Argyle on tour!! My grandchildren and me have come 300 miles to watch our team at Abbey Road. We came by train and have walked the City and the river Cam. Its all very beautiful......watch out for the crazy cyclists everywhere....they come from all directions!! The stadium is bigger than I expected but it's miles from the city centre. The away end seems to be the most modern but strangely it is quite a way back from the goal mouth. Bizarre. The rest of the stadium is bitty and not aesthetically pleasing. However, their support was good even though we outsang them. The tannoy is ineffective and very tinny. They outplayed us and we were beaten 2 nil.....but we were still singing at the end of the match. On to the next match. Good luck to United...they had plenty of character and tenacity and a good defence. 300 miles back to Plymouth tomorrow via London for a few hours....
A good old football ground. Perhaps seen better days but i'd rather have an old ground with character than some soulless modern stadium!. You can only buy beer in the north stand if you're a member of the social club, however if you sit in the family stand you can buy a pint at half time. Prices for tickets, drinks and snacks are all reasonable considering it's Cambridge.
Abbey United (as the club were then known) had moved to Parker's Piece at the start of the 1930–31 season. Despite the special significance of Parker's Piece in the history of football, it being the first place where the Cambridge Rules were played out, the lack of spectator capacity and disruption caused during games meant this move was not a successful one. Henry Francis, then president of the club, offered United a lifeline in 1931 when he donated land he had acquired to the club, and erected a grandstand and changing rooms on it. This land, where United have been resident since, was close to one of the club's former grounds (known as the Celery Trenches) where, with the approval of the Cambridgeshire FA, the club played while the new ground was being prepared. The first match at the newly constructed Abbey (though it was not known as this until 1961) was played on 31 August 1932 against Cambridge University Press. A grandstand was not opened until March 1934, and subsequent stands were constructed between a period of many years up until 1954 when the final terrace, on the west of the ground (now the 'Habbin Stand'), was completed. Much redevelopment has occurred since including the redevelopment of the main stand to include a roof and extra seating and, most recently, the erection of a new all-seated stand at the south of the ground to replace the original open terrace that had stood there since 1966. Despite planning permission being granted for further development, as part of the same scheme, at the north end of the ground (including an 86-bedroom hotel, retail space, new offices and a new supporters club), financial difficulties meant this has yet to be entered into. In the 1991-92 season, Cambridge were challenging for promotion to the forthcoming new Premier League and were faced with the prospect of changing Abbey Stadium into an all-seater venue, as all teams in the highest two divisions of the English league were obliged to be all-seater by 1994 due to the changes in legislation that followed the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. But due to Cambridge's subsequent decline (they were back in the lowest division of the Football League within four years) meant that the ground has changed very little in the last 15 years, and with standing accommodation still permitted below the second tier of the English league there has been little pressure to make the stadium all-seater and in 2001 the club's directors stated that it was their intention to retain standing accommodation for as long as they are at a level that will permit it.
The same financial difficulties meant the Abbey Stadium land, donated to the club by Henry Francis in 1931, was sold to then director John Howard's company Bideawhile 445 Ltd. in December 2004. Although the club confirmed in January 2006 it had "reached an agreement in principle" to buy back the ground, this has not yet happened, but is seen as crucial in safeguarding its long term financial security. Also in January 2006, John Howard announced plans to move out of the Abbey Stadium to a new purpose built stadium in Milton. These were criticised by fans as risking the club's identity by moving out of the city and, despite Howard describing them as crucial to the club's future, little else has been heard of them since.
In April 2008, the club announced that for the first time, the corporate naming rights in the stadium had been sold. Although the club's Chief Executive Norman Gautrey acknowledged that the fans would 'mourn the passing' of the Abbey Stadium name, it was stated to be crucial to the club's finances given the high annual rent on the ground. Trade Recruitment began a five-year sponsorship deal on 1 May 2008 for a total fee of £250,000. In the June 2009 a new deal was announced with a St Ives-based legal firm to rename the stadium as the R Costings Abbey Stadium. In March 2010 Cambridge Fans United started a project to purchase the Abbey Stadium from Bideawhile 445 Ltd. The attempt was unsuccessful and the stadium was sold to Grosvenor Estates for £3.5m. Positive talks between the club and Grosvenor have resulted in a "significant" rent reduction from the annual £240,000 being paid to previous ground owners Bideawhile over the next three years. Cambridge United, Grosvenor and their development partners, Great Shelford-based Wrenbridge, have also shaken hands on a memorandum of understanding to consider options for a new community stadium in Cambridgeshire.