Information for Visiting Supporters 2012/13
Travel directions whether coming by car or train can be found on the directions page.
The ground has a moderately sized car park manned by stewards on match days. Beyond this, parking is available in some residential streets around the ground.
Admission prices for league matches are:
Advance ticket sales are only used in the case of high profile cup games, otherwise pay on entry at the turnstile. Cup match prices vary according to opposition. There is no additional charge for entry to the main stand.
At the time Havant Town and Waterlooville FC merged in 1998, Westleigh Park’s cosy Wessex League origins remained prevalent in the guise of a 290 seat wooden stand, with covered terracing that weathered well through the 1990s. With the rise of the merged club through the Southern League to Conference South status though, and with Conference National football firmly on the minds of the board and players, a £500,000 expansion programme was put into operation in May 2001 to ensure obstacle free passage to the highest tier of the non league.
Through that summer the old terracing at the northern end of the pitch was taken down and replaced by a new and much larger construction that runs the entire width of the ground. More significantly, the old timber stand was completely removed and replaced by a modern cantilevered 560 seat grandstand, upping the ground's seated capacity by a factor of two and vastly improving the disabled access. This stand was then extended in the summer of 2009 to increase the capacity to 642.
Work continued through the 2001/02 season. With the team remaining in sight of the top of the league, the southern terrace was taken down during November 2001 and by Christmas was replaced by a mirror image of the new terrace at the opposite end. The finishing touches to what is now a Conference National graded ground were put into place as the title race heated up. The floodlight heads were replaced to increase the light level in the ground in November 2001, a new toilet block was opened, extra turnstiles added, and toward the end of the season the dugouts were extended and plastic tip up seats added.
Although the championship bid failed that season the ground improvements have continued since. At the end of the 2002/03 season the old South Hants Glass stand opposite the main stand was cleared and redressed with a new concrete floor built ready for covered terracing that was eventually put in place in May 2008. Work that summer included repainting most surfaces in the ground and the addition of a second food cabin on the far side.
The pitch has also been subject to serious financial investment in recent seasons. Once reviled as one of the worst pitches in the Southern League, the Westleigh Park surface has been removed and replaced several times, with additional work carried out every summer. In 2003 Portsmouth FC replaced the drainage system beneath the turf completely so their reserve side could use the ground. The result proved effective and the number of first team games postponed due to rain has dropped dramatically since.
During 2005 further work went into problem areas of the pitch, and then in summer 2006 the referee's changing area was expanded to ensure Westleigh Park remains a Conference National graded ground.
Through the 2008/09 season improvements continued behind the scenes. A new boardroom/hospitality suite was build behind the top of the stand, allowing guests easy access to a private lounge before and after the game. A new function suite, named after life vice-president Maurie Hibberd was also opened, and the old smaller boardroom converted into a new physiotherapy suite. At present there are plans in place to re-commission the ancient training pitch behind the stand and turn it into a floodlit all weather pitch for use by the club’s community programme.
An unfortunate combination of problems with the pitch caused havoc with the Hawks’ fixture list through the 2010/11 season. Not only had a drain partially collapsed under the surface, but it also became apparent that a quantity of building rubble had been buried under one side of the pitch after metal railings had been installed several seasons earlier, which also caused drainage problems. On top of that a grass destroying fungus had taken hold beneath the surface of the pitch, and had spread to the extent that large sections of the turf had become marshy.
To resolve these issues the club completely removed the Westleigh Park playing surface in May 2011, solved the drainage problems, installed a new under pitch sprinkler system, and had the pitch professionally reseeded from scratch. The race was on for the new turf to grow in time for the pre-season opener against Brighton on July 9th, but when the time came the Hawks could boast what is now be one of the best pitches in the league and stood up to all but the most extreme weather conditions last season.
The ground also houses a sizeable clubhouse, incorporating two separate bars. Note that the entrance is outside the main turnstiles, and it welcomes visiting fans. It is open daily, lunchtimes and evenings, and serves hot food from a menu available in the bars. With the arrival of a large sponsorship deal from Carlsberg in June 2006, the Clubhouse was gutted and totally refurbished. It now incorporates four plasma screen televisions and is available for hire for private functions.
The clubhouse was then given a second complete refurbishment in 2010. Renamed ‘The Westleigh’, it was also given a new grand entrance facing the road and patio terracing. It now operates as a fully fledged public house.
There are three tea bars in the ground open during matches, serving hot dogs, burgers, chips and other assorted popular fan fodder.
Pubs and Food
While The Westleigh is the first port of call for many, Westleigh Park is situated some way from Havant town centre and so isn't supported by a large number of pubs - but The Heron is within walking distance over the Petersfield Road by the ground. It serves food under the Giant's Plate chain of eateries. If approaching the ground from the north, visiting fans will also pass a Harvester Restaurant just after entering Rowland's Castle. This is mentioned in the travel directions.
Further into town pubs become more numerous, but are really more than a short walk from the ground. The town centre includes the Parchment Makers, found on the left when travelling south toward the A27, which is one of the Wetherspoons chain of public houses offering cheap beer and passable food. Further along that road, turn right just past Burger King for a large Tesco. As well as the BK there is also a MacDonalds, a KFC and a Pizza Hut visible from the road. Parking in the town centre can be gained from either of two multi-story car parks, one over the central Meridian Centre and another behind MacDonalds.
There is also a reasonable fish and chip shop a short five minute walk from the ground along St Alban's Road. Turn right out of the ground car park, left at the junction and follow the road round the bend.