Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Stadium Review #21 - KC Stadium

Ground Information: KC [Kingston Communications] Stadium (Hull City FC) Capacity 25,404

Appearance: The Kingston Communications [known as the KC] stadium was opened in 2002 so is one of the new breed of stadia that have been growing around the UK. The KC is a now 'new traditional' bowl design with a wrap-round undulating roof with one side being slightly higher than the surrounding three. Externally the stadium is clad with grey/silver and has blue and yellow stairways and spaceframe room. Hull rigorously separate home and away supporters, meaning that the away end is heavily fenced in from the car park through to the turnstiles - upon leaving, all away supporters must walk up to the car park to get out. Internally, as the stadium is shared between Hull City and Hull RLFC the colours are 'neutral' black, white and amber of both clubs. 8/10

View: New all seater stadia give the spectator a better deal, as (in most cases) all seats have unobstructed views. The away following is normally housed in behind the goal, offset towards a corner. 7/10

Getting there: A part from Hull being nearly in Norway, the stadium is well signed from the main A Road into Hull, you cannot get lost. Hull train station is about 15 minutes' walk way in the centre but through some decidedly dodgy looking street. The queues for the bus after a match get extremely long. 6/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): The concourse is on the first floor so that you are half way up the stand and contains three sets of toilets (two male and a female) and one refreshment bar, there are TVs showing Sky Sports pre-match and live match broadcasts during play. They had run out of pies by half time and there were only 300 odd supporters. 6/10

Food and Drink: Hull do a "pie and a pint" deal which gives you a half price pie with every pint purchased, but the normal refreshments are available too. They have very good pies - the best of the season. 6/10

Stewarding/Police: The stewards were very friendly, they wanted to keep my novelty hat, and were content to allow the supporters on the back three rows to remain stood throughout the game. It did take 10 police and stewards to take one supporter out though. 7/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not much, the pubs nearby aren't really recommended, and the walk into town is a bit far. You can sit in the parkland surrounding the stadium and visit the "zoo". 4/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): The away end is right next to the more vocal supporters to your left. As the game had no real meaning and Hull were guaranteed survival because of Leeds demise there was a lot of friendly banter between fans and some unusual unity in the chanting. The home fans clapped Argyle before and after the game and outside the stadium, which is very commendable to them. However there is one way to kill an atmosphere - miss a penalty. Even after Hull celebrated Ebanks-Blake's miss, the remainder of the game until Argyle's goal was conducted in near silence. A very strange sight. 10/10

Total score: 54/80

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

KC Stadium (Hull): 54
= 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
= Elland Road (45)
= Turf Moor (Burnley): 45

Kenilworth Road (Luton): 44
Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

The run away ground is Derby's Pride Park, I wonder if new Wembley can top that come Sunday?

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