Sunday, 13th Jan 2013 21:54 by Tim Whelan
Our FA Cup replay at Birmingham City is on Tuesday night, with a 7.45 kick-off.
St. Andrews is about 2 miles to the South-East of the city centre, in Small Heath, which isn't exactly the smartest part of the West Midlands. The best way by car is to leave the M42 at junction 6 and take the A45 into Birmingham. Keep on this road until you reach the 'Bordesley Circus' roundabout and take the A450 exit (follow signs to 'Ring Road North and M6') before taking the first left into Adderley Street. In this area there is plenty of unrestricted parking, but you can't block any factory entrances as many of them are still working in the evenings.
It’s not possible to get the train back to Leeds after the game, but I'll give directions for the benefit of Leeds fans living nearer to Brum, who will still be able to get home by train. The nearest railway station is Bordesley, which is about a ten-minute walk away from the ground. It normally has no service outside the peak hours, but trains from Moor Street make extra stops on matchdays.
Another option is to catch a bus from Moor Street station, any of number 17 from stand MD, 58, 59 or 60 from stand ME or 97 or 97a from stand MF. If you've got the energy to walk all the way from New Street you need to head for the new Bull Ring shopping centre and then follow signs to Digbeth Coach station.
Once you've passed the Coach Station on your right, cross over the dual carriageway and continue walking away from the City Centre. You will come to a fork in the road where you want to bear left going underneath a railway bridge. Passing the Clements Arms on your left just continue straight down this road, crossing a large roundabout (with a McDonalds over on one corner). The entrance to the away section is further up the road on your left.
There is the normal array of food on offer inside the ground, such as pies, burgers and rollover hot dogs, plus Balti Pies. Outside the choice is quite limited, but just across the road from the entrance to the away section is a 'Big W' outlet, which inside has a reasonably priced cafe.
Most of the pubs near to the ground are for home fans only and are not recommended, but one place where we got a friendly welcome last year was the ‘Cricketers Arms’. To find it you need to walk away from the ground along the road going towards Morrisons, then through Morrisons car park heading towards the store but join the road next to it, which is called Green Lane. The pub is 30 seconds from there on the left.
Approximately three-quarters of St. Andrews have been rebuilt since the early 90's. One large single tiered stand, incorporating the Tilton Road End & Spion Kop, completely surrounds half the pitch and has replaced a former huge terrace. The other new stand, the Railway End, was opened in February 1999. It is a large two-tiered stand holding 8,000, which pushed the overall capacity up to 30,016. Only one 'old' stand (it was built in the 1960's), the Main Stand, now remains of the former St Andrews.
Away supporters get one side of the Railway Stand's lower tier. The normal away allocation is 3,000, though if demand requires it this can be increased to 4,500 for Cup games. Ticket prices for away fans have been reduced to £15, but even so we haven’t yet sold out, so the official site is still selling them until noon tomorrow. The facilities and the view from this stand are pretty good, but one downside is that the police tend to keep us in for quite a while after the game while the home fans disperse.
The Club have plans to re-develop the old Main Stand, with a new structure that will connect to the Tilton Road End and increase the overall capacity of St Andrews to around 36,500. However, the Club’s delicate financial situation has meant that they’ve had to put the £12m pound scheme on hold, though they might go ahead if they ever manage to establish themselves in the Premier League.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com
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