|Leeds United v Stoke City|
Sunday, 5th August 2018 Kick-off 16:30
Sunday, 8th Apr 2018 12:54 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Deepdale is on Tuesday night, with a 7.45pm kick off. And as the name Preston North End suggests, the stadium is a mile or so to the north of the town centre.
If you’re going by car you need to leave the M6 at Junction 31 and follow signs Left for Preston. Go up a steep hill and follow the road down to a mini roundabout. At the roundabout with the Hesketh Arms turn right into Blackpool Road. Go straight on over three sets of lights and just before a fourth set, the ground appears set slightly back on the left. Parking is mainly in the streets surrounding the ground.
Parking for cars is available for £5 a car at Moorfields School, just follow the directions above and at the last set of traffic lights continue straight on for about 200 yards, and you will see the school on the left near Moor Park. You can also park at Deepdale itself, but that will cost you a whopping £12.50.
Otherwise you can try your luck with street parking, but don't be tempted to park on the grass verges near the ground, you are likely to find after the game that you have been given a parking ticket.
It won’t be possible to get the train back to Leeds after the game, as the last train goes at about the same time as the final whistle, but I’m including these directions for all our fans in the north-west. The Railway Station is on the opposite side of the town centre, about 1.6 miles from Deepdale, and if you're feeling energetic enough to walk you should turn right towards the Fishergate Centre and main shopping area.
Keep walking down the high street, past all the town centre shops, until you reach the ring road. Then head straight over the large traffic lights, heading towards Preston Prison. Turn left at the Prison into Church Street, then left into Deepdale Road. Continue straight along Deepdale Road and after about a mile you will reach the ground.
If you can’t raise the energy to walk, you can get any bus from the railway station to the town’s main bus station, and then any one of buses 5, 6 or 19. Of these, the number 19 is the most frequent route (running every 5 minutes) and the cost will be approximately 80p.
There is a disused railway line from the main Preston station up to Deepdale, which passes within about a quarter of a mile of the stadium, and there has been talk of reopening it as a tramway from the town centre, so in the future it might be a bit easier to get there by public transport.
There are a couple of pubs near the ground that welcome away fans. First there is St Gregory's Catholic Club, which is around a five minute walk away on Blackpool Road. The Club charges £1 for entry, but the cheap drinks and hot pies will make up for this. You can also park at the Club for £3.
There is also the Frenchwood Social Club on Bence Road and the Fulwood Conservative Club. The latter is around ten minutes walk from Deepdale at the junction of Blackpool Road and Garstang Road across from Moor Park, and has parking available for £3.
Another option might be 'The Sumners', just up the Tom Finney Way on the opposite site of the traffic lights by the ground, going past Sainsburys. It usually has a good friendly atmosphere, with both home and away supporters mixing freely, although away fans are not admitted when there is a local derby, or for ‘high profile games’ (which might possibly include us).
It could be more difficult to get a drink in the town centre, as the police will move groups of fans on quickly and most pubs there will refuse to serve away supporters. It might be worth trying the Old Black Bull and the Academy on the high street and the ‘Vic and Station’ near the railway station, but I can’t guarantee you’ll get in.
Food-wise the best option is Clare's Pantry on the corner of Sir Tom Finney Way and St Stephen's Road, which serves a good meat and potato pie, among other things. Also on Sir Tom Finney Way you can find the following takeaways, Romero, Barbera's Buttie Bar, Pizza Pie, Domino's Pizza.
The whole ground has been redeveloped in recent years. In 1996 the 8,100-seater Sir Tom Finney Stand was opened, followed by the Bill Shankly Kop two years later, and in October 2001 work was completed on the Alan Kelly Town End, also with a capacity of just over 6,000. The completion of the fourth side of the stadium to replace the derelict Pavillion stand brought the total capacity to 23,408.
Normally the allocation for away fans is approximately half of the Kop (3,000 seats) and it is shared with home supporters, but teams with a large away support get the whole stand. Yep, that’s us! We’ve got an allocation of 4,400 for this game, and tickets are still on sale on the official Leeds site. They are priced at £24 for adults, with concession s at £16, £15, £8 and even £2 for under 11s accompanied by an adult.
The views of the playing action and facilities within this stand are excellent, as the stand is particularly steep, meaning that fans are kept relatively close to the pitch. On the concourse there are TVs by the refreshment serving areas showing the game live while the bars stay open. There is a wide range of food available including bacon rolls, burgers and even vegetarian 'butter' pies, which apparently is a local delicacy.
All in all, this should be quite a good evening out.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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