Friday, 21 September 2007

Awaydays #4 - QPR

The club: Queens Park Rangers (QPR, The Rs/Hoops); Loftus Road

The ground: How a football ground should be - hidden away in terraced streets in people's gardens with only the main entrances of the South Africa Road side being visible. The ground is a completely enclosed rectangle shape, all four corners meet at right angels. Three tiers are two tiered with a high backed single tier on one side. The away end is two tiered with two remote entrances on either side of the ground - and a long walk if your at the wrong one. The upper tier of the School end is quite steep and cramped for the capacity. 7/10

The facilities and food: As mentioned the upper tier is very cramped if it is near capacity - there are few toilets or refreshment bars. Queues for both quickly build and obstruct the rest of the concourse and vomitaries. Last season the lower tier was 'dry' with no alcohol served, however it is available on the top tier. The legroom is cramped and the view not too good - from places the nearest few yards of the pitch can easily be obscured. The food and drink was reasonably priced but the pie was awful. 4/10

The stewarding/police: As always with the Metropolitan Police, there is usually a large presence including mounted police, however it did not seem as excessive as previously. The stewards had lots difficulty telling people (who do not normally go away and want to occupy their allotted seat, not sit anywhere) where they can sit - a large group just aimlessly stood around for 10 minutes after kickoff. 6/10

The travelling: Easy Sailing until you get into London and hit the traffic. There are several routes to get to Shepherd's Bush - each as congested as the other. Parking near the ground can be problematic, but the residents bays restrictions end at 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and don't operate at weekends. However there is the Underground network and several stations nearby, but queues after the match can get long, however White City tube station is normally quieter. 6/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): You can do anything in London as there's so much to do and easy to get to on the Tube.hear the ground there are several 'away fan friendly' pubs on Shepherds Bush Green, or the Sprongbok on South Africa Road. 10/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Very poor, no sustained singing, very quiet for most of the game. There were reports of some QPR fans spoiling for a fight afterwards. 3/10

Total score: 36/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

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