4,200 (Seats 750)
James Whatman Way, Maidstone ME14 1LQ
110 x 70 yards
Amber and Black
The Gallagher Stadium is a very modern one, having been opened in 2012. On the approach to it from the town centre, there is little to see as the stadium is built into a hillside. Even from the main Club car park, there is not much to be glimpsed of the interior. Once inside though it is a different matter. On one side is the smart looking Main Stand. This all seated stand has a cantilevered roof, meaning that there are no supporting pillars to contend with. It is also raised above pitch level, meaning that spectators have to climb a small set of stairs to enter it. This Main Stand was extended in 2015 so that it now has a capacity of 750 seats. Oddly the team dugouts are not located in front of the Main Stand but on the other side of the ground. This side has no facilities for spectators as such, just a small flat standing area, behind the perimeter fence. The team dugouts almost seemed to have been an afterthought as they are receded into the standing area. At the North End is a new covered terrace that was opened in March 2017. This terrace is of a fair size and has a capacity of 1,768. The opposite, the Loucas End, is a small covered terrace which is just seven steps high. The Gallagher Stadium is very much an open one, with plenty of surrounding trees and greenery on view.
The stadium has an artificial 3G pitch and the Club have been at the forefront in lobbying for its wider adoption in the Football Leagues. They have seen some success in that artificial surfaces are now allowed at Conference level and for FA Cup ties, but the Football League is still resistant to the idea and currently only allows grass pitches for its member clubs.
The Club have now purchased a small strip of land from the local council on the west side of the Gallagher Stadium, which allows the club to put in place a 650 capacity seated stand along that side. The Club are also planning to build a new larger South Stand at one end of the Gallagher Stadium. Part of the motivation for these new stands is to ready the ground to fulfill Football League capacity requirements for grounds if the club were to gain promotion to the Football League. Although the Football League don’t currently allow artificial pitches in the league, this is not deterring the Club from planning ahead in case the Football League change their rules on only grass pitches currently being allowed (or possibly going back to grass at the Gallagher Stadium, but this would be financially very costly for the Club, in terms of lost income and investment spent on installing the current 3G pitch). However no timescales have been announced as to when these developments might take place and they are unlikely to happen whilst the Club are in National League South.
The Gallagher Stadium being still almost ‘shiny new’ has quite good facilities for supporters. If segregation is in force then part of the North Terrace (towards the Main Stand) is allocated. Home supporters are housed on the other side of the terrace, with a sizeable gap between the two (covered in tarpaulin), which can make for a good atmosphere. There is also a small block of 24 seats located on one at the front of the terrace, that are made available to visiting fans who need them. The usual array of Cheeseburgers (£3.25), Burgers (£3), Hot Dogs (£3), Chips (£2), as well as Chicken Fillet Burgers (£3.25) are available inside. Plus if fans are not segregated then behind the Loucas End is the ‘Pie Hut,’ which offers locally produced pies by Kentish Mayde. For £5 you can have your choice of pie with mushy peas, chips and gravy, or you can just have a pie by itself for £3.50. Maidstone United are a well supported Club as this can make for a good atmosphere on matchday.
Please note that smoking is not allowed within the stadium (I guess just in case a loose cigarette end damages the pitch!). Fans are allowed out into the car park at half time, if fans need a cigarette.
There is a large supporters club at the stadium itself (located next to the main entrance) called the Spitfire Lounge which welcomes visiting supporters. This also has the benefit of having BT and Sky Sports Sports to view the early kick offs. On Sandling Road (just off the main roundabout by the stadium) is the Flower Pot pub, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Also on Sandling Road before the Flower Pot is the Dragoon a Shepherd Neame pub. Located in-between these pubs is a handy fish and chip shop. Close to Maidstone Prison, a few minutes walk away from the stadium on Lower Boxley Road is the Hard and Hounds. The Gallagher Stadium is only a ten-minute walk away from the town centre, where there are plenty of pubs to be found, including two Wetherspoons outlets. The closest of these is the Society Rooms on Week Street (near Maidstone East Railway Station), which is also in the Good Beer Guide.
Leave the M20 at Junction 6 and take the A229 towards Maidstone. Go straight across two roundabouts and on entering Maidstone at the third roundabout (where there is a large white office building on your right hand side) take the third exit into James Whatman Way. You will now see the stadium right in front of you. At the T-junction turn left and the stadium entrance is further down on the right.
There is no unreserved car parking available at the stadium itself. There is a small amount of pay and display parking on James Whatman Way itself, although it is free during the week after 6pm, on Saturdays it costs £4.50 for four hours, or £3.50 for three (although I would doubt if you would find a space at 2pm). The stadium is very close to the town centre, so it would be a case of using one of the many shoppers’ car parks available. There is a fair sized car park located at Maidstone East Railway Station, which on a Saturday costs £4, or £1.50 on weekdays after 6pm. The station is only five minutes walk away and on using the car directions above, rather than turning right at the third roundabout turn left instead and you will see from there, that the station is well signposted.
There are two railway stations located close to the stadium. Maidstone East which is only a quarter of a mile away and Maidstone Barracks, which is half a mile away. However most fans are likely to end up at Maidstone East as it is served by trains from London Victoria and Ashford International.
Maidstone East is only about a five minute walk away from the Gallagher Stadium. As you come out of Maidstone East Station walk up the station approach to the main road. At this road turn left and then go straight across the next two roundabouts and you will find the stadium located in front of you. Turn left at the T-Junction and the main entrance is down on the right.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Adults £18 Over 65’s/Students £15 Under 17’s £10 Under 11’s £5
Adults £15 Over 65’s/Students £12 Under 17’s £7 Under 11’s £2
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
Official Matchday Programme: £2.50
Gillingham, Tonbridge Angels and Dartford.
4,101 v Crystal Palace
Pre-Season Friendly Match, 15th July 2017
2018-2019: 2,179 (National League)
2017-2018: 2,412 (National League)
2016-2017: 2,386 (National League)
If you require hotel accommodation in Maidstone 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. Just input the relevant dates and click on “Search” below or on the hotel of interest on the map to get more information. The map is centered on the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in the town centre or further afield.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to Austin Byrne and Paul Dickinson for providing photos of the North Terrace at the Gallagher Stadium Maidstone United.
The ‘Gallagher Stadium in 4K’ was produced by Kian & Becky and is made publicly available via YouTube.