Trip To The Seaside For Toon Army

Last updated : 28 May 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle have yet to announce their full list of pre-season matches, but a trip to Bloomfield Road is on the cards after Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston gave the game away.

Speaking to his local paper, Oyston revealed that the club were expecting a pre-season visit by Newcastle.

“We will have a friendly against Newcastle which we are working towards but there is no desperate panic (getting the pitch ready) - everything is on schedule.”

There has been no date confirmed for the clash with Newcastle, but
United are also hoping to take part in a pre-season tournament out in South Africa, although again details have not been announced.

Alan Pardew's team is expected to face Everton in the competition.


What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?

Away fans are housed on one side of the temporary East Stand, at one side of the pitch, where up to 2,500 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is shared with home fans, with away fans being housed on the northern side. Although the stand is covered, there are a number of supporting pillars running along the front of the stand that may hinder your view. If you find that you are sat towards the middle of the stand, then you will have the 'added comfort' of padded seats. However the facilities are not that great with portakabin toilets etc..

Neil McEachnie a visiting Blackburn Rovers fan adds; 'Even at 6'6" tall, I found that there was plenty of leg room within the stand. The pillars though are annoying, they restrict your view wherever you sit. The toilets are all portakabins, so be prepared to queue. You can tell the stand is temporary as when the singing gets going you can feel the floor below you move!' I would also suggest that if that there is a sizeable away support that you arrive at the turnstiles in good time. I arrived 10 minutes before kick off to find the queue stretching back from the away entrance and around the corner along the road behind the stand. It meant that I didn’t get to my seat until at least 10 minutes after the game had started. I did find it amusing though to see notices taped up by the away turnstiles which said; ‘Please refrain from bouncing on the floor of this stand.’ It didn’t exactly give me confidence in its structural integrity!

Where To Drink?

Popular with away fans is the Old Bridge House pub on Lytham Road. It is only short walk away (walk down Bloomfield Road towards the sea front and then turn right into Lytham Road and the pub is down on the right) and has screens showing Sky Sports.

Nigel Richardson a visiting Hull City fan recommends the 'No 1 Bar, which is a Working Mens Club, that is adjacent to the away supporters entrance to the ground on Bloomfield Road. It was very welcoming and admits away fans for a small fee'. Steve Gardner a visiting Gillingham fan informs me; 'A good family pub close to the ground is the Waterloo in Waterloo Road - genuinely family friendly except in the games area. Clean, comfortable and friendly; Sky TV on large screens and reasonable, inexpensive food'.

Steve Lumb adds; 'Another good pub is the Wetherspoons pub called the Auctioneer on Lytham Road, near Blackpool South Station. It's about 10 minutes walk to the ground and serves cheap beer and brilliant grub.' Otherwise there are plenty of pubs in Blackpool town centre to choose from. Alcohol is not available to away supporters inside the stadium.

How To Get There By Car & Where To Park

Leave the M6 at Junction 32. Follow the M55 into the outskirts of Blackpool and continue straight along this road until you see the ground on your right. The ground is roughly located about half way between the Pleasure Beach and the Tower and is about a 1/4 of a mile inland from the south shore. A huge pay and display car park is located just across the road from the ground, which stretches all the way from near the Blackpool South station. It costs £3.50 for three hours and £7.50 for up to 12 hours (some of the pay machines also accept credit/debit cards). The car park nearest to the South Station is more expensive to park in (£5 for three hours), but it easier to get out of and back on the road towards the M55 after the game. Matthew Stimpson informs me; 'Please note that unlike most towns and cities in England the pay and display car parks near to the ground still charge after 6pm. Some visiting fans on my visit assumed that they would be free after 6pm and ended up with a parking ticket'. Otherwise street parking (although there are restrictions in the immediate vicinity around the ground).

By Train

The closest railway station to the ground is Blackpool South and is around a ten minute walk away. However fewer trains stop at this station with most calling at Blackpool North. Blackpool North station is around two miles away and therefore you may wish to jump in a cab to the ground.

Mark Gillatt adds; 'For anyone arriving by train at Blackpool North a cheaper alternative than a taxi may be the number 11 bus from the bus station across the road. Buses to Lytham St Annes pass the end of Bloomfield Road and run every eight minutes. Fans should alight at the Bridge House pub (okay for a pint) and walk down Lonsdale Road to the ground'.