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QPR Awaydaze
Wednesday, 24th Apr 2024 21:13 by Tim Whelan

Our trip to Queens Park Rangers is at 8pm on Friday, thanks once again to our very good friends at Sky Sports. We’re not famous any more!

To get to Loftus Road by car you need to leave the M25 at junction 16 and take the M40 towards London, which becomes the A40 after a mile or so. At the point where the A40 becomes the A40(M) (and becomes seriously congested), turn off onto the A40 towards White City/Shepherds Bush and turn right into Wood Lane, turn right into South Africa Road for the ground.

There is only street parking available, and it's very limited close to the ground. Some streets are cordoned off and others for residents only, with regulations strictly enforced on matchdays by an army of traffic wardens. There is some parking in the area costing £6.60 for three hours, but you’ll need to check the signs to make sure you’ve not left the car in a restricted zone.

There is also the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush, which costs £8.50 for parking, though you get 25% off if you sign up in advance to their Smart Parking Scheme. It might be a better idea to leave the A40 several miles before you get to Loftus Road and park at one of the nearby Central Line stations, such as Northolt or Greenford, taking the tube direct to White City. That is the nearest tube station, only 5 minutes walk from the stadium.

There are no longer any pubs for away fans next to the ground, so you will need to head to ‘Belushi's Bar’, in a retail complex called Vue, which you will find on the other side of the road from Shepherd’s Bush Central Line tube station. Quite a few of the other establishments nearby have bouncers on the door to make sure that only home fans get in. Alcohol is usually available to away fans inside the Loftus Road, but not for some “high profile” games, which will probably include us.

If you’re in need of a takeaway, there is a wide variety of scoff around Shepherds' Bush Market station, along Uxbridge Road and around Shepherd's Bush Green. The ethnic diversity of the area means that as well as the usual range of cafes, burger bars, fried chicken outlets and chippies, there are Indian, Chinese & Thai outlets.

The official ground capacity is now 18,439, Away fans usually get the upper tier of the School End, which holds around 1,800, though for some games they also give the lower tier to the visitors, which provides another 1,300 seats. But this time we’ve only got an allocation of 1,816, though we will still have some seats in both upper and lower tiers. Both sections have of course sold out.

The word is that the smaller allocation of tickets was due to us forecasting a relegation battle right to the end, so to make more tickets available for QPR fans and support from all 4 sides of the ground. It’s annoying that this is the Friday night game, as if it had got the late Saturday slot QPR might have been safe before it kicked off thanks to other results earlier in the day. Then they might have taken it all a bit easier.

The adult price is £37 for ‘Upper tier gold’, and a mere £31 for ‘Upper tier silver’, while to complicate things further, both categories get a £2 reduction if you ended up with a restricted view seat. So restricted in fact that many away fans complain that the view of the nearest goal is almost completely obscured!

Things are a lot simpler in the lower tier, where it’s £31 for everyone. There are quite a few categories of concessions, from £27 for senior citizens and young adults in the most expensive seats, down to nothing for accompanied youngsters under 8 years old. Tickets for home fans are now on general sale, but only to those who were on their database before March 15th this year.

The entrance to the away end is in Ellersie Road, as there are no turnstiles behind this stand because it backs right onto the school grounds. There is normally quite a large police and steward presence, and you should expect to be thoroughly searched before you enter the away end, while they are also very slow operating the turnstiles, so you should arrive at least half an hour before kick off.

The stadium is hemmed in by it's surroundings on all sides, which is the main reason why it hasn't been possible to develop Loftus Road and increase the capacity. For this reason it's very compact inside and the legroom is limited where seats have been bolted onto the former terracing, which would bother us if we ever sat down at away games.

The Club are looking to build a new stadium with a capacity of around 30,000, and the latest is that they are looking at developing the Linford Christie Athletics Stadium, which is located in the Wormwood Scrubs area, around half a mile from Loftus Road. But one sticking point is that the club would prefer to buy the site, while the council want to retain ownership and lease it to the club, while retaining the running track.

If this does ever come to pass then hopefully we could hopefully we can look forward to bigger ticket allocations on future visits to QPR, but it may not be worth holding your breath.

Some of this stuff came from, and thanks are also due to QPR fan John Keir for his help with this piece.


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