The Millennium Stadium Like?
External View (photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Looking Towards The West Stand (photo)
Ticket Price Bands Explained
West Stand (photo)
Where To Eat & Drink?
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
Map Showing The Location Of The Millennium Stadium
|What's The Millennium Stadium Like?|
|From the outside the stadium looks somewhat smaller than its 73,000 capacity, but inside it is a different story as the views are breadth taking. Built on the site of the old Cardiff Arms Park, the stadium was completed in October 1999, at a cost of £130 million. The stadium features a fully retractable roof which takes about 20 minutes to close and is the only one of its kind in Britain. The stadium is completely enclosed with curved corners and is mostly three tiered with an additional row of 125 executive boxes. Add to this two huge screens, suspended beneath the roof at each end of the stadium, and you have a sight to behold. Unfortunately one end, the North Stand, is only two tiered as it backs onto the neighbouring Cardiff Rugby Club. Efforts were made to persuade the rugby club to move, but to no avail. Hence the stadium is built directly onto the rear of one of the rugby club stands and as there was insufficient space, a third tier could not be built. Another unusual feature of this stadium is that the grass pitch is grown outside of the stadium and is brought in when needed, allowing the stadium to be used for other events. Periodically a falcon is flown around the stadium to keep Cardiff's pigeon population at bay.|
Thanks to Tim Rigby for supplying
the photos for this page.
|What Is It Like For Supporters?|
facilities are first class and there is plenty of leg room
and height between rows, ensuring a good view of the
action. Although the stadium is huge, one pleasant
surprise is that you don't feel that you are that far away
from the playing surface. One slight complaint is that at
the back of the lower tier, you feel a little cut off from
the rest of the stadium as the second tier overhangs the
first. You still get a good view of the playing surface,
but you can't see the whole stadium. To compensate for
this TV screens are suspended beneath the roof above you
so that you can see what is happening on the huge stadium
screens. Also the incline of the top tier (level six) is
quite steep, needing some effort to climb to the top. On
the plus side the acoustics and p.a. as you would expect
are first class and a great atmosphere can be generated
within the stadium. Add to this
friendly stewards, relaxed police and a generally
welcoming local population, then you have all the
ingredients for a great day out.
If you are lucky enough to see a game with the roof of the stadium closed, then prepare yourself for quite a spectacle. The stadium looks totally different with the roof in place and the atmosphere is boosted within it. You wouldn't want to see every game under cover, as it seems somewhat artificial, but as a one off it is a fantastic experience.
|Ticket Price Bands Explained|
Executive Areas, there are are normally four categories of
tickets available for football games:
The most expensive tickets are for the middle tier of the stadium and on the photo below they are the red band of seats across the middle of it.
The second band of tickets are for the very front rows of the upper top tier, just above the row of executive boxes.
The third band of seats are in the mid price category and are located around the middle of the bottom & top tiers of seating.
The cheapest seats are located in three areas, where although the views are acceptable they are not as good as the other areas. The three areas are: 1) The very front rows of seats in the lower tier (if you look at the photo below they are the red seats, right down by the pitch). 2) Rows of seats at the back of the lower tier (in the photo it is the area at the back of the bottom tier, that is in shadow). Although the view is okay from this area, you feel a little cut off from the rest of the stadium, as you are sitting under the second tier. 3) Seats right at the back of the top tier, where you are furthest away from the pitch. Again the view of the playing action is fine (unless you have sight problems as you are far away from the pitch), but some of the rest of the stadium is obscured by the tubular steelwork and large video screen hanging down from the roof.
|Where To Eat & Drink?|
news is that the Millennium is located right in the centre
of Cardiff. There are loads of bars and eating
establishments to choose from. In fact there are over 70
bars within a quarter mile radius of the stadium, that can
in total accommodate around 60,000 supporters! However
your choice of pubs will more than likely be restricted to
which end of the stadium your team has been allocated, as
fans then tend to congregate
in the pubs around each end. Also as
many fans arrive early on matchdays, don't be surprised
to see queues forming outside the most popular and
nearest pubs before they are due to open.
The South End of the stadium, has the larger bars centered around it in St Marys Street, where the usual names of Wetherspoons, Walkabout & O'Neils can be found. My pick of the bars in this area were the Wetherspoons outlet, the Prince Of Wales (a former theatre, where you can now have a pint in the royal box!) and if you are looking for a good pint of Brains, The Albert is just in front of the brewery. However, these pubs fill up quickly so aim to get there for opening time. Gareth Baglow recommends 'The Cottage' on St Marys Street. June Taylor informs me; 'Next to the South Stand, is a tall building called the Millennium Plaza. Upstairs you will find “Jumpin Jaks" night club, which was open before the match. Whilst every other bar near to the stadium was crammed full, with queues outside. This place was relatively easy to get into and served in'
At the North End, Danny Boy recommends the 'Owain Glyndwr' by the market and the 'Angel Bar' beneath the hotel of the same name. Whilst Bob Kurac a visiting Liverpool supporter adds; 'The City Arms is a cracking good pub, right opposite the entrance to gates 2 and 3. Two small bars, excellent ales (Brains) and a big screen for sports.' Whilst Mark Tyler recommends 'The Cayo Arms on Cathedral Road. It is only five minutes walk from the stadium, has a 'beer garden' in front of it, so if the weather's good you can have a pre-match pint while sharing some banter with the opposing fans and soaking up the atmosphere as fans stream past on their way to the match. Directions - walking away from the city centre, cross the river Taff on the bridge just North of the stadium and take the first right. You are now in Cathedral Road and The Cayo is the first pub you reach, a couple of hundred metres up on the right'.
Just off St
Marys Street is Caroline Street, nicknamed locally as
'chip alley'. The street is home to a number of kebab
shops and chippies.
|How To Get There By Car & Where To Park|
is well signposted from the M4 and surrounding routes. On
the day of the event there are electronic signs advising
of any traffic problems/suggested alternative routes.
Unless you are going to be at the stadium several hours
before kick off, then due to traffic restrictions put in
force on matchdays, you will not be able to drive near to,
let alone park by the stadium. You will therefore have to
use the Park & Ride service which is signposted from
Junction 33 of the M4. The Park & Ride scheme is not
free; it costs £10 to park, and there are normally large
queues waiting after the game to go back to the car parks.
I would advise that you allow plenty of time for your
journey as traffic congestion along the M4 and going into
Cardiff can be quite bad. Alternatively I would advise
either stopping in Cardiff the night before, or drive part
of the way and then get a train into Cardiff (see below).
Map Showing The Location Of The Millennium Stadium (at the bottom of this page).
Central station is only a few minutes walk from the
stadium, directly behind the South Stand. As you come out
of the station, the stadium is across the road in front of
you. Fans may also consider driving to Newport station and
getting the train for the fifteen minute ride into Cardiff
Central. The cost of a 'off peak' adult return from
Newport to Cardiff is £4.60 and
the trains run regularly before and after the game.
You can't park for long periods at Newport Station itself, but there is a large 'shoppers' car park on the other side of the dual carriageway to the station entrance. Although advertised as a 'short term' car park you can park there all day and on my last visit this cost £4.50. To find this car park at the Cambrian Centre; then on passing Newport Railway Station on your right, then at the next roundabout take the first exit into Bridge Street and then the next left into Station Road. The entrance to the car park is down on the right. Alternatively there is a smaller car park, just past the entrance to the shoppers car park, or there are plenty of other car parks dotted around Newport town centre.
Cardiff International Airport is located just under 12 miles away (to the West of Cardiff City Centre). There is an hourly train service from Rhoose station to Cardiff Central, the journey time for which is around 30 minutes. A shuttle bus (which costs £1 each way) runs from the airport to the station. Alternatively there is the X91 bus service which runs form the airport to Cardiff City Centre. The journey time is around 35 minutes and the service runs every two hours during the day.
Thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the Stadium plan and surrounding area map above.
stadium offers regular tours on most days throughout the
year. The tour itself costs:
Children 5-16 years: £4.95
Children Under 5's: Free
Concessions (OAP's Students, Unemployed, Proof required): £4.95
Family Ticket: 2 Adults + 2 Children £19.50
I have been on the tour myself and would definitely recommend it. It lasts around 45 minutes and is one of the better tours that I have been on, full of interesting facts, coupled with a sense of humour. You can book the tours by calling: 02920 822 228 or book online via the Millennium Stadium website.
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.
Access their Cardiff 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.
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Last Updated: 16 June 2013