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Cardiff City   v   Leeds United
SkyBet Championship
Sunday, 15th March 2020 Kick-off 13:00
Cardiff Awaydaze
Thursday, 12th Mar 2020 21:14 by Tim Whelan

Our visit to Cardiff City is on Sunday with a 1pm kick-off, but for once this isn’t down to Sky. Apparently there’s some sort of rugby game in Cardiff on Saturday that we can’t clash with.

In previous years the official site have given us the following directions (courtesy of the local police) so that we can drive the long way round and avoid going through Cardiff city centre.

“Leave the M4 at junction 33, and take first exit off roundabout on to A4232, continue for 6.1 miles. Take second exit off A4232 (junction has Brown football signage) on to B4267 Slip Road and (at the roundabout).Follow signs and road markings for industrial estate. Take 2nd available exit off roundabout on to Hadfield Road. Take 3rd left in to Bessemer Road.

Travel to the end of the road turn left in to Sloper Road and then turn Left in to Away supporters' car park (Zone F) which is situated on the South footprint of the stadium has the ability to routinely hold 24 coaches and 133 cars.” This car park is a most reasonable £10 per Car, but you can halve this cost by going to Bessemer Road’s Wholesale Market carpark (CF118BA) which is approximately a 10 minute walk rom the Stadium.

It might be tempting to avoid the charges and park in the nearby retail park instead, but that is limited to a 90 minute stay, with the regulations strictly enforced on matchdays by an army of traffic wardens. Not sure if they are more relaxed for an evening game. Alternatively, you can park at the Gol Centre on Lawrenny Avenue (see below), which costs only £5, and that can be redeemed at the bar inside the Centre.

The nearest railway station is Ninian Park Halt, which is only a five minute walk from the stadium and normally served by local trains to Radyr. But it seems to have no Sunday service, and strangely they can’t be bothered to change this just because there’s a match on.

But in any case, the Away Guide that Cardiff sent to the official Leeds website says they want away fans to use Grangetown station, which is only a 4 minute journey from Cardiff Central, but a mile from the stadium. Before the match trains leave Central at 11.16, 11.25, 11.55 and 12.25, heading for Penarth or Barry Island. On the way back they leave at 15.50, 16.19 and 16.34.

If you want to want to walk from the main Cardiff Central station it will take around 25 minutes. You turn left outside the stadium, passing the Millennium Stadium and crossing the river. You just continue straight on down Ninian Park Road for around a mile and at the end turn left into Leckwith Road. You’ll see the stadium as soon as you’ve come under the railway bridge.

Most of the pubs close to the stadium are best avoided, but one place you could try is the ‘Gol centre’ off Leckwith Road, between the stadium and the railway bridge I’ve mentioned above. Otherwise, it will be best to do your drinking in the city centre. If you want to get some reasonably priced food before you get to the stadium there are a couple of takeaways along the Ninian Park road (see the walking directions from Cardiff Central above).

Cardiff decided a few years back that ramshackle old Ninian Park could never be brought up to the standards demanded by the Taylor report, and decided to build the new Cardiff City Stadium on a site only a quarter of a mile away.

As a certain Peter Ridsdale was Cardiff chairman at the time it was constructed it’s no surprise that the project ran way over budget and ended up costing them a total of £48million. This added considerably to Cardiff’s financial problems and they had to survive a winding up order before Ridsdale departed to inflict his peculiar brand of financial ‘advice’ onto the good citizens of first Plymouth and then Preston.

The new stadium opened at the start of the 2010/11 season, and it has a capacity of 33,300. Like most of the other identikit new stadia around the country it offers excellent facilities and a good view of the pitch, but looks rather bland and functional. The concourses are spacious and they usually serve alcohol, though it remains to be seen whether they will do so in the away end during our visit. The food kiosks serve the usual football scoff, including pies, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and vastly overpriced chips.

Away fans are allocated one corner of the stadium, between the Ninian & Grange stands. Our allocation is 2,400, and inevitably it was sold through the ‘Away Attendance Tracker’ scheme, and equally inevitably it has now sold out. Tickets cost £23 for adults and £18 for senior citizens, with young adults at £12, and £9 for under 16's.

Inside the stadium away fans are segregated from home fans, by an area of 'no mans’ land' to each side. And outside there is a fenced in compound, which is also used to accommodate the away coaches, but again keeps fans separated after the game has finished. This might be a bit of a pain, but at least it will stop the Cardiff fans throwing missiles at us like they did after the cup tie in 2002.

The stadium has been built in such a way that it can be easily further expanded, by adding additional blocks of seating to both ends of the stadium, taking the capacity up to around 38,000. That would probably involve Cardiff getting back into the Premiership, but you never know, that could happen. Dare we hope that any such scheme would lead to more tickets being given to away fans?

Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com . But the various sarcastic comments that crept into this article were all my own work.

Reuters Connect



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