Monday, 2 April 2007

Stadium Review #17 - Portman Road

Ground Information: Portman Road (Ipswich Town FC) Capacity 30,300

Appearance: A traditional setting - city centre location, stands straight off the street is something I like in a football ground. Inside has the traditional 80s look of narrow passages and paint job. The converted terrace look is prevalent, with a mishmash of inclines, tier numbers and stand heights. 7/10

View: Away fans are stuck in the top tier of the Cobbold stand, in the corner; however the view from the lofty position is not bad. The low roof does mean that high balls are lost, and the back 6 rows are amongst the roof supporters, so the farther back you are the more restricted the view becomes. 7/10

Getting there: Easy as pie. Follow "Football Ground" from the bypass and you're straight there, by train, leave the station walk straight ahead. The city centre location is ideal, you cannot go wrong - however the coach park is slightly out of the way. 8/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): There used to be refreshments in the upper tier but these have since been relocated to downstairs next to the turnstiles. The bar only serves alcohol before the game - not at half time; it is also fairly small if you have a large support. There are sets of toilet in both tiers so no fears of wetting yourself queueing. 6/10

Food and Drink: Apart from the alcohol arrangements, the bar was well stocked with the usual selection of pies, soft and hard drinks, and snacks, all served efficiently. The Balti pie was alright, I have had better, but I think I had a dud as other people rated theirs better. 6/10

Stewarding/Police: Two coppers took a bit of an unhealthy interest in us. It wasn't like we has a large flag with "Bananabus" on it, and posing for photos, being rowdy or picking a flight with a stuck up git in a posh car. "Are you a charity?" Huh?. 6/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Last season we went into town, which is just around the corner - the Debenhams is nice if you cannot find a toilet(!). There is an away-friendly pub opposite the station which is very big and efficient (The Station Hotel, funnily enough). The locals seem friendly enough. 9/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): P*ss poor. Had they been sedated upon entering the turnstiles - only came alive after each goal - the rest of the time cardboard cut outs would have made more noise. 2/10

Total score: 51/80

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday): 58
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55
= Portman Road (Ipswich): 51
= 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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