Friday, 22 December 2006

Stadium Review #7 - Deepdale

Ground Information: Deepdale (Preston North End FC) Capacity 22,225

Appearance: Three redeveloped sides with the old terracing is still in limbo - not in use by the public but it houses the players' facilities and is therefore slowly decaying away until such times as a new stand is built. This could be a future echo of Home Park if nothing is decided about the grandstand and should be a warning to Argyle directors about not delaying. Elsewhere the ground is looking shabby, especially the away end concourse - walking into the toilet I thought I was in a caretaker's store. 4/10

View: The corners of the stands have been filled in using transparent walls, this allows the sun to come through at an awkward angle - just right to blind anyone in the away end. However the steepness of the seating permits a good view of the action. 6/10

Getting there: Easy - turn off the M6 ar junction 31 and apart from bearing left at the small roundabout, head straight ahead. If you do get lost, the gorund is signed from the motorway. Apparently parking is a nightmare and the train station is a 30 minute walk away though. 7/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): As I said above the toilets looked very run down, with caretaker's equipment on view. However they were reasonably large and coped with the amount of fans we had, but would have been inadequate if we had more. There was 1 TV working (out of 2), showing the racing before the game and SSN at HT. 5/10

Food and Drink: Very poor pie - comes second to last on the PASOTI Pie of the Year league table so far, but the beer was on tap. 4/10

Stewarding/Police: Got frisked again on the way in - must be getting a reputation for hanging round with certain Bananabus people. A group stood all game and had the attention of a supervisor, a steward and a safety officer but they didn't succeed in getting them to sit down. One supporter was escorted out by police, but unsure what for. 6/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Deepdale has the benefit of the National Football Museum built under its stands (and a gym and learning centre too), and what's best is that entrance is free. It is easy to spend a lot of time there. Else if your more alcoholic-minded, two recommended pubs are about 5 minutes' walk away, or if you want to do some shopping, the Deepdale retail park is 10-15 minutes' away and a supermarket over the road. 7/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Poor, 3-0 and they still didn't sing (much) at least they didn't have those stupid blow up clappers like last season. 4/10

Total score: 43/80

Stadium League Table:
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55
Ricoh Arena (Coventry):51
Walkers Stadium (Leicester): 50
St Andrews (Birmingham): 48
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Roots Hall (Southend): 41

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