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Arsenal Awaydaze
Saturday, 7th May 2022 08:16 by Tim Whelan

Our game tie at Arsenal kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, and it’s being televised live on Sky Sports.

I can’t recommend that you drive all the way to the Emirates stadium because the streets get very congested and there is a residents-only parking scheme in all directions around the stadium, which is strictly enforced by an army of traffic wardens. The best idea is to park at Cockfosters (junction 24 of the M25 and then 3 miles along the A111) and take the Piccadilly line.

If you’re catching the train from Leeds it’s a simple journey from Kings Cross, just three stops along the Piccadilly line to Arsenal. This station was right outside their old Highbury stadium, but it is still within easy walking distance of their new home. Turn right outside the station and follow Drayton Park Road around to the left. Then take one of the large bridges over the railway line to the stadium.

After the match there are usually long queues to get onto Arsenal station, so you might want to avoid the wait and keep walking till you get to Finsbury Park, which offers both underground and National Rail trains back to Kings Cross. Though it’s only about two miles to walk back to Kings Cross, which might be an option if you need the exercise.

The nearest underground station is Holloway Road, but this is closed for an hour or so before and after the game for safety reasons. The problem is that the station relies mostly on lifts to transport passengers to and from street level, which can’t cope with a large number of people in a short period of time.

The traditional pub for away supporters was the Drayton Arms, but that is currently closed. A couple of other establishments you could try are the Twelve Pins and ‘The Blackstock’, which are both close to Finsbury Park station, and both of which normally admit away fans. As does ‘The Coronet’, a large Wetherspoons on Holloway Road.

Arsenal moved out of Highbury after 93 years of playing at their old stadium, as the cramped site meant that in the all-seater era they could never expand it’s capacity to meet the demand for tickets, so in 2006 they moved into the Emirates. The whole project cost £390m, but this included the conversion of Highbury into residential accommodation, and the sale of these flats has helped to offset a lot of their huge outlay.

With 60,383 seats on offer, they have enjoyed a huge increase in their matchday revenues since the new stadium opened. For Premier League games away fans get an allocation of 3,000 in the lower tier of the South East corner, and inevitably ours sold out as soon as it went on sale. They cost £30 for adults, with under 16s at £10 and other concessions at £16. It seems that you would have to be an Arsenal member to get a ticket for any of the home stands.

As far as the facilities are concerned, the seats are padded seats and plenty of legroom, but the lower tier of the stadium is quite shallow so the view isn’t that good in the front rows of that section. Also, the concourse is disappointingly narrow for a new stadium, though it does offer a wide selection of scoff, and alcohol is usually available.

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