MEMS Priestfield Stadium

Capacity11 582
Country England
CityGillingham
ClubsGillingham FC
Other names Priestifeld Road (1893-1947), KRBS Priestfield Stadium (2007-2010)
Inauguration 02.09.1893
Renovations 1899, 1908, 1913, 1955, 1963, 1987, 1997, 1999-2000, 2003-2004
Record attendance 23 002 (Gillingham - QPR, 10.01.1948)
Address Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, ME7 4DD

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Description: Priestfield Stadium

It isn’t completely clear whether the ground took its name from the street it was build along or the other way round. Fact is that until 1947 the venue was called Priestfield Road, only then changing Road for Stadium. But let’s start from the beginning…

The club – initially known as Brompton FC – bought a plot for their first ground back in 1893 and opened it in September of that year. With one stand for 500 people and hundreds of others flocking to the slopes and fences around the pitch. First expansion took place in 1899, then in 1908 and 1913 (first covered stand) came further works that increased capacity by – as it was popular back then – terraces mostly. What was also popular was sheep grazing during the week and non-sporting events like smoking concerts having their time as well.

With these steps “Gills” reached 20,000 by 1940’s and had their record audience of over 23,000 during a game against QPR in 1948. Then came the largest one-phase redevelopment that saw pitch leveled (wasn’t really horizontal before that) and two more stands built. No big capacity increase, though. Until 1980’s it was around 22,000 people with other improvements having priority, like floodlight masts (1963).

After safety revolution inside British stadia further works had to come and between 1997 and 2004 all stands were replaced. However last one, behind one of the goals, was changed for a temporary structure as the club decided to seek a site to relocate to. To date there is no decision on that issue and so the temporary stand still exists.

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