The twentieth century was to witness many social revolutions. Of these one of the most significant was the rise of mass spectator sport. Whilst the late nineteenth century saw many sports codified and regulated, it was from the early years of the twentieth century that massive stadia were constructed in order to house the increasing numbers of spectators willing and able to attend matches. This was partly the result of social change as fewer people, for example, worked on Saturdays, and increasing affluence. During the century, moreover, the facilities offered and demanded grew significantly. Covered accommodation expanded, terraces were improved and floodlighting was installed. Later, all-seater stadia became the necessary standard for higher division teams and new modern grounds replaced the old. Some of these changes were the result of tragedies, such as the Valley Parade fire and the Hillsborough disaster, but others were a reflection that football had to appeal to a broader market if it was to shed its reputation for crowd violence. In Football Grounds Fact Book, noted commentator on stadia Michael Heatley explores how football grounds have evolved over the past century.
Exploring the subject thematically with the aid of a fascinating selection of both colour and mono images, the book provides a graphic examination of the changing face of British football. Covering such diverse topics as ticketing, floodlights, disabled facilities, groundsharing, the architecture of Archibald Leitch (arguably the most important figure in the early development of stadia), national stadia, and much else. The author, whose earlier book for Ian Allan Publishing on the changes to football grounds (Football Grounds Then & Now) sold out, has produced another excellent and innovative volume on this fascinating subject. For all interested in football and football grounds in particular, Football Grounds Fact Book represents an entertaining overview of stadium developments over the past century. Ian Allan Publishing's books on football grounds have proved consistently successful. This latest addition to the list will help build upon the imprint's reputation as one of the leading publishers in this area.
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing