Ipswich Town

Portman Road

Capacity: 30,300 (all seated)
Address: Portman Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DA
Telephone: 01473 400 500
Fax: 01473 400 040
Ticket Office: 03330 050503
Pitch Size: 112 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: Blues or Tractor Boys
Year Ground Opened: 1888
Shirt Sponsors: Marcus Evans
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away Kit: Red and Blue Stripes

External View
External View
Co-operative and Sir Bobby Robson Stands
Co-operative and Sir Bobby Robson Stands
Cobbold Stand
Cobbold Stand
Sir Alf Ramsey Stand
Sir Alf Ramsey Stand
Co-operative (West) Stand
Co-operative (West) Stand
Sir Alf Ramsey Statue
Sir Alf Ramsey Statue
Sir Bobby Robson Statue
Sir Bobby Robson Statue

The overall look of the ground has greatly improved, with the re-development of both ends. Both these ends, the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand and the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, are similar in appearance and size, and dwarf the smaller older stands, located on each side of the ground. Unusually, both ends have a larger upper tier which overhangs slightly the smaller lower tier. Both have windshields to either side of the upper tier and they are completed, with some spectacular floodlights perched on their roofs. They were both fully opened a year apart in 2001 & 2002. 

Both sides are much older stands and now look quite tired in comparison. On one side, the fair sized East of England Co-operative Stand Stand is a three tiered covered stand, with a row of executive boxes running across its middle. This stand was originally opened in 1957 and was then known as the West Stand. In 1984 an additional tier was added along with a new roof. Opposite is the smaller Cobbold Stand. Again it is two tiered and has a row of executive boxes. However it is only partly covered, with the small lower tier of seating being open to the elements. This stand which was first opened in 1971 and was originally called the Portman Stand. It was later renamed the Cobbold Stand in respect of the Cobbold family who were former owners of the club and old Suffolk brewers Tolly-Cobbold. Unusually the teams emerge onto the field from one corner of the ground between the Sir Alf Ramsey and Britannia Stands. Outside are two statues of two former Ipswich and England managers. One is of World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey and is located on the corner between the Cobbold and Sir Bobby Robson Stand, while Sir Bobby Robson's statue is placed behind the Cobbold stand in Portman Road.

The Club would at some point like to re-develop the Cobbold Stand and boost the capacity of the ground to 40,000. However this is unlikely to happen unless the Club established itself once again as a Premier League Club.

Away fans are placed on one side of the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,900 away supporters can be accommodated. Although the views from this area are generally not too bad (unless you are at the very back of the stand where there are some supporting pillars), the leg room is rather cramped and as with the rest of the stand the facilities are beginning to show their age. On the plus side, away fans can really make some noise from this area, contributing to a good atmosphere. Stewarding was fairly strict, with fans at the front of the upper tier, were being asked to keep seated (whilst those at the back were allowed to stand) and on my last visit a few fans were ejected for smoking (okay they should known better, but a warning first would have been more fair in my book). Food on offer inside the ground include; Rollover Hot Dogs (£3.30), Various Pies & Pasties (£3), including the tasty Portman Steak & Ale Pie (£3.50) and Jumbo Sausage Rolls (£3). They also offer a Pie & Pint/Drink deal.' The stand also has one of the poshest gents toilets that I have visited at a football ground (this was one of the two toilet blocks on the upper concourse). They wouldn’t have looked out of place at a hotel.  

I have always found this to be a friendly place and pleasurable day out, even though I've never seen my team win there! I even on one occasion got accosted by some Ipswich fans, whilst coming out of the railway station and ended up accompanying them on a pub crawl before the game. Overall Portman Road is a good day out.

The main away supporters pub is the Riverside (Station) Hotel, which as the name suggests, backs onto a river and is located close to the railway station which is only a five minute walk away from Portman Road. Otherwise the Punch & Judy pub on Cardinal Park, which is close to the ground has also been recommended to me as a pub which is family orientated and where both sets of fans can enjoy a drink. Other pubs in  the area such as the Curve bar on Princes Street and Degeros on St. Nicholas Street and the Drum and Monkey, are best avoided by visiting fans. 

If you arrive in good time then you can take the walk into the town centre where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Of particular note is the Lord Nelson in Fore Street, which is an interesting pub that sells Adnams beers. Also there is the Dove Street Inn on St Helens Street which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide which has up to 20 real ales and ciders on tap. 

Liam Burgess adds; 'The waterfront area has recently been re-developed and has a number of bars and restaurants. This is visible from the train station and is a 10 minute walk from the ground. The Isaac Lord  on the quay is a local favourite and serves various real ales. Directions from the railway station: walk straight over the bridge as you come out of the station, turn right at the Royal Mail sorting office and literally walk in a straight line for five minutes or so going past Cardinal Park to reach the Waterfront area. There is a car park right next to the main entrance of the waterfront too.' This car park is run by Total Car Parks Limited and offers a matchday all day ticket for £2.50. This can be paid on the day or booked in advance via their website.

Otherwise alcohol is on sale inside the ground including Adnams Bitter (£3.40), Carlsberg Lager (£3.60),  Aspall Suffolk Cyder (£3.90) Spirit Minatures (£3.90) and White & Red Wine (£3.90). Please note that alcohol is not available to away fans at half time.

Follow the A14 around Ipswich from which the ground is well signposted. The official route takes you from the A14 onto the A1214 into Ipswich. I though prefer to leave at the next junction and take the A137. Stay straight on this road straight into Ipswich and as you cross the bridge over the river, stay in the left hand lane (marked town centre). Once over the river turn left at the roundabout (signposted Colchester/Bury St Edmunds) passing the Punch & Judy pub on your right.  Continue along this road as it bends to the left into Commercial Road, you should be able to see the Portman Road floodlights over to your right. Move into the right hand filter lane (marked town centre) and continue to follow the road around to the right. As you reach Fitness First/Staples move over to the left hand lane and at the traffic lights turn left into Princes Road. Take the next left into Portman Road itself for the ground. 

As the ground is near to the town centre there is very little free street parking. Along Portman Road there are three Pay & Display car parks which cost £4.60 for a Saturday afternoon. For evening games it is less as the car parks are free after 8pm, just pay for the relevant number of hours up to then. On my last visit I parked in one of these car parks and was pleasantly surprised at the end of the game that it didn’t take too long to getaway. There are a number of other car parks located in the town centre which are sign posted, plus there is a NCP multi storey car park located next to the railway station, which costs £2.30 on both Saturday afternoons and weekday evenings.

Post Code for SAT NAV: IP1 2DA

The ground is only a quarter of a mile away from Ipswich train station and is only a five minute walk away. You will see the Portman Road floodlights in the distance as your train comes into the station. Ipswich is served by trains from London Liverpool Street and Peterborough.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the Portman Road football ground. 

Access their Ipswich Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

Like a number a clubs Ipswich categorise matches (A, B & C) whereby the more popular matches cost more to watch. Category B & C prices are shown below in brackets. 

Home Fans*:
Cobbold Stand 
Upper Premium Seats: Adults £60 (B £54.50) (C £46), Concessions £47.50 (B £42.50) 
(C £33.50), Under 20's £46.50 (B £41.50) (C £32.50), Under 16's £29.50 (B £26.50) (C £20.50) 
Upper Centre: Adults £43 (B £37.50) (C £31), Concessions £28 (B £25) (C £21), 
Under 20's £27 (B £24) (C £20), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Upper Wings: Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), 
Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Lower Tier: Adults £32 (B £27.50) (C £21), Concessions £22 (B £19) (C £16), 
Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)

East of England Co-operative Stand 
Upper Premium Seats: Adults £47 (B £42.50) (C £36), Concessions £30 (B £28.50) (C £26.50), 
Under 20's £29 (B £25) (C £23), Under 16's £24.50 (B £22.50) (C £15.50)
Upper Centre: Adults £43 (B £37.50) (C £31), Concessions £28 
(B £25) (C £21), Under 20's £27 (B £24) (C £20), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Upper Wings: Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), 
Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), Under 20's £25 (B £22) (C £18), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Family Area Upper Wings: Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), 
Under 20's £25 (B £22) (C £18), Under 16's £10 (B £8.50) (C £5.50)
Lower Tier: Adults £32 (B £27.50) (C £21),
Concessions £22 (B £19) (C £16), Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15),, Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)

Sir Alf Ramsey Stand 
Premium Seats: Adults £51 (B £45.50) (C £41), Concessions £38 (B £33) (C £28), 
Under 20's £37 (B £32) (C £27), Under 16's £24.50 (B £22.50) (C £15.50)
Upper Tier: Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), 
Under 20's £25 (B £22) (C £18), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Lower Tier: Adults £32 (B £27.50) (C £21), Concessions £22 (B £19) (C £16),  
Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)

Sir Bobby Robson Stand 
Upper Tier: Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), 
Under 20's £25 (B £22) (C £18), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
Lower Tier: Adults £32 (B £27.50) (C £21), Concessions £22 (B £19) (C £16), 
Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)
 
Away Fans*:
Cobbold Stand (Upper Wings): Adults £37 (B £32.50) (C £26), Concessions £26 (B £23) (C £19), 
Under 20's £25 (B £22) (C £18), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)

Cobbold Stand (Lower Tier): Adults £32 (B £27.50) (C £21), Concessions £22 (B £19) (C £16), 
Under 20's £21 (B £18) (C £15), Under 16's £13.50 (B £11.50) (C £10.50)

* The prices quoted above are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets purchased on matchday can cost up to £2.50 more.

Concessions apply to Over 60's, Students with a valid NUS card, supporters in disabled areas and Under 20's

Ipswich Town fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Official Programme: £3.

Norwich City and Colchester United

Record Attendance

38,010 v Leeds United, FA Cup 6th Round, March 8th 1975.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record: 30,152 v Norwich City Division One, December 21st, 2003.

Average Attendance
2014-2015: 19,603 (Championship League)
2013-2014: 17,111 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 17,526 (Championship League)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the 
Level Playing Field website.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Ipswich Town v Preston North End
Championship League
Saturday 16th January 2016, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

A trip to Portman Road for anyone living in the South East is a most enjoyable and relatively easy fixture to attend, and accordingly was one of those weekends that was ring-fenced for myself living in North Kent as a high priority fixture. It’s also easily accessible by both public transport and by car, and as I’d had fond memories of previous visits there and the friendly nature of the Ipswich supporters, it was one I was greatly looking forward to. From bars and pubs stretching from Fort William in Scotland to Zermatt in Switzerland, I have encountered supporters of Ipswich Town who have wanted to discuss football topics; and I rate them as being amongst the most knowledgeable as well as friendly fans of the UK.

I think my excitement was also highlighted by the fact that in the previous seasons, our East Anglian fayre had been Colchester United, and with no disrespect to fans of the ‘U’s, it was another pleasing reward for securing promotion the preceding May to be back among the ‘big boys’ of football in the Championship and grounds such as Portman Road and its pedigree. Fans of my generation will recall that Ipswich Town were regular performers on ‘Match of the Day’ in the late 70s and early 80s, and although they may not currently be quite aspiring to such glories at the moment, they are still very much a big club with ambition to return to the top flight.

On this occasion, we had plumped to travel by train from Chatham and link up with my girlfriends brother and his friends ( at London Liverpool Street station) who were fans of the ‘Tractor Boys’ and be escorted by them to a favourite pub of theirs for pre-match beers. Finding out that we had to negotiate the perils of rail-replacement buses from Chatham (again) did not dampen our anticipation of the day ahead, and we duly met up with the quartet of Ipswich boys at Liverpool Street Station.

Portman Road FloodlightsWalking out of the station at Ipswich is one of those pleasing moments; immediately you can see the ground, and the heart beats just that little bit quicker as a sense of anticipation rises. Therein lies one of the great facets of Portman Road; it has survived and prospered with the times. Whereas many a club has in the past 20 years abandoned much loved town centre spots to relocate to an out-of-town new ground with its requisite dearth of amenities, Portman Road has been adapted to meet the modern world of all seater stadia. Most pleasingly of all, the old fashioned concept of the floodlight pylon has been incorporated into the newer stands so that critically for such a quirky pundit as myself, it still looks like a football ground from the outside!

However, our thoughts were quickly re-directed, as our hosts instructed us to jump in a taxi and follow them to the Greyhound Pub ; and what a gem we discovered. There is a fantastic menu of good square meals, and I’m led to believe the menu for football match days is an enhanced one from the norm.We gorged on a variety of platters, ranging from mixed grills, gammon steak, to steak and ale pie, and the obligatory fish and chips. All the meals came in at well under £10, and it was good quality food, well worth every penny.  For those who are interested, it is an Adnams brewery pub.

Our hosts and guides for the day indulged in what is their ritual of pre-match home-made Ipswich Town FC top trumps (which includes a category on beard quality), whilst we discussed the match and afternoon in prospect. The Tractor Boys were keenly pushing for a place in the play-offs, so although we were on a good roll of results ourselves and climbing the table, when the boys asked me how I thought we’d fare I had to be honest and say that I’d be happy with a draw. Once dinner and beers had settled, we were then escorted on the gentle downhill ramble towards the ground, interestingly enough coming across a huge swathe of Fortuna Dusseldorf supporters who were in town. There is, apparently, a “twinning” of Ipswich and Dusseldorf supporters, and once a season a veritable legion of German fans come over for a match.

Fortuna Dusseldorf Fans At Portman RoadPortman Road is a distinctive stadium; its Cobbold and Britannia Stands externally little different from the heady days of the 80s when one could see the ground regularly on ‘Match of the Day’, yet despite that they appear well cared for. As usual, we were allocated a block in the upper tier of the Cobbold stand alongside the pitch. Legroom isn’t the greatest for those with long pins; but I have come across far worse. On the plus side, the overhanging angled roof of the stand allows even a small following to sound like a Roman army. However, it does detract slightly from the overall impression of the stadium, as the roof angle means that you can see little of the upper tiers of the ground. The two ends of the stadium are now double-deck stands that look very impressive with floodlight pylons mounted on the roof girder structures. From closer inspection once inside the ground, I’d deduce that they actually built around the existing structure beforehand, as the lower tier to our left looked very much like older terracing that had been converted to all seater status. However, I’d happily be corrected if my guess is wrong there.

Portman Road Security Control BoxThe stewards, at least for our visit, seemed quite laid back and happy to let us choose our own seats, and we settled down to soak up the atmosphere and build up towards kick-off. My head was telling me we’d be lucky to get a draw; but in my heart of hearts I was hoping for an away win to avenge their earlier visit to Deepdale in the season when they did a very effective job of nicking the win. My attention was drawn also to the odd structure between the Britannia Stand opposite ourselves and the end behind the goal to our left. I couldn’t be sure whether it was a ground control suite or a press box. As kick-off approached, we were quite amused as the PA announcer tried to get a ‘song’ out of the legion of Fortuna Dusseldorf fans located in a section of the lower tier of the Churchman End, but all he could comment on was the very strong smell of beer from that section of the crowd!

And so out came the teams, Ipswich Town, the club that gave us Sir Alf Ramsay, Sir Bobby Robson et al, versus Preston North End, one of the oldest clubs on the block. The atmosphere was bubbling nicely, and as both clubs have a tradition of trying to play the beautiful game the proper way, I was really looking forward to the 90 minutes ahead. Preston settled into their game far quicker than their hosts, and it came as little surprise really when Daniel Johnson fired us ahead.  Ipswich continued to try to spray the ball out wide but seemed vulnerable to misplaced passes and given the vulnerability of their defence, I think we were all a little surprised and disappointed not to have been further ahead by the time Ipswich snatched an equaliser from their first real promising piece of play shortly before half-time. 

Sir Alf Ramsey Stand

Sir Alf Ramsey Stand Portman Road

Having had a less than satisfactory experience of the catering at Portman Road on previous visits, I didn’t bother although my friend who’d joined us did and returned somewhat later extremely disappointed, and empty handed. Apparently, people in front of him had been left waiting to be served for nearly 10 minutes, and then when some-one did return to the counter, the first man was charged £9 plus for a pie and coffee and he had to quibble quite hard to get the girl to acknowledge that she’s made a mistake at the till.  She then disappeared again, at which point my colleague abandoned.  My tip would be to head to the Greyhound beforehand and fill up with a good square meal there ; you will still feel full long after half-time! 

Once the second half commenced, I sensed a certain anxiety amongst the home support, and this pervaded the entire second half.  Preston did have the ball in the back of the net midway through the second half as the energetic Ben Pearson, recently signed from Manchester United capped off a fine flowing move that he’d been instrumental in and gleefully smashed the ball home to our extreme delight……..only for an offside flag to be seen and celebrations muted. If we felt a bit aggrieved at the time, television replays that night showed that not one, but two Ipswich defenders had clearly played Pearson onside, but that’s the way football goes some times. To my surprise, Ipswich never really threatened much at all in the second half either, and as the clock wore down, it became one of those matches where you could sense both sets of players were now content to play the last few minutes out and take a point each.

Sir Bobby Robson Stand (Churchman End)

Sir Bobby Robson Stand Portman Road

I was left with mixed feelings ; admittedly I’d have taken a point before the match but that was on the basis that I was expecting perhaps a sterner test than Ipswich gave us, and on the basis of the 90 minutes we’d just watched, I couldn’t help feel wistful that if we’d been a bit more clinical in front of goal, we’d have taken all 3 points.   However, as we rolled in search of post match beer, we had to concede that a point away from home at a side that was expecting to be in the promotion chasing pack at the start of the season was not to be sniffed at, and further proof that we were adjusting well to life in the higher division. Our initial search for beer was thwarted as the Riverside Pub, opposite the railway station was most clearly closed, with no lights on in the interior at all.   As this had been open before the match, this did seem odd, and several Preston supporters were perplexed as they’d left overnight bags there by arrangement. Therefore we retraced our steps and found a modern looking bar that was family friendly in the town centre where we grabbed some drinks and discussed the beautiful game whilst we watched Leicester City take on relegation threatened Aston Villa live on sky sports.

After a few beers, we walked back to the railway station and grabbed the next express service that was heading to London Liverpool Street.  A short tube journey then took us to St Pancras where the boys asked if we could detour to see  any of the Eurostar trains, as they’d never ever seen them before. Not only did we satisfy their desire to see both old and new Eurostars, I also took the liberty to show them statue of Sir John Betjeman, and explain how the famous literary icon helped save the very station in which we were stood from the bulldozers of 1970s corporate state-backed vandalism. Never let it be said that a day out to football cannot include a little bit of culture and education !! All in all, another very satisfactory and enjoyable day out at Portman Road, and as at the time of writing it looks like both clubs will be meeting next season, one to ring-fence in the diary again!

Plus points for Portman Road:
1 Ground perfectly located near the town centre and places to eat and drink
2 Short walk from well connected main line railway station
3 A stadium that actually looks like a proper football ground
4 Home fans are among the most welcoming and friendly in the country
5 Floodlight Pylons

Minus points for Portman Road:
1 Catering seems routinely woeful for away following

Ipswich Town v Stevenage
League Cup First Round
Tuesday 11th August 2015, 7.45pm
James Walker (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Portman Road?    

I was looking forward to this away day as it was a new ground for me and I always enjoy cup matches. The added incentive of a possible scalp made this a very appealing night out.

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

I took the supporters coach for this one to keep life simple and it saved the bother of having to try and find parking at Portman Road. The journey took roughly two hours to get there but confusion at the ground lead to the stewards thinking the supporters coach was the actual team coach! This meant we were lead through to the players entrance, only having to turn around again and go back round to the car park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

As we had time to spare, I went straight to the club shop 'Planet Blue' to purchase a programme (£2) and a badge (£3). The girl serving me obviously didn't see my Stevenage hat, scarf or shirt though as she then asked me "do you have an Ipswich season ticket?" - cue a very confused look on my face (maybe if I had said yes then I might have got a discount - always next time though!).

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

I was hugely impressed when I entered the away end because Portman Road was a stunning ground on the inside. It looks like one of those grounds where you can easily make a racket for the big games. The away end itself is spacious and looks like you could easily get a good bit of noise going among the travelling support.

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

The first half from our point of view went very well. We kept Ipswich at bay for long spells and even threatened a couple of times ourselves. Suddenly in the 34th Stevenage's Dean Parrett had a shot which came back off the post, hit the Ipswich defender Christophe Berra and flew in for an own goal. The roof came off the away end as suddenly we were dreaming of pulling off a cup shock. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, as Ipswich equalised in the 55th minute through a Josh Yorwerth header from a corner and then won it as Jay Tabb slammed the ball in to an open goal from 6 yards out in the 76th minute. That was not the last of the talking points though as in the 82nd minute, Dean Parrett was fouled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Brett Williams placed the ball down and was getting ready to take it, when the referee (who came over to chat to his assistant) decided to overturn his decision and give Ipswich a free kick. Cue fury from the travelling support, as we went on to narrowly slip out of the cup. The food here was disappointing and heavily overpriced. £2.50 for a small thing of chips and £3 for a pie, and they even gave me the wrong one. I asked for my usual Chicken Balti but I have no idea what I was given. I took it back but they refused to change it, saying that I had taken it out of the room. I was not impressed.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was simple. We just had to come out of the away end and turn right, then turn right again at the end of the stadium, cross over the road and the coach was there waiting for us. We got back to Stevenage for just after midnight.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Whilst we felt a strong sense of injustice, we also felt a strong sense of pride that we were able to go away to a Championship ground and give them a huge scare. It was a fun night out, that on another day, could've gone very differently.

Half Time: Ipswch Town 0-1 Stevenage
Full Time: Ipswich Town 2-1 Stevenage
Attendance: 10,449 (318 away fans)

Ipswich v Brentford
Championship League
Saturday, 7th March 2015, 3pm
Russell Judge (Brentford fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to Portman Road?

I had never been to Portman Road before, so a new ground for a Bees supporter!

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

The ground was well signposted from the A12. We decided to stay overnight at a Premier Inn, which had free car parking. Just followed the crowd the ground, although I had downloaded a map, just in case.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Just had a Pie & Bovril (very traditional) inside the stadium. Somehow I had missed the programme seller, but on mentioning this to a steward, he went out of his way to get me one. Many thanks!

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

I had a good view of both goals with no pillars to obstruct. However the leg room was very poor; I am not tall but I had to sit at an angle to be comfortable. Overall it looked like a nice ground. Bees fans created good noise and atmosphere.

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

Ipswich took the lead in the 9th minute and Brentford equalised 15 minutes later. After that, it was a good end-to-end match with both sides missing chances to score. Ipswich continued to press hard and Brentford were hanging on a bit towards the end. A 1-1 draw was just about fair.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game.

The road at the back of the stand where the away fans were housed (Portman Road) was mostly closed to traffic, to allow fans to safely disperse. As we were staying over we walked to the St Judes Brewery Tavern pub. The home fans were philosophical about result with no trouble at all.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good day out with a reasonable result. Really friendly ground/area Will be happy to come back next year if we are both still in the Championship League.

Ipswich Town v Preston North End
FA Cup 4th Round
Saturday, January 4th, 2014, 3pm
Leon Francis (Preston North End fan)

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

Living fairly locally to Ipswich this was quite a good opportunity to get to an away game. Preston  have been in good form recently and this would prove to be a very tricky tie against a team also doing well in the division above. I was not holding out much hope for the game, but it’s the FA Cup,  anything can happen.

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

The ground isn’t too difficult to find. We came in on the A12 and followed it, closely approaching the town centre. You will eventually join quite a long traffic queue and the ground will be visible in the distance.

We parked in a nearby car park around five minutes from the ground, by the train station I think. It was nearby the Sir Bobby Robson Bridge. The club and town have really done a brilliant job of honouring both Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey. For this they both deserve a lot of recognition and respect. It was just then a case of following other fans to the ground.

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

As we had been allocated a very small corner of the stadium (and we were planning on buying on the gate), we spent a while looking for where the away fans were seated. Whilst doing this we decided to get something to eat from a nearby burger van near the Bobby Robson Stand. The home fans generally seemed fairly friendly - the game has no rival aspect (and as such they were welcoming). The ticket office is right next door to the away entrance. It can be a bit confusing, as it looks as though it is simply another queue for the home fans to enter the ground. In fact we resorted to asking stewards if this was the right one for us/

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

The ground stills holds good character to it, something that we do seem to have lost at Deepdale and many other grounds nowadays. Outside are the Bobby Robson and Alf Ramsey statues - fairly bigger names in the game than say Michael Jackson at Fulham! The away end is a top corner - we had around 300 fans there and with the small space and the close roof, we were able to make a lot of noise when we wanted to.

Portman Road is a decent ground, and isn’t completely modernised like certain grounds I’ve been to before. In a way, you do appreciate them keeping to their roots. At the same time though, the grounds do not have the conveniences that modern grounds now have. With the recent heavy rainfall, the pitch was badly torn up in places. The toilets had an amount of rainwater coming in (I mentioned this to a steward on my way back to my seat, whom told me it was being sorted in coming weeks).

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

My judgment prior to the game was to be wrong (it’s very rarely right- I’d be a rich man by now otherwise), as Preston came out looking strong in the away yellow. Ipswich did not look like a team currently sitting 4th in the Championship. We stroked the ball around well, not constantly resorting to long ball. Kevin Davies looked sharp, and we had one cleared off the line from Ian Hume. At the end of the first half, Davies conceded a penalty with handball from a corner. Frustrating! The penalty was saved, but the rebound was pounced upon. No more than 4 minutes later and Preston were level! It was eventually a long ball that unlocked the Town defence, Kevin Davies latching on for a brilliant finish. 1-1 at half time. PNE came out in the second half, and once again looked very good value. After further numerous chances, we had to settle for 1-1 and a replay back at Deepdale.

Atmosphere? Ipswich made very little noise, particularly the fans near us. The first noise we heard from anyone was the cheer after the goal. Thy began drumming up the other end and a little sing-song in the second half, but the drummer wasn’t great- hitting a constant bang bang bang bang, no variety at all! We made all the noise, and the Ipswich fans tend to head for the exits very early on. This was greeted with a chorus of ‘we can see you sneaking out’ started by yours truly! Sorry Ipswich!

Stewards were good, and let us sit wherever we wanted. They had no qualms with us ‘standers’ at the back either. Kudos to them - in recent years we have suffered with some unfair stewards. Didn’t get a pie as someone told me the queue was very long! Similar with the facilities as I previously described- showing age.

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

Easy to get back to the car in the pouring rain. Give yourselves time after, as you will sit in a lot of traffic out of Ipswich. Listened to the North London Derby on the way home!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Really enjoyed the day as seeing the famous North End is getting hard to come by for myself and the others. Gave them a good game, and hope we can win the replay up at Deepdale! PNE! I have the utmost respect for Ipswich’s honouring of two heroes of English football. Just get the fans to make some noise!

Ipswich Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Championship League
Wednesday, September 19th 2012, 7.45pm
Thomas Sperrink (Wolves fan)

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

Trying to get to as many different away grounds as possible watching Wolves and midweek at Ipswich was another further afield venue to tick off the list.

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

I travelled over from Basildon and it was very easy to get to up the A12.  I parked in the open air car park on the opposite side of the river to the station and as it was a mid week game I only had to pay the £2.20 to take me up to 8pm and it was ideal as my sister was travelling from central London on the train.

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

After meeting my sister we had a couple of drinks in The Riverside Hotel across from the train station (formerly The Station Hotel).  This was for away fans only and the drink was very reasonably priced and there were lots of bar staff on so we got served quickly.

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

We walked over to the ground which only took 5 minutes and had no queues to enter the ground.  Portman Road is an old school ground with the two new stands behind the goals fitting in well with older stands.  The away end was in the corner but the view was excellent and although the leg room was not great it was tolerable.

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

We grabbed a Balti pie and a Bovril before the game which was excellent, although it was more like Chinese curry sauce but I was not complaining.

The match was not one for a neutral, with the first half seeing both teams play very cagily and only mustering one or two shots each.  In the second half Ipswich had two great opportunities which they put wide and for Wolves Doyle hit the post with a volley. Wolves eventually took the win 2-0 with a bizarre own goal where the Ipswich defender slipped clearing a free kick and deflected the ball into his own goal with his arm before Wolves added a second when Tongo Doumbia collected a long ball turned and shot low into the corner from 20 yards out.

The atmosphere was pretty subdued, Ipswich fans were very quiet and although Wolves mustered a few songs they mainly came late in the game once we had taken the lead.  It tells the story of the game that the biggest cheers were when it took the steward 4 minutes to replant a corner flag that had toppled over.

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

Grabbed a burger from outside the ground and it was easy to get away from, as it was only a 5 minute walk and the traffic seemed surprisingly light leaving the town.  It was a however a late one as I had to drop my sister at Cockfosters before heading back to the Midlands.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

We got the result we wanted so that always improves your memories of a ground but I’d certainly recommend a trip to Portman Road, the fans seemed friendly enough and never felt worried despite wearing colours, the facilities are good if not spectacular and it’s always good to get to another of the 92.

Ipswich Town v Bristol Rovers
Carling Cup 1st Round
Saturday, August 18th 2012, 3pm 
Matt Duckworth (Neutral fan)

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

Having recently moved to the Essex/Suffolk border I was looking forward to ticking off Portman Road from the ‘to visit’ list. Also, my team York City had recently regained their league status so it was a good opportunity to check out one of our league opposition, Bristol Rovers.

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

The journey down the A12, through Ipswich and towards the ground was relatively easy, with about 5 minutes delay on what it would be on non-match days. I arrived 15 minutes before kick-off and parked in one of the car parks opposite the ground. However, the eventual crowd was 8,600 so I’m guessing for a usual Saturday league game the drive and parking wouldn’t be as easy! 

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

With having 15minutes before kick-off I opted to eat in the ground. There seemed to be a number of burger vans around the ground.

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

Having mostly visited non-league grounds for the last 8 years most larger grounds seem impressive! The stadium is situated not far from the town centre/station and is surrounded by houses and office blocks. Two new stands at either end are flanked by more ‘traditional’ stands where there may be a restricted view in certain seats.

Having spoken to a Norwich supporting mate beforehand he’d (obviously) described the place as “a dump” so my expectations were fairly low. Whilst I doubt it will win ground of the year there was a certain nostalgic feeling when entering the ground, mainly due to the clubs association with such legends as Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson. As with most neutral games I elected to sit with the travelling contingent. For 263 of them, the Rovers fans made a decent noise and I look forward to the York trip to Memorial Stadium in March 2013.

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

Due to the Olympics the League Cup was the opening game of the season for both teams, so it was good timing to take advantage of the lower ticket prices! The ground was a third full so had a pre-season feel to it, with not much noise generated other than for the goals. I can imagine, however, on a derby day against Norwich that it is a great atmosphere with the ground retaining a lot of the noise created.

At half time I opted for the ‘Combo Deal’ which comprised of a pie, wedges and a beer for £7.40. The pie was one of the better I’ve had and the Adnams ale was on a par with the local pubs in the area.

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

For most neutral games I leave a few minutes early (however not for York games!), as a result there was no delay getting back on to the A12.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The ground is easy to get to from the station/via car and has decent food and beer available so a good ground to visit for both Away and Neutral fans.

Ipswich Town v Reading
Championship League
Saturday, November 26th 2011, 3pm 
Alex Luke (Reading fan)

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

It had been a while since my last away game so I was looking forward to another trip out. Ipswich seemed a good bet due to our improving form and their poor run of 4 straight defeats. From photos and other reviews I had seen of Portman Road it had impressed me as it seemed to combine the old and the modern, very well. 

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

I went on the coaches with a few friends that left the Madejski at 9:30am. The journey seemed shorter than I expected and there was very little traffic once we entered the town. The coach parked about a five minute walk from the ground. 

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

We arrived a good hour before the match kicked off so decided to visit the club shop. There is a glass wall within the shop, which provides an impressive view of the ground. After, we went to buy a burger from one of the many vans surrounding the stadium. It was fairly expensive but tasted good and was cheaper than the food on offer inside the ground. Home fans were exceptionally welcoming and there was no trouble anywhere. We also walked around the outside of the ground, taking in the statues of former players, outside of the Britannia Stand, which seems huge.

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

The away end seemed old and tired. However the view from the seats was one of the best I've experienced with Reading. The Brittania Stand looks very impressive as do the other ends of the ground. The ground itself seems a good size.

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

The first half was a very poor affair. Reading had an early chance when Kebe burst down the right hand flank but his low cross was just too far away from Church. Any touch and it would've been in. The only other moment of note in the first half was when Chopra rolled the ball past Federici only to see it bounce back off the post.

The game exploded into life in the second half. Ipswich took the lead when a Grant Leadbitter free kick caught Federici in no-mans land and Daryl Murphy nodded home. However Reading soon responded with Gorkks thumping home his first for the club with a great header from an Ian Harte free kick. The game then entered a bit of a lull before Josh Carson ran at the defence and unleashed a shot that bounced off Gorkks and looped over Federici. Time ticked on and it seemed like an Ipswich win was on the cards. However 3 minutes of injury time was added on and Reading showed why they are the best team in the league in the last 10 minutes of games. In the first minute of injury time Pearce bulleted a header past Wright from a corner to equalise. Ipswich suddenly fell apart and with 30 seconds left Reading completed the comeback, Le Fondre oing superbly to outpace the defence before chipping a delightful ball to Noel Hunt, who slotted home to send the Reading fans into delirium.

The stewards were very friendly and tolerated the standing from the 500 or so Royals. The atmosphere throughout the game was a disappointment though. The Ipswich fans made little noise which was a bit disappointing as the Reading fans tried hard to get an atmosphere going. 

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

Finding the coach was fairly easy for us, although one fan failed to find the coach so we had to leave him behind. Once we got going, we got out of the town fairly quickly due to the surprisingly small amount of traffic.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall the day was excellent. A superb win for Reading in the most dramatic fashion completed an enjoyable experience. Despite the high ticket prices I would definitely visit Ipswich again and thoroughly recommend it.

Ipswich Town v Scunthorpe United
Championship League
Saturday, March 19th 2011, 3pm 
Jimmy Day (Scunthorpe fan)

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

I was looking forward to my trip to Portman Road, as it was my last Championship ground to tick off, plus I was interested to see how the the team would play in their first game since Ian Baraclough's sacking.

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

I went by Club supporters coach, leaving Scunthorpe at 9am. We had  a stop in Peterborough and then arrived at a car park 2 minutes away from Portman Road at 1:40pm. It was a decent journey with my mates, and went fairly quickly.

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

I didn't go for a drink of grub before the game, however, Ipswich fans seemed like a friendly bunch. I helped out an Ipswich fan by changing a £5 note into coins as he needed change for car parking.

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

After the comments that I had heard about the ground being poor, then ironically I loved it. Ut looked very tidy from the outside. Inside, we were housed in one half on the Cobbold Stand, the view was one of the best I've had all season, except, if you sat on the last 4 rows, there were pillars to block your view. Right next to us, was a very big, two tiered stand, whilst facing us was the Britannia Stand, which looked pretty identical to the stand we were in, if not maybe a bit bigger, and the furthest stand, was the Bobby Robson Stand, in my opinion, the best looking stand in the ground, a two tiered stand, with a tidy flat white cover on top of it, which seemed to house the more vocal Ipswich fans.

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

It was the first game of Tony Daws caretaker reign, and, just by the starting line up, I could sense we would try play football for the first time in 7 months. We was under the cosh straight from the first whistle, we could have been dead and buried by the time we could have took the lead, through Michael O'Conners free kick, which was well saved by Ipswich's keeper. Ipswich took the lead around the half hour mark, through one of the goals of the season. Carlos Edwards picked up the ball up on the half way line, before striding forward to unleash a long range rocket into Lillis' goal.

At half time, I tried out the Chicken Balti pie, made by Wrights. Not the best pie I've ever tasted, but I still ate it as I was starving! The Iron made a good start to the second half, and could have been level, but were hit with a sucker punch about 10 minutes in, Jimmy Bullard scoring a peach of a free kick. From then on, I knew it would be a difficult task to even get a point. It finished 2-0 to Ipswich.

We tried to make an atmosphere, but it was hard with only 165 irons there, and Ipswich fans only seemed to chirp up when the ball hit the net. The stewards seemed a friendly bunch and had a laugh with us.

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

Didn't take long at all, 2 minute walk to the coach, and we were back on the road home in about 5-10 minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A decent away day, 3 points would have been a bonus, but I can't see us stopping up now, Ipswich is a certainly a ground I would like to return to, sometime in the future.

Why not write your own review of Portman Road Ipswich and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 26th April 2016
 
 

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