Sunday, 13 January 2008

Awaydays #13 - Cardiff City

Oops, forgot all about this one...

The club: Cardiff City (The Bluebirds), Ninian Park

The ground: As they're building a new stadium you can let them off a lot. Ninian Park is a very tired looking ground with minimal facilities - including the last terracing in the Championship, which can only be a positive thing! The terracing behind the goal and divided between home and away fans is set back behind a similar sized seated area and is covered. The rake of the terrace is fairly steep therefore you can get fairly good views, except for theroofing pillars in the way. I had forgotten how uncomfortable standing can be sometimes, especially when the terrace is not quite level. The stands are 4 separate buildings of similar build and is the ground is one of few with any character left - the downside of getting a new stadium. 6

The facilities and food: The concourse is an open area between two stands, with a corrugated iron covered bar nestling under the supports for a floodlight, and a chuck-wagon style food outlet. the toilets are primitive but I found the cubicles that I thought were missing from the gents toilets at my last visit (they're in a separate section). There is a fairly good range of food and drink served, including at least three different types of pies in various flavours - shame they taste awful though. once again the bar over poured drinks at half time, and were giving away free drinks during the second half! 5/10

The stewarding/police: There was a fairly big, but low key police presence around the ground compared to normal, likewise the stewarding was high profile but minimal. 7/10

The travelling: Now the second shortest trip from Home Park, but the only one that involves going to a foreign country! The bridge tolls are now 20p dearer than last year, but the Welsh Highways agency provides travel information for fans on the motorway from just past Newport. Unfortunetly the car park is now under the new stadium, so parking is at a premium nearby. Ninian Park (or Parc Ninian) station is next to the ground, and Cardiff Central is a good walk way. 6/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not recommended. The Cardiff fans can sometimes get iffy about foreigners invading their pubs near the ground (and in fact any pub in Cardiff) so advice is usually to drink in the ground, or go father away. However there were several Argyle supporters in the Ninian Park pub befire and after the game without incident. Else there's not that much near by. 5/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Cardiff have a very bad reputation, but then again it is always the actions of the reckless that tar the rest. The day passed withot incident (was everyone hungover?) and the game passed with neither side taking any initiative to sing or chant. 5/10

Total score: 34/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42

Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) - 38
Charlton Athletic (The Valley) - 38
Crystal Palace (Selhurts Park) - 38
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
Sheffield United (Bramall Lane) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

Cardiff City (Ninian Park) - 34

West Ham (Boleyn Ground) - 31
Layer Road (Colchester) - 32
Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27
Watford (Vicarage Road) - 27

Note that I was unable to go to Carrow Road.

1 comment:

Lord Hutton said...

I remember when we had 2 sides of bike sheds at Leicester, and the double decker, and all the money wasted on the Carling Stand. All history now with the soulless Walkers bare concrete