Unlike the town’s iconic church, Chesterfield’s PROACT stadium isn’t crooked. We visited this ground, as Chesterfield played host to fellow National League relegation threatened side, FC Halifax Town. Here’s our away guide for the Derbyshire-based club.
Chesterfield’s PROACT stadium, formerly known as the b2net stadium, is an all-seater stadium with four separate stands. This ground is relatively new, after replacing the old Saltergate Recreation Ground, as the club’s stadium in 2010.
All four of the stands are of a similar height, with the two long ways stands having a slight curve in the roof that looks aesthetically pleasing. One of these stands is the West Stand. This single-tiered stand has all of the executive boxes, the tunnel (in the centre of it), and a director’s box situated in it. The East Stand that is opposite, is slightly bigger, with a capacity of 3,144 seats here. This stand also houses the gantry.
Quite uniquely, on the exterior of the East Stand there is a community building which includes a cafe, ‘Chester’s Den’, a play area, a gym with a therapy pool, a sports hall, and classrooms. This was opened by the club’s community trust in 2013.
The two stands (North and South) behind both goals are the same capacity and are again, single-tiered. Normally, away fans are housed in the North Stand, but with the Spireites dropping from the Football League, a section of the East Stand is used most of the time instead. This was the case with our most recent trip there.
Outside, the ground looks pleasing too. There are two metal spire sculptures, a testament to the town’s iconic crooked church in the main entrance to the car park, near the main reception. This is also the place to go, should you be wanting to gain any autographs from the players.
The leg room is good around the stadium, and whilst the stands aren’t the steepest you’ll see, the view is very good with no restricted viewing. Noise is also kept rather well inside the ground, due to the nature of the low roofing.
The only real critique we have of this venue is that there is no lettering on the seats, which does make it look a little plain.
The atmosphere here has been generally good. We’ve visited this ground on a few occasions, but with both the home side and the away side looking to preserve their league status in our most recent trip, it made for an even greater atmosphere. All things considered, we’d rate the atmosphere a 3/5 here.
Ben Rowland, a member of FC Halifax Town’s media team said to The Groundhopping Hub: “It’s a very nice ground. Particularly for non-league level. Everyone there was friendly and welcoming to us. The staff and stewards were also extremely helpful. I’d recommend visiting here.”
Pubs for away fans:
There’s a good selection of pubs near the ground and along the walk from the train station. The Crown and Anchor and the St. Helen’s pub on the route from the train station. On Sheffield Road opposite the ground, there’s also the popular choice named, The Spireite Pub. This pub does permit away fans entry but can be very busy on a match day.
Travelling by train:
The walk from the station takes around 25 minutes. There is also a taxi rank at the stadium if you don’t fancy it, but the walk is a pleasant one and it takes you past numerous pubs and food outlets.
Capacity of stadium: 10,400
Club nickname: Spireites
Programme cost: £3
Cost of a pie: £3 (Heads up, the chicken Balti pie had some big chunks of chicken which was nice, but was lacking in flavour, in our opinion.)
Chesterfield may not be on the top of many groundhoppers’ lists, but it’s a nice ground in a nice area, with some great friendly pubs around the stadium. It’s well worth the trip and clearly standouts as one of the best places in the National League, for a variety of reasons.