St Andrew’s is a football stadium in Birmingham, England, where Birmingham City Football Club has played for over a century. Between 2018 and 2021, it was called St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium due to sponsorship.
Built in 1906 to replace the Muntz Street ground, which had become too small, the original St Andrew’s could hold about 75,000 fans. It had one grandstand and a large open area for fans. Over the years, they made some changes, and by 1938-39, the official capacity was around 68,000. The highest attendance, around 66,844 or 67,341, was recorded at a 1939 FA Cup match against Everton. During World War II, the stadium suffered damage from bombs, and the grandstand, which was being used as a temporary fire station, burned down accidentally.
In the 1950s, they replaced the grandstand, added floodlights, and put a small stand and roofs over the open areas, but not much else changed. The stadium started to deteriorate, and during a riot in the 1980s, a boy was killed when a wall collapsed.
In 1993, new owners took over the club and began a six-year project to modernize the stadium. They turned it into an all-seater stadium to meet safety standards and rebuilt most parts except the Main Stand. Today, it can hold 29,409 fans and has event rooms for business or social occasions and a club store. There was a plan in 2004 to sell the stadium and move to a new one, but it didn’t happen. In 2013, it was listed as an Asset of Community Value.
St Andrew’s has hosted England international football matches at various levels and FA Cup semifinals and smaller competitions’ finals. Coventry City also used it as their home ground for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The stadium has hosted other sports like rugby and boxing and has more recently held music concerts.
St Andrew’s opened on December 26, 1906, in snowy conditions, with a goalless draw between Birmingham and Middlesbrough, witnessed by 32,000 fans. Despite the challenging weather, The Birmingham Daily Post praised the directors for providing an excellent ground.
The stadium was selected by The Football Association to host the 1907 FA Cup semifinal between The Wednesday and Woolwich Arsenal, with Wednesday winning 3-1. This was St Andrew’s first FA Cup match, as Birmingham lost their first match away from home. The club acquired the ground’s freehold in 1921 for under £7,000. In the 1930s, they added roofs to the Kop and Railway End terraces, and in 1939, a record attendance of 66,844 or 67,341 was set during a fifth-round FA Cup tie against Everton.
During World War I, the club contributed to the war effort by allowing their ground to be used as a rifle range for military training. When the Second World War began, the government prohibited all outdoor sports until they assessed safety concerns.
In 1941, St Andrew’s endured 20 direct hits from Luftwaffe bombings, resulting in the destruction of the Kop’s roof, severe damage to the Railway End, and the need for the team to play elsewhere. A new Main Stand, constructed in the early 1950s, introduced a propped cantilever roof design that improved spectator sightlines by reducing obstructive pillars. Floodlights were also installed and inaugurated during a friendly match against Borussia Dortmund in October 1956. By the early 1960s, a stand mirroring the Main Stand was added at the Railway End, the Kop received a new roof, and the Tilton Road end was covered for the first time.
The stadium features four stands, with the Main Stand (known as Garrison Lane Stand from 2010 to 2012) situated on the north side. Built in 1954, it accommodates fewer than 5,000 spectators. The upper tier houses the media area, corporate seating, and standard seating. The lower tier, known as the Paddocks, includes a few rows of seats placed on the uncovered terraced area in front of the stand, with some obstructed views due to the central tunnel and dugouts. In the 1970s, a row of executive boxes was added at the back of the Paddocks. The family area spans the eastern end of the Main Stand and the Paddock below. In 2009, the club planned £1.3 million worth of restructuring and refurbishment work on the stand, which included hospitality areas and offices. Seating was replaced in 2010, and the broadcasting gantry is located in the roof of this stand.
The highest attendance at St Andrew’s was recorded during a fifth-round FA Cup match against Everton on February 11, 1939, with figures reported variously as 66,844 or 67,341. In a league match, the highest attendance reached 60,250 when Birmingham faced Aston Villa in the First Division on November 23, 1935. The highest average attendance over a league season was 38,821 during the 1948-49 First Division season, while the lowest was 6,289 in the Second Division in 1988-89. After the stadium transitioned to an all-seater configuration, the record attendance stands at 29,588, established during a Premier League match against Arsenal on November 22, 2003.