Crown Oil Arena – Rochdale

Sandy Lane, Rochdale, OL11 5DR
0844 826 1907
01706 648 466
Pitch Size:
114 x 76 yards
Pitch Type:
Club Nickname:
The Dale
Year Ground Opened:
Undersoil Heating:
Shirt Sponsors:
Crown Oil
Home Kit:
Blue, White and Black
Away Kit:
Grey With Blue & Black Stripe
Third Kit:
All Pink

The Spotland football ground has benefited greatly with the construction of three new stands during the 1990’s and year 2000. It is quite picturesque, with a number of trees being visible behind the stands. The last of these new stands to be opened was the smart looking Willbutts Lane Stand at one side of the pitch, which was opened in 2000. This single tiered stand replaced a former terrace and has a capacity of 4,000. On the other side is another single tier, the all seated Main Stand. This has a number of supporting pillars and some executive boxes at the back. At one end the Pearl Street Stand is the third of the new stands. This is also all seated and serves as a Family Stand. It has a couple of supporting pillars that are right at the front of the stand. The Sandy Lane End is the only terraced area remaining. It is on the small size but does at least benefit from having a roof.  There is a Police Control Box located in one corner, between the Main & Pearl Street Stands. Spotland is shared with the Rochdale Hornets rugby league team.

In 2016 Spotland was renamed the Crown Oil Arena in a five-year corporate sponsorship deal.

In terms of physical development there is little going on at Rochdale’s ground. There has, however, been talk of a change of political boundary, which would see the stadium sit in a different constituency. The idea was ridiculed by one of the local officials – Andy Kelly, a Lib Dem, – as he cited it would “dilute” the club’s name and history.

Rochdale have played their home games at Spotland for 102 years now after first moving in in 1920 – 13 years after their formation. Prior to that they played games – albeit out of the football league – on the same piece of land. At that time, it was known as St Clement’s Playing Fields and didn’t so much as feature a single stand.

Away supporters are housed on one side of the Willbutts Lane Stand, where around 1,500 fans can be housed. If demand requires it, then the whole of this stand can be given to visiting fans increasing the allocation to 3,650. The stand is normally shared with home supporters with away fans being seated towards the Sandy Lane End. The view of the action and facilities within are both pretty good. The acoustics are excellent, so away fans can really make some noise from within it. This, coupled with both home ends singing, makes for a good atmosphere. If Rochdale do score then ‘Samba de Janeiro’ blasts out around the ground from the p.a. system.

I would say that Spotland in my book, is one of the best footballing days out in the country. Friendly & knowledgeable fans, good stewards, good facilities, a couple of pubs located at the ground, a great range of pies on offer and not a bad atmosphere to boot. In other words, all the right elements to make for a great day out. Add a pretty lady on my arm, my team winning six nil and I’ll think that I have been transported to heaven!

Teresa Jewell a visiting Sheffield Wednesday fan adds; ‘The ground is homely, with the staff being helpful and polite. The pies on sale supplied by the Clayton Park Bakery were worth every penny. Parking though looked pretty bad, so I would advise getting there early if you want to park near to the stadium. The club house to the front of the ground is welcoming to away fans. There is also a chip shop facing the away end for something more substantial to eat, which does a roaring trade on matchdays’. Turnstiles at the ground open one hour before kick off.

Food on offer inside the ground includes; Cheeseburgers (£3.20), Rollover Hot Dogs (£3.20), Veggie Hot Dogs (£3.20) and a range of Pies (£2.80). There are also meal deals of a; Burger or Hot Dog, plus a hot or cold drink (£4.50), or a Pie plus a hot or cold drink (£4).

At the ground itself, there are two bars to choose from, Studds & the Ratcliffe Arms. Studds is located underneath the Pearl Street Stand and is worth a visit if only to sample the large range of tasty pies & pasties on offer at £2.80 (which are also available inside the ground). No real ales here, but the bar has lots of memorabilia/pictures on the walls and some lovely looking barmaids which softens the blow. The Ratcliffe Arms is located at the car park entrance to the ground, on Sandy Lane. This pub has SKY TV, real ale, hot food and is family friendly. On my last visit, this pub had a mixture of home and away fans.

If you arrive early, the Cemetery Hotel, located at the bottom of Sandy Lane and on the corner with Bury Road, is also worth a visit. This comfortable historic pub has a range of real ales on offer and again friendly clientele. Beer is available inside the ground to away fans, albeit just bottles of lager.

Exit the M62 at Junction 20 and take the A627(M) towards Rochdale. At the end of the A627(M) you should be in the left hand lane to turn left at the traffic lights. Now follow the road and with Tesco on your left, go straight through the next set of lights (approach in the middle lane) into Roch Valley Way. At the next crossroads (where the Cemetery pub is on the corner) go straight onto Sandy Lane, where the ground can be found on the right after approx 3/4 mile.

Car Parking at the ground is now for permit holders only, so it is a case of finding some street parking. However the streets in the immediate vicinity of Spotland are for ‘residents only,’ so if you are not careful you could end with a parking ticket for your trouble, so check first to see if there are street parking restriction signs, before deciding to park up. There is street parking to be had along the main A680 (Edenfield Road) which can be found at the end of Willbutts Lane, only a 5-10 minute walk away from the stadium. Parking is also available at Oulderhill Community School (OL11 5EF), which is located about half a mile from the ground on Greave Avenue.

Post Code for SAT NAV: OL11 5DR

Home Fans

Main Stand: Adults £22, Over 65’s/Under 22’s* £16, Under 17’s £5
Willbutts Lane Stand: Adults £22, Over 65’s/Under 22’s* £16, Under 17’s £5
Pearl Street Stand: Adults £20, Over 65’s/Under 22’s* £14, Under 17’s £5
Sandy Lane Terrace: Adults £17, Over 65’s/Under 22’s* £12, Under 17’s £5

Away Fans

Willbutts Lane Stand: Adults £22, Over 65’s/Under 22’s* £16, Under 17’s £5

* Please note that photo ID showing date of birth, needs to be provided to purchase an Under 22 ticket.

Official Programme: £3

With Rochdale being located in the North West, there are countless clubs around them that could be classified as ‘rivals’. Ultimately though, the likes of Manchester United, Man City and Burnley have all moved well beyond their sphere of bitterness now. That leaves their key rivals as below:

Rochdale vs Bury rivalry: Rochdale and Bury are only separated by seven miles. That short distance and spending so much time doing battle in the lower leagues has seen things reach feverpitch at times. Bury are obviously on the up again now as well with the club back on their feet after their collapse. The derby may well resurface.

Rochdale vs Oldham rivalry: Oldham and Rochdale share a fairly similar relationship to the Dale and Bury; they’ve both spent vast amounts of time in the lower tiers of English football and are just 20 minutes apart.

Rochdale AFC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field  website.

Record Attendance

24,231 v Notts County
FA Cup 2nd Round, 10th December 1949.

Average Attendance

2019-2020: 3,632 (League One)
2018-2019: 3,582 (League One)
2017-2018: 3,471 (League One)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.