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KC Stadium
 
Hull City v Southampton
  Premier League
Tuesday, February 11th 2014, 7.45pm
Steve Ridgley
(Southampton fan)

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

I had done many long trips away from home but never done Hull. I like to do all the newly promoted teams just in case I won’t get to do it again in the near future. Also, with Hull being so far away, it gives you a proud, loyal feeling when you do a 12 hour round trip on a cold, windy, February, Tuesday night.

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

I went on the official supporters coach with most other fellow fans due to the fact the weather conditions were not great around the country at the time. The coaches park in a caged off area, at the KC Stadium, totally separated from the home supporters with great steel fences surrounding this area. This penned off area is to prevent the home supporters coming near, this area really did have a sense of security about it. Where the coaches do park, you are right next to the stadium which is very handy. Behind the away end is a massive car park covering acres of land. Here, home and away supporters were parking here for a fair fee of £5. Be warned though, as the car park has an un-even surface and didn’t look all too great prior to kick off.

Finding the stadium was fairly hard when on the roads. Some newer stadiums are now built a little ‘out of town’ like Colchester and the ‘old’ Ricoh Arena for example. With the KC Stadium, it is really within Hull and is surrounded by many buildings and not far from the city centre.
 
3.What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we went into a social club just across from the massive car park behind the away end named something like Walton Rd Social. You have to pay £1 to get in but in there you have about 6 big TV’s showing Sky TV, a massive pool table, cheap drinks and cheap food up for grabs too. In here there are a lot of home fans who kept themselves to themselves but were in high spirits.

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

First of all I was very surprised at how different the KC Stadium looked to other stadiums I had been to e.g. Derby, Cardiff etc.. One side of the stadium is in amongst woodland which is very unusual as you’d normally expect an industrial estate plonked in front of these modern stadiums. The woodland hosted numerous pathways to get to the stadium. The way they’ve incorporated the stadium in this park was something special, and I admire the creators for not just dumping the stadium on that car park I was saying about. Another thing that was noticeable was the floodlights. They had two circular shaped structures on top of the East Stand that was the stadiums dominant aspect.
 
Once in the stadium I was even more impressed. The Main Stand, named the ‘West Stand’ is a two tiered affair that curves over slightly to fit in with the rest of the three stands that are single tiered. The West Stand was the stadiums eye-catcher that impressed Saints fans. The other three stands are near enough identical and are slightly raised from the playing action. So if you get row A, don’t be fooled, as you’ll be a little above the playing surface. At either end there are two massive TV screens that are very interactional when the 90mins is not ticking by. Another thing to note is the P.A system; this is one of the clearest I’ve heard. One thing that was funny was when the teams came out onto the pitch, the song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is played full blast. The concourse has some character about it too. It was a nice gesture to put permanent signs around saying ‘thank you for visiting Hull’ and ‘Enjoy the game’.

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

The game itself was nothing spectacular. We (Southampton) ran out 1-0 winners within what was a spicy atmosphere. Both sets of fans were vocal all match. Towards our left is the East Stand where half of that stand is made up of the ‘hard core’ fans who like to stand and sing all match. However I thought this area of the stadium has unsavoury aspects as they were taunting at us all match which made it, in parts, a little intimidating. In fact, half of this stand were not there to watch the football, but were there to hurl abuse, something I’ll be mindful of in future visits. Reading through other reviews it mentions the stewards being a little over the top. I have to say, I tend to agree as many were getting involved in scuffles and were quite rude to some of the visiting fans. However, nothing was said to get u to sit down as 900+ Saints fans stood all match. I got my hands on one of the pies and, as what you’d expect from up north, it was very good!

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

Getting out of the stadium itself took a lot of time as the entrances to the stand are at the back of the stand. The coaches wait in the pens a small while to make the Hull fans clear from the surroundings. It does take a while getting back onto the motorway.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: Game attended:

Overall a good day out in one of the best stadiums I’ve been to. The atmosphere was great but a little unsavoury at times. Highly recommend visiting this stadium.


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