Stoke City

Britannia Stadium

Capacity: 28,383 (all seated)
Address: Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke On Trent, ST4 4EG
Telephone: 01782 367 598
Fax: 01782 592210
Ticket Office: 01782 367 599
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Potters
Year Ground Opened: 1997
Shirt Sponsors: bet365
Kit Manufacturer: New Balance
Home Kit: Red and White Stripes
Away Kit: Black With Green Sash

External View
External View
East Stand and Boothen End
East Stand and Boothen End
East and South Stands
East and South Stands
South Stand
South Stand
Main (West) Stand
Main (West) Stand
Boothen End
Boothen End
Gordon Banks Statue
Gordon Banks Statue
Sir Stanley Matthews Statues
Sir Stanley Matthews Statues

The Club moved to the Britannia Stadium 1997, after playing for 119 years at their old Victoria Ground. The stadium looks imposing from afar, as it is perched upon a hill with hardly any buildings around it. It especially looks good at night when it is lit up. The ground is of a fair size. One large single stand, incorporating the Boothen End and Seddon Stand, completely surrounds half the pitch as it extends around one corner. Whilst the other two stands on the other sides are ‘free standing’ having open corners to either side.

The largest of these is the Q-railing (West) Stand, which is the tallest at the Britannia. This imposing stand has a large lower tier of seating with a smaller tier above. Situated between the tiers is a row of Executive Boxes. There are quite large open areas to each side of this stand, which detracts from the overall look of the stadium. If these could be filled at some point, then the ground would benefit greatly. The Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand at one end of the stadium is partly given to away supporters. This simple looking stand is like the rest of the stadium, all seated and covered, with windshields to either side. It is though quite steep, meaning that fans are kept close to the playing action. Unusually the teams come onto the pitch from one corner of the ground, between the Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand and the Q-railing (West) Stand. In the corner on the other side of the Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand is a large video screen. 

Tim Green adds; 'Behind the Boothen End there are three statues of the legendary former player Sir Stanley Matthews, which were originally unveiled by Kevin Keegan'. On the main approach road to the stadium there is also a statue of England World Cup winner Gordon Banks. The club also have a couple of unusual looking mascots, with a blue coloured hippo called 'Pottermus' and his white girlfriend 'Pottermiss', obviously this is what happens to hippos when they visit the Potteries!

The Club have announced that from the Summer of 2016 the stadium is to be renamed the BET365 Stadium, in a new corporate sponsorship deal.

The Club have announced that they are to proceed with the 'filling in' of the South East corner of the stadium, with 1,800 covered seats. This part of the ground is currently open to the elements and houses a large video screen. Works are to commence in the Summer of 2017 and once completed the stadium capacity will be increased to just over 30,000.

Away fans are housed on one side (towards the Players Tunnel and Main Stand) of the Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand at one end of the ground, where around 2,800 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is shared with home fans on the other side. At first I was quite perturbed by a large sign advising fans that persistent standing would result in ejection from the ground, however the facilities and view of the action from this stand are good. The concourse is adequate and there is a large choice of refreshments available such as Wrights Pies, Pasties (£3.20 & £3.10) and Sausage Rolls (£2.60).

The stadium is quite high up in an exposed position and the open corners can mean that a cold wind can whip through the stadium, so bear this in mind, especially in the winter months. I thought the inside of the stadium was quite disappointing being rather bland and lacking character, although I'm sure that this can be developed in time. Listen out though for the Stoke anthem 'Delilah' being sung by the home fans, they can still give a great rendition of that Tom Jones classic song.

If you want to try something a little different then on the canal located behind the Main Stand (look for the semi circular looking bridge beyond the car park) are two moored barges, one which sells the traditional locally produced Oatcake, whilst the other sells beer. Both are proving very popular on matchdays!

It is also worth bearing mind though that the Stoke fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere, so it is best to keep colours covered around the ground. Don't be surprised if you are kept in after the game, in a fenced off compound to the rear of the away stand, whilst the Stoke fans are allowed to disperse. 

Next to the stadium is a Holiday Inn and a Harvester Pub/Restaurant that do allow in away fans. You can also park at the Harvester itself for a cost of £3. A bit further away on Dennis Viollett Road (off Sir Stanley Matthews Way) is a Power League complex that also has a bar, which also allows in away supporters, shows SKY television and you can even park in their car park for £4.50. Further down Sir Stanley Matthews Way (and turning left along Eastern Rise) is the Longton Rugby Club, which has two bars also showing SKY Sports. Parking is also available at £5 a car. It is around a 20 minute walk to the away turnstiles from the Club. Otherwise alcohol is available on the concourses at the back of the away end, in the form of Carlsberg lager (£4.20 pint), Martsons Pedigree Bitter (£4 pint), Cider (£4.20, 500ml bottle) and Smirnoff Ice (£4.20, 275ml bottle), plus small wine bottles and minature spirits (all £4.30) but queues can be lengthy, especially if there is a big support. 

If arriving by train then the Terrace Bar on Leek Road has been designated as an official away fans pub. The pub which is only five minutes walk from the railway station (turn right out of the station entrance, left at the crossroads and the pub is down on the left) also shows Sky Sports and offers food too. The shuttle bus to the ground (return cost £3 adults) that runs from near the station, also stops at the pub and returns after the game.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Stoke Hotels and Guest Houses pages.

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

Booking.com

Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and then go straight across the roundabout onto the A500 towards Stoke. Continue along the A500 passing the junction with the A34. Leave the A500 at the slip road following signs for the A50 towards Derby. At the top of the slip road turn right at the roundabout (still A50) and then move into the second from left lane (signposted Britannia Stadium). You can see the stadium over on your right. Turn right at the top of the slip road and then right at the next roundabout for the stadium. The Britannia is quite well signposted.

Parking

Car parking at the stadium costs £5. Andy Fenwick a visiting Sunderland fan adds; 'Don't be tempted to park on wasteland around the stadium, you may well end up as I did with a parking ticket waiting for you on your return'. Andrew a visiting Swansea Cirt fan informs me; 'We parked at the nearby Harvester pub/restaurant across the road from the stadium. It cost £10 to park there, but after the game it took 45 minutes to get out of the car park and then we still had to join a long queue of traffic going up to the main road'.

Matt Goldstraw adds; 'If you have a ticket for the official south car park, then after going onto the A500 towards Stoke from junction 15 of the M6, leave the A500 at the first junction and turn right at the large roundabout and onto the A34 towards Stafford. Go past the Bengal Indian Restaurant and after about a mile you will reach a small roundabout that on the right has the entrance to Trentham Awakes (previously known as Trentham Gardens). Turn left at the island and then continue straight up this road for about three miles. You will pass a golf club, a Toby Carvery, go over a railway bridge, over the canal and past an Esso garage. Then at a set of traffic lights where there is an obvious industrial estate to the right, turn left on to Stanley Matthews Way for the stadium'.

Just off Sir Stanley Matthews Way is a Power League complex that allows parking at £4.50 per car. Nearby on Eastern Rise is Longton Rugby Club which also has parking available at £5 per car. Alternatively there are still some parking spaces at various commercial sites between the old Michelin Car park and the site of the old Victoria Ground. Bear in mind though that if you do park in this area then allow a good 20 minutes to walk (mostly uphill) to the stadium. If you are intending parking in this area then from Junction 15 proceed along the A500, passing the junction with the A34. The stadium will appear over on the right and then leave the A500 at the next junction and turn left to go down to this area.  

Justin Herriman informs me; 'There are 300 parking spaces available (weekend matches only) at the Screwfix direct site on Stanley Matthews Way. The site is based one mile from the ground and allows quicker access back onto the A50 after the game has ended. The cost for parking is £4 per car (no mini buses). If arriving from the M6, follow signs to the Britannia Stadium on the A50.  Continue past the stadium for approx 1 mile and the Screwfix site is on the left. The post code for SatNav's is ST4 8GR.' Whilst Andrew Catmur adds; 'There is also car parking south of the stadium on Stanley Matthews Way between Screwfix and the Stadium opposite Pets at Home (Sat Nav ST4 8GR ). It costs £5 and you can get to this car park via Stanley Mathews Way from the A50 or Trentham Road. After the match all traffic goes south which means you avoid all the congestion by the stadium. See www.parkbythebritannia.co.uk for more details.

Clive Dunkley informs me; 'Just to the North Stadium, in an area called Herons Cross, just off the A50, we found some street parking available on Grove Road (ST4 3AY). It is then around a 15 minute walk to the Britannia Stadium. There is a footpath leading to the stadium – just follow the other fans on their way to the match'.

Alternatively park in Stoke City Centre and take the Britannia Stadium Shuttle Bus:

Robert Hardy a visiting Norwich City supporter informs me; 'We've been to watch the Canaries play at the Britannia Stadium on numerous occasions, and have tried parking at several places in the vicinity of the ground.  Although there's a good choice of places to park - usually charging about £5, we've always found that getting away after the game is a total nightmare.  You just seem to get stuck in never ending queue's of traffic trying to get away, and it takes an eternity to get anywhere. For  a change, I tried instead using the shuttle buses from Glebe Street near Stoke Railway Station, and was well rewarded for my effort. I found a nice bit of on street parking nearby at the former PMT bus garage, walked around the corner, and paid just £3 return on the bus, which had us at the ground in about 5 minutes or so. After the game, the buses back to Stoke line up behind the Novus Stand - which is just a short walk from where the away fans are situated.  From the final whistle blowing, and walking out of the ground, I was back to my car in 20 minutes. Getting out of Stoke and back onto the A500, was also completed in a matter of minutes. An absolute piece of cake, and far less hassle!'

Post Code for SAT NAV: ST4 4EG

Stoke station is just over two miles away from the stadium, so unless you are feeling fit, it maybe best to hire a taxi. Tim Rigby a visiting Wolves fan adds 'there are some shuttle buses than run from Glebe Street in Stoke up to the Britannia Stadium, which depart every 15 minutes before kick off. There are return buses after the game back to Glebe Street from behind the Sentinel (East) Stand'. 

Björn Sandström adds; 'To catch this bus, turn right from the station and head down Station Road. At the bottom of Station Road at the traffic lights, turn right to go along Leek Road (A52). Then go straight across the A500 dual carriageway and into Glebe Street which is straight across in front of you. You should then see the line of buses that will take you to the stadium. It is only about a five minute walk from the station'. The shuttle bus costs for a return ticket £3 Adults, £2 Concessions.

Colin Bell adds; 'It took us less than 30 minutes to walk to the stadium from the station, using this route: Turn right from the station and head down Station Road. At the lights, turn right along Leek Road (A52), under the railway line and then left down on to the tow path of the Trent & Mersey Canal. Follow the tow path all the way until you are level with the stadium, where two footbridges take you over the canal and then the railway line, straight into the ground near the South Stand away end.

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

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Stoke operate a three category system of ticket pricing (A*, A & B) whereby the most popular matches will cost more to watch than the least popular ones. A & B category prices are shown below in brackets:

Home Fans:

Q-railing West Stand (Upper Tier Centre): Adults £50 (A £40) (B £35), Over 65's £35 (A £29)  (B £27), Under 17's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 11's £24 (A £18) (B £16)
Q-railing West Stand (Upper Tier Wings): Adults £47 (A £37) (B £32), Over 65's £32 (A £26)  (B £24), Under 17's £26 (A £20) (B £18), Under 11's £23 (A £17) (B £15)
Q-railing West Stand (Lower Tier Centre): Adults £47 (A £37) (B £32), Over 65's £33 (A £27) (B £25), Under 17's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 11's £21 (A £15) (B £13)
Q-railing West Stand (Lower Tier Centre Wings): Adults £44 (A £34) (B £29), Over 65's £30  (A £24) (B £22), Under 17's £26 (A £20) (B £18), Under 11's £20 (A £14) (B £12)
Seddon Stand (Centre): Adults £45 (A £35) (B £30), Over 65's £31 (A £25) (B £23), Under 17's £24 (A £18) (B £16), Under 11's £21 (A £15) (B £13)
Seddon Stand (Wings): Adults £42 (A £32) (B £27), Over 65's £28 (A £22) (B £20),  Under 17's £23 (A £17) (B £15), Under 11's £20 (A £14) (B £12)
Boothen End: Adults £40 (A £30) (B £25), Over 65's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 17's £23 (A £17) (B £15), Under 11's £20 (A £14) (B £12)
Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand: Adults £40 (A £30) (B £25), Over 65's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 17's £23 (A £17) (B £15), Under 11's £20 (A £14) (B £12)
Potteries Shopping Centre Family Area: Adults £40 (A £30) (B £25), Over 65's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 17's £23 (A £17) (B £15), Under 14's £20 (A £14) (B £12), Under 11's £16 (A £10) (B £8)

Away Fans:

Marstons Pedigree South Stand:
Adults £40 (A £30) (B £25), Over 65's £27 (A £21) (B £19), Under 17's £23 (A £17) (B £15), Under 11's £20 (A £14) (B £12)

Official Programme: £3.50
The Oatcake Fanzine: £1.80.

Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra.

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

Stoke City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance

At the Britannia Stadium: 28,218 v Everton, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 5th 2002. 

At the Victoria Ground: 51,380 v Arsenal Division 1, March 29th, 1937.

Average Attendance
2014-2015: 27,081 (Premier League)
2013-2014: 26,137 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 26,722 (Premier League)

Tours of the stadium are available by request. The cost of the tours are: Five people or less £25, 6-10 people £35, 11-20 people £45. Tours must be booked in advance by calling 01782 592252.

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

Special thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram 

Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City v Norwich City 
Premier League 
Wednesday 13th January 2016, 7.45pm
James Walker (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?

This was one I was looking forward to as it gave me a chance to take in another game of Premier League football with some friends, and the ticket only cost me £5 so I would have been stupid to turn the offer down! 

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

My friend drove us for this as as he's a Stoke member and therefore knows the way to the Britannia Stadium, where to park and everything like that. I had just come back from the Masters Snooker at the Alexandra Palace and so met him at a local train station. The journey from there up to Stoke took us 2 and a half hours with no stop offs. Car parking also was straightforward as we parked in a local car park that's free. Apparently there are quite a few car parks around the Britannia but this is the only free one, and just a 10 minute walk from the ground. 

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

We went straight to the club shop to purchase programmes (£3.50) and then made our way round to our turnstile, stopping on route to grab a hot dog from the vans outside (£3). Inside the ground they have a range of pies, all priced at £2.90 but I have personally had much nicer pies elsewhere than the Chicken Balti that I sampled.

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

I was in the Marstons Pedigree Stand for this fixture at one end of the stadium. This stand is shared between home and away supporters. The stand to the right of this curves round to join the stand behind the opposite goal, whilst the stand to our left is a double-tiered stand. 

The Britannia Stadium

Britannia Stadium

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

The game itself was an interesting affair with Norwich coming closest in the first half and being reduced to 10 men. Jon Walters gave Stoke the lead early in the second half before Jonny Howson leveled things up 6 minutes later. Joselu gave Stoke the lead again before a late own-goal from Ryan Bennett sealed the points for Stoke. The atmosphere was quiet early on but started to pick up once Stoke were winning and kept at a reasonable level throughout the second half. The facilities were of good quality and clean and the stewards fine.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was simple. A 10 minute walk back to the car ensured. We passed a van selling fish & chips on the way back so decided a bit of late night snacking in order as we sat in the car waiting for traffic to get going. I eventually got home around 1am. 

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall this was a fun night out. Plenty of goals, a straight red, lots of talking points and Match of the Day on record when I got home. What more could I ask for!

Half Time Score: Stoke City 0-0 Norwich City
Full Time: Stoke City 3-1 Norwich City
Attendance: 27,274 (1,277 away fans)

 

Stoke City v Crystal Palace
Premier League
Saturday 20th December 2015, 3pm
Laurence Page (Crystal Palace fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?    

This would be my first trip to the Britannia Stadium. I'd been to the old Victoria Ground years ago and was expecting a good atmosphere. I was also going with my brother who was going to his first game in six years since he'd emigrated to Australia. This was his first game back visiting the UK and I thought he'd notice a vast improvement in the Palace team since he left.

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

Train up from Euston was fine. Upon arriving at Stoke railway station we decided to jump in a taxi. It took about ten minutes to get from the station to the Harvester near the ground and cost £6.

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

The Harvester is what you'd expect in terms of food and drink, nothing too exciting but did the job. It gets packed so we ended up braving the elements in the beer garden on a December afternoon. There was a mix of home and away fans and the home fans where friendly and happy to chat football even if I got the feeling they thought we were an easy three points. They also disliked Tony Pulis a lot which surprised me a bit.

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

It's a typical identikit out of town ground, it reminded me of St Mary's but without all the corners done. At least you can get a drink/bite to eat nearby though so could be worse.

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

The game saw Palace get outplayed for the most part but somehow escape with three points thanks to our usual resolute defending and an absolute belter right at the end from sub Chung Lee. I had been expecting really loud home fans but they were strangely subdued, the tannoy is also turned up to a ridiculous level before kick off, but like it or not that did not keep us quiet during the game. The only pie, or food of any type left at half time was a pretty boring meat and potato variety, better though was beer, cider, wine and spirits being sold even though there were signs saying no alcohol at half time!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There were buses waiting outside to take fans back to the railway station but they were packed and the queues were long. As we had pre booked tickets on the 19:10 train so decided not to risk waiting for a bus, but decided instead to walk along the canal and through the town to the station. It took about 40 minutes, which was a bit of a pain but we were not too put out due to the three points!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

These type of grounds will never endear themselves to me that much but it's a good day out and pretty quick to get to if you are coming from London. It was a lot less moody than I had remembered from that first trip to the Victoria Ground as well. Personally it was a memorable day as my brother got to see us win after six years living down under.

Stoke City v Manchester City
Premier League
Saturday 5th December 2015, 12.45pm
Ian Dewar (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?    

This was my first ever visit to Stoke City. Plus it was an opportunity to meet up with an old friend to watch the game.

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

We had driven up from Cheltenham and experienced no delays. After driving around for a little while I spotted a private car park by the Michelin roundabout, which cost £5. It was then about a 20 minute walk to the Britannia Stadium.

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

Being hungry I decided to look for somewhere to eat, but not seeing anything on the way I decided to grab something inside the stadium. I wish I hadn't bothered. Poor service and the hot dog I purchased was tepid in temperature to say the least. Two bites and I threw it away. The home fans and stewards that I encountered were friendly and helpful.

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

We enjoyed a great view of the Stadium which is elevated, as we walked up from where I had parked. We had tickets for the Main Stand, which has an impressive reception area. I didn't mind the security patdowns on gaining entry to the ground. The other three stands were smaller than the Main Stand and looked plainer in comparison.

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

Stoke scored twice early on in the game, which enthused the home support. It was a great atmosphere which was sustained throughout the match. Stoke deservedly held out for a memorable win. 

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

By the time we got back to the car, most of the crowd had dispersed. We were back on the M6 within ten minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out, even my non-footballing wife enjoyed it!

Stoke City v Watford
Premier League
Saturday 24th October 2015, 3pm
Hornet-Fez (Watford fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?    

I have not been to Stoke City since they left the Victoria Ground some years ago.

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

Took a train to Stoke; then a five minute walk to the Terrace Bar (as mentioned on this website) and then a shuttle bus direct to the stadium.

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

We went to the Terrace Bar on Leek Road which is opposite the university for several beers. Excellent staff, they even looked after some medical kit for me whilst I was at the game. It had decent facilities with a pool table and tellies galore. It is a dedicated away pub so no home fans to speak of. We then took the shuttle bus to the Britannia Stadium from outside the pub, all very efficient.

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

A typical modern stadium located away from residential areas. Steel and concrete, a tad Spartan. Nice though to see open corners and views across the locality.

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

The bar area was a bit small but efficient service (take note Watford!!). Surprisingly good pint of Marston's Pedigree. Took my own food. Stewards helpful and friendly as were the police. W/Cs adequate, hot water and soap aplenty though. Atmosphere brilliant from Watford, non-stop, loud and proud. To be fair, Stoke fans had nothing much to sing about, losing 2-0 and lucky to get nil after three successive wins. Excellent view as befits a modern stadium.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A pity there were not more buses laid on post match, had to wait for a second run. Only five buses in total, could have done that in one go rather than wait 20 minutes or so. Still, if that's all I have to complain about....

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

As a middle aged fella in not exactly the tip top health this could not have gone better: very decent pub; excellent transport; excellent policing and stewarding; fantastic view and atmosphere in the ground and a 2-0 win. What's not to like?

Stoke City v Watford
Premier League
Saturday 24th October 2015, 3pm
Stephen B (Watford fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?

Watford back in the Premiership and finally enjoying the kind of financial backing that gives a realistic chance of staying there......so the opportunity of visiting a few new venues for an away day. Stoke City was to be one of these new ones for us. Plus we were encouraged by having heard positive things about the atmosphere etc.. inside the Britannia Stadium.

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

We decided to drive to Milton Keynes and then take a direct train to Stoke. Total journey time less than two hours and buying the train tickets in advance ensured good value and guaranteed seats.

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

Stopped in Stoke town centre for a quick bite (where there was very limited choice) then follow d the advice of the footballgroundguide and took the canal tow path out of Stoke towards the Britannia which you can see looming over the town itself past the incinerator. We saw plenty of locals making the same journey and I must say they were a decent bunch, encountered no hostility even though we had club colours on. Big bonus was the two barges moored next to the bridges to the ground selling beer and delicious oatcakes. Great idea.

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

The stadium from the outside is imposing, albeit the anonymous surrounding area is a let down. Like lots of out of town stadiums, there is little sense of occasion as you approach. Inside the ground facilities were very basic for a new stadium but the view from the away end is excellent. As everyone else comments, it is very exposed, so be prepared.

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

Stoke controlled the first half hour but created very little. Watford then sprang into life, hitting the bar twice before Troy Deeney marked the occasion with a smart finish to open his Premiership account following a clever flick from Ighalo. Second half Watford reduced Stoke to long range efforts and scored a second with a rasping drive from Abdi following a mistake by Wilson. Cue the stands emptying and Stokies filtering out silently matching the mood of their teams performance. The fabled Britannia home support atmosphere was a bit of a let down, whereas the away support was vocal and very lively. Perhaps the Potters fans needed their players to ignite the he game, which they basically failed to do.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We decided to walk back the same way we had come, which takes about half an hour. Certainly better than being stuck in the car park for 45 minutes. We weren't sure the buses back to Stoke would get us back in time for our 17.50 train. The home fans were subdued, no doubt puzzled by a lacklustre home team performance. Probably, on the back of four straight wins they had expected to roll Watford over.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An away win the the Premier League, our talismanic captain opening his account and straightforward logistics contributed to a top day out. Would definitely go by train again, even though the town centre itself offers so few options for food etc.

Stoke City v Leicester City
Premier League
Saturday 19th September 2015, 3pm
Callum Rose (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Britannia Stadium?

I was looking forward to seeing Leicester play, who were second in the league, and also Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes who is a United legend.

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

We drove down from out home in Manchester. The Britannia Stadium is only an hour down the motorway.

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

We were going to go in the Harvester pub by the ground, but decided to go to Delilah's Bar, which is situated on the corner of the ground. It is for home supporters only, but as we were neutrals they allowed us in. It cost £2 for adults to enter and £1 for kids. Inside they were showing the live Premiership early kick off game, plus they also have a betting facility in there if you fancy a bet. It was of course run by BET 365 who sponsor the Club. Hot and cold food in the form of pies, chips etc... was also available.

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

The ground stands out on the drive up towards the stadium as it is built upon a hill. Although the stadium is of a good size, having three corners open to the elements, means that it could be improved further by filling these in at some point in the future. I think this would also help boost further the atmosphere inside. 

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

This was a game of two halves. Stoke raced into a 2-0 lead by half-time, but Leicester came roaring back to draw 2-2. The atmosphere was in itself volatile at times, with the locals enraged by some of the referee's decisions. The half-time pies were spot-on. I would highly recommend the steak and kidney pie.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We was aiming to go to the Harvester pub by the ground, but upon arrival, the place was shut!!! As we were staying at the local Holiday Inn, we had no problems getting away from the ground after the game.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed it, it was my 24th football ground. All the Stoke fans that we spoke to were nice enough. The Delilah's bar was a nice touch, plus an entertaining game.

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Saturday 9th May 2015, 3pm
Mark (Tottenham Hotspur fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Britannia Stadium?
I had never been to the Britannia Stadium before, plus it was an opportunity to meet up with my Brother-in-Law for a few beers.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    
We set off from Scunthorpe in plenty of time after a breakfast in our local McDonalds, The journey down was steady following the M1, A38 and the A50. The stadium was very easy to get to and we parked at the Harvester pub just off the A50. We were charged £7 for the privilege,

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    
Went into the Harvester where I met up with my brother in law, up from Dudley and fellow Scunthorpe Spurs. I took note of warnings I'd seen on the web not to wear club colours near the Britannia, but there were plenty of Spurs, in their shirts in the pub and not a hint of trouble.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
First impressions once inside were slightly disappointing. The open sides at our end ensure, even in May, that it was drafty and cold. I don't know why the didn't enclose the corners like they have in one section and it would have been a lot more impressive.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The police and stewards were all very friendly and as usual we filled our allocation. Facilities were what you'd expect in a ground at this level. The game itself was one to forget, a 3-0 defeat when the Spurs players looked like they were already sat on a beach somewhere. As a result the atmosphere in our end was pretty non existent. Even the Stoke fans seemed laid back and we didn't even get a rendition of Deilah. Respect to their fans though when every stand joined in the minutes applause for our legend, Jimmy Greaves who recently suffered a stroke. Highlights for me were when a heron flew over the ground and I had an excellent pie at half time. The wrapper was plain, but I believe they are made by Wrights. We even had the ignominious pleasure of getting the mickey taken out of us by a group of 8 year olds heckling us from the corner of their stand. The young lads, in their junior football club's tracksuit tops, certainly enjoyed their day.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting out was easy and the police were directing fans who travelled by train to their shuttle buses, There was no trouble outside at all as we trudged back to the Harvester to drown our sorrows. Once there we were told the pub doesn't open until 6pm after a game, even though it used to! After that we gave it a few minutes for the traffic to clear and then were swiftly out of Stoke via the A50.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
It was great to sink a few pints of Guinness and catch up with my brother in law. The day out is always governed by your team's performance and to that end it was poor. Paying £40 plus your travel to watch your team not even trying is a kick in the teeth.

Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Sunday, December 28th 2014, 3pm
Lee Jones (West Brom fan)

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

Stoke v Albion is a fixture that has existed since the inauguration of the Football League and has developed over recent years as a “needle game” between the two sides. We habitually lose to Stoke but wins are very enjoyable on the rare occasions that they do happen. I have been to both the Victoria Ground and the Britannia Stadiums many times but have always driven up so this time I decided to go on the train. This would give us a chance to visit Stoke centre for the first time.

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

The journey was fantastically easy as we travelled from Wolverhampton to Stoke in around 40 minutes. The connections from the local station were ideally timed and we had no hassle of car parking. I will add that I have had parking fines in Stoke before and advise caution when parking as the wardens come out in force when fans are inside the ground watching the game!

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

We stopped off in Wolverhampton for a beer while we were waiting for the connection to Stoke and met a few other Baggies fans on their way. We all joined the train and headed to Stoke. I don’t know where the other lads went but they all headed in different directions to us when arriving at Stoke station! I will say, there was only two of us on this trip which may have helped. Stoke town centre is exclusively for home fans only and every Policeman on the way asked us if we were Baggies fans. I think they would have directed us to an away fans pub so we kept quiet.

I am a keen real ale fan and as a CAMRA member went into the locals on that basis. I heard that Stoke was pretty bleak but found it okay and visited a couple of places before meeting with my nephew who lives not far away. We chatted to some “Stokies” before the match and all seemed friendly enough. Some advising where to park at the ground. You really do need to allow enough time if walking as it is a trek from Stoke centre to the stadium. Catching a bus or taxi would be my suggestion but we got a lift down.

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

Stoke ought to be named the Cold Blow Lane Stadium (not Millwall‘s old ground) because it can be the coldest of stadiums, not helped by its elevated and exposed position. The corners on 3 sides are open which allows a cold swirling wind in, which can be biting. It is quite an impressive sight however for a new stadium and can be seen from some distance away when you drive past on the main road. The away end is accessed through the away Coach park and has a burger van which is available pre match AND at half time which is unusual. Away fans are housed at one side of the “Marstons Pedigree (South) Stand” and is adequate as far as the view and leg room are concerned and there is never a problem with standing. I know the Stoke fans are situated immediately to the side of our supporters but have never had any problem with them or felt that they have been over the top.

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

The concourse for the away supporters is not that big and does get congested, though this is eased at half time by the stewards opening the gates to allow supporters access to the Coach Park area primarily for smokers and the burger van! Annoyingly there was no bitter on sale (as we were in the Marstons Stand) so had to settle for lager which wasn’t great. We didn’t try a pie but the burgers were fine and not too badly priced.

The atmosphere was good as always but it seems to be a theme this year that the home fans don’t seem to be as loud as they used to be. They only started singing after their first goal. It is always better to travel away with the Baggies as the atmosphere is usually good though this time there was serious abuse given by some to our management team.

As far as the match is concerned, it went the usual Stoke v Albion way. We were just the better team. They broke and got a goal. We hit the post and they got a lucky second from a rebound! It was just Alan Irvine’s luck really and he was “relieved of his duties” shortly after the game. We never really did that much after conceding for the second time and went on to lose 2-0.

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

Normally we join the traffic on the way home but as we were going back to the station, we jumped on a special bus laid on for away fans to get there. It cost £2 one way and though there is a 20 minute or so wait, when it does depart it is then non-stop to the station. The Police close all the routes on the way to the Station allowing the bus, unhindered progress. We were back there in  no time and jumped straight on a train. Really easy and convenient.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

As always, it’s always better when we win but this wasn’t a bad day. We even had an incognito drink in a Wolves pub in Wolverhampton while waiting for our connection home. Hopefully a new man at the helm will give us the impetus to stay up and return to Stoke next year. It is a real derby atmosphere given the dislike of each other by the supporters and is a good day out. On the drinking front I might try Hanley next time.

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Saturday, April 26th 2014, 3pm 
Colin Huxter (Tottenham fan)

I always enjoy any away day but I was more excited than usual as it was the my first time going to the Britannia Stadium, plus Stoke City have a reputation to have loud and proud fans so I was looking forward to a good atmosphere. 

I live in Manchester so had a fairly good idea of how to get the ground on the M6. Me and my two sons set off at about 12:30pm and the journey was straight forward enough until the last 20 minutes or so as we there weren't a lot of sign posts indicating where exactly to go to get to the ground. Despite this, we parked up outside the stadium, 35 minutes before kick off which cost £5, a reasonable price in my opinion.

It took about 10 minutes to walk to the ground from the car park. There were a few Spurs fans walking up but the vast majority were Stoke fans although they were friendly enough and didn't make us feel intimidated. We didn't get anything to eat or drink before the game as we met up with a friend in the concourse before heading up to our seats at about 2:40pm.

Our seats were about five rows from the pitch so we had a great view of the match and it looked as if the rest of the away fans had a good view as well. The away section took up most of the particular stand and the rest was took up by Stoke fans. The other three stands were filled with Stoke fans, not many empty seats at all, and the stand to my left (the West stand) stood out because it was two-tiered and looked very impressive. 

The game was filled with more controversy than goals but Danny Rose scored a great header in the first half to give Spurs a 1-0 win. In the second half the atmosphere was fired up when Rose was the victim of a bad tackle from Shawcross who was sent off and Rose was booed by Stoke fans. The Stoke fans then proceeded to get on his back and Geoff Cameron came in late on him and Rose reacted by shoving Cameron. He was booked by the ref but then quickly substituted to avoid any further incidents which would surely have lead to a red card. The Stoke fans to my right were particularly passionate and were very loud when the incidents with Rose happened. At half time we bought a pie which weren't too expensive but I have to admit they were over cooked, being dry and hard.

Getting out of the stadium wasn't too bad compared to some stadiums. We were out of the ground and walking back to the car park under 10 minutes after full time. It took though about 45 minutes to get back on the motorway due to a lot of congestion from all the various car parks around the stadium but we didn't mind much after a Spurs win.

The game wasn't the greatest but was much more interesting with the fiery atmosphere in the second half. As long as Spurs were going to win, it was always going to be a great day out. The stadium was great and I liked how the Stoke fans were friendly but passionate so I would definitely go back again next season.

Stoke City v  Chelsea  
Premier League
Saturday, December 7th 2013, 3pm
By Daniel Gosbee (Chelsea fan)

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

I was looking forward to going to Stoke because every football knows that the Britannia, despite being a small stadium, has a fantastic atmosphere. Part of what makes football matches so good, is a great atmosphere. I was also looking forward to the game because I've never been to the Britannia, or Stoke and its another away game for Chelsea. 

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

Finding the Britannia Stadium is really easy on the road and car parking is easy, literally 500m away from the stadium there is a car park that cost £5 and is open until one hour after the full time whistle. However leaving afterwards takes a very long time. 

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

Not a lot really, other than a burger van and car retailers there is not a lot around the Britannia, well if there is I obviously missed it. Getting there early wasn't really a mistake but there is nothing to do before the game if you drive straight to the stadium. If you want to go to the pub I would advise going on the train, going to a pub in the city and then getting the bus from near the station. The home fans before the game did give me some dirty looks but other than that it was fine, I didn't feel intimidated.

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

The exterior of the ground looks incredibly modern and new, but not that big. Getting into the ground was easy, and from the away end the stadium looked alright, not that impressive but had character. There are certainly better looking stadiums in the Premier League but there are certainly worse too.

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

The game was fantastic, very end to end, open, feisty. In the first half Chelsea were on top, good goal from Schurrle and Chelsea should of gone into the dressing room 1-0 up, but before half time Cech made a terrible mistake and allowed Crouch to score easily. In the second half Stoke scored first taking the lead, but Schurrle had another great goal, but late on in the 90th minute Stoke won the game with a fantastic strike. 

The atmosphere in the first half was pretty flat and all us Chelsea fans were making the majority of the noise, but in the second half from about 60 minutes the Stoke fans started to sing and they got louder and louder, by far and away the best home fans I have ever seen despite there not being a lot of them in an open stadium! When they scored the last goal they were so loud, and the final whistle they were unbelievably loud, however there was no banter and it's a shame they were so quite in the first half. The stewards were good and helpful and I didn't need to experience the facilities.

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

A quick back to the car was easy but getting out of the car park was hard and the police put one way systems so getting away was a lot different to getting in and it was dark. We didn't really know where to go but following the traffic put us back on the right track. It took a good 50 minutes to get out of the car park!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a shame about the results, I would like to go next season and hopefully see Chelsea win. It was a good day, not a lot to do around the Britannia which was a shame, so it wasn't really a day out, more of travel, football, travel.

Stoke City v Sunderland
Premier League
Saturday, November 23rd 2013, 3pm
By Rory Murphy (Sunderland fan)

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

I read that the Britannia was a very vocal stadium and a neat and tidy ground. After home wins against Newcastle and Man City I thought that Stoke was a winnable game judging by the confidence under Poyet (in the end I was to be wrong about the result).

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

Me and my friends left Darlington at 10am hoping to get to Stoke at 12:30. The journey down was fine and there were no problems. There was car parking at a warehouse which was a 10 min walk from the stadium which only cost us £6. I'd recommend this ahead of the stadium parking which was £10.

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

Since we got there two and a half hours before kick-off we needed something to pass time. There was only one pub around the ground which I wouldn't recommend going to because the queue was out into the car park 2 hours before kick-off so I couldn't imagine what it would be like nearer to the match.  We settled for a burger van where the prices were ridiculous but the food was great. After walking round the stadium we headed to the away section where we had to wait in a compound until 1:45 for the gates to open. We got searched on the way in which is normal in most away grounds.I did though have plastic bottle of tango on me and and the lid was taken off me which was rather inconvenient. The home fans were quite friendly and didn't bother us.

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

The ground stands out on top of a hill although looks tiny compared to the Stadium of Light which is nearly twice it's size. It was good-looking with three stands of the same size and the Main Stand was slightly bigger.  We took our seats, comfortable leg room and a good view.

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

Well this has to be one of the worst refereeing displays in the history of the premier league and even a neutral would admit that. After Sunderland dominated the first half hour playing Poyet's slick passing football but Stoke scored a well taken goal through Charlie Adam. Five minutes later, the most stupid red card I've ever seen was given to Wes Brown for a clean tackle which was later rescinded. This made the Mackems go ballistic. The Stoke fans were surprisingly disappointing and 1,300 Sunderland fans outsang them the whole game. Sunderland gave a good go after the break and should have been given a penalty for a challenge on Fletcher. Steven N'Zonzi scored in the final few minutes to really ruin our day. The stewards were fine and didn't mind us standing up. The toilets were a bit to small though and were cramped after the game

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

Stoke fans weren't rubbing in the defeat and just minded their own business. The traffic out wasn't to bad and when we hit the motorway the two and a half hour journey back to the North-East was trouble-free.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Stoke was a great away day and the Sunderland fans made a great atmosphere. The ref was a joke and cost us the game. I would go again (that's if we stay up).

Stoke City v  West Bromwich Albion 
Premier League
Saturday, March 16th 2013, 3pm
By Patrick Bird (West Bromwich Albion fan)

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

Been to Stoke a few times. Albion usually lose but the atmosphere at the ground is usually fantastic. I generally slope off a few minutes before the end with the Stoke fans in full cry giving a rendition of ‘Delilah’ bellowing in my ears. Highlight of the day for me is generally a few beers around Burslem before the match.

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

Very easy, special buses are laid on for visiting fans that run from right outside the train station direct to the Britannia. Cost £3 return. Buses drop you off and pick up from right outside the away end.

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

When we bought our train tickets we paid the extra £3 for Stoke Plus Bus tickets. After arriving in Stoke we took the number 23 bus from outside the railway station to Hanley bus station. Then took the number 20 bus to Burslem. At Burslem there is a choice of several decent pubs selling real ale. It is a bit of a trek to Burslem but there are no pubs worthy of a visit in the vicinity of the Britannia in my humble opinion. After the requisite number of pints we got the 20 and 23 buses back from Burslem to the railway station (allow 30 minutes for this journey) in time to get the special buses to the Britannia laid on for visiting fans. Note the Plus Bus ticket does not cover you for the special buses from the railway station. Can’t honestly say that I didn't come within 30 yards of a Stoke fan either before, during or after the match.

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

Much like most modern, out of town grounds. Nothing memorable other than the fact it is on the side of a hill and seems to be cold and very windy.

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

Pretty average if I am being honest. Leg room was OK, view was good but the game was awful to watch and not much atmosphere created by either set of fans. Toilet facilities and concourse areas are adequate but nothing to write home about. Didn’t try the catering.

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

Excellent, buses were waiting in the car park outside the away end after the match. They then had a police escort back to the railway station.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Highlight was definitely the beers before the match. The police operation and buses used to transfer visiting fans to/from the ground were good. Other than that the day was pretty average. I paid £30 this year for a match ticket. I refuse to pay more than 30 squid for a footie match. If Stoke increase their charges next year I will happily give the Britannia Stadium a miss.

Stoke City v  West Ham United
Premier League
Saturday, March 2nd 2013, 3pm
By Philip Peagram (West Ham United fan)

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

I had never been to Stoke City before. I had heard that it was a good Stadium to visit. Plus I always love travelling away with West Ham.

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

We stayed in Stoke for the weekend. We stayed north of Stoke in Hanley and travelled to the ground by bus. Very good service and cost £1.90 each. Goes from Hanley Bus Park, stops at Stoke Railway Station then drops you right near the ground.

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

We had a few drinks and food in Hanley centre before the game plenty of pubs to choose from. Couldn’t see many pubs in the area of of the Stoke train station. On arriving at the ground we went to the Harvester Pub right opposite the ground. Mixture of home and away fans. £2.90 a pint of lager. Got very busy quickly and when we left about one hour before kick off, there was a very long queue to get in.

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

The stadium looked very impressive as we got close. It sits slightly up on a hill. Away fans were at one end of the ground behind the goal. Very good view of pitch and right next to where the player’s tunnel is. Very nice stadium and was well worth the visit.

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

Game was very good and an away win for West Ham. Very good atmosphere and the away fans kept singing for 99% of the game. Facilities were also very good in the ground. Alcohol was available at £2.90 for a pint of lager. They also served Bitter, Guinness and spirits.

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

After the game we weren’t sure where we had to catch bus back to Hanley. As it happened they laid on buses from the ground for away fans that went to Stoke train station. £2 each. Police escort all the way. Six police motorbikes, two riot vans and two police cars! It was a very quick journey as they stopped traffic to let us through. Not sure if they do this for every away team? We then got a taxi from the Train station back to Hanley. Just over £4.

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

My overall thoughts for the day were very good. Had a great day / week end, football was good, food and drink was reasonable. Would recommend any one to go for a visit Stoke FC.

Stoke City v  Southampton 
Premier League
Saturday, December 29th 2012, 3pm
By George Reeves (Southampton fan)

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

I was looking forward to going to the game as I had purchased the tickets as a Christmas present for my son who is also a passionate Saints supporter. Also I knew that Stoke's home support was good so I was looking forward to the sing-off.

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

The journey was fairly easy by car and finding parking was very simple as there was an industrial estate with signs pointing to the parking spaces for £5. 

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

The home fans were friendly and did not receive any stick on my way to the ground. 

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

I thought that the Britannia stadium is a decent ground similar to St. Mary's apart form the open three corners and was aesthetically good. The view from the away end was excellent and I could see all the pitch and stands.

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

The atmosphere was very good from the Southampton perspective and towards the end Stoke's atmosphere was also very good. The game was a thriller as Southampton went 1-0 up through Jay Rodriguez then Stoke equalized and we went 2 up into half time the scoreline being 3-1. Then Stoke came out fighting and got a goal but then got N'zonzi sent off. Even after all this drama there was still more to come as Cameron Jerome scored an abosolute rocket of a shot. The facilities were average with the normal football ground food. 

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

Getting away from the Britannia was the same as any other ground taking a bit to start moving but then you got going. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I thought that it was a very enjoyable day but would of have been more happy with a win though!

Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers
Premier League
Saturday, November 19th 2011, 3pm 
Ben Buckingham (QPR fan)

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

After another pointless international break, I was looking forward to seeing some proper Premier League action. Two weeks without seeing the Rangers is always hard, so imagine what I’m like in the summer months! In the previous game, QPR battled well and we enjoyed seeing Man City come to Loftus Road, unfortunately we didn’t get the point we deserved. To be honest, the thought of going to Stoke wasn’t something that excited me too much but I knew it was a ground where Rangers have done really well at in the past. My only previous visit to the Britannia was a 2-1 win back in 2005 with some ugly scenes on and off the pitch. This was the first time we had met in the Premier League so I was expecting a good atmosphere and a tough game.

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

Originally it was myself Mark and Chris all set for the trip to Stoke. Chris pulled out due to ... (wait for it)... ‘tiredness’. ‘The worst excuse not to attend a football game ever!’ Other than our old mate getting bit on the head by a tarantula spider! Obviously big Chris has taken plenty of stick for this and rightly so! The third ticket wasn’t to popular to sell and we thought we might have to sell it on the day. Late on the Friday Mark’s mate a Charlton fan John decided he would tag along! 

We headed off around 11am from Ickenham after a brief stop at a garage and the usual Tesco extra for the essential supplies. Mark did the honours to drive which was a nice change for me! We arrived at the Britannia Stadium at 1pm and took the advice of the guide and headed for the Harvester next to the stadium (there was very little else to choose from!!). The guy who sold us our parking ticket for £5 made us laugh, he insisted we parked on the ‘Brow of the Kerb’ as we might not get away at the end of the match. By this he meant the space next to the kerb! When we returned there were just 4 cars left!! No idea what he was on about to be honest, but he had done the job for 6 years (he kindly informed us) so who were we to argue!

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

Other than look around the different car showrooms there is very little to do before the game here. We opted for the Harvester to grab something reasonable to eat and drink. It was at this point we came across ‘The Cretin of the Year!’. The guy working on the door here was a complete jobsworth idiot. We put our name down for table for 3 and were told to wait 20 minutes and to go to the bar which we did (wearing our QPR colours). It was pretty hot inside so we went out the side door for some fresh air (well foggy cold depressing air in-fact) and enjoyed our beers. I walked off to grab a programme and then decided to go back inside when I came back ten minutes later. The attitude we got from this guy was incredible, he said we had been called and that he had to walk through the pub to find us. We apologised and he said he would add us to the list again. For twenty minutes we watched him letting other people in in-front of us so I approached him. He then had the cheek to say he called 5 more times over a microphone (which didn’t exist) so I had a few choice words with him and then the security staff stepped in. All was resolved and we got our table....eventually!   A salad cart at an away day was a strange thing! Not something big Chris was impressed with when we sent him a picture message. Had no bother with home fans and enjoyed the next hour in there enjoying more beers and our pub grub.

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

Approaching the stadium, it looks impressive enough like most newer stadiums do. Other than the West Stand, the rest of the stadium looks the same all around. No real character or features that stand out but its functional enough. I did think the West Stand was also too far away from the edge of the pitch but was the nicest looking side of the ground. QPR were only given literally a block and a half for this game (1200 Seats) which sold out. The away end had decent enough views of the action and there was plenty of leg room. The problem with the out of city centre stadiums (like this one) is the lack of things to do before the game (or shall I say, lack of places to drink!).

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

After just 8 minutes QPR went behind to a Jon Walters tidy finish. I did fear the worst at this point as Stoke were on a bad run and thought we would be on the end of a backlash from them. After 20 minutes Heidar Helguson scored a stunning bullet header which the Stoke keeper didn’t even move for. A great cross from Armand Traore (I might add too). Just before the break Jamie Mackie and Shaun Wright-Phillips played some lovely link-up play before Mackie teed off Luke Young to smash us in front 2-1. 10 minutes after the re-start Heidar was at it again and increased our lead to 3-1. The atmosphere here is said to be ‘intimidating’ and ‘the best in the country’. I would agree it is pretty good but when we scored our first and second, the Stoke fans seemed more interested in abusing the ref. It wasn’t intimidating in my opinion but loud. With 20 minutes to go Stoke got back to 3-2 and gave us a few nervy moments but we held on for another great away win. The facilities here were reasonable enough, nothing spectacular but adequate. Didn’t even see a steward during the game and there were no problems.   In the 89th minute the guy sitting next to me made me crack up. His tactical knowledge was brilliant and kept shouting out crazy things. He was adamant Paddy Kenny should be substituted because he kicked the ball out too quickly – hilarious! I think he missed 2 of our goals and was wearing an all brown 2-piece hoody tracksuit. Neil Warnock be ready – this guy wants your job!

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

There was a little bit of a queue trying to get away from the stadium, probably took half hour to reach the main road leading to the motorway. Luckily though ‘we parked on the Brow of the kerb!’. We were all in good spirits (even the Charlton fan) after they won too. Took two and half hours to get back home with no hassle either way on the motorway. One thing I did find a bit poor was the policing on leaving the ground. As you come out of the away fans section there were stewards and police for 100 yards going both ways along the road about 2 metres apart. Once you pass this stretch of police/stewards there was nothing anywhere else. So making your way back to the car park or around the ground you were really exposed to the home fans where anything could kick-off but I didn’t see any trouble.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out :

Any Premier league away win is brilliant and enjoyable. The game was very entertaining and end-to-end but at 3-1 I was confident we would keep hold of the 3 points. It wasn’t a game I was overly excited about going to, kind of a routine away day really. It’s a stadium with a good atmosphere like your attending a proper football match, unlike our trips to Fulham and Wigan this season (which felt like entering Lords Cricket Ground). The locals weren’t exactly welcoming with open arms but this time we didn’t see any problems around the ground. It wouldn’t be a place I would go back to year after year but definitely worth the visit if you haven’t been. The lack of places to drink near the stadium really lets this away day down. Looking forward to our trips to Anfield and the Emirates coming up! You Rs!!!

Stoke City v Manchester City
Premier League
Tuesday, January 26th 2010, 7.45pm
By Jack McLellan (Manchester City fan)

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

I was looking forward to mainly hearing the mighty Potters support. They were the loudest fans in the league by statistics, and they definitely proven this. The noise that the home fans produced was amazing, on a few occasions in the match I think the blue army matched it!

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

The ground is really easy to find! Straight off the M6 junction and it is there. I travelled by car and it took about 45 minutes from Manchester. There was plenty of parking that cost £5, only a few minutes walk from ground and right near the away stand.

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

There is a pub right next to the ground called "The Harvester", it is very family friendly, with a mix of home and away support. I didn't see any trouble in the pub, or outside the ground.

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

I liked the look of it, it looked very modern from the outside. The entrance to the away end is closed in, so only away fans can get near the turnstiles. There is one way into the ground for away supporters, and one way out which made the fans feel safe. I thought the stadium looked bigger on the outside than it actually was on the inside. 

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

The game was quite poor (the referee sent Adebayor off for a nothing! Which upset the City fans!). It finished 1-1, but it was a boring game really. The atmosphere was fantastic, both supporters got behind there team and were singing the hearts out. There was a scuffle between a few young Man City supporters and the stewards, which I thought was handled well by the stewards. The stewards were friendly, me and my cousin got talking to one of them and he was friendly. I didn't have a pie, but I had a sausage roll and that was delicious! The toilets were a bit scruffy but did the job! Also, there were a few queues to wait for the food, but you have to wait everywhere nowadays!

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

This was probably the worst bit of the day! It didn't help drawing 1-1 in a win-able match, but there was lots of traffic on the way out. As there is only one way out it was a bit of a wait, but when you get going it flies by! There was no trouble leaving the ground, and I didn't feel intimidated by the Stoke supporters as they were all fairly friendly!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic day out, perfect for taking young children! Fairly cheap ticket prices!  

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

Updated 27th April 2016
 
 

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