|Rotherham United 1 v 1 Leeds United
Friday, 24th November 2023 Kick-off 20:00
Wednesday, 22nd Nov 2023 08:16 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Rotherham United is on Friday, with Kick-Off at 8pm, thanks to our very good friends at Sky Sports. It’s the first of their four selections in just over a month, so clearly we’re not famous any more.
The club moved back to Rotherham in 2012 after playing their home games at the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield for four years. The ‘New York Stadium’ is close to their old ground at Millmoor, which they were forced to leave in 2008 after running into financial problems and being unable to agree terms with their landlord for a renewal of their lease.
Their new home was built on the site of the old Guest & Chrimes factory, beside the River Don, and it’s good to see a new stadium being sited close to the town centre, convenient for public transport and for traditional pubs and takeaways. This area of Rotherham was historically known as ‘New York’, but that doesn’t stop Sky from playing that Frank Sinatra song whenever one of their home games is selected for live coverage.
To get there by car you need to leave the M1 at Junction 34 and take the A6178 towards Rotherham. This involves taking the third exit at the roundabout at the bottom of the slip road, so you cross the Tinsley roundabout underneath the M1 before you finally reach the A6178 at the next roundabout. At the third roundabout on the A6178 (called Ickles roundabout) take the first exit onto the A630 Centenary Way (signposted Doncaster) and you will see the stadium on your right.
Car parking at the stadium is for permit holders only, so if you don’t have one you should pass it and use the open air car park just beyond at a cost of £2. There are also a number of pay & display car parks around the town centre, including a multi storey car park next to the Interchange Bus Station (£2.80 for four hours). Otherwise there is some street parking available around the area of the old Millmoor ground (see above), which is around a 15 minute walk away.
Rotherham Central railway station is only a five minute walk from the stadium, and after the match there will be trains back to Leeds at 22.28 and 23.28. And as well as conventional trains there is now the excitement of a ‘tram train’, which operates from Sheffield city centre every 20 minutes for most of the day and every half hour after 10 pm.
As you come out of the main station entrance turn right along Bridge Street. Opposite the Bridge Inn is a footpath that goes along one side of the River Don down towards a Tesco Superstore. Walk along this footpath and then head towards the Tesco car park entrance. Turn left going up over the bridge across the river and then take the next right into Market Street. At the bottom of Market Street turn right into Main Street and the stadium entrance is down this road on the left.
But if you’re struggling to find the stadium it’s likely there will be plenty of police to show you the way. A few years ago Chief Inspector Richard Butterworth told the Sheffield Star “I want to reassure the public in Rotherham and Sheffield that we will not tolerate any level of disorder or violence”, and no doubt this still applies.
The usual away fans pub is the Bridge Inn, which is quite close to the Railway Station. I’m not sure how many other pubs will be open on the day, but the ‘Rhinoceros’ Wetherspoons in the town centre normally allows a mixture of home and away fans. Other options are the ‘Cutlers Arms’ and the ‘New York Tavern’, which are both on Westgate (turn right off the Main Street.
The stadium has a capacity of 12,021, out of which we get 2,153 seats in the Mears Stand at one end. Tickets for our section cost £27 for adults, with various categories of concessions at £20.60, £11 and £9, thanks to another good old reciprocal arrangement. With such a small Leeds allocation it has inevitably sold out.
As you would expect from a new stadium the facilities and the view are pretty good, but the angle of the Stand is quite steep, so it’s is a bit of a hike to get to the top. On the concourse there are two refreshment kiosks selling the usual football ground scoff, and you’ll find a shorter queue if you head for the one furthest from the turnstiles. They normally sell alcohol inside the stadium, but again, it remains to be seen whether they will do so during our visit.
The official Rotherham site says that home tickets have also sold out, and any returns will only be sold to those who are already on their database. If you did manage to get one you will need to keep quiet, because last time the site said “Away fans found in home areas will be ejected from the stadium for breaching Ground Regulations. Any home fans purchasing tickets in the home areas of the stadium for away supporters may face further action from Rotherham United Football Club.”
The stadium has the necessary foundations for a possible increase in capacity to either 16,000 or 20,000, by adding an extra tier to the North, South and East Stands. They might need to wait until they’ve established themselves in the Championship before they can fund this expansion, but perhaps we can hope that we might enjoy a decent allocation one day, if we still have to come back to Rotherham in the future.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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