|Queens Park Rangers 1 v 0 Leeds United|
Saturday, 18th January 2020 Kick-off 12:30
Thursday, 16th Jan 2020 13:02 by Tim Whelan
Our trip to Queens Park Rangers is at 12.30 on Saturday, and once again we will be live on Sky Sports. We’re not famous any more!
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 on matchdays by an army of traffic wardens. There is some parking in the area costing £6.60 for three hours, but you’ll need to check the signs 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.
The official ground capacity is now 18,439, so somehow they’ve found another 79 seats since last season. 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, and it’s now sold out.
The adult price is £34 for ‘Upper tier gold’, whatever that is, and a mere £29 for ‘Upper tier silver’, while to complicate things further, both categories get a £2 reduction if you ended up with a restricted view seat. Things are a lot simpler in the lower tier, where it’s £29 for everyone. There are quite a few categories of concessions, from £24 for senior citizens and young adults in the most expensive seats, down to nothing for accompanied youngsters under 8 years old.
Tickets for home fans are now on general sale, but they were only available to fans who had been on their database by 5pm on 23st December. There is video footage on YouTube of some Leeds fans in the Ellerslie Road stand at last season’s FA cup tie, who were surrounded by the locals and then thrown out by the stewards, even though they hadn’t really done anything. So if you’ve managed to get a ticket in one of the home stands you will need to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
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.
The Club had planning to build a new 40,000 seater stadium at Old Oak in North West London, as part of a much larger scheme to regenerate the area, including new HS2 and Crossrail railway stations. But there’s been no news on that idea recently and it may well have fallen through.
The latest is that QPR are looking at developing the Linford Christie Athletics Stadium, which is located in the Wormwood Scrubs area, which is around half a mile from Loftus Road. But the club would prefer to buy the site, while the council want to retain ownership and lease it to the club, while retaining the running track.
This scheme would have a more modest 30,000 capacity and 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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