Friday, 28th Feb 2020 13:01 by Tim Whelan
This season’s trip to Hull City is on Saturday, with kick off at 12.30, and once again we’re live on Sky Sports. We’re not famous any more!
You’ll find the KCOM stadium a mile or so to the west of Hull city centre. If you're driving from Leeds you need to stay on the M62 right till the end, where it becomes the A63. On the edge of the city you should continue along the A63 (Clive Sullivan Way) till you come to a roundabout where you need to take the 2nd exit at a roundabout, following signs to the Stadium and Hull Royal Infirmary.
Turn left at the lights and then go over the flyover, right at the next lights and the ground is down on the right. The stadium has a massive on-site Car Park with the entrance in Walton Street, costing £5, but the drawback is that it takes a while to get out after the match. I wouldn't try to park in any of the surrounding residential streets, which are for permit holders only and are patrolled by an army of traffic wardens.
Other options are to use the Park & Ride service from Priory Park, which is signposted from the A63, or park at the Infirmary, where parking is only £5 for 4 hours. It's a 10-15 minute walk to the ground from there. You could also use one of the city centre car parks, as it’s not too far to walk from there.
The railway station is a 20 minute walk from the stadium, with a signposted pedestrian route using Londesborough Street, which passes a decent fish and chip shop. Though in any case you should be able to get your bearings when you pass the stadium on the way into Hull.
Of course it's just possible that the local bobbies will be kind enough to provide an escort, to make absolutely sure that we don't get lost. And after the match it has been known for the police to keep a Leeds train waiting at the station, to make sure we catch it and we're not left hanging round on their patch.
It has been known for all pubs to be shut when we’re in town, and in any case most of those round the stadium are ‘home fans only’ for any game. But the ‘Park View’ virtually opposite the stadium car park entrance usually allows away fans in, as does the nearby Walton Street Social Club, though the latter costs £1 to enter.
And you can also try the ‘Boot Room’, which is further down Walton Street, on the corner with Anlaby Road. There are quite a few other options in the city centre, such as the Wetherspoons ‘Admiral of the Humber’ next to the railway station, and an upstairs bar next door called the 'New King Edward'. Also recommended is the nearby ‘Punch Hotel’ next to the Princes Quay shopping centre, which does great homemade food.
Inside the stadium away supporters have their own bar called the Pitch Side and as well as alcohol it also sells cold food and snacks, including sandwiches. But it stops serving booze 45 minutes before kick off and for some ‘high profile’ matches (which probably includes us) they don’t sell alcohol at all.
The Kingston Communications (KC) stadium was opened in December 2002 at a cost of £44m, and is owned by the Hull City Council. It's home to both the towns Rugby League & football clubs, and as with all new stadia it has excellent facilities, but seems a bit bland and identikit to old farts like me, who prefer old football grounds with a bit of character.
It's got all the important stuff, including 2,000 square feet of conference and exhibition space, 28 executive boxes, a restaurant and 4 banqueting/hospitality suites. And there won't be much danger of the game being postponed, as the water porosity of the pitch is 25-30mm per hour, which I think means it can absorb a lot of rainfall. To make sure we all behave they have a total of 57 CCTV cameras to keep an eye on us.
The usual away allocation is 2,510 tickets, but for this game they’ve been sensible enough to increase this to 3,500, which is better than the restricted number we got last season. But they’ve put the prices up, with adult tickets now being £33, with various categories of concessions from £9 through to £24. Inevitably they have now sold out.
Hull’s website said they wouldn’t be selling tickets on the day, but the link on their website for online sales wasn’t active. So either they’ve sold out, or you’d need to be a member to purchase one. I couldn’t be bothered to register to check this out.
At one time they had plans to add an additional tier to both the East & South Stands, which would increase the capacity of the KC Stadium to around 34,000. But at the moment there is no sign of this going ahead, so presumably it’s on hold until they manage to get back into the Premier League, which might take a while.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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