Home of Port Vale FC

Opened 1950

Capacity 19,052

Rating: 4.2

(1096) Google Reviews

Lovely friendly club. Away fans are welcome in the club house and there was no hassle from the home fans. This welcome extends onto the terraces. The only downside, is that the away terrace has a gentle rake to it, making the pitch seem further away than most grounds. On a positive note a Diet Coke was £2 (Jan 2023) and juices (cordial?) were available for a pound.
profile image
2 months ago
Went Vale Park for the recent Robbie Concert - although I would say that the exits where not very suitable for a very large scale event like that - everything else was fantastically setup, organised and run. The layout of food and drink vendors was well thought out and I've NEVER seen that many toilets available at a stadium concert before. The actual grounds were clean and well maintained and overall I had a great experience there.
profile image
9 months ago
Cracking traditional stadium. Felt like a cow shed on entry (comment stolen from my mate!). 40% filled by us Derby County fans. Amazing last 10-15 mins with terrific atmosphere and couple of goals to secure the away win. All the staff, stewards, police were good. Shame the bar ran out of sausage rolls for my mate…
profile image
2 months ago
I attended Vale Park for the Robbie Williams Homecoming concert so can't review based on a football match, but in terms of the concert what a fantastic night, has to queue alot but the lay out and planning was fantastic, plenty of food and drink facilities and plenty of toilets, the grounds were very clean and tidy and I had a absolutely fantastic night
profile image
9 months ago
Visit for Robbie Williams concert. Could have been better organised with more entrances, more food places and mech stands. Given the place normally does football games, that’s all a disappointment. Concert itself was great.
profile image
9 months ago
Be the first to comment!
0 / 1000
17 + 63 = ?

History (from Wikipedia)

Following the club being informed that they would be evicted from The Old Recreation Ground by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, plans for a new stadium in a new area began to be made.[12] In 1944 Hamil Road – the site of a former clay pit – was chosen,[13] a site opposite Burslem Park, where the club had played its football in the early years of its existence.[12] The development became known as The Wembley of the North due to the planned size of the stadium,[14][15] plans which included an 80,000 capacity with room for 1,000 parked cars.[12] The club's leadership had not allowed the club's third tier status or their lack of money to curb their ambition.[12] Life-time seats were sold for £100 (the price of admission for roughly 200 matches) but fewer than 100 fans bought them.[12] Also costing £100, the pitch was the most expensive ever laid in the country at the time.[12]

The ground opened in 1950 having eventually cost £50,000, and boasting a capacity of 40,000 (360 seated).
[12] The original ground consisted of just two stands, the Railway stand and the Lorne Street main stand, with banks of terracing at the Bycars and Hamil ends of the ground. The Bycars end was originally the Swan Passage stand from the Old Recreation Ground, which was taken apart, moved acros the city and re-erected as the funds for an entirely new stand had ran out.[16] The first match was a 1–0 victory over Newport County on 24 August 1950 in front of 30,196 rain-soaked spectators.[12] Walter Aveyard took the honour of being the first to score at the ground. On the same day the stadium's name was revealed for the first time – Vale Park.[12]

Vale Park initially had problems with drainage, causing many games of the 
1950–51 season to be postponed.[17] The problem was finally resolved in summer 1960, when new drains were installed to help ease the winter mud spots.[17]

summer 1951, 578 seats were installed on the Railway Terrace, bringing the seated capacity of Vale Park to 1,010.[17] In 1954 the Railway Stand was built, as capacity gradually increased to 50,000 by the end of the decade.[12] On 24 September 1958, Vale Park saw its first match under the new £17,000 floodlights, as the club beat West Bromwich Albion 5–3.[17]

summer 1973, the club erected a 2.5 feet high steel fence around the Bycars End to help combat hooliganism.[18] A rare event occurred on 17 January 1976, when the Vale directors permitted rivals Stoke to play a home game against Middlesbrough at Vale Park.[18] This happened because a severe gale severely damaged the Victoria Ground, whilst the gale also caused £2,000 worth of damage to Vale Park, the damage to Stoke's ground was much more severe.[18] A crowd of 21,009 saw Stoke win 1–0.

summer 1985 new safety regulations reduced Vale Park's capacity down to 16,800, and later again to 16,300.[19] The summer of 1988 saw Vale Park given a £40,000 upgrade to repair the floodlights and a £20,000 electronic scoreboard was installed at the Hamil End.[19] Three executive boxes were also purchased from Newcastle United, whilst facilities were opened to the local community.[19] The following year the stadium was upgraded at a cost of £250,000, though grants helped to halve the cost for the club itself.[19] In November 1989 a £100,000 disabled stand was installed –the first purpose built enclosure of its kind in the country.[20] Despite this effort, inspectors closed the Bycars End down due to safety issues, and reduced the stadium's capacity to 12,000 after cutting the capacity of the Railway Paddock by two-thirds.[19]

summer 1990, 3,750 yellow and white seats were fitted in the Railway Paddock, and 1,121 seats were added to the upper tier of the Bycars End.[19] The Bycars End roof was also removed for safety reasons, whilst a police box was constructed between the Railway Paddock and the Hamil End.[19] The paddock at the front of the Railway Stand was later made into an all-seated area, with just the Lorne Street side left as a standing area. Vale fans stood for the last time on Lorne Street at the end of the 1997–98 season, with the stand being demolished before work began on a new £3 million structure. Work has yet to be finished on this, due to lack of finances and a change in ownership of the club. Despite the building work remaining uncompleted, the work done on the stadium under Bill Bell from 1985 had vastly improved the ground, as proven by the fact that sheep were once housed in the Railway Paddock toilets and allowed to graze on the pitch in the night; the toilets were notoriously unhygienic, and were replaced under Bill Bratt's reign in 2006.[21]

The Valiant 2001 Charter stated that Bratt's management team would invest £400,000 to install under-soil heating in mid-2002, and to also quickly complete the Lorne Street stand.
[22] However it took until 2020 for the seats to be installed.[23] Chairman Norman Smurthwaite separated Vale Park from Port Vale after taking the club out of administration in 2012.[24] New high-tech floodlights were fitted in March 2019, paid for by the club's shirt sponsor.[25] The stadium's ownership was returned to the club after Smurthwaite sold the club to Carol and Kevin Shanahan in May 2019.[26] Five months later it was declared an "asset of community value status" by Stoke-on-Trent city council.[27]

Things to do near the stadium.

Frankie & Benny's.

11 Reviews
Photo of Tiffany H.

Amazing food, amazing service time and amazing staff. One of my favourite place to eat when I visit home, the staff honestly make this place. Each and... Read More

Photo of Dave B.

Love the food and music they play. Too many people having birthdays at the same time though which can be annoying when they are so loud but I can buy ear... Read More

Photo of portvale

Frankie & Benny's is one of my favourite restaurants. It has got good access for disabled. The place is always clean and tidy. The staff are polite and... Read More

La Bella Napoli.

9 Reviews
Photo of James T.

Our family favorite goto Italian food. This place is friendly family oriented vibe. Chef is amazing. Read More

Photo of Tracey W.

Superb authentic Italian cuisine and wonderful friendly staff. We had spaghetti Bolognese and bruschetta for starters with a delicious side salad. The... Read More

Photo of Ryan D.

Every time I come to Stoke, I hit this place up. The food is fantastic! Take a shot, you won't be disappointed! Read More