Valley Parade, Bradford City
Friendly v Manchester City
Saturday, July 29th 2006, 3pm
As a Manchester City supporter, I've recently visited Valley Parade for
a pre-season friendly. Maybe it's because I've been
with our recently-acquired, plush, new stadium (The City of Manchester
Stadium), but I found the facilities in the Dallas Stand (behind the
goal) alarmingly poor. Especially so as the ground,
in general, is very impressive when you take into
consideration that Bradford are currently playing their
football in the old 3rd division.
On this particular day, Manchester City fans arrived in huge numbers and
there weren't too many empty seats as the game kicked off. But surely
we aren't the only team to have brought such strong
support to Valley Parade in recent years. That being
the case, the food facilities are totally
inadequate. A small hut staffed by three, startled-looking Catering Staff
was nowhere near enough to accommodate 'the masses'. Not only that,
they soon ran out of food (well before Kick Off) and
there didn't seem to be any real plans to restock
the ovens. By the time I got there, they had run out
of pies/pasties & chips. They had ran out of onions for burgers and much to
everyone's amazement, they didn't even have any mustard/sauces
For the price of around £2, you could purchase a dry burger on a bun...no
butter of course. Buying for 3 people, I purchased 2 dry burgers, 2
packets of crisps and 2 bottles of spring water for
£8! However, these prices were in line with the
thin, 23-page program being sold on the day for £2.
The less said about the toilet facilities the better. Needless to say that
they were nowhere near adequate enough in terms of numbers. The blokes
toilets we small and very narrow indeed and most women emerged from
their amenities with words of disgust. For those who
chose to say nothing, their faces said it all.
But worst of all...NO BAR!
Like I said; maybe I've been spoilt in recent years. I used to travel all
over the country to watch my beloved Blues from the mid-to-late 80s through
to the mid-90s and enjoyed nearly every away trip back then (Bradford
City in 1989 included). I tend to stick to all home
games these days. I used to love swaying too-and-fro
in all-standing terraces and would still advocate
for most grounds to have safe, controlled standing areas. But I think that,
in general, my standards have risen somewhat, which is perhaps a bit
shameful in a way...
Other than that, Valley Parade is a decent-looking stadium with friendly
fans and I have to remind myself that I was sat in the oldest of the 4
stands. Ideally located just off a main road; a 15-minute walk takes
you into the town centre where various bars,
chippies & bakeries can be found quite easily. If
you fancied staying in the town centre until 'late on'
before Kick Off, there's a taxi rank in-amongst the shops and £3.50
will get you to the ground within 5-minutes.
an away or general football fan who has visited Valley Parade recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Click here to find out
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© Duncan Adams 2009
Updated: 21 January, 2009