Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Stadium Review #1 - Ricoh Arena

I used to belong to another Argyle forum that had a stadium review section which I found very helpful. Unfortunately it closed down, so I thought I would proffer my thoughts on the grounds I visit this season...

Ground Information: Ricoh Arena (Coventry City), 32,000 all seater capacity

Appearance: The Ricoh is certainly an impressive looking ground, with the conference centre helping it to stand out among the flat-packed stadia prevalent today. The away concourse was huge and easily accommodated the 1,000+ Green Army. The steep stands were quite knackering after a while and as usual with large stadia and small crowds, the empty seats looked jarring.

View: The steep stands made you quite far from the pitch, making it appear optically quite small, however you wouldn't have someone's head in the way.

Getting there: Wasn't driving but as long as you enter Coventry from the M6 you can't miss it. Coming from the South has caused some people trouble navigating their excuse for a ring road. Going by train would be a journey and a half as the station is the other side of the city and two bus rides away.

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): Didn't have to queue to take a leak all afternoon, and they were clean. Concourse had usual TV plus the large scoreboard was showing Sky Sports News at half time.

Food and Drink: Was served right away, pints were pre-poured and reasonably priced.[1]

Stewarding/Police: Stewards seemed very fair, got chatting to two after we showed interest in their emergency phone, but like a lot of people they didn't know the difference between Plymouth and Portsmouth.

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Another stadium built in the outskirts, meaning little of interest in the immediate area. Apparently there is a Tesco Extra (ooh!). There are a couple of pubs about 10-15 minutes' walk away, which is where we ended up.

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Attendance was 18,000 but you wouldn't have thought it. Didn't hear a peep out of them all match.

Total score: 51/80

[1]For more in-depth analysis of away ground food see the Pie of the Year thread on PASOTI

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