Superb Stadium with an excellent atmosphere. Best parking 20 minutes away and walking in as its location isn't great unless you want to sit on a car park for an hour after the match.We love Pride Park and always enjoy ourselves especially at the start of the match when there is everything to play for.
Good facilities and easy access
Superb Stadium with an excellent atmosphere. Best parking 20 minutes away and walking in as its location isn't great unless you want to sit on a car park for an hour after the match.
Excellent ground and facilities though.
Took my son to his very first match... The staff were brilliant, they couldn't do enough.. the pitch looked immaculate. I see they had added a table football for the kids to use in the concourse.. still long queues for drinks but when you have 28k attendance I don't expect anything else
Planning and development Before moving to the Pride Park Stadium, Derby County had played at the Baseball Ground since 1895. Although at its peak the ground had held over 40,000 (the record attendance being 41,826 for a match against Tottenham Hotspur in 1969) the Taylor Report, actioned after the 1989Hillsborough Disaster had seen the legal requirement for English football stadia to become all-seater by 1994–95 season resulting in its capacity dwindling to just 17,500 by the mid-1990s, not enough for the then-ambitious second tier club. An additional problem came with the ground's wooden components (considered unacceptable in the wake of the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985) and, in February 1996, chairman Lionel Pickering made the decision to move the club to a new stadium, having originally planned to rebuild the Baseball Ground as a 26,000-seat stadium. The club originally planned to build a purpose-built 30,000-seat stadium at Pride Park, with 4,000 car parking spaces, restaurant and conference facilities, a fitness centre, a supporters club and new training ground. A year later the stadium plan was changed to become part of a £46 million project by the Stadivarios group that would also include a 10,000-seat indoor arena.Peter Gadsby, however, the club's associate director at the time and head of the Miller Birch construction company, felt the project was both too ambitious and expensive and instead plans were drawn up by new Chairman Lionel Pickering to modernise and extend the Baseball Ground to hold 26,000, at a cost of £10 million. However, despite signing a construction agreement with Taylor Woodrow, Gadsby suggested the club make a second attempt at securing the then-redeveloping Pride Park business park, settling with Derby City Council for a smaller site than previously agreed. On 21 February 1996, prior to a match against Luton Town at The Baseball Ground, the club announced to supporters the decision to move to a £16 million state-of-the-art stadium for the start of the 1997–98 season.
Derby City Council were paid £1.8 million for the land and the club's four directors – Lionel Pickering, Peter Gadsby, Stuart Webb and John Kirkland each paid £2.5 million towards a package deal to pay for the stadium. The stadium itself was based upon Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, which opened in 1995, though it had more than 30 amendments to the original plans. After toying with the idea of naming the new ground "The New Baseball Ground", it was settled that the club's new home would be called The Pride Park Stadium.
Construction Engaging the same architects as Middlesbrough (The Miller Partnership) Derby's plans predominantly followed those of the Riverside Stadium, with the first stage being a detached main stand facing a horseshoe running unbroken round the other three sides, with the possibility of the corners being filled in later and the ground's capacity being increased if and when necessary by raising the horseshoe roof.
Pickering laid the foundation stone in November 1995 and, after decontamination, the first of the more than 1,000 pre-cast concrete piles was sunk in September 1996. This was followed by 6,500 tonnes of concrete and more than 2,100 tonnes of steelwork as the ground began to take shape. Tapping into the excitement amongst supporters, the club set up a visitors centre which included a computer-generated tour of the stadium taking shape and attracted more than 75,000 fans. The opportunity was also made available for supporters to buy special bricks – on to which they could engrave a message of their choosing – which would be set around the outside of the completed stadium. The weather of the 1996 winter was not kind to the contractors but extra urgency was provided by the news that the stadium was to be opened by the Queen. This news – the first time the Queen had opened a new football stadium – ensured that the workers, at one point behind schedule, had to pull out all of the stops to get the stadium completed in time. The pitch stood at 105 metres (344 ft) long and 68 metres (223 ft) wide, meeting the requirements for an international venue, and measured five yards (4.6 m) longer and four yards (3.7 m) wider than the pitch at the Baseball Ground. It also came with a three-metre (9.8 ft) grass margin.
The Queen opened the stadium on 18 July 1997 in front of 30,000 spectators. By this time the south west corner, which stood between the main stand and the horseshoe, had been completed. The interest from potential corporate clients had been so high that Pickering pressed the board to go the full distance with the stadium, raising the final initial costs of completing the stadium to £22 million. Work was still in progress on the remaining corner on the opening day, leaving Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to jokingly ask Taylor Woodrow contract manager Ross Walters, "Haven't you been paid yet?" An overture to the opening ceremony came two weeks later, on 4 August 1997, with the first ever game at Pride Park Stadium being played against Italian side Sampdoria, the match ending in a 1–0 defeat with Vincenzo Montella scoring the only goal of the game. The attendance of 29,041 was the highest for a Derby County home game in 20 years. The fixture kicked off a tradition of pre-season friendlies being held against European teams at the ground, with Barcelona (twice), CSKA Moscow, Athletic Bilbao, Lazio, Ajax and Mallorca all visiting the stadium over the next six years. The first competitive fixture to be completed at the new stadium came on 30 August 1997 and ended in a 1–0 win against Barnsley in front of 27,232, with Stefano Eranio scoring the only goal from the penalty spot. The stadium's inaugural competitive fixture against Wimbledon was called off with the score at 2–1 after the floodlights went out in the 11th minute of the second half. Referee Uriah Rennie abandoned the match following a delay of more than half-an-hour while engineers tried unsuccessfully to restart two failed generators. Gadsby said, "We had 11 maintenance people on duty including six electricians but nobody has yet worked out why both generators failed. There was a bang of such strength that it fused them both." This proved to be the only major problem with the new stadium, which delivered everything which had been promised of it and went on to gain international recognition. Later additions to the ground raised the capacity to 33,597 and a final cost of £28 million.