Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Stadium Review #5 - Roots Hall

Ground Information: Roots Hall (Southend United FC) Capacity 12,392

Appearance: Hmm, what to say. A very traditional set up here which could do with more than a lick of paint but then again I prefer ‘traditional’ stadia, however was somewhat disappointed here. Was also surprised that Southend had invested in automated turnstiles - why, when the rest of the stadium is shabby?
The away stand is a converted terrace - seating bolted onto the original structure - but is not that bad, although it suffers from an extreme lack of circulating space. 5

View: View? What view? Stationed myself more or less central but the support pillars were always in the way of the action, plus if your team tend to play high balls, you miss half the match. 5/10

Getting there: Did all of Southend decide to go out that day? There was traffic coming and going, then once we’d been dropped off at the main entrance, the away entrance was quite difficult to find. 5/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): Hopelessly inadequate for the amount of fans we took: 1,000+ supporters had to file through a gap big enough for 2 to go anywhere, the ‘family room’ (“Restaurant” according to the signs and it does have tables and chairs!) didn’t sell alcohol, though the choice was good if you arrived early and was reasonably priced. I queued for 15 minutes at half time for the toilets and 10 minutes upon arrival. There were no TVs but pre-match entertainment provided by Chico. 4/10

Food and Drink: Reasonable priced, and we were allowed to keep our soft drinks in the bottles. The chicken and mushroom pie was poor. And as mentioned, no alcohol. 5/10

Stewarding/Police: The first time I defied officialdom and stood for the whole match because the stewards didn’t give two hoots. 8/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Go to the pub… there’s an away-fans only pub by the main entrance or a few more 5 minutes away but no one from Southend could direct me to them. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Like Leicester, only heard them when they equalised. 4/10

Total score: 41/80

I feel quite bad giving Southend such a low score - they are a a newly promoted side who's facilities are not used to Coca Cola Championship standards at least they do have plans for a new stadium

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