Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Stadium Review #8 - Ninian Park

Ground Information: Ninian Park (Cardiff City FC) Capacity 20,000

Appearance: An old ground adapted to the new requirements, but looking decidedly shabby; forgivable due to their new stadium plans; consisting of 2 two-tier pitch length stands, single tier ends with open corners. The away end is still terracing with a small seated section, which (unless you stand on the Mayflower) is a novelty. 4/10

View: Who had the worst view? Everyone probably; the large pilars don't help, coupled with the shallow incline of the terrace, meaning a lot of the action is obscured depending on where you stand and with whom. The seating wasn't much better apparently. 3/10

Getting there: The best directions encountered so far. The VMSs on the M4 from Newport which declared "Plymouth Fans use J33" was a welcoming touch (though you do get the feeling they're luring you into an ambush!). From junction 33, follow the A road right to the car parks, cannot have been any easier. Ninian Park is on the opposite side of the railway tracks to the city centre, so should be easy to find from Cardiff Central. 10/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): Third world? Housed in the corner by the turnstiles, the bar was at least covered (but probably only to comply with the 'no drinking in view of the pitch' rule) and there was a burger-bar style outlet. The toilets were antiquated at least - only consisting of urinals for the guys - don't have a curry the night before! Nothing else to do, but the PA announcer gave us a history lesson about PAFC and a couple of quiz questions.
BTW does anyone know which league football club's name in England or Scotland doens't contain any letters from the word "football"? 4/10

Food and Drink: Poor, pie was cold, but so were the drinks (which is good!). In fact all the food was cold - even the hot stuff - maybe part of some plot to give away fans food poisioning. 4/10

Stewarding/Police: Everyone was searched on the way in, but else had no problems. 8/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Went straight to ground. The reputation Cardiff fans have for themselves make people wary of socialising near the ground, but as the city centre is near by, you probably could have gone to the sales. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Home crowds are generally low on the decibels, but they are an intimidating looking lot. Don't know who was on the receiving end of the Vicky Pollard chanting but it was excellent and must have taken it in good humour. 4/10

Total score: 42/80

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
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41

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