Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Stadium Review #14 - Molineux

Ground Information: Molineux (Wolverhampton wanderers FC) Capacity 29,400

Appearance: A club that's resisted the urge to go 'bowl' with four distinct separate stands. The space frame looks more 'Mechano' than others using the technology. 3 stands looked highly polished off, but the away entrance had the Norwich 'car park' feel to it. The use of the club crest everywhere is imaginative in some cases. Inside, the high backed stands look intimidating as the away section is very low and shallow. The decision not to fill in the corners works to some supporters' disadvantage (see view section) and they've decided to remove the funny seats next to the South Bank that extend beyond the touch line. 6/10

View: The away stand must be unique among the clubs, as you are on the touch line and not behind the goal, this means you can position yourself right by the halfway line. But the shallowness and length means that the support is spread over a long distance, this has a negative affect on singing and chanting; the Green Army were at a distinct loss. Now those corners. I think anyone who attended should have a refund for being unable to watch the first 20 minutes of the match due to the sun. 5/10

Getting there: Random. Turn left at just before West Bromwich, and battle the ring road. Though as the ground is next to (and below the level of) the ring road - meaning you can see the distinct orange space frame - if you miss it first time, go round again! 6/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): Cavenous. As the away end is a side stand, the whole of the lower concourse is given to supporters, it goes on and on with several bars and numerous toilets (which are large as well with strange looking urinals). But no TVs. 7/10

Food and Drink: A Black Country club selling another great Balti pie, but unlike Birmingham, this one did not stand up to the pastry test - the bottom fell off. Outside there were numerous chick wagons selling lots of food from burgers to hot pork rolls. 8/10

Stewarding/Police: Didn't see any West Mildlands police (except for the ASDA shop lifters!). The stewards little dance of leaping up from their stand-side seats when anything controversial happened was very funny. People stood on the back row had a hard time, being constantly told to sit down. 6/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Shop at ASDA. There's a good pub across its car park with a beer garden, and the city centre is through the underpass under the ring road (note that many pubs in the city centre don't allow in away fans). 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): They did a lot better than we could in raising an atmosphere, and the Wolves we met at the pub were friendly. But they are let down by the 'fans' that try to attack the away support - one of the official coaches was stoned and several Argyle supporters were threatened. 5/10

Total score: 48/80

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55
Ricoh Arena (Coventry):51
= Carrow Road (Norwich): 50
= Walkers Stadium (Leicester): 50

Underhill (Barnet): 49
= St Andrews (Birmingham): 48
= Molineux (Wolves): 48
The Hawthorns (WBA): 46
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

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