|Norwich City 2 v 3 Leeds United
Saturday, 21st October 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Thursday, 19th Oct 2023 21:15 by Tim Whelan
We visit Norwich City on Saturday, and kick off is at 3pm. You’ll find Carrow Road is about a mile to the south-east of the city centre.
If you're coming by car, the best way is to travel around Norwich on the A47 till you reach the A146, then take that road into the city. At the traffic lights turn right and follow the outer ring road, then go left at the next roundabout.
Turn right at the next lights and follow the inner ring road round to the right, over the river and the ground is on your right. If in doubt follow signs for the railway station until you get to the river (where the rail station is off to the left and ground on your right).
The nearest streets to the ground are all residents only for parking, but you can invest £8 to park at the County Hall. This is well signposted and close to the A47 exit, and holds 2000 cars. If you're parking here it's best to get to arrive before noon to get a decent spot, otherwise you may get stuck in spaces at the back, and it would then take ages to get out at the end of the game. Some residential areas further away from Carrow Road and the city centre offer free parking on Sundays.
The ground is approximately a five minute walk from the railway station. You need to turn left outside the station and walk along Koblenz Avenue, which will take you all the way to Carrow Road. This goes past a leisure complex called the Riverside, which contains plenty of bars and fast food outlets, though this is predominantly an area for home supporters and most of the bars there will not admit fans in away colours.
Not that it will be easier to get there in time by train anyway, as there will be a rail replacement bus service from Peterborough due to engineering work. To get back to Leeds after the game you would have to be back at the station by 17.30, which you might struggle to do with all the injury time that is played these days.
The main away fans' pub used to be the 'Compleat Angler', which is by the river opposite the railway station, but a new owner has now decreed that it is now for home fans only. But one establishment that is now for away fans only is the ‘Waterfront on King Street, the other side of the river from the stadium.
Two other options on Thorpe Road (around a 10 minute walk away from the ground) are CAMRA-listed ‘Fat Cat and Canary’ and the 'Coach and Horses', which brews its own beer. Though I’m told that to get into either of these pubs you will probably need to be in small groups and not wearing colours.
Carrow Road now holds 27,244 fans, and it has been virtually rebuilt since the early 90's, with all four sides of the ground having new stands. The redevelopment was completed when the old south stand was replaced by the new Jarrold Stand during the 2003/04 season.
Norwich's official website promised that this new stand would "make Carrow Road one of the country's finest grounds". In total that stand holds 8200, and to make sure that the really important people were looked after they included 297 Premier Seats in the centre of the stand which are padded for extra comfort, as well as 15 new executive boxes.
The away allocation is 2,022, and we get a corner of the Jarrold Stand, close to the most vocal home fans in the Barclay stand. The facilities and view of the playing action are good, with plenty of leg room, and alcohol is usually available. But at some games the stewards try to order away supporters to keep seated throughout the game, which could cause a few clashes during our visit.
The ticket prices this time around are £36 for adults, with various categories of concessions at £26, £21 and £13, and this is with a reciprocal pricing deal. Despite the prices being a bit higher than usual, our allocation again sold out almost as soon as it went on sale.
Norwich are only selling tickets for their home stands to those who have previously bought a ticket from them in the last 5 seasons, and at the moment it looks like game will just about sell out by the day. Their official site is showing limited availability in quite a few sections of the ground, though there are only a handful of tickets remaining in each block.
In December 2019 the club confirmed that they had purchased two strips of land behind the Geoffrey Watling City Stand, which would enable them to build a second tier on that stand. And they could also add an additional tier to the Jarrold (South) Stand, where the foundations are already in place.
If both these improvements were carried out the overall capacity of Carrow Road would be increased to around 39,000, but there hasn’t been any announcement as to when all of this might happen. No doubt Covid got in the way, but they might also be waiting to see if they manage to establish themselves back in the Premier League.
So we might get a bigger allocation one day in the future at Carrow Road, or we may not.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com , and many thanks to Norwich fan Richard Woods for helping me with his expert local knowledge.
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