|Queens Park Rangers 2 v 1 Leeds United|
Sunday, 6th January 2019 Kick-off 14:00
Saturday, 5th Jan 2019 18:01 by Tim Whelan
Our FA cup third round tie at Queens Park Rangers is on Saturday, with a 2pm kick-off. This is one of many ties moved away from the traditional Saturday time because of an overseas TV contract, even though they are not being televised live in the UK, just to further ruin the tradition of what was once one of the most eagerly anticipated weekends of the season.
To get to Loftus Road by car you need to leave the M25 at junction 16 and take the M40 towards London, which becomes the A40 after a mile or so. At the point where the A40 becomes the A40(M) (and becomes seriously congested), turn off onto the A40 towards White City/Shepherds Bush and turn right into Wood Lane, turn right into South Africa Road for the ground.
There is only street parking available, and it's very limited close to the ground. Some streets are cordoned off and others for residents only, with regulations strictly enforced. There is some parking in the area costing £6.60 for three hours, but you’ll need to make sure you’ve not left the car in a restricted zone.
There is also the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush, which costs £8 for parking, or a mere £6 if you sign up in advance to their Smart Parking Scheme. It might be a better idea to leave the A40 several miles before you get to Loftus Road and park at one of the nearby Central Line stations, such as Northolt or Greenford, taking the tube direct to White City. This is the nearest tube station, only 5 minutes walk from the stadium.
There are no longer any pubs for away fans next to the ground, so you will need to head to ‘Belushi's Bar’, in a retail complex called Vue , which you will find on the other side of the road from Shepherd’s Bush Central Line tube station. Quite a few of the other establishments nearby have bouncers on the door to make sure that only home fans get in. Alcohol is usually available to away fans inside the Loftus Road, but not for some “high profile” games, which will probably include us.
If you’re in need of a takeaway, there is a wide variety of scoff around Shepherds' Bush Market station, along Uxbridge Road and around Shepherd's Bush Green. The ethnic diversity of the area means that as well as the usual range of cafes, burger bars, fried chicken outlets and chippies, there are Indian, Chinese & Thai outlets.
QPR normally have a Fan Zone in South Africa road, with all sorts of exciting family activites like face painting, but tragically it’s not going to be on before this game. I only hope we can manage to live without it.
The ground capacity is 18,360 and away fans usually get the upper tier of the School End, which holds around 1,800, though for some games they also give the lower tier to the visitors, which provides another 1,300 seats. We got the larger allocation this time, and it’s now sold out.
The adult price for season ticket holders is £10, though members had to pay £15, and to complicate things further, both categories get a £2 reduction if they ended up with a restricted view seat. There are quite a few categories of concessions, from £5 for senior citizens who are members, down to nothing for accompanied youngsters under 8 years old.
As far as tickets for the home stands are concerned, QPRs official website says “fans purchasing for this fixture must have been registered on QPR’s ticketing database prior to 5pm Friday 21st December 2017.” That was the day the Leeds allocation went on sale to members, so they presumably waited until the away end had sold out before imposing this restriction.
The entrance to the away end is in Ellersie Road, as there are no turnstiles behind this stand because it backs right onto the school grounds. There is normally quite a large police and steward presence, and you should expect to be thoroughly searched before you enter the away end, while they are also very slow operating the turnstiles, so you should arrive at least half an hour before kick off.
The stadium is hemmed in by it's surroundings on all sides, which is the main reason why it hasn't been possible to develop Loftus Road and increase the capacity. For this reason it's very compact inside and the legroom is limited where seats have been bolted onto the former terracing, which would bother us if we ever sat down at away games.
And if you didn’t get a ticket, the game is being televised live in 67 different countries, and you can click here for a full list. The nearest is France, if you fancy popping over for the day, though you’d have to find some means of watching it on beIN Sports. Perhaps if we get through to the next round and get drawn away we can organise a coach trip to France.
The Club have announced that they are planning to build a new 40,000 seater stadium at Old Oak in North West London, about two miles from Loftus Road. This would be part of a much larger scheme to regenerate the area, including new HS2 and Crossrail railway stations nearby, but the latest is that “the Club will need to overcome a number of hurdles if it is to ever come to fruition.”
If this does ever come to pass then hopefully we could hopefully we can look forward to bigger ticket allocations on future visits to QPR, but it doesn’t sound like it’s worth holding your breath.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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