Park Exeter City June 11th,
Visit on Non-matchday
1. Why you were
looking forward to going to the ground (or
not as the case may be):
It was not actually for a match I visited
St James's for. I was on holiday in Devon
and my wife, kids and in-laws had gone
shopping in Exeter so instead of going
stir crazy shopping I decided to have a
look at the ground. I'd been there around
20years ago for an away game with my own
club, Bolton Wanderers, but remembered
little. I'd read a little of the history
of the ground and the recent financial
woes and was looking forward to putting
life into the pictures in my head.
2. How easy was your
journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I was glad for my sat-nav! I came off the
M5 and it was quite a complex route. My
driving instructor always used to say, if
in doubt stay in the left lane. Not in
Exeter. I went round one enlarged
round-about three times. When I got to the
ground I tried to find somewhere to park
but even on non-match days its all
residents only and double yellows. After
ten minutes looking, I gave up and risked
the double yellows and had a quick look
round. I then noticed a club car park on a
street I'd missed so went and moved my
3. What you did before
the game pub/chippy.... home fans
As it wasnít a match day I went to
reception to ask if I could have a look
around. I spoke with an extremely friendly
and helpful club official (I didnít catch
his name unfortunately because I'd like to
thank him again). He showed me into the
ground via the Big Bank End and after a
brief chat, he allowed me unlimited access
of the whole ground. Following this he
showed me all the executive facilities in
the main stand and talked me through past
and future developments.
4. What you thought on
seeing the ground, first impressions of
away end then other sides of the ground?
My first impression was pure delight!
Going to the Reebok every home game you
become used to a quite sterile and
symmetrical stadium. It was nice to have
something different on each side. I
started with the Big Bank and after taking
a few snaps, I walked up the terrace. I
greatly miss terracing and have not stood
on a league terrace since 1997.
I walked to the very top and had a moment
leaning on the bars which are extremely
sturdy and plentiful. The stand is new but
does not look out of place. I then went
onto the Grandstand to the right of the
bank. It is the oldest remaining structure
and showing its age but I loved it all the
more for this. The lower half is concrete
(formerly a paddock I presume) and the
upper wooden. The roof and rear wall are
corrugated iron sheeting. To the right of
this is the away terrace. It is very low
and uncovered but the sight lines are
adequate. The rear is fenced off as is a
stairway entrance next to the grandstand.
This is the aftermath of the Taylor report
I presume. Finally is the new Flybe Stand.
It is all seater and looks modern but I
hope the whole ground doesnít end up
looking like this. It would destroy any
individuality which at the moment the
ground has masses off. The executive
facilities and the views from them at the
back of the stand are excellent. The
ground is now owned by the fans and a lot
of maintenance work is also done by them.
5. Summary of overall
thoughts of the day out:
Excellent. Very nice and compact ground.
Neat and orderly inside. Very friendly staff
who made me extremely welcome and I wish the
club all the best in the coming season.