Carrow Road is a British football stadium in Norwich, England. It is the home ground of Norwich City Football Club who currently play in the Football League Championship. The ground's capacity is currently 26,034.
Carrow Road football stadium was opened in 1935 after Norwich City moved from their dilapidated previous ground, fittingly named 'The Nest
' on Rosary Road. It became the third ground that the club had inhabited since their inception in 1902. The current stadium consists of four stands; 'The Barclay' (the north-eastern stand), the 'Norwich and Peterborough Stand' (the south-western stand), the 'Geoffrey Watling City Stand' (the north-western stand) and the most recent addition, the 'Jarrold Stand' (the south-eastern stand).
The first competitive match at Carrow Road ended in a 4-3 victory against West Ham United on August 31 1935 (att 29,779). The first competitive goal was scored by Norwich's Doug Lochead in that game.
The record attendance for a home game at the stadium was 43,984 in 1963, versus Leicester City Football Club in the sixth round of the FA Cup. Norwich lost 0-2. However, this record was established nearly thirty years before all-seater stadia became mandatory for all English league football clubs, a factor that severely limited the capacity of all football stadia. The record attendance for an all-seated crowd at Carrow Road is 25,522 for the Premiership match against Manchester United on April 9 2005, a match Norwich won 2-0 and which is now considered as one of their greatest results since their European successes - in particular against Bayern Munich in 1993.
Carrow Road has had two new scoreboards put in place at the start of the 2007-08 season. The boards are in the same locations as the previous ones - at the Barclay End and the Norwich & Peterborough Stand. They are full colour with scope for still and moving images.
'Norwich & Peterborough Stand'
The previous 'River End' (named due to it being close to the River Wensum) stand was demolished in April 1979 and its two-tiered replacement, costing £1.7m, was completed in December 1979. Its name was changed to the 'Norwich & Peterborough Stand' in the 90s due to a sponsorship deal with the Norwich & Peterborough building society.
The old 'Barclay End' was demolished in 1992 and a new two-tier structure, modelled on the 'River End' (now the 'Norwich & Peterborough Stand') was built at a cost of £2.8m (offset by a £2m grant from the Football Trust). The stand is named after Captain Evelyn Barclay, a former vice-president of the club who donated the roof costs for the previous stand and is often incorrectly referred to as the 'Barclay Stand'. Floodlights are supported on both corners of the 'Barclay End' and the 'Norwich & Peterborough' stands, which are the ends behind the goals. The fans in the Barclay end tend to be the loudest supporters of the team
'Geoffrey Watling City Stand'
The single-tiered 'Geoffrey Watling City Stand' was built following a severe fire in its ageing predecessor on 25 October 1984, and to meet the required safety standards demanded of English football following the Hillsborough disaster
in 1989. The fire was apparently caused by an employee of the club leaving a three-bar electric fire switched on overnight. The City Stand (as it was named at the time) cost £1.7 million to build and was used for the first time on 30 August 1986 when City hosted Southampton. It was formally opened by the Duchess of Kent on 14 February 1987. "Coming to a football match within the City Stand is very much like going to the theatre – the only difference being that our stage is covered with grass." declared chairman at the time Robert Chase
. The stand was renamed in honour of Norwich City president Geoffrey Watling, who died in 2004.
The stand is the smallest of the four in terms of capacity, but comprises Directors' Box, Press Area, and various other hospitality suites. This stand extends around to meet both the 'Barclay End' and the 'Norwich & Peterborough Stand', the corner with the 'Barclay End' is dubbed 'The Snakepit' by supporters, and is even sometimes called so in official match reports.
Construction of the 'Jarrold Stand' started in 2003 following the demolition of the 'South Stand' and was completed in January 2004. It was partially opened for the game against Sheffield United on 31 January 2004, and fully opened for the next home match against West Ham United on 21 February 2004. This was a landmark of sorts for the stadium, as it represented the final stand of the original ground to be replaced.
The 'Jarrold Stand', sponsored by a local department store, is a cantilever, single-tiered, all-seated stand, that can hold up to 8,000 supporters. It is unusual in having not one, but three separate television gantries suspended beneath its largely perspex roof.
This stand was further extended in 2005 (opened 2006) and now extends around the 'Norwich and Peterborough Stand' corner of the ground.
Holiday Inn Hotel
The remaining corner (between the 'Barclay End' and the 'Jarrold Stand') has been filled with a hotel. A contract was signed with the Holiday Inn
hotel chain in 2005, and construction commenced in 2006. This was one of two options, the other being to fill in this space with seats. However, the club decided against this due to possible segregation problems that might arise (such a stand would enclose the away supporters with home fans on each side), and the potentially greater revenue of the hotel (as opposed to ticket sales). The hotel opened in 2007 and allows customers with pitch-facing rooms to watch matches.
The club have plans to increase the capacity of the stadium should the club win promotion to the Premiership
and bring in extra funds to finance the expansion. This would include building a second tier on the 'Geoffrey Watling City Stand' and would take the capacity to over 30,000.
- 2007–08: 24,527 (Football League Championship)
- 2006–07: 24,544 (Football League Championship)
- 2005–06: 24,833 (Football League Championship)
- 2004–05: 24,350 (Premier League)
- 2003–04: 18,866 (Football League First Division) (Jarrold Stand rebuilding for first half of the season)
- 2002–03: 20,352 (Football League First Division)
Carrow Road has never hosted a match involving the England national football team, but the England Under-21 team has played at the stadium on three occasions. The first was in 1983 in a European Under-21 Championship qualifying match against Denmark, which England won 4–1. The team played another qualifying match in the same tournament at the stadium in 1997, beating Greece 4–2. This game saw Michael Owen's only ever appearance for the England Under-21 side, before his subsequent rise to fame in the senior national team. As part of their preparations for the 2007 finals of the European Championship tournament, the England Under-21s played Slovakia in a friendly match at the ground in June 2007. England won 5–0 in front of a crowd of 20,193 people.
Games involving the England Under-19 team and the full England women's team have also been played at the stadium. The women's team have played there on two occasions; the first a 1–0 defeat to Nigeria in 2002, in front of 8,000 fans, and the second a 1–0 victory over Iceland in 2006. The latter game's attendance of 9616 was the largest crowd that had watched a friendly game involving the women's team.
The stadium has also occasionally hosted music concerts. Status Quo
played a concert there in 1997. Elton John
, supported by Lulu
, appeared at the venue in 2005, performing what was at the time the largest concert ever to have been staged in Norwich. George Michael
gave a performance there on June 12 2007
, supported by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
. The John and Michael concerts both attracted crowds of over 20,000 people. Andrew Cullen, the director of sales and marketing for the Carrow Road ground, told BBC Radio Norfolk
prior to the George Michael performance that he hoped such concerts would become an annual summer event for the venue, if big enough star names could be attracted.
- The original ground took just 82 days to build. Construction began on June 11 1935, and City's first game took place against West Ham United on August 31 1935.
- The music played after each home goal is Samba De Janiero by Bellini.
- The 92-page match programme for Norwich City matches costs £3.
- Additionally available is the Golden Goal card costing £1. If one of your times (mins:secs) matches any goal, you win a prize, with consolation prizes for being up to 4 seconds out.