Banks's Stadium Like?
Looking Towards The Tile Choice Stand (photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Looking Towards The Signs Specialists Stand (photo)
Where To Drink?
Five Rivers Family & Sign Specialists Stands (photo)
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
ABS Burton Main Stand (photo)
Programme & Fanzine
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
Banks's Stadium Location Map
|What's The Banks's Stadium Like?|
Saddlers moved to then called Bescot Stadium in 1990
Park, which had been their home for 104 years. A
fairly simple affair, somewhat similar to Glanford
Park in Scunthorpe, which was opened two years
earlier, the stadium received a boost in 2003 with the
opening of a huge stand at one end. This is a large
two tiered affair that completely dwarfs the rest of
the ground. It is smart looking, with a glassed area
running across its middle, which houses the concourse.
Unusually, it has a slightly larger upper than lower
tier. This end before it was re-developed was
previously called the Gilbert Alsop (a former Walsall
playing great) Stand, but in a commercial sponsorship
deal, was renamed the Floors 2 Go Stand and is now
currently the Tile Choice Stand.
The rest of the stadium is totally enclosed with three of the stands being roughly the same height, giving it a 'box-like' feel. These stands are not particularly big, around 15 rows high. The corners are filled, but only for advertising hoardings. The ABS Burton Main Stand on one side has a small television camera gantry perched on its roof, as well as the players tunnel and team dug outs at its front. At the back of the stand is a glassed area, which I presume is used for corporate hospitality. Opposite is the Five Rivers Family Stand which is a simple seated stand that has dedicated areas for wheelchair users at its front.
The main disappointment is the large number of supporting pillars in each of the older stands (the newer Tile Choice Stand is pillar free). As Walsall unfortunately very rarely fill the stadium, this is not a huge problem. However, for big games this can be very annoying if you are unlucky enough to get seated behind one. There are four floodlight pylons mounted on the roof of each side stand, plus there is also a small electric scoreboard situated on top of the Sign Specialists (William Sharp) Stand.
In a corporate sponsorship deal with Marstons Brewery, the stadium has been renamed the Banks's Stadium.
|The Club have announced that they have been granted planning permission to redevelop the Sign Specialists (William Sharp) end of the ground. The new stand would look similar to the Tile Choice Stand and add 2,300 seats to the stadium, raising the overall capacity to 13,500. It would also mean that up to 4,000 away supporters could be accommodated at that end. The back of the stand will also feature a giant advertising hoarding, clearly visible from the M6. However there are no firm time scales as to when this might actually happen.|
|What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?|
supporters are housed in the Sign Specialists Stand at
one end of the ground, where around 2,000 away
supporters can be accommodated. There are a few
supporting pillars at the front which
could impede your view. The good news though, is that
even a small amount of away fans can really make some
noise and make a good
atmosphere. A trip to Walsall can be disappointing in
terms of trying to get there and the stadium itself,
but is more than countered by the relaxed atmosphere
around the ground and the friendliness of the Walsall
Harding a visiting Hull City fan provides his
thoughts on the stadium; 'In my opinion The
Bescot has to be one of the poorest grounds in the country.
It has a strange look to it with three
covered stands all the same size,
but one large stand that towers over the rest of the ground, giving
it a somewhat lopsided feel. I found the away end to
be rather cramped and the view distorted by one of the four pillars that run across the front. The only
good thing is that it the stand is covered, which means a good away
following can create a
lot of noise. The away
end is served by a food kiosk stuck in each corner,
and near to the toilets
which created a bit of a bottle neck at half time, especially as
a large away following was present. The food though, if you are prepared
to wait, was excellent, especially the chicken balti pies.
The home fans didn't appear to be threatening
in anyway and the stewards came
across as a friendly bunch of people.
The amount of police on duty though
did seem a little excessive for what was a bit of a nothing game'.
supporter going to the game?
|Where To Drink?|
This is the Saddlers
Club situated just outside the stadium that is happy
to admit away supporters on matchdays on payment of
a £2 entrance fee, although under 16's are
admitted free. The Club has two rooms, a smaller one
at the front which is for home supporters and a
larger function room at the back, which is for away
fans. This area has seating for 300, has a large
screen showing Sky Sports news, has food on offer,
such as pies & burgers plus they offered real
ale (on my last visit this was Wychwood Hobgoblin).
Overall, I was very impressed with the facilities,
but as you would expect if there is a large away
following it can get full pretty quickly.
Five Rivers Family & Sign Specialists Stands
|How To Get There By Car & Where To Park|
The ground is right
next to the M6, in fact you can see it from the
motorway just north of the RAC Control Centre.
Unfortunately, this stretch of motorway normally has
a large traffic jam on both Saturday lunchtimes and
early weekday evenings, so allow extra time.
Map showing the location of the Banks's Stadium (at the bottom of this page).
|Bescot Stadium has its own Railway Station, situated behind the away end only a few minutes walk from the turnstiles. Trains run there on a local line from Birmingham New Street and the journey time is around 20 minutes. There is a regular service on Saturdays along this line and you should not have too many problems getting away after the game.|
Like a number of Clubs Walsall
have a category system (A & B) of ticket
pricing, whereby the most popular games cost more
to watch. Category A games are shown below with
Category B prices in brackets.
|Programme & Fanzine|
Programme £3. There is
also an excellent programme shop behind the William
Ninety Minutes From Europe (NMFE) Fanzine 50p
|Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Aston Villa & Shrewsbury Town.|
|For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.|
|Walsall FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)|
|Record & Average Attendance|
11,049 v Rotherham United
Division One, May 9th 2004
Record Attendance At Fellows Park:
25,453 v Newcastle (Div 2) August 29th, 1961.
2011-2012: 4,274 (League One)
2010-2011: 3,846 (League One)
2009-2010: 4,029 (League One)
|Fans Reviews Of Bescot Stadium|
Brennan (Sheffield Wednesday) 23/4/11
Teresa Jewell (Sheffield Wednesday) 23/4/11
Paul O'Shea (Doing the 92) 26/2/11
Tino Hernandez (Bournemouth) 12/2/11
Alan McKeown (Doing the 92) 23/10/10
Steve Ellis (Exeter City) 9/10/10
Joe Myall (Wycombe Wanderers) 5/4/10
Phillip Mould (Southampton) 5/12/09
Jonathan Saunders (Yeovil Town) 9/2/08
|If you require hotel
accommodation in the area then first try a hotel
booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all
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from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast
establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced
Apartments. Plus their booking system is
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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 football ground.
Access their Walsall 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.
|Map showing the location of the Banks's stadium, railway station and listed pubs|
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