|Stadium Name:||Selhurst Park|
History of the stadium
Selhurst Park has been the home stadium of Crystal Palace since 1924 and is world-renowned for its atmosphere. Eagles supporters can make their ground in Croydon an intimidating venue for any side.
Illustrious Scottish architect Archibald Leitch designed Selhurst Park among the array of stadia in his portfolio in the early 20th century. Crystal Palace instructed the designer to create their new ground after a long-sought bid to move away from their temporary Croydon Common Athletic Ground home.
Crystal Palace had moved into the Croydon Common Athletic Ground after its initial tenants, Croydon Common FC, folded in 1917. The Eagles saw it as their chance to leave the Herne Hill Velodrome. But the club soon began to seek a new venue and initiated the purchase process for a new home in 1919.
Crystal Palace bought the land for Selhurst Park in 1922
The outbreak of World War I forced Crystal Palace to seek a new stadium as the Admiralty seized the Crystal Palace and its grounds. It had been the club’s home since they were founded as a professional outfit in 1905. The Eagles would pick the Herne Hill Velodrome to stay close to their roots in Croydon.
Yet after a brief spell at the home of West Norwood FC and a move to the Croydon Common Athletic Ground, the chance arose for Crystal Palace to buy a site in Selhurst. The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company would eventually sell the former brickfield to the Eagles for £2,750 in 1922.
Two years of construction work would then see Crystal Palace move into Selhurst Park in 1924 and in doing so, find their home stadium. But the ground today is vastly different to the venue that the Lord Mayor of London opened that August. It initially featured just one grandstand, which was unfinished.
Industrial action delayed the completion of the work to build the first iteration of Selhurst Park. But it was soon hosting international matches as England faced Wales there in 1926. While further changes to the infrastructure at Crystal Palace’s site saw the ground hold events for the 1948 Olympic games.
Changes continued thereafter with Crystal Palace installing the first floodlights at Selhurst Park come 1953. Further revisions followed in 1969 with the addition of another grandstand following the club’s first rise into the top-flight. While changes followed to the Holmesdale Road and Main Stand, as well.
Financial issues forced Crystal Palace to sell the freehold to Selhurst Park
But financial issues arose in 1981 which saw Crystal Palace sell land and part of the Whitehorse Lane terrace to Sainsbury’s. Ron Noades also later bought Selhurst Park off Crystal Palace in 1986 to raise further revenue. He continued to own the freehold of the stadium until 2006 when it sold for £12m.
Simon Jordan used a property company to front his bid to buy Selhurst Park during his tenure as the club’s chairman. Yet Rock Investments, the property company run by Paul Kemsley, continued to own the freehold in 2007. It also told Jordan to pay £15m to buy the freehold having not done so already.
Jordan ultimately entered into a 25-year lease agreement in 2008. But Kemsley’s own financial issues saw Selhurst Park fall under Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ control. A year-long fight ensued before CPFC 2010 saved the Eagles from extinction by reaching an agreement over the £4m sale of Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace have plans in the pipeline to redevelop Selhurst Park
The deal reached in 2010 saw Crystal Palace unite with their stadium as a company for the first time since 1998. While plans have been afoot since 2018 to redevelop Selhurst Park in a £100m expansion project. It would increase the ground’s capacity from its current 25,486 to a potential limit of 33,674.
Crystal Palace announced in 2022 that Croydon councillors had approved their planning application to expand Selhurst Park. The blueprints boast a new Main Stand to transform the infrastructure first erected in 1924. But discussions remained ongoing about buying back the land sold to Sainsbury’s.
How to get to Selhurst Park
Fans can get to Selhurst Park through a variety of means given the location of Crystal Palace’s home stadium. It is set in the heart of Selhurst, an area in the London Borough of Croydon. So, it is only 15 minutes away from the Selhurst, Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction train stations when walking.
Alternatively, Crystal Palace provide free bicycle storage by entrance nine at Selhurst Park that opens three hours before a kick-off. While a number of bus routes operate in all directions from the ground.
The Eagles also warn fans pondering getting to Selhurst Park by private vehicles that parking on most of the roads surrounding Crystal Palace’s stadium are permit-holders only. But fans can reach the site through private vehicles using the postcode SE25 6PU, which mostly exits the M25 at junction seven.
Stadium tour information
Crystal Palace run guided tours of Selhurst Park, offering access to areas of their historic stadium that were previously unavailable to the public. Visitors attending tours of the ground can now see behind the scenes and access the home and away dressing rooms, the press room and some of the lounges.
Fans also get to see Crystal Palace’s trophy cabinet and learn about the history of Crystal Palace as a club. While the Eagles further run a separate accessible tour around Selhurst Park upon request.
|Prices:||Selhurst Park stadium tours|
Selhurst Park: Whitehorse Lane, London, England, SE25 6PU