Underhill Stadium

Underhill is the home of Barnet F.C. It is situated in Barnet in the London Borough of Barnet and has a capacity of 6,200. The stadium is famous for its slope from the North to South end. It is also used for Arsenal reserve games.

The 2007/2008 season was Barnet's 100th year at Underhill. The club are in the middle of a fight with the town council as they struggle to implement plans to build a new stadium.

Stands

Underhill has seven stands. On the bottom end of the ground is the South Stand which was opened recently. The East Terrace is split into three sections, with the home fans allocated the two southernmost parts and the remaining section allocated to away supporters. Adjacent to the East Terrace stands the North East Family Stand with covered seating for away supporters. The tiny North Terrace backs onto Westcombe Drive, where residents can watch the action. The Main Stand is flanked by two smaller stands, the North West Terrace and Family Stand.

After a matchday incident on the East Terrace, the club acted to increase the distance between home and away supporters. Away fans have been segregated further towards the north of the terrace. When away support is expected to number over 500, the whole of the North-East section is opened, and the Central section is closed to enforce the new segregation arrangements. The situation further highlights the inadequacy of Underhill as a Football League stadium, even though it now meets league criteria, and the club continues to search for a new home.

In the South West Corner of the ground stands the Durham Suite, named after Bees midfielder Kevin Durham who died in 1991. Although not part of the ground, the Pavilion behind the South Stand is owned by the club and acts as the social club for many fans. As of current away fans are not allowed into the Pavilion.

Current Developments

Barnet recently opened the new 1,016 seater South Stand to replace the temporary structure which had stood in its place for over ten years. The stand is not fully finished, but has been passed fit for use for spectators and was first used for the FA Cup victory over Swindon Town in January 2008, just a matter of weeks after work had started. Building work still continues to fit out the interior of the stand.

The Bees have also erected a temporary covered structure in the North East corner of the ground with seated capacity of 240. This was built so away supporters could have the choice between sitting or standing as the stand is adjacent to the away terraced section.

These improvements have finally brought Underhill to Football League standards and the capacity was increased to 5,568.

The club have announced that work is underway in order to erect four new corner floodlights. these will be 25 metres high and have a 500 Lux value as opposed to the current 350. The eight old pylons dating from 1962 have been removed. Work was completed prior to the opening pre-season game of the 2010-2011 season against Arsenal and the stadium capacity was again increased to 6,200 as a result.

History

The ground was opened in September 1907 with a match against Crystal Palace F.C. which the home side won 1-0. To celebrate the 100th year of football at the stadium, the two sides met again in the 2007/2008 Pre-Season. Palace won this match 3-2. At the time, there were a number of amateur clubs playing in Barnet. When opened, the ground was home to Barnet Alston. Alston merged with Avenue FC (who were known as Barnet FC) in 1912 to become Barnet & Alston FC. After the First World War, the club reverted to the name Barnet FC, which continues to today.

The South Stand was once known as The West Bank, a partially covered terraced stand. It was home to Barnet's more vocal support until it was demolished in the mid-1990s. Vocal support is now generally located in the East Terrace towards the halfway line and has had to move slightly over the years due to numerous tweaks to segregation in that area of the ground. Older supporters can reel off many a story about The West Bank and it was regarded as a 'spiritual home' for Bees supporters.

Record Attendance

The record attendance at Underhill was 11,026 against Wycombe Wanderers F.C. on 23rd February 1952 for an Amateur cup tie.

Media

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Building Activity

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