The Hawthorns – West Bromwich Albion

26,850 (all seated)
Halfords Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4LF
0871 271 1100
0871 271 9861
Ticket Office:
0121 227 2227
Pitch Size:
115 x 74 yards
Pitch Type:
Club Nickname:
The Baggies
Year Ground Opened:
Undersoil Heating:
Shirt Sponsors:
Ideal Boliers
Home Kit:
White and Navy
Away Kit:
Yellow and Green Stripes

East Stand External ViewThe Hawthorns is a compact ground, that is totally enclosed, with the corners filled and is all seated. However, unlike most modern ‘bowl’ stadiums, the Hawthorns has a bit more character with a mixture of different looking stands. On one side is the impressive looking East Stand. Opened in 2001 it is an impressive, large single tiered stand, with a row of executive boxes running along the back. The lower part of the seating area extends around the corners and above the previous open corners have been filled with corrugated sheeting. There is a thin supporting pillar on each side of the stand to support the corner structures. On the other side is the smaller Halfords Lane Stand. This stand which was opened in 1982 stretches around two corners of the ground. The home end, the Birmingham Road Stand is large, covered, and quite steep. At the other end away fans are housed in the Smethwick End. Both these ends were built in 1994/95. There are two huge ‘widescreen’ video screens installed at the ground, one on either side of the East Stand.

An interesting feature of the ground is that in one corner of the ground (between the East Stand  & Birmingham Road End) you will notice perched up on a wall, a large Throstle standing on a football. This has been kept over from the previous stand (it used to sit above the clock on the half time scoreboard) and maintains the links with tradition. Outside the ground on the same corner are the ‘Jeff Astle Memorial Gates’ erected in tribute to the legendary striker. Whilst just beyond the East Stand Car Park is a Memorial Garden.

One strange fact about the Hawthorns is that it is the highest ground in England (in terms of feet above sea level).

The Club are believed to be drawing up plans to expand the capacity of the Hawthorns to over 30,000 by either redeveloping or adding an additional tier to the Halfords Lane Stand.

The expansion plans were benchmarked at a cost of £20m; the latest word from the club, however, is that any work is firmly on hold at present with the demand for extra capacity simply not there right now.

Smethwick End External ViewAway fans are housed on one side of the Smethwick End, where the normal allocation is 3,000 seats. This means that this stand is shared with home supporters. For cup games, the whole of this stand can be allocated to away supporters, raising this figure to 5,200. The facilities and the view of the pitch in the Smethwick End are okay, although the leg room is a little cramped. The turnstiles open 90 minutes before kick off on Saturday afternoons. I have been to the Hawthorns on a number of occasions and have always found it to be a fairly friendly place. The only thing against it, in terms of a day out, is the lack of nearby pub for away fans, meaning that most elect to drink inside the ground instead. Considering that the concourse at the back of the Smethwick End is pretty small in comparison to its overall capacity, then it can have an uncomfortable feel, especially when there is a capacity away support. The Club allows those away fans who need a smoke to stand outside the ground at half time. Food available on the concourse includes; a range of Pies; Chicken Balti, Chicken & Mushroom, Cheese & Onion, Steak & Kidney (All £3.60), Pasties (£3.60) and Hot Dogs (£3.60).

There is a Club ‘Fan Zone’ located just across the road from the Stadium on the corner of Halfords Lane and Birmingham Road. This area has live music entertainment, a large screen showing the early kick off, plus food and alcoholic drinks are available. There is also a Greggs outlet nearby which is very handy. Currently this is free to enter and away fans are welcome (although there may be an exception to this when it comes to Wolves and Villa fans!).

One annoying thing is that located by the away turnstiles is a huge metal gate. This is usually open before the match meaning that you can easily access the visitors turnstiles from Halfords Lane. However after the game has ended, it is normally closed, meaning that you can’t access Halfords Lane, Instead, you have to go in the opposite direction, walking along paths ways and streets taking you right around the other side of the ground. You can easily get back to the Hawthorns Station this way, but if you are parked on the other side towards the M5, it can be a pain.

Apart from the West Brom Mascot called ‘Baggie Bird’, the Club also have another ‘mascot’ this season in the form of the fan christened ‘Boiler Man’. This is from the Clubs Sponsors Ideal Boilers and due to its appearance, it has shall we say caught the attention of the away support!.

The Vine Pub HawthornsThere is a Club ‘Fan Zone’ located just across the road from the Stadium on Halfords Lane. This area has live music, a large screen showing the early kick off, plus food (including a Greggs outlet) and alcoholic drinks are available. This is free to enter and away fans are welcome (although there may be an exception to this when it comes to Wolves and Villa fans!). You need to show your match ticket to enter. The bar inside the Fan Zone closes 30 minutes before kick off.

The main pub for away fans is ‘The Vine’ (pictured right) which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the ground. From Junction 1 of the M5 turn left towards West Bromwich town centre (opposite direction to the ground). Take the first left into Roebuck Street. The Vine is down on the left. You can also street park in this area and then walk to the ground. This pub also offers Indian food and has an indoor tandoori barbeque (from 1pm on Saturdays), plus has a beer garden with children’s play area. Barbara Osborne a visiting Newcastle United fan adds; ‘The Vine from the outside looked like any small corner boozer, but inside it was quite large and it was fairly easy to get served. It had a good mix of home and away fans.’ Matt Wharton informs me; ‘The Vine is only a few minutes walk away from Kenrick Park Metro station which can be accessed from Birmingham Snow Hill railway/metro station. Turn right out of the station and walk along Devereux Road passing through a residential area. At the end of Devereux Road turn left and the The Vine is just over the other side of the road on the right’.

Dave Wilson recommends; ‘The Park Hotel which is just off junction one of the M5 and a 10 minute walk to the ground. You can park on their car park for £5 and away fans are always welcome. There are plenty of families who meet in here before games and it is a very safe environment. There is also plenty of street parking in and around the area of the hotel if you don’t want to pay the £5.’

Sean Mowat a visiting Sheffield United supporter adds; ‘As you pass the ground on the right on the main Birmingham Road. Carry on about another half a mile and there is a pub on the right set back off the road called the Royal Oak. We’ve been in the last two times we’ve visited WBA. The beer is okay and they also serve Asian food (try the chicken kebabs!). It had a friendly atmosphere’. It also has the added benefit of showing televised football.

If travelling by Metro or train from Birmingham Snow Hill and you like your real ale, then it may be a good idea to stop off on the way to the Hawthorns at the Jewellery Quarter station. Within a 10 minute walk of the station are at least three pubs serving decent real ale. These are the Rose Villa Tavern, Red Lion and Lord Clifden. The Red Lion and Lord Clifden are both listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, whilst the Brown Lion has recently opened and is effectively the brewery tap for the local Two Towers Brewery. See the Google map below for their locations (this will require you to use the arrows to move the map down and then to the to show the Jewellery Quarter and pubs).

Alcohol is also available within the ground, albeit in plastic bottles/cans, in the form of Heineken (£4.50), John Smith’s (£4.50), and Bulmers Cider (£4.50), plus Red and White wine (£4.20).

Before settling in at the Hawthorns, West Brom had called many places home with none ever really being home. They played at Cooper’s Hill for a year, spent two years at Dartmouth Park whilst Bunn’s Field also hosted home games for a solitary season. Next up was a three year stay at Four Acres, a ground owned by the local Cricket Club before a 15 year spell at Stoney Lane. When the tenancy agreement on Stoney Lane expired, the Baggies move to the Hawthorns. The capacity during the early days stood at an impressive 35,000 and the club opted to buy the stadium 13 years after moving in; that was 1913. Within a decade of purchasing the ground, West Brom broke the 50k mark for attendance figures; it was largely underpinned by large terraces being built after World War One.

The next noteworthy changes to the stadium – apart form gradual increases in capacity – came in the late forties as the club became the first to install turnstiles that could automatically tot up the attendance figures. From there on out, changes to West Brom’s stadium were to reduce capacity. These alterations ticked two boxes; they saw additional seating, which was a growing trend and, more importantly, helped to control spiralling hooliganism. By the 1990s the Hawthorns was fully seated whilst the 2000s saw stand redevelopment to bring a more modern feel to the place.

The Hawthorns is located on the A41 (Birmingham-West Bromwich Road). If approaching from outside the area the ground is about half a mile from Junction 1 of the M5. On leaving the M5 take the A41 towards Birmingham, the ground is on your right. Beware though of speed cameras on this stretch of the A41.

Car Parking

Across the road from the entrance to the away end on Halfords Lane, is Sandwell Academy School, which offers secure matchday parking at £5 per car. However spaces must be pre-booked and paid online via the YourParkingSpace website. Alternatively, there are a few private matchday car parks at some local industrial units nearby, or at Hawthorns station which costs £4. David Dougal a visiting Sunderland fan informs me; ‘I parked at the Beeches Road Methodist Church (B70 6QE) at a cost of £5. It is covered by CCTV and is about a ten minute walk away from the Hawthorns. It was easy to get back on the M5 from the car park once the match is over.’  Just around the corner from the Vine pub on Roebuck Lane is a St John’s Ambulance Depot that offers matchday parking for £3. Otherwise street parking. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the Hawthorns Stadium via

Post Code for SAT NAV: B71 4LF

The Hawthorns has its own Railway and Metro Station which are about a five minute walk from the Hawthorns ground. They can be reached from Birmingham New Street, either by first taking a train to Smethwick Galton Bridge and changing there for the Hawthorns, or by taking a Metro Tram (which run every eight minutes on Saturday afternoons) from directly outside New Street Station. Total journey time by train is around 20-25 minutes, whilst the Metro is around 13 minutes.

Alternatively the Hawthorns Station is also served by direct trains from Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. The Metro Line also runs via Birmingham Snow Hill.

Please note though that rail tickets to the Hawthorns are not valid on the Metro line. A separate Metro journey ticket will need to be purchased..A one day saver ticket can be purchased for £5 (per Adult ticket), which covers the journey to the Hawthorns and back from either New Street or Snow Hill.

Travelling Down From The North West?

Matt Wharton informs me; ‘If you are travelling down from the North West and your train calls at Wolverhampton, Then it is a lot easier to get to Hawthorns using the Midland Metro from Wolverhampton. The tram leaves from Bilston Street. You can either off at the Kenrick Park stop for the Vine pub or the Hawthorns for stadium. Continuing by train from Wolverhampton into Birmingham New Street and then taking wither a train or Metro back out to the Hawthorns will add 45 minutes to one hour to your journey time.’

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:

Home Fans
West Stand:
Adults £23, Over 65’s £17, Under 23’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5
East Stand (Upper Tier):
Adults £23, Over 65’s £17, Under 23’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5
East Stand (Lower Tier):
Adults £20, Over 65’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5
Birmingham Road End:
Adults £20, Over 65’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5
Smethwick End:
Adults £20, Over 65’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5

Away Fans
Smethwick End: Adults £20, Over 65’s/Students £15, Under 18’s £10, Under 11’s £5

Official Programme £3.50

West Brom vs Wolves rivalry

West Brom vs Wolves is dubbed the Black Country derby and, somewhat surprisingly to most, it’s one of the fiercest rivalries England has. There are just 11 miles between the two clubs with clashes dating back some 140 years. The only reason it is not a better known clash is because the vast majority of the time the game has not graced the top flight; even so, head down to the West Brom ground on the day of a Black Country derby and sparks will fly.

West Brom vs Birmingham rivalry

This derby is another based on location, location, location. These two are more tightly located than many other more recognised derbies at just 15 miles but because both have bigger rivals to worry about, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Animosity does exist though.

West Brom vs Aston Villa rivalry

You can rinse and repeat the above here. West Brom and Aston Villa aren’t the best of friends; that’s clear on match days but because Villa have Birmingham and the Baggies have Wolves to hate, this fixture doesn’t get much focus until it lands on the calendar; that doesn’t make it friendly though.

West Bromwich Albion FC 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. You may also wish to check out the West Brom Disabled Supporters Club website.

Record Attendance

64,815 v Arsenal
FA Cup 6th Round, March 6th, 1937.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

27,751 v Portsmouth
Premier League, May 15th, 2005.

Average Attendance

2019-2020: 24,053 (Championship League)
2018-2019: 24,148 (Championship League)
2017-2018: 24,520 (Premier League)

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:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram

Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of the Hawthorns. The Hawthorns West Bromwich Albion Tour video was produced by IT10 Soccer and made publicly available via YouTube.