Thu 13th Sep 2012 22:03 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Cardiff City is on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off. If you haven’t been put off by the restrictions on getting tickets, then read on…
Fans wanting to go the game have been vouchers, with must be exchanged for match tickets between 1pm and 1.30pm at the rendezvous point is at Cardiff West Services on the M4. This is OK for fans who travel by coach or car, but completely useless for anyone who would want to use public transport.
Last year the official site said that the recommended car park is adjacent to the away turnstiles (cost £5 per Car - Coaches Free) and is the preferred option of SW Police. And it also gave the following directions to the stadium from the rendezvous point.
“Leave the M4 at junction 33, and take first exit off roundabout on to A4232, continue for 6.1 miles. Take second exit off A4232 (junction has Brown football signage) on to B4267 Slip Road and (at the roundabout).Follow signs and road markings for industrial estate. Take 2nd available exit off roundabout on to Hadfield Road . Take 3rd left in to Bessemer Road. Travel to the end of the road turn left in to Sloper Road and then turn Left in to Away supporters' car park (Zone F). Away Car Park - Zone F which is situated on the South footprint of the stadium has the ability to routinely hold 24 coaches and 133 cars.”
As a result of these restrictions I’m not going to include my usual directions from the railway station or any guide to the local pubs, as there doesn’t seem to be any point.
Cardiff decided a few years back that ramshackle old Ninian Park could never be brought up to the standards demanded by the Taylor report, and decided to build the new Cardiff City Stadium on a site only a quarter of a mile away. As a certain Peter Ridsdale was Cardiff chairman at the time it was constructed it’s no surprise that the project ran way over budget and ended up costing them a total of £48million. This added considerably to Cardiff’s financial problems and they had to survive a winding up order before Ridsdale departed to inflict his peculiar brand of financial ‘advice’ onto the good citizens of Plymouth and then Preston.
The new stadium opened at the start of the 2010/11 season, and it has a capacity of 26,828. Like most of the other identikit new stadia around the country it offers excellent facilities and a good view of the pitch, but looks rather bland and functional. To help to pay the bills they share the stadium with the Cardiff Blues Rugby Union team. The concourses are spacious and they usually serve alcohol, though it remains to be seen whether they will do so in the away end during our visit. The food kiosks serve the usual football scoff, including pies, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and vastly overpriced chips.
Away fans are allocated one corner of the stadium, between the Ninian & Grange stands. We’ve got a less than generous allocation of 1800 tickets, but we’ve struggled to sell even this reduced number Our official site was still selling them up till 4pm today, so quite a few fans must have been put off by the restrictions on how we can travel.
Tickets for away fans cost £24 for adults and £15 for concessions (senior citizens, under 16's and students with a valid NUS card). Inside the stadium away fans are segregated from home fans, by an area of 'no mans’ land' to each side. And outside there is a fenced in compound, which is also used to accommodate the away coaches, but again keeps fans separated after the game has finished. This might be a bit of a pain, but at least it will stop the Cardiff fans throwing missiles at us like they did after the cup tie in 2002.
All in all it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be the most enjoyable of away trips, so no change there.
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