The Checkatrade.com Stadium was opened in 1997 and as such has a very nice new feel to it. However, with promotion to the football league and the recent cash injection, an expansion may not be far away. Only the West Stand is seated and the North and South terraces behind the goals have very little gradient making it tough to see if you're not at the front. The East terrace is open to the elements and has no slope. It wouldn't surprise me to see the owners pushing a stadium expansion to future proof their investment.
Visiting supporters are situated on the North terrace where approximately 1,500 fans can be catered for. The facilities within the stand are basic but clean and the food is reasonably priced. There are a small number of seats made available to away supporters in the West Stand.
CheckATrade.Com Stadium seating plan:
There is a fantastic little social club on site at the stadium called Redz, which is definitely worth a visit. There's a bar, small selection of food and tv's to watch early kick off's. It's generally designated for home fans but keep away shirts covered and you'll be fine.
If you're looking for something else, the Imperial pub is about 5 minutes walk away. It's situated right in the centre of Broadfield and it's postcode is RH11 9BA. I'm told that away fans are welcome and colours can be worn. Another option is the Half Moon on Brighton Road. Also a 5 minute stroll from the ground. If you're into Indian food, locals say that the bet curry in town is served up at The Downsman Pub. Worth a visit.
There is a large car park available for use at the stadium at a cost of just £2 per vehicle. As with most club car parks, you'll need to be aware of the slow exit time after games, especially when there's been a decent sized crowd attending the match. This will obviously be more usual with the extra fan base now they're in the football league.
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The nearest / closest train station to Crawley Town's Checkatrade.com Stadium is Crawley. It's approximately a 5 minute taxi ride to the ground from here.
To walk you need to turn left out of the station. After about 300 yards turn left onto the Brighton Road and cross the railway bridge. Continue along the road for approximately half a mile until you see the stadium on your right. Use the underpass to get to the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Rivals - Brighton, Aldershot
Travel: I only made our mind up about four hours prior to kick off due to the aforementioned bad weather, but an easy train ride up and a leisurely stroll to the ground from Crawley Railway Station. It had now stopped raining, so the match was bound to go ahead.
Refreshments: I had a couple of pints in the town centre Wetherspoons and as always seems to be the case, I didn't see any Crawley fans until we reached the ground.
Impressions: It's modern but quite pleasant in a bland sort of way. The Stags fans had the covered terrace behind one goal, and a block of seats alongside. There's a covered terrace for home fans behind the other goal, and seated stands along the sides of the pitch. Standing was only £16 which isn't bad for a Football League ground. Nothing particularly quirky or of note anywhere else in the stadium.
Atmosphere: Stags had lost their last 3 away games after astonishingly only losing once in an away game before February, so the recent run of poor form showed normal service had been resumed. An away support of 219 isn't bad on a wet Tuesday night in Crawley (They only bought 24 up to Field Mill) and we were treated to a dull 0-0 draw. In fairness, either team could have won it, with Stags goalie Conrad Logan pulling off a great double save just before half time, but Tyler Walker hit the post in the last minute for Stags and Jorge Grant blasted a free kick over in stoppage time. A draw was about right. There was little atmosphere. The stewards were all nice and friendly (a very easy night for them), but the food was godawful. About 3 seasons back I had one of the nicest pies ever on sale both in Crawley's social club and in the ground itself. For the last three seasons pies have sold out before kick off in the away end, leaving only sausage rolls, hot dogs, and one of the worst burgers I've ever eaten. £4.50 for this rubbish isn't on, Crawley. Get more proper pies in. Incidentally, the pies are advertised as 'Tasty pies', so does this mean if on sale you can also get; 'Tasteless pies' somewhere in the ground? I need to know! The loos are dead clean and modern and have liquid soap and (wait for it) hot running water. Unheard of in stadia in the 1970s and 1980S, and still hard to find in many a league ground even now.
Exit: Despite having been here many times before, in our hurry to get to the train station we somehow took a wrong turning due to the many subways outside the ground and had to get a bus back to the town centre or risk getting lost. All was well though as we made our connection back to the coast with but a minute to spare.
Enjoy: Crawley is a gentle away game for anyone and I was reasonably happy with a draw. The programme and food were poor and the ground fairly uninteresting, but it's still somewhere worth visiting, if only for the general friendliness of all concerned with the club.
Ground Name: CheckATrade.Com Stadium
Capacity: 4,995 (1,150 seated)
Address: Brighton Rd, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9RX
Main Tel No.: 01293 410 000
Team Nickname: Red Devils
Year Ground Opened: 1997
Online Shop: CTFC Photos