Stoke City - The Geordie Boys Are On The March!

Last updated : 03 January 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

The stadium opened in 1997, looks imposing from afar, as it is perched on a hill with hardly any buildings around it. It does look good though especially when lit up at night.

It is a vast improvement on the old Victoria Ground which has now sadly been demolished. It is a fair sized stadium comprising three separate stands. One of these the Boothen End and Sentinel East Stand, extends around one corner of the ground, enclosing the stadium in that area. On the other side of the ground is the John Smith's Stand, which is the tallest at the Britannia.

This imposing stand has a large lower tier of seating with a smaller tier above. Situated between the tiers is a row of Executive Boxes. There are quite large open areas to each side of this stand, which detracts from the overall look of the stadium. If these could be filled at some point, then the ground would benefit greatly.

The Big AM South Stand at one end of the stadium is allocated to away supporters. This simple looking stand is like the rest of the stadium, all seated and covered, with windshields to either side. It is though quite steep, meaning that fans are kept close to the playing action.

Unusually the teams come onto the pitch from one corner of the ground, between the Big AM South Stand and the John Smth's Stand. In the corner on the other side of the Big AM South Stand is a large electric scoreboard.

What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?

Away fans are housed in the separate Big AM (South) Stand at one end of the ground, where up to 4,800 supporters can be accommodated. At first I was quite perturbed by a large sign advising fans that persistent standing would result in ejection from the ground, however the facilities and view of the action from this stand are good.

The stadium is quite high up in an exposed position and the open corners can mean that a cold wind can whip through the stadium, so bear this in mind, especially in the winter months. I thought the inside of the stadium was quite disappointing being rather bland and lacking character, although I'm sure that this can be developed in time.

Listen out though for the Stoke anthem 'Delilah' being sung by the home fans, they can still give a great rendition of that Tom Jones classic song. It is worth bearing mind though that the Stoke fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere, so it is best to keep colours covered around the ground. 

Outside at the back of the away stand there is an enclosed fenced off area, to keep away and home supporters apart, especially after the game has finished. 
Where To Drink?

There are a distinct lack of pubs near to the ground as it is built away from other buildings. Therefore I would recommend that you grab a drink on the way into Stoke.

James Diamond informs me 'There is a Holiday Inn and Harvester Pub next to the ground. Car parking in the Harvester car park costs £3'. Also close to the stadium is a Power League complex that also has a bar, which also allows in away fans, shows SKY television and you can even park in their car park for £4.50. Otherwise alcohol is available at the back of the away end, but queues can be lengthy, especially if there is a big support.

Whilst Kevin McPadden the landlord of the Potters Bar adds; 'We are prepared to offer our hospitality to all visiting teams en-route to the Britannia Stadium. We have a full menu of food and drinks available all day, children are welcome in a designated area, coaches welcome by appointment. The pub in Meir Park is approximately six minutes drive from the Britannia Stadium and is located on the A50 Uttoxeter/Stoke road. For further details please telephone 01782 395649 ask for Kevin or Pat'. 
How To Get There And Where To Park

Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and then go straight across the roundabout onto the A500 towards Stoke. As you see the stadium over on your right and some wasteland over on your left (where the old Victoria Ground used to be) turn right onto the A50 towards Uttoxeter. You will then pass the stadium on your right and then at the next island go around and comeback on yourself for the stadium entrance. Roger Davis informs me 'Visitors can purchase car park tickets for the stadium car parks from their own club at a cost of £4 per car'. Please note though that these tickets must be purchased in advance.
Matt Goldstraw adds; 'If you have a ticket for the official south car park, then after going onto the A500 towards Stoke from junction 15 of the M6, leave the A500 at the first junction and turn right at the large roundabout and onto the A34 towards Stafford. Go past a red petrol station and the Staffordshire Knot pub and after about a mile you will reach a small roundabout that on the right has the entrance to Trentham Awakes (previously known as Trentham Gardens). Turn left at the island and then continue straight up this road for about three miles. You will pass a golf club, a Toby Carvery, go over a railway bridge, over the canal and past an Esso garage. Then at a set of traffic lights where there is an obvious industrial estate to the right, turn left on to Stanley Matthews Way for the stadium'.

Alternatively there are still some parking spaces at various commercial sites between the old Michelin Car park and the site of the old Victoria Ground. Bear in mind though that if you do park by the Victoria ground, allow a good 20 minutes to walk (mostly uphill) to the stadium. If you are intending parking in this area then from Junction 15 proceed along the A500, passing the junction with the A34. The stadium will appear over on the right and the open site of the demolished Victoria ground will appear on your left. Leave the A500 at the next junction and turn left to go down to this area. 

Andy Fenwick adds; 'Don't be tempted to park on wasteland around the stadium, you may well end up as I did with a parking ticket waiting for you on your return'.
By Train

Stoke station is just under three miles from the stadium and really is too far to walk, so it is probably best to hire a taxi. Tim Rigby a visiting Wolves fan adds 'there are some shuttle buses than run from Glebe Street in Stoke up to the Britannia Stadium, which depart every 15 minutes before kick off. There are return buses after the game back to Glebe Street from behind the Sentinel (East) Stand'.

Björn Sandström adds; 'To catch this bus, turn right from the station and head down Station Road. At the bottom of Station Road at the traffic lights by the Roebuck Hotel, turn right to go along Leek Road (A52). Then go straight across the A500 dual carriageway and into Glebe Street which is straight across in front of you. You should then see the line of buses that will take you to the stadium. It is only about a five minute walk from the station'. The shuttle bus costs for a return ticket £3 Adults, £2 Children and £1.50 OAP's.
stody since being arrested in the early hours of December 27 in Liverpool city centre.