Stadium - Southampton FC
Saturday 12th August 2006
V West Bromwich Albion, Championship League, 3pm
By Morty the Bromsgrove Baggie
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was fairly entertaining for a no score draw. I was very impressed with the atmosphere inside the ground, but the banter did get a bit heated due to the amount of abuse that Nigel Qaushie was getting from the home fans. The baggies fans countered this criticism by responding with a very loud ‘you’re just a small town in Portsmouth’ which obviously didn’t go down too well with the Saints supporters.
Back to the stadium & the stewards were all ‘ground’ based. None were situated around the away end, so they were unable to ‘police’ fans standing in exit isles and a few morons who still think it’s still ok to smoke in a stadium. Getting to the toilets at half time was very frightening for my son, as there were no clear access areas, with fans smoking/drinking beer etc with no room to move at all. The signs were difficult to see & it took 15 minutes to get back to seats. Had there been an emergency, the blocked access areas would potentially be a risk. This would be my only criticism about the management within the ground.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game
Away fans were not kept in, although it did take a long time to get out of the ground due to the limited exit points. The Park & Ride buses were just around the corner from the away stand and within 5 minutes we were on our way. It took about 15 minutes to get back to the car park, but on exiting, the traffic was flowing fairly well and it took no time at all to get back on the Motorway.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out
A very enjoyable day out, on the whole. The Southampton ground is impressive and is worth visiting. The view within the ground is very good and it made a welcome change for the home fans & stewards to be so welcoming. I would have like to have seen cheaper ticket prices for a family. I understand Southampton offer better prices for home fans only; I do not know why away fans should be discriminated in this way?
an away or general football fan who has visited St Marys recently?
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