Stacatruc Stadium and Thatcham Town FC logo

Stacatruc Stadium, Thatcham

Thatcham Town FC vs. Andover New Street FC
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round

The opening scene in the 1998 sports comedy film BASEketball satirised the state of American sports at the time: "Soon it was commonplace for entire teams to change cities in search of greater profits," says the narrator. "The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles where there are no lakes. The Oilers moved to Tennessee where there is no oil. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City where they don't allow music."

View of the main stand at the Stacatruc Stadium in Thatcham
Cup magic begins at Waterside Park the Stacatruc Stadium.

And whilst that practice is less commonplace in British sport for the most part (insert lazy MK Dons reference here), it foreshadowed a growing trend that even Britain couldn't resist getting involved in. Naming rights.

Obstructed view from the main stand at the Stacatruc Stadium
The seated stand offers spectacular views of the playing field.

"Stadiums and arenas became nothing more than giant billboards to promote commercial products," they said alongside stadium exterior shots of the fictional Preparation H Arena and Maxi Tampon Stadium.

Back in 1998, teams heading to places like the Emirates Stadium, World of Smile Stadium and the Tony Macaroni Arena was still a few years away. Very few British sporting venues had realised the commercial value in selling the name of their arena for an easy bit of cash injection.

View of the pitch at the Stacatruc Stadium
At least the phone signal is good thanks to these masts.

Nowadays it's commonplace, almost every new stadium and arena that goes up has some sort of a corporate tie-up as a name. Traditional names have been replaced with the name with almost any kind of company you can think of. And in a time where money down the pyramid is getting tighter, non league footballs have joined in on the practice.

One of the latest being Thatcham Town, of the Southern League Division 1 South, who signed a 2 year naming rights deal in the summer to put an end to the long standing and traditional Waterside Park name.

Another view towards the main stand at the Stacatruc Stadium
A crowd of 240 packed into the ground to watch Thatcham dismantle Andover New Street.

And when major new stadiums sign a multi-million pound deal with global corporations, how better to sum up the glamour non league football by calling your stadium the Stacatruc Stadium. Stacatruc are apparently known for "quality forklift hire and forklifts in Berkshire & Hampshire", but I cannot confirm this since I know nothing about forklifts.

Not that there's anything wrong with this, of course. With the ongoing issues plaguing League 1, it's important for clubs, especially the smaller ones, to do whatever they can to bring in enough revenue to survive.

Small stand behind the goal at Stacatruc Stadium
The Stacatruc stand?

So if Stacatruc help a team like Thatcham survive for longer then I'm all for it. It's a nice little ground, easily locatable from the train even on one leg, even if you can't drink pitchside (but it helps when you win 7-1 too).

And if Reading want to change the name of the Madejski Stadium to the Maxi Tampon Stadium, then so be it. It's not "selling its soul", it's just a name.

Useless information about Stacatruc Stadium

Address: Crookham Hill, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 4PA
Capacity: 1,500
Pitch Type: Grass
Ticket Price: £9
Programme: £2, 28 pages

Thatcham Town FC 2019/20 season programme