Friday, 9 March 2007

Stadium Review #16 - Hillsborough

Ground Information: Hillsborough(Sheffield Wednesday FC) Capacity 39,814

Appearance: Aweinspiring. Built on the edge of a hill, the vast stands dwarf everything near by. The Hillsborough of the 2000s is far removed from that we saw in the 80s, though they have managed to incorporate a lot of the original stadium in the redevelopment, including the turnstiles and that tunnel in the West Stand (Leppings Lane). The stands themselves are huge, and go on forever, it is not possible to see all the seats at once. 9/10

View: Apart from the two narrow pillars of the upper tier roof in the West Stand, you have a clear, bird-like view of all the action on the pitch . 9/10

Getting there: Unlike Bramall Lane, Hillsborough is located someway to the north of the city. Therefore we went past Sheffield on the M1 and came back south through Grenoside. Although Hillsborough is huge, you cannot see the stadium as you get close. Sheffield Supertram run regular services from the centre/train station with a stop at the end of Lepping Lane 8/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): (upper tier) Another club with vast toilet facilities, two sets in fact and a very big, long food bar running most of the length of the concourse. Else it is quite stark, with no TVs. 6/10

Food and Drink: The away end for some reason is 'dry' that is they do not sell alcohol, and there is no obvious reason why. Some say the prices are on the expensive side, but were still cheaper than Home Park. 5 pie filling were available, along with pasties and pizza pods, and apart from the cheese and onion they were good. 6/10

Stewarding/Police: The stewards were slightly older than you would normally expect, they did have words with some more vocal supporters standing near the back, but the ones we spoke to were friendly enough. 7/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): In the immediate area, not much at all. The nearest pubs are about 10-15 minutes away. If you took the tram, you could get into the city centre. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Very loud. The North Stand were particularly vocal throughout the game. 8/10

Total score: 58/80

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday): 58
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
= Loftus Road (QPR): 46
= The Hawthorns (WBA): 46
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

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