Ricoh Arena
Japan v Sweden
Women's Olympic Football Tournament
  Saturday 12noon July 28th 2012
By Andy Hutchcraft

Team supported (or neutral, or Doing the 92):

Just there to savour the Olympics!

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

As someone who has mainly visited old grounds, I was looking forward to seeing a new build, particularly as it was hosting an Olympic event.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Journey from Peterborough along the A14 then the M6 was perfect until the slip road for the stadium turn off, it was there that the queues started. It took nearly half an hour inching bumper to bumper to get parked in one of the designated Olympic car parks about 20 minutes walk from the ground. But the queue snaked right past the stadium so I got to see a good view early on. Signposting was very good. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Walked at top speed to the stadium as we'd been warned that security checks outside the ground could create delays. But once at the ground we walked in with no problems, just a quick body search from a security guard. Note: the ground operates a barcode turnstile to allow you through.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground itself was exceptional. We had an excellent view of the action despite being situated towards the corner. Concourses beneath were wide, and access areas plentiful. The tannoy was suitably booming, and the big screen in the corner was very easy to see. The clear roof gave a wonderful sense of light on what was a sunny day.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game ended 0-0 but not for the want of trying, certainly by the Japanese who missed several great chances. The skill level of the teams was very high, the killer instinct in front of goal perhaps not quite so high. Atmosphere was great as you'd expect for an Olympic tournament, with many families and obviously many foreign visitors in attendance. Queues for food at half time were long, but the food was of excellent quality, and the toilets plentiful if somewhat spartan inside.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Left for the 20 minute walk back to the car park, getting away was far easier than getting parked, back on the motorway in no time.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was always going to be something of a unique experience seeing an Olympic event in a British stadium, and the experience was wonderful. Coventry City have got a great asset with that ground which is certainly Premier League quality
!

 

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