12:32 28 June 2012
By Gareth Willsher
Your guide to the home of the Cobblers
Ballast Nedam Construction Limited were appointed the design and build contractor for Northampton Borough Council's new Sixfields "Community" Stadium in December 1993. The design was carried out in close liaison with Northampton Borough Council and was completed in October 1994, the first match took place on 15th October against Barnet Football Club.
The Taylor Report has created a situation whereby clubs are seeking an innovating, cost effective way of meeting the demanded recommendations. In many cases clubs will chose to redevelop their existing ground where possible, although in some cases this is not possible and therefore the need arises for clubs to relocate. Football Clubs and Local Councils now appreciate that what appeared to be problem in achieving this can, with sound advice, become an exciting opportunity resulting in the Community having an attractive new facility which can be utilised for numerous sporting fixtures and entertainment events such as pop concerts.
Northampton's Sixfields Stadium is an example of such a development. A multi-use facility which can accommodate in excess of 7,500 seated spectators, with provisions for the disabled. The stadium is also used for American Football, Rugby League and Athletics and has hosted various Semi-Professional International Rugby matches.
The Main West Stand can accommodate 4,000 seated spectators and incorporates a glazed upper concourse for supporters with refreshment facilities. The ground floor includes changing facilities, provisions for First Aiders, Stewards and Match Officials, there is also a Supporters bar complimented by several Executive Lounges and a Restaurant.
The Dave Bowen Stand (North) and South Stands are identical, each containing just under 1,000 seats and both are capable of future extension. Similarly the East (Family) Stand is also capable of extension, and incorporates modern changing facilities for the Athletics Club, an All Weather track and provides space for the Football in the Community office.
Access to the Stadium can be obtained via 14 turnstiles which in one hour can access over 9,000 spectators. The Taylor report suggests that the maximum exit time for a Stadium should be eight minutes, Sixfields has been designed to allow spectators to leave the Stadium in five and a half minutes. The aisles, staircases and exit gates have flow rate capabilities to maintain this standard.
As recommended, 1% of the Stadium capacity is allocated for wheelchair users. Wheelchair spectators have the choice of viewing matches from any Stand, there is also an elevated section in the East Stand solely for wheelchair users which is accessible via a lift. All wheelchair spaces have accompanying companion/carer seats.
Visiting supporters are situated in the South Stand, if as occasionally is the case that the visitors require more than the capacity of the South Stand then a further 423 East Stand seats can be made available. Parking for supporters coaches is adjacent to the South Stand.
Northampton Town Football Club offices and the Club shop are located in the South West corner of the Stadium on two floors, along with the match control tower.
Ballast Nedam Construction Limited are a nationwide company with worldwide links, a combination which offers significant benefits to their clients. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ballast Nedam NV with a turnover approaching £1 billion and a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation in building, civil and marine engineering and dredging.
The commercial and financial backing, experience and resources available through Ballast Nedam NV provide the high level of reassurance demanded by today's discerning customer. Ballast Nedam's UK head office is located in Bromley, Kent and there are long established regional offices throughout the country.
Ballast Nedam have designed and built Stadiums and sports facilities throughout Europe and in the United Kingdom. The current track record and reputation of the company paid dividends when they were awarded the coveted contract to build the 50,000 all seater multi-purpose Stadium (with sliding roof!) in Amsterdam which was completed in 1996 and is the home ground for Ajax Football Club.
In July 2013 Coventry City Football Club agreed a 3 year deal to play their home games at Sixfields on a temporary basis, before they returned to the Ricoh Arena in August 2014.
The stadium is currently being redeveloped, and the East Stand re-opened to supporters in April 2016.