting fans, all games will be all-ticket. If a club requested more than the 1,500 allotted seats, Blackpool would open the East Paddock north section, allowing an additional 1,000 away fans.

On June 25, 2003, supporters were permitted into the stadium for one last look around the South and East stands before they were demolished. Dave Durie, a former 'Pool player, was also present. Bloomfield Road was awarded a marriage ceremony license in July 2003.

The stands of Bloomfield Road

It's time to check out the stands in Sportmob's Top Facts about Bloomfield Road. The primary entrance to the ground used to be on Bloomfield Road, via the South Stand; however, the development of the ground that began in the early years of the twenty-first century means that it is now from Seasiders Way, via the Matthews Stand on the pitch's west side.

West Stand of Sir Stanley Matthews

This is the primary stand, known as the Westinghouse Sir Stanley Matthews Stand. Between 2001 and 2002, it was rebuilt. Sir Stanley Matthews inspired the name. The players' tunnel, which was previously in the South Stand, is now in this stand, and behind the main seating is a hospitality balcony with executive boxes at the back from the south end to the Directors' Box at the halfway line, from which point the Stanley Matthews Hospitality Suite is located in the north-west corner.

The stand also houses all of the club's offices and the main reception. Seasiders, the club's nickname, is spelt out in capital letters on white seats among the tangerine majority. The Pricebusters Matthews Stand was the name given to the stand after it was rebuilt.

North Stand Stan Mortensen

This stand is located at the far north end of the field. Blocks A to C, as well as the front rows of blocks D and E, house the Spion Kop (now known as the Clifton Quality Meats Stand), while the back rows of blocks D and E house the club's Family Stand (now the Check-in Family Stand). The North-West Corner stand connects it to the West Stand and replaced the previous Spion Kop.

Stand to the North-West

This stand, known as the Brands Scaffolding North-West Stand, connects the West Stand and the North Stand (The Kop); it has the same number of rows as the West and is situated above the remainder of the hospitality balcony.

Blackpool fans gathered funds in 2009 for a memorial plaque for Kevin Olsson, who was stabbed to death on the Kop on August 24, 1974. The plaque was unveiled on the 35th anniversary of his death on the outer wall of this corner.

The East Stand

This stand, once known as the East Paddock or the "Scratching Sheds," has a current capacity of 5,120 all-seated. Back Henry Street is the name of the street behind it, as perpetuated by a Blackpool supporters' messageboard.

In 2005, Sheffield Wednesday fans leaped up and down on the previous temporary stand, causing some of its central section to collapse; nevertheless, no one was injured. Following a home match against Stoke City in December 2007, the stand was slightly damaged due to the appearance of a small hole in the floor.

The stand had to be re-floored, and after an inspection by the Safety Advisory Group, the capacity was lowered to 1,563 for the next home game against Coventry City on December 22, 2007. Following the Coventry game, the stand was inspected and the capacity was restored to 1,965. Thanks for reading Sportmob's

Top Facts about Bloomfield Road.


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