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Keepmoat Stadium
Doncaster Rovers
Rotherham United
League One
, January  27th 2007, 3pm
Dave Beal
(Rotherham United fan)

As my own team, Sheffield United, were no longer in FA Cup action myself and my son decided to visit a 'new' ground to support our 92. Saturday 27th January saw the local derby between Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham, and being a Sheffield United fan I have a soft spot for each so I truly was a neutral. The day started with a phone call to the ticket office to book the tickets - they were very efficient and welcoming of a Sheffield United fan. My tickets ( 15 adult, 8 kids) would be available for collection at the ground.

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
We were eager to get a game in and it was a local derby. Also we had only seen the Keepmoat stadium from the outside.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:
The journey to the ground was easy as its only a mile or so off the M18 motorway. Traffic queued a little as we approached but this is to be expected. The ground is behind an edge of town shopping centre and surrounded by businesses which have jumped on the commercial bandwagon by offering secure parking. This goes up in price the closer to the ground you get. I paid 4 to park and had a 5 minute walk to the stadium.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We collected our tickets with no fuss and had a walk around the ground. Unfortunately as this is a multi-purpose ground (rugby, football and women's football) it doesn't feel like it belongs to Doncaster Rovers. There are no big logos and even the back of one of the stands is painted blue! We entered the ground and queued for about 5 mins to get a couple of delicious chicken balti pies and some  drinks. The catering staff seemed very efficient - if not a little young.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground:
We made our way to our seats in the Doncaster side and again was surprised to notice the lack of Doncaster Rovers ownership inside the ground. Apart from the scoreboard it didn't say Doncaster Rovers anywhere! We took our seats which were a little cramped but had a good view of the pitch. The ground feels awfully new, but a little tacky. (I wonder how much of it will fall apart over the coming years?)

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

I was surprised that for a local derby there were only 12,000 there - the Rotherham end seemed full though. The pre-match entertainment was brightened up by some dancing girls who got soaked by the sprinklers which were turned on 5 minutes before kick off! It was a good game of football ending up 3 - 2 to Doncaster who also has 3 goals disallowed - a great advert for lower league football. The atmosphere was okay but I think this was down to the fact that there was a large away following. The policing of the away fans seemed a little heavy at points with a number being ejected. The facilities at this ground are very good although as it is totally non smoking, the toilets were full of people grabbing a quick fag!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game
Getting away was the worst part of the whole day - it probably took us an hour to travel 1 mile - surely when building a brand new stadium the road infrastructure has to be improved to cope with it - it did  however give us a chance to listen to the results on the radio.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out
All in all a great day out - good football, lots of goals, good food, affordable and another ground 'done'.

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