|Cardiff City 0 v 3 Leeds United
Saturday, 13th January 2024 Kick-off 15:00
Thursday, 11th Jan 2024 21:28 by Tim Whelan
This season’s visit to Cardiff City is on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off, and you’ll find their current stadium to the west of the city centre, only a quarter of a mile from their former home at Ninian Park.
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 the first exit off the roundabout onto the A4232, continue for 6.1 miles. Take the second exit off A4232 (junction has Brown football signage) onto B4267 Slip Road and (at the roundabout). Follow signs and road markings for the industrial estate. Take 2nd available exit off the roundabout onto Hadfield Road. Take 3rd left into Bessemer Road.
Travel to the end of the road turn left into Sloper Road and then turn Left into the 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 car park (CF118BA) which is approximately a 10 minute walk to 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. There is also an extensive 'residents' only' restricted parking zone around the stadium. Some of the nearest unrestricted on-street parking is on Hadfield Road (CF11 8AQ), and it’s around a 15 minute walk from there.
Last time the official site recommended parking at 'The Depot' on Curran Road, postcode CF10 5DY, for £10. Alternatively, you can park for £5 at the Gol Centre on Lawrenny Avenue (see below), and receive a voucher you can redeem at the bar. There is also a wholesale market on Bessemer Road, off Sloper Road (CF11 8BA), which offers matchday parking for £5 a car.
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. The trains leave Cardiff at .06 and .36 past each hour, and after the game they leave Ninian Park at .13 and .43 past the hour, with an extra service thrown in at 17.59.
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 ‘Gôl centre’ off Leckwith Road, between the stadium and the railway bridge I’ve mentioned above. It’s a 5-a-side centre jointly owned by Gwilym Boore, Cardiff fan and one-time stalwart of the Football Supporters Association.
Otherwise, it will be best to do your drinking in the city centre, with the real ales at the Pontcanna Inn on Cathedral Road worthy of your closest attention. 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's 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.
Our allocation is 3,213, and these have of course sold out. They cost £21 for adults and £16 for senior citizens, with young adults at £11, and £9 for under 16's. A glance at the Cardiff website suggests that the home sections could also sell out by the time the game comes round, with only a handful of blocks showing any availability.
Our section is in a corner of the stadium, between the Ninian & Grange stands, which has a spacious concourse and the good view you would expect from a modern stadium. 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 from throwing missiles at us as 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 one day.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com . But the various sarcastic comments that crept into this article were all my own work.
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